Larbre Competition take victory at the 1000 Milhas in Brazil Text
Larbre Competition returned from the final round of the Le Mans Series season finale in Brazil with a hugely satisfying GT1 class win at the 1000-mile Mil Milhas race at Interlagos.
The French team's Aston Martin DBR9, driven by Steve Zacchia, Fernando Rees, Gregor Fisken and Roland Berville, finished nine laps clear of their nearest rivals Luc Alphand Adventures and in sixth place overall after a faultless race by both the team and drivers.
Larbre raced their DBR9 in an exclusive livery to mark the Mil Milhas' debut on the LMS calendar, with the Aston Martin sporting Brazilian colours for the event, alongside that of its partners Bertin and Platinium Cars.
Team Manager Jack Leconte was delighted at the performance as Larbre ended the year on a high with its first Le Mans Series win of 2007. He said "The quality of preparation of the car by the team made a huge difference. We delivered an error-free race and to finish sixth overall is a fabulous achievement. I'm very proud of the way the team has performed in the Le Mans Series and at the Le Mans 24 Hours this season and I'm thrilled that we've been rewarded by winning the prestigious event at Interlagos, especially as it's the first time it has appeared on the LMS calendar."
Brazilian driver Fernando Rees joined the team for his home race and, with the support of his team manager and co-drivers, enjoyed a memorable sports car racing debut. He said: "I learned so much throughout the weekend about GT cars and the team helped me by providing lots of tips to improve my performance. To win in my first race back after my bad accident last year was fantastic and I look forward to racing these cars again in the future."
Swiss Steve Zacchia, who did such as fine job in qualifying, added: "It was a great race on a fantastic circuit. The car was very well balanced and I thought Jack managed the race superbly from the pit wall. He put us on a very good strategy, planned the pit stops well and made good tyre choices. The team and my co-drivers were perfect all weekend and the win is a great way to end the season."
Scottish racer Gregor Fisken was equally ecstatic to take his first GT1 victory in his first season with the team and graciously heaped praise on his team mates. "Roland didn't make a single mistake all weekend and was solid even at night. Fernando was an absolute revelation especially when you consider he'd never driven a GT car before and Steve, as ever, was superb. The feeling when we crossed the finish line was fantastic. I think this is my best result ever and the high point of my career."
Frenchman Roland Berville excelled during the difficult night time stints and thanked the team for preparing a faultless racing car. "The win is a true reward for the team, because the car was perfectly prepared. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car because it was so well balanced and the adjustments we made matched my driving style. This is my first official win, so it feels very special. It was the perfect race."
The victory marked a fantastic climax to the season for the Larbre Competition, who have ended 2007 with three wins from three races, the Mil Milhas triumph being added to victories for Patrick Bornhauser and Frederic Makowiecki at Nogaro and Magny Cours in the French GT championship.