Sébastien Bourdais: “A big improvement in times compared to last year”

Sébastien Bourdais debriefed the Test Day of the 24 Hours of Le Mans during which Porsche marked its territory for the 92nd edition and its Cadillac encountered a few glitches.

Published on 10/06/2024 à 17:39

Gonzalo Forbes

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Sébastien Bourdais: “A big improvement in times compared to last year”

© Julien Delfosse / DPPI

What are the feelings on Cadillac's side after the two Test Day sessions?

There is quite a difference in behavior compared to the tires compared to what we experienced last year. This is surprising because the tire is supposed to be the same and the conditions are similar. The car also hasn't changed that much mechanically. We are a little surprised to have a significantly different reading but we have made some adjustments. We have good figures in terms of tire wear, mechanical grip and the aerodynamic balance of the car. I would say that we are rather calm even if it took a little longer than expected.

You have encountered some technical problems such as a brake pump problem, are you worried about the future?

There is enough time. The other two cars were able to run. It's always annoying, frustrating, but in the end it doesn't really change the equation.

Sébastien Bourdais Cadillac

© Charly Lopez / DPPI

What reading do you make of these first runs?

GM engineers will analyze the times of all the other competitors. We'll see what comes out of it. Porsche had to carry out different scenarios, performance relays, races… For our part, we really focused on the race. There isn't really a very representative time but it's moving quickly ahead. Compared to last year, we see a big improvement in times which suggests that everyone, especially the LMDhs, has done a lot of work on the systems level. The biggest challenge for manufacturers and engine manufacturers is to find more power without exposing themselves to penalties compared to power peaks that go out of the window and which can cost you one. Often last year, we were forced to drive significantly below the time allocated to us in order not to take a penalty. With improved control, we get much closer to ideal power.

Porsche and Toyota lapped almost 3 seconds faster than on last year's Test Day. Does this indicate a hierarchy?

I thought it would go a second faster but not [as much]. Again, it also depends on what they did up front. If that's their race pace, it's worrying for us. If they carried out performance-oriented relays with a little less fuel, or with the tank half full and with new tires, it is certain that by not taking on traffic you can quickly hope to make a good time. Le Mans remains a track where it is necessary to think more in percentage than in time differences. If you look at it, it's three tracks put end to end so three seconds isn't really three seconds.

Comments collected by Michaël Duforest, in Le Mans

ALSO READ > 24 Hours of Le Mans – Test Day: Porsche in the lead from the start

Gonzalo Forbes

In charge of promotion formulas (F2, F3, FRECA, F4...). Carried by the grace of Franco Colapinto.

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Thierry Pingret

10/06/2024 at 08:01 a.m.

Courage Sébastien this year it’s for you

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