Team Modena Aiming for Home Success at Silverstone
Team Modena head into their home round of the 2007 Le Mans Series at Silverstone this coming weekend - September 15th and 16th - looking to repeat their win in the British round of the series in 2006. With the rapid driver line-up of Antonio Garcia and Darren Turner aboard the team's Aston Martin DBR9, confidence is high for a strong result in the 1000km race - the final European round of the LMS.
"Everyone is looking forward to Silverstone," says Team Principal Graham Schultz. "We are very happy with the car which is in great shape and has had a re-build after Spa last month. We have a very quick driver combination and are very upbeat and looking to repeat our win at Donington last year."
Based in High Wycombe, the team are LMS regulars and front-runners in the competitive LM GT1 category of the series, as well as having contested the Le Mans 24-Hour the past two seasons with the Aston Martin. In 2006 driving pairing Garcia and Peter Hardman took a superb win at Donington Park, Garcia chasing down the class leader in the final laps of the six-hour race to snatch victory.
"We want to be strong at Silverstone," says Team Modena regular Garcia, "but everyone else will be pushing hard too. Having Darren in the car is the best option for this race, we drove together at Sebring and he will be quick straight away in the car, which means we will be able to use all the Free Practice sessions to work on the car's set-up. Last time I drove the full Silverstone circuit was in Formula 3000, so this should be very different but if all goes well we can get a good result."
The Aston Martin, chassis 101 and the first of the customer DBR9s, made its race debut at Silverstone two years ago, with Turner as part of the race line up. The English racer, who drove a factory DBR9 to victory in the LM GT1 class at the famous Le Mans 24-Hour race earlier this year, also gave the car its first victory at the Nurburgring round of the LMS a month later, September 2005.
"It's going to be great to get another chance to drive the Aston Martin with Team Modena," said Turner. "I'd like to thank Rik Bryan and Graham Schultz for the opportunity. I'm also really looking forward to racing again at Silverstone in front of my 'home' crowd. The GT1 category of the Le Mans Series is very competitive, with a lot of strength in depth, and it should be a great battle. Antonio knows the car really well, and remains one of the quickest out there, as we saw at Le Mans, so it's all good as far as I'm concerned!"
The team have three one-hour Free Practice sessions on Friday and Saturday before a 20-minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. The 196-lap race is scheduled for 12.00 on Sunday - with a maximum duration of six hours.
The six-race Le Mans Series is for cars complying to the same technical regulations as the Le Mans 24-Hours race, with races of 1000km duration making them true endurance events. The series visits classic European circuits such as Monza, the Nurburgring, Spa and Silverstone before finishing in Brazil in November at the Interlagos circuit.