Templepatrick’s Wayne Boyd says he doesn’t consider winning the double-header at Circuit de la Sarthe in France as make-or-break for his Michelin Le Mans Cup LMP3 title aspirations.
The opening 55-minute Road to Le Mans race takes place this afternoon at 5.30pm UK time and the second is due to get underway on Saturday morning at 10.20am.
Both are a precursor to the ninetieth instalment of the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race – a meeting Boyd made his debut at last summer.
That knowledge should come into its own when he heads out on to the 8.46-mile semi-permanent motorsport course for this morning’s two qualifying sessions.
“You only get to drive the majority of the circuit once a year because it incorporates closed roads, but having done the Road to Le Mans race the last few years, and then Le Mans last year, it definitely gives me a bit of an advantage because you aren’t learning the track as such,” he explained.
“With the limited track time we get before the two races, the team has to get on with things quite quickly and work more on the car’s set-up. In the few laps I’ll have, that experience is definitely going to help in that respect.
“And as the two races are only one hour each there is a little bit less strategy involved. We just need strong pace to get a podium – or a win – but at the same time, if we leave with two very strong results, then I honestly believe that we would be happy with that outcome”, added the 31-year-old.
After a disastrous round one at Circuit Paul Ricard in April where Boyd’s team-mate John Schauerman locked up and spun off in the opening stages, the pair revived their title hopes at Imola in northern Italy last month with a runner-up finish in their United Autosports-run Ligier JS P320 car.
Coupled with the strength of the 32-car grid for 2022, that has helped to keep them firmly in silverware contention. They are currently seven points behind Alexander Mattschull and Tom Dillman of Racing Spirit of Le Mans and Cool Racing’s Malthe Jakobsen and Maurice Smith – the joint leaders of the Le Mans Cup.
“With the Le Mans Cup being quite dramatic at times already with the different incidents on track, if we keep out of trouble then we could leave Le Mans as the championship leaders,” explained Boyd.
“The Le Mans Cup is so, so competitive this season – it is nearly more competitive than LMP3 in the European Le Mans Series – but in the last race at Imola we just picked the guys off that were ahead of us one at a time. We let them make the mistakes, so it was great to go there and get a podium result.
“I think that podium was deserved – especially after the first round at Le Castellet – and in the process we collected some really good points, so for me it was all good.”