Spanish Ace Garcia Chases Title at Jarama
Antonio Garcia heads for the final Le Mans Series race of the year just two points behind the LMGT1 class leader, and keen to claim the title at what his home circuit of Jarama, Spain. Having led the Team Modena squad to LMGT1 class victory in LMS race at Donington Park in August, Madrid-born Antonio knows a strong performance in the 1000km race on September 24th could see him Spain's newest motorsport champion.
At Donington Park Antonio put in a superb performance in Team Modena's Aston Martin DBR9 to take the class lead just three laps from the end of the six-hour race, finishing sixth overall in the 39-car field sharing the car with Briton Peter Hardman.
"We had a great finish to the race," says 26-year-old Antonio, "everyone in these races has problems of some sort, but Peter and I kept fighting and we were in position at the finish to take the win. I had a gearbox problem three laps into my final stint but kept pushing hard - if I hadn't then we may not have caught the leader in time.
"You have to push all the time in these races now, the cars have really improved and everyone is really close - even in the Le Mans 24-Hours we were flat out all the time. It was really on the Monday and Tuesday after the Donington race I was able to think back and be really happy with the result.
"I've been taking this season just on a race-by-race basis, I wasn't thinking about it being a championship year. I want to win the drivers title, but I'm focussing on doing my best in the car and just being as quick as we can. At Jarama I'll be trying 100% to get the best result for the team.
"I haven't raced in Spain for four years now, so I am really excited to be back at Jarama in a good car with such a good team. It is a chance to show Spain what the Aston Martin DBR9 is like, and I will have a lot of friends there to see the championship fight.
"Jarama will be new to a lot of the LMS teams, so it will be a question of getting a good set-up as quickly as we can. As a team we have the technical ability to cope with that, and have the experience of dealing with a lot of new things this year.
"I've won a few times at Jarama, including in Formula Nissan, and it has been a good circuit for me in the past. It is a very different circuit, as a lot of the other drivers will find out, and for me a special track. I currently live right by the circuit, and it would be great to win a championship there."
"We are aiming to build on our success at Donington and finish the season strongly," says Team Modena co-owner Rik Bryan. "We would like to win in Spain for Antonio and see him win the Le Mans Series LMGT1 drivers' championship at his home race."