Team Modena Confident After LMS Qualifying
The Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 lines up second in the LMGT1 class for tomorrow's final Le Mans Series race of the 2006 season, the team on course for a strong result that could give Spanish driver Antonio Garcia the class drivers' championship on his home Jarama circuit. With experienced racers Peter Hardman and David Brabham alongside Antonio in the driver line-up, confidence is high heading into tomorrow's 1000km race.
The meeting started strongly with Team Modena quickest in two of the three Free Practice sessions prior to Saturday's 20-minute qualifying session. In the first of Friday's two sessions Antonio was over a second quicker than the team's LMGT1 class rivals, and eleventh quickest overall. The team followed that up with quickest time in the final session on Saturday morning, Antonio once more quickest in class.
Antonio took to the track with ten minutes of the qualifying session remaining, and set his quickest time on his first flying lap. That was good enough to be second quickest time, just two-tenths of a second off class pole, but crucially ahead of his title rivals -- with the entire LMGT1 class covered by just seven-tenths.
"I didn't expect it to be that tight," said Antonio, "everyone was very quick. The car felt good, and I pushed hard on my first lap. We'll start alongside the leader on the grid, and at Donington Park it took until halfway through my second stint to take the lead -- it should be a lot quicker tomorrow."
The times from Free Practice back up Antonio's confidence, the Team Modena driving trio the quickest LMGT1 driver line-up on combined times.
David summed up the team's feelings about their day's efforts, and also gave his thoughts on the return to the team: "We'll take second on the grid, it will be a long race tomorrow. There is a real momentum about the team, you can see it in the mindset of everybody, they are confident and expect results."