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Kvyat: Positive Test Day a Morale Boost for Lamborghini

Lamborghini’s Daniil Kvyat reflects on Le Mans test day after setting seventh-fastest time…

Photo: Charly Lopez/DPPI

Daniil Kvyat says that a strong showing for Lamborghini Iron Lynx in last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans test day has come as a motivational boost as the team gears up for its Hypercar debut in the French endurance classic.

Ex-Formula 1 racer Kvyat posted a best lap of 3:28.222 aboard the No. 63 Lamborghini SC63 to go seventh fastest overall, around 1.3 seconds slower than the fastest time of the day set by Kevin Estre for Porsche Penske Motorsport.

It follows a tough start to the FIA World Endurance Championship season for Lamborghini that has yielded a best finish of 12th for the car Kvyat shares with Mirko Bortolotti and Edoardo Mortara.

While conscious that the test day may not be ultimately reflective of Lamborghini’s pace in the Hypercar pecking order, Kvyat believes it was important to show the car’s capability as Lamborghini gears up for its first Le Mans assault with the SC63.

“We ticked all the boxes and did a good amount of laps,” Kvyat told Sportscar365. “We went through our program nicely and we felt at some stages quite competitive.

“Of course it’s hard to draw too many conclusions, but it felt good. We felt like we are not missing anything huge.

“For sure there is a lot of work to do but so far we are in a good rhythm and we need to keep chipping away at the lap time and finding little things here and there.

“It’s always good if we have a good rhythm to show it on track. It’s good for us drivers and team morale. It’s not 100 percent representative but there were occasions we were in a good rhythm.

“Sometimes you can’t see it well, but there were little flashes of pace at Imola, and at Spa until we retired.

“It’s only testing but we wanted to see where we are against the others so far and I think we are in the ballpark, so we just need to keep going.”

For the first time in an official session, Lamborghini had two cars running as its IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup-entered car was also on track on Sunday, with Matteo Cairoli setting the 18th-fastest time.

Kvyat acknowledged the benefits of having the No. 19 machine able to conduct different test programs compared to the regular WEC entry.

“We were able to work on two different programs, and the efficiency was higher,” he said. “We managed to tick the boxes quicker and be more confident. That was also positive.”

Cairoli, who is sharing the WeatherTech Championship-entered No. 19 Lamborghini with Andrea Caldarelli and Romain Grosjean, added he is convinced that the unique character of the Circuit de la Sarthe should play into the hands of the SC63.

“We’ve been able to see the potential of the car even if we haven’t had any very positive results,” said Cairoli. “I am pretty sure at Le Mans, if the reliability of the car is strong, we can do something better.

“We are the most powerful Hypercar in the field [at 519kW], and at Le Mans it’s a high-speed track and there are not so many curbs, and one of the areas where we are struggling is riding the curbs.

“I believe this race can be a good step forward.”

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

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