Dumbreck needs to get a grip!posted in LMANS14 | 06 | 2012
FIFER PETER DUMBRECK will drive a prototype racer in the Le Mans 24-Hours this weekend. It's his first time in a prototype car at the French race since he walked away from his airborne Mercedes in 1999 (watch video of Peter Dumbreck's crash in 1999).
This year though, partnered by Aussie David Brabham and Indian F1 driver Karun Chandhok, the Scot is piloting a JRM Honda HPD ARX.
Before heading into this evening's final qualifying sessions at the 8.46-mile La Sarthe circuit, the 38-year-old from Kirkcaldy admitted the team was battling to overcome tyre issues.
"We're a bit flummoxed," a very lean-looking Dumbreck admitted as he rested before jumping into the car this evening. "We don't have the multi-million pound budget teams like Audi has, so we haven't managed the amount of testing we'd have preferred.
"All three drivers are struggling to get any heat in the tyres. It's taking us five laps to get the car handling anywhere near where we want it to be.
"And those five laps are a bit scary. We're having to drive the car with our fingertips; that's how light on the steering we've got to be.
"We expected the temperatures to be in the low 30s this week. Instead we're struggling to get into the 20s, and that's at the core of our issues. But it's a problem I know the guys in the team will resolve: I have no doubts about that."
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But despite the uncertainty over grip, Dumbreck admits he can't wait for the race to get starts on Saturday afternoon.
"I hate this kicking our heels through the week stuff," he continued. "There's so much hanging around it's painful. All I want to do is jump in the car and get on with my work.
"Once I get my first stint done on Saturday, I'll be fine. That'll allow me to get my race head on, get in the zone, and concentrate on what we're doing in the race."
And Dumbreck, who is contesting the full World Endurance Championship with JRM, also admitted he's feeling the fittest he's ever been.
"I've got a personal trainer, and boy has he made a difference," he laughed. "I can really feel it right across my body.
"Quite what difference it's going to make to my driving, I don't know, but it certainly helped my skiing!"
Dumbreck will further test his new fitness regime when he tackles an 80km mountainbike ride across the Alps in a few weeks.
"I many ways that'll be even tougher than Le Mans," he said. "At least this weekend I've got two wheels instead of only two."
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