Portimao: Team Modena race report

Portugal Podium for Team Modena Team Modena claimed third in the LM GT2 class at the third round of the 2009 Le Mans Series in Portugal in the early hours of today - Sunday August 2nd. Driver trio Jaime Melo, Antonio Garcia and Leo...

Portugal Podium for Team Modena

Team Modena claimed third in the LM GT2 class at the third round of the 2009 Le Mans Series in Portugal in the early hours of today - Sunday August 2nd. Driver trio Jaime Melo, Antonio Garcia and Leo Mansell battled race long with the class leaders and led the middle part of the 1000km race before having to settle for third, their second podium of the LMS season.

"That was easily our hardest race of the season," said Team Principal Graham Schultz. "We had lots of issues to overcome, so taking third almost feels like a win today."

The team's Ferrari 430 GT ran third for the early part of the race, but moved into the class lead and was heading LM GT2 at half distance. Jaime pitted from the lead on lap 107 to hand back over to Antonio, and the car continued to lap on the pace, class positions changing as the lead cars made their pit stops with the darkness settling over the circuit.

During his stint Antonio closed in on the leader halving the gap between the two Ferraris, pitting just a few seconds behind the race leader. A good stop from the team saw him rejoin third, but as the others ahead then made their stops, Antonio was now leading the class before making his final pit stop.

Leo was in the car for the run to the end of the race, with the other cars in the battle for GT2 leap-frogging the Team Modena Ferrari at the final pit stop and staying clear to the end, the chequered flag waving at just past one in the morning, local time. The Ferrari claimed 17th overall in the 35-car field.

"It was a very challenging race on what is a tough track - especially in the dark," said Leo. "It was a good team performance, once again we showed our potential and it was good to get on the podium."

Next Race: Le Mans Series, August 22nd and 23rd, Nurburgring, Germany.

-credit: modena

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Jaime Melo , Leo Mansell