RLR MSport will attempt to reinforce its bid for the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Am Trophy by winning the 4 Hours of The Bend in South Australia (11-12 January).
However, there’s more to come from team, car and drivers in the second round of the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series at The Bend Motorsport Park.
Experience and data from the Shanghai curtain-raiser has been used to identify potential improvements, and RLR MSport is sure it can further optimise the ORECA 05 LMP2 and extract more pace from drivers John Farano, Arjun Maini and Andy Higgins to establish a foothold at the top of the Am Trophy standings.
“I’ve spent the intervening weeks between Shanghai and The Bend studying data and analysing as much as information as possible to identify what I can improve on and what I can put into practice during the build-up to the race on Sunday,” said Higgins. “More mileage in the ORECA 05 will be most helpful, as I have to get my head around fuel and tyre management and the ins and outs of LMP2 racing, but I’ll be on more of a level playing field because nobody has been to The Bend Motorsport Park before.
“The Bend’s long lap will make it a challenging circuit to master, although the South Australian heat will add an extra dimension by making things pretty uncomfortable. It’s certainly a very different environment to New Zealand, being so dry with wide-open spaces. However, it’ll be a learning curve for everybody and we’re definitely going there to win, to build on the success we had in Shanghai.”
This will be the first time in 20 years that Le Mans Prototypes have raced in South Australia, and the region’s searing heat and The Bend’s 7.7km lap will pose a new challenge for all concerned, but particularly the drivers, who are likely to experience stifling cockpit temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius.
Nevertheless, RLR MSport is solely focused on consolidating its Am Trophy points lead with a second consecutive Asian Le Mans Series victory, and the team’s Director of Motorsport Operations, Nick Reynolds, said: “After such a strong start to the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans season in Shanghai we’ve arrived at The Bend Motorsport Park with the intention of winning again. We recognise that consistency is the key, but a second victory would significantly boost our hopes of winning the LMP2 Am Trophy and securing the 24 Hours of Le Mans entry with only three races remaining. We learnt a great deal about the ORECA 05 in Shanghai and there’s a lot to test in free practice, and I’m sure we will take a step forward with the car. Each of our drivers are also more comfortable with the equipment and share our ambition to win in South Australia.”