Having posted the second quickest time during the official Le Mans test day, Larbre Competition goes into this weekend's 24 Hours with the hope of challenging the works teams for honours in the GT1 category.

The team, a veteran of 15 Le Mans races, fields a single Saleen S7R in the 91st edition of the world's most famous motor race for Christophe Bouchut and French GT frontrunners Patrick Bornhauser and David Hallyday as it attempts to pull off a shock victory against the works Aston Martins and Corvettes. While the factory giants remain hot favourites to fill the podium places, Larbre's third place last year gives the team plenty of optimism ahead of the 2008 race.

"We have a car which is capable of a very high level of performance at Le Mans," team principal Jack Leconte reasoned, "I believe we can have a good qualifying against the works teams and then maintain a good consistent pace throughout the race. If we manage that, and don't make any mistakes, we should be able to stay in touch with the factory cars and be ready to capitalise should they have any problems.

"It will be very difficult to beat them, and our main aim is to be the best of the privateer teams, but a key area of importance at Le Mans this year will be balancing the car's set up to be optimised between wet and dry conditions. Larbre Competition has a vast amount of experience of doing just that, and of this race, and that may be our ace card."

Twelve months ago, a stunning qualifying lap from Bouchut gave Larbre's Aston Martin DBR9 a surprise GT1 pole by over 1.5secs, while ORECA's Saleen took second ahead of the best factory entries, giving Bouchut hope that Larbre's version of the American-built machine can make it to the top this year.

"I'm definitely targeting pole position," he confirmed, "To win a 24-hour race against two such well-financed works teams will be difficult, but pole is a realistic aim. It was a fantastic feeling to beat the Aston Martins and Corvettes last year, and I'd love a repeat in the Saleen."

 

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