“Hard to say where we stand compared to the others but it’s a fun car to drive. It’s got a tonne of power, got a bit of heft to it as well so you can drive it a little bit more like a GT, it’s not so delicate, and the sound is epic which always helps.”
When we put it to him that the driving style of the naturally aspirated V8-powered LMDh car could be more GT than LMP2 – the latter a category he has plenty of experience of – Aitken is quick to put us right. But it’s clearly in a class of its own.
“That would probably be quite a harsh comparison to make because the thing still flies! It’s got plenty of downforce, it’s just that it has some of those traits. I wouldn’t say it’s closer to a GT than a prototype because it’s got so much downforce and we’re still overtaking LMP2 cars around the outside in the infield, so we’ve clearly got a lot of grip in the car.
“It’s interesting because the P2 car probably feels more light-footed and it’s a very responsive car and quite twitchy at times even. Trying to keep it dead straight on the road when there’s a crown and bumps is a challenge! But it is quite underpowered these days with the restrictions that have been brought in.
“It’s not the easiest car to drive, it’s not the most refined in a lot of ways, and driving the Caddy in comparison it feels a lot more sure-footed. It can soak up a lot more in terms of the kerbing and bumps, it has got more working in the background to try and help you out. More systems, there’s more complexity to the car which is obviously a double-edged sword but at the moment has been working great and it has been helping us and making my life easier.
“There’s more adjustment with things like the traction control systems and the brake control and the hybrid system. So generally it gives you more from the driver’s point of view, there’s more to take advantage of, and that makes it a nicer place to be.”
The new Hypercar rules that have also seen new manufacturers commit to the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations – with Ferrari and Vanwall set to join Peugeot, Glickenhaus and Toyota in WEC this year – allow for them to race GTP entrants in the same events. Having competed in both GT and LMP2 entries in 24-hour races before, Aitken is keeping his fingers crossed the booming top class won’t come at the expense of other prototypes.
“I hope not, because I think LMP2 still serves a big purpose. It’s still a ProAm class which is important for our sport and there’s a lot of Ams I know having a great time racing in ELMS last year. And meeting a lot of the guys out here it would be really sad to see the P2s go.
“I think there’s a real place for the Am that wants to be in a prototype and a car as capable as the LMP2 – which is still a fantastic car to drive – and obviously not have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to buy a LMH car off the shelf.