The penultimate race of the 2013 Endurance World Championship got underway in Germany today with the Honda TT Legends in provisional 11th on the grid for the 8 Hours of Oschersleben on Saturday.
The first qualifying sessions took place in warm and dry conditions this afternoon with Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews and John McGuinness heading out on the 3.6km circuit for 20 minutes each. All three riders improved on their performance in free practice this morning, shaving a second of their lap times.
Rutter set the team’s fastest lap of 1.29’039, while Andrews and McGuinness were not far behind with 1.29’204 and 1.29’429 respectively. The combined average of the three times places the Honda TT Legends in provisional 11th ahead of tomorrow’s final qualifying. The 8 Hours of Oschersleben will begin at 13.00 CET on Saturday 17 August.
Meanwhile, today’s Dundrod 150 races at the Ulster Grand Prix were cancelled due to heavy rain. Honda TT Legends’ Michael Dunlop had qualified on pole in the Superbike class. The remainder of the races are due to run on Saturday.
Neil Tuxworth – team manager: “At this stage we’re 11th out of 40 teams but I would like to see all three riders go a little bit quicker. We’re capable of moving up to around eighth if we have a good session tomorrow. As usual, come the race, starting position is less important and we’ll be aiming for consistency and good fuel strategy etc. to give us a good result at the end of the day.”
Michael Rutter: “It’s gone pretty well today considering this is my first time at the track. It’s a tight and twisty circuit so while it’s not too difficult to learn, it takes time to build up speed. We’ve made good progress today and I was quickest of the three riders so I’m happy with that. Hopefully tomorrow we can go a bit faster and climb up the timesheet to get a good start in the race.”
Simon Andrews: “It’s been a busy day and we’re stiIl working on set up, but the bike is getting better each time we go out. Qualifying went ok and I had good splits overall, although I got held up in a bit of traffic. We used the qualifying tyre, which takes a bit of getting used to but I used it well and I think there is more to come. I’m confident that we can take another chink of the time tomorrow. For my first time here, it’s not too bad.”
John McGuinness: “We’ve had a productive day today and between practice and qualifying we managed to shave a good amount of time off our pace. We’re all within a few tenths of each other again which we know if a good place to be when it comes to endurance racing where consistency is key. We’ve got a few changes to make to the bike before the second session tomorrow so if it all goes to plan we should be able to gain a few spots.”