Graham Nash Motorsport (GNM) had its best weekend of the season at the last round of the FIA GT Championship at Oschersleben, after its two Saleen S7- Rs finished in fourth and sixth places. With Portuguese drivers Ni Amorim and Miguel Ramos confirmed for the No 8 car at Estoril, the team is hoping to take full advantage of their local knowledge to continue its recent success. In a late line-up change, Pedro Chaves has had to withdraw from Portugal due to a clash with his rallying commitments, following a race postponement, so guest driver Antonio Coimbra is now to take his place in the No8 Saleen.
Team mates Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton in the No7 Saleen will also be looking for a result in Portugal on the back of their best finish of the season last time around. For Brazilian Erdos, the Estoril circuit will be yet another new track for him this year. "I haven't driven there before, but I hope to qualify in the top three. We have been working hard this year, and I think the team has done an excellent job to get us this far"
Says Gordon Davies, GNM's team manager: "Estoril is a real drivers' circuit, set-up for close racing with a combination of fast and slow corners, a sweeping final right hander and long pit straight."
Comments Davies: "This season has been a real learning curve for everyone in the team, but we are getting there with round eight in Oschersleben being our most productive. We have the right drivers and the right car in the Saleen to challenge the leading Ferrari Maranellos, Lister Storms and Chrysler Vipers and hopefully Ni and Miguel - with the addition of Antonio - will be inspired by all the support at Estoril to reproduce some of their early season form.
"Obviously we are sad that Pedro can't make the race due to an overlap between his rallying and qualifying for Estoril. On reflection, Pedro felt it was best to replace him with Antonio who could be available for the whole race weekend rather than jumping from one type of race to another without adequate preparation. As for Tommy and Mike in the No7 car, they are improving with every race and a top three finish isn't out of the question."
GNM currently stands at fifth in the FIA GT team standings on 25.5 points.