JMW Motorsport: Topping The Season With A Silverstone Victory JMW Motorsport Take Victory In The Final Round Of the 2009 Le Mans Series to Help Secure Constructor's Title For Ferrari JMW Motorsport secured a hard fought and passionate win at...
JMW Motorsport: Topping The Season With A Silverstone Victory
JMW Motorsport Take Victory In The Final Round Of the 2009 Le Mans Series to Help Secure Constructor's Title For Ferrari
JMW Motorsport secured a hard fought and passionate win at the final round of the 2009 Le Mans Series held at the team's home race at Silverstone. Sadly, even this epic effort was not enough to take the LMGT2 title and the team had to be content with 2nd in the Championship by the closest of margins. The team did, however, take great pride in helping Ferrari secure the LMGT2 Constructor's crown for 2009.
The event was always going to be an uphill battle, with the team needing to win the race with their Championship rivals Lieb & Lietz in Team Felbermayr Porsche(#77) failing to score for the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 to take the title. The battle between the two contenders was strong from the outset with Lieb/Lietz taking the LMGT2 pole position by a whisker from the JMW pairing of Rob Bell and Gimmi Bruni.
Race day saw the Northamptonshire circuit dry and warm, if a little cloudy, and a healthy crowd descended to witness what was to be a great race.
For LMGT2 the first injection of drama came on lap 1 with both the JMW Motorsport Ferrari and Team Felbermayr Porsche dropping well down the field, indeed Gimmi found himself at the back of the pack after a spin. A spirited drive saw him battle back up through the field, ready to handover to Rob in a podium position, but well aware only a win would do. Looking back down the field the #77 was struggling, even making a quick visit back to its garage with what transpired to be a faulty fuel pressure sensor.
With the tension in the JMW Motorsport garage palpable, on track Rob was up into 2 nd and eating into the LMGT2 leader's 45 second cushion. After another round of pitstops, Gimmi was back behind the wheel and the gap to 1st was a tantalising 36 seconds whilst the #77 Porsche ran just outside the points. By the half way point of the race Gimmi was within 10 seconds of the LMGT2 lead.
Just after the 4 Hour mark Gimmi took the lead and for a split second there was jubilation in the hearts of the many JMW fans present, only to be plummeted into despair as Gimmi was hit heavily on the front right by the Signature Plus Oreca Courage. The front right tyre was punctured and Gimmi nursed the car back to the pits were Rob took over.
Miraculously the team retained the lead in the melee but elsewhere the #77 was close to 8 th place and the vital 1 point they needed for the title, and it did not escape attention that their sister car was in the top 8.
Gimmi returned to the car for the final sprint. As the last handful of laps counted down the team made a quick splash and dash, but elsewhere the #77 moved into 7th place, grasping the title, whilst its sister car took 8th. JMW Motorsport took the victory, the car in prime condition and the Dunlop tyres once more performing to the highest of standards.
It was a superb win for the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430, indeed it was this car's hat-trick of Silverstone 1000kms victories. The reception from the crowd as Rob and Gimmi were joined on the podium by Team Owner Jim McWhirter was rapturous and well deserved.
In JMW Motorsport's first year they have scored four out of five podiums, including two superb victories and a 4th place at their Le Mans 24 Hours debut. Indeed, the garage door hadn't been closed at Silverstone before talk turned to JMW's 2010 Le Mans 24 Hour entry which they had ably secured with their 2009 LMS runners up position.
Team Owner Jim McWhirter was quick to praise and thank his team "I am exceptionally proud of our team this year. The team is a family and everyone has given their all. Rob and Gimmi never give less than 100%. This has been mirrored by the team members, led by Team Manager Tim Sugden and Chief Engineer Steve `Doc' Bunkhall. We came into 2009 as familiar faces in a new team, we finish the season a very proud and strong unit who look ahead to 2010 with great excitement".
All at JMW Motorsport extend their thanks to the team's partners, Dunlop, AJ Power, Momo Italy, JBL Professional, MCW Properties and City West Commercials. The team also thank the many family, friends, media and supporters who have journeyed with them on this exciting debut season, whether at the track, on the internet or by the airwaves. The interest, encouragement and gracious goodwill shown to the team has been inspiring and much appreciated.