Felipe Nasr believes Risi Competizione took away “a lot of positives” from its outing in last month’s 6 Hours of Monza, which was largely focused as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The British-run team, running under the legendary U.S. banner known for its Ferrari exploits, is making its LMP2 debut with Ryan Cullen, Nasr and fellow IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi star Oliver Jarvis at the wheel.
The trio finished tenth in class in the Italian WEC round after multiple setbacks, including nose damage and a pit lane penalty that turned the race into an extended test session.
“I felt that [Monza] was very necessary for all of us as a team, as a group,” Nasr told Sportscar365.
“It’s always hard when you jump straight into a championship when everything is running already.
“It was a good practice. We could take a lot of positives from that, especially having the pace on the car in qualifying for never showing up before in the championship.
“Even for myself, I’ve never driven an ORECA before. I only did a test day with the guys in Aragon and jumped in straight at Monza.
“With all that was going on we were able to at least show that pace in qualifying.”
Nasr admitted that there were still “a lot of things” they needed to work out, specifically from a procedural standpoint.
“We got ourselves with some issues in the race that now we feel we’re much more prepared coming over here,” he said.
“I felt that was really important to do so. There were a lot of boxes we ticked there, even though the end result wasn’t there as we expected.
“I feel pretty confident we can achieve better things here this coming weekend.”
The Brazilian is set for his second Le Mans start after making his race debut in 2018 at the wheel of Cetilar Villorba Corse’s Dallara P217 Gibson.
Since then, Nasr has gone on to claim the IMSA Prototype title with Action Express Racing, where he has focused the majority of his attention on in recent years.
“I’m very pleased for the opportunity,” he said. “I love coming back to Le Mans… I hope Le Mans is going to be nice with us.
“I feel we have come here much more prepared than we were [at Monza].”
Sunday’s test day will be run without team manager Gary Holland, who is on ABB FIA Formula E World Championship duty in Berlin.
Nonetheless, Nasr says they have a clear checklist of items to get through in what will prove to be crucial experience ahead of next weekend’s French endurance classic.
“I feel we’ve shown the speed,” he said. “Now we have to work on the race pace and the race strategy. But we have to take one day at a time.
“I can’t really set a target now. We have to really focus on getting all of the procedures right, finding the race pace in the car and go from there.”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report