TOYOTA Racing Junior Driver, Andrea Caldarelli shared the experience of a first Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day with the team at the weekend. It was a new and interesting experience for the young Italian driver, who was able to feel the special atmosphere of this momentous occasion for the team; the first steps of the TS030 HYBRID on the famous La Sarthe circuit.
“Sunday, I arrived at nearly 7a.m. on the circuit. It was really nice to see Le Mans and the ambiance of the paddock so early in the morning. Then I participated at the first briefing of the day with the other drivers and engineers, going through the plan of the day. During the first session I stayed in the pit box to see how all was organized. I took this opportunity to look closely and understand the sector times. I would like to see where we were gaining or missing time on our opponents in order to see that when I went around the track in the afternoon. The morning finished as with every day with lunch, but this time it was really fascinating to sit with the other drivers and discuss their feelings.
“A scheduled, I went around the track in the afternoon with one of our Yamaha EC-03 electric scooters. It allowed me to understand the track and all the tricks, to see driving lines, braking points etc. Even if there was some rain it is always interesting to see cars in action: there are many different technologies, different classes… It good to see who is losing or gaining time, and how that happens. It was interesting to study driving styles as well, which I hope I can apply in the future to be fast. Then I went to a big debriefing with the engineers at 7p.m. I listened the comments and followed the way of working because this is really helpful.”
As during private tests, Andrea benefits from the experience of the other TOYOTA Racing drivers. “To take part at all the meeting is really interesting because you can always learn new way of explaining car behaviour to the engineers, to be more clear and efficient. It is interesting because I can learn what procedures to follow, so it is good preparation in general for me.”
From his point of view, the Junior Driver gives his feelings after the Le Mans Test Day: “A lot of work has been done from this winter. I could see how passionate the team members are. I am really happy to be with the team and the drivers; there is a lot of experience and a good mood. Regarding the car, it is difficult to speak about the times before the qualifying session and the race but I think it is already a very good achievement for such and innovative technology.”