ORECA came out on top on the second day of the official preseason Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard.
The French squad's AIM-engined chassis was fastest in the hands of Soheil Ayari in both of Monday's session. The ORECA team regular set the best time of the two-day test late in the afternoon. His 1m42.963sec lap was 0.8sec better than the second-fastest time of the day set by Loic Duval in ORECA's Peugeot 908 HDi turbodiesel.
"We've worked a lot on the car since Le Mans last year, look at our performance at Silverstone [which the team won], and we've improved the car more over the winter, said ORECA team manager Philippe Leloup said. ""We worked through a tire program with our new partner Dunlop and the tires worked well in the conditions."
Duval, who got his first taste of the 908 HDi during the official test, recorded his best, a 1m43.756sec, during the morning. The two Rebellion Racing Lola-Judd coupes came close to his time in the afternoon in the hands of Marco Andretti (1m44.025sec) and Jean-Christophe Boullion (1m44.264sec).
"The feeling of the Lola is very close to the Acura LMP2 that I drove in 2008," said Andretti. "I think we can aim for a good result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Neel Jani, who shares the car with Andretti and Nicolas Prost, added: "We finally got the tire to work in these [cold] conditions. I found a different tire that worked, we focused on the setup and then Marco was able to set the time. We are really happy now."
The LMP2 division was headed on day two by the British Strakka team's HPD (nee Acura) driven by Danny Watts. His fastest lap of 1m46.174sec set in the morning was the best LMP2 time of the test, four tenths ahead of Olivier Pla's 1m46.584sec recorded right at the end of the day.
The GT1 division was headed on Monday by Bas Leinders in the best of the Marc VDS Ford GTs. His 1m57.711sec was four tenths behind the best GT1 lap of the test set by Stefan Mucke on Sunday aboard the Fischer-run Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DBR9.
The ProSpeed Porsche squad headed the GT2 times. Marco Holzer ended up fastest on a 1m59.213sec just one tenth ahead of Pierre Kaffer in the CRS Racing Ferrari.