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BGTC: Team Modena newsletter 2008-06-09

Team Modena Update - Le Mans and British GT Le Mans Competition! One of the traditional curtain raisers to the Le Mans 24-Hours is Autosport magazine's Le Mans guide - and this year their pocket-sized guide not only gives Team Modena the...

Team Modena Update - Le Mans and British GT

Le Mans Competition!

One of the traditional curtain raisers to the Le Mans 24-Hours is Autosport magazine's Le Mans guide - and this year their pocket-sized guide not only gives Team Modena the thumb's up for their Le Man campaign, but it features a Team Modena competition for some prizes that money can't buy! If you are off to the great race then all you have to do is take a picture of the Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 on your mobile phone, send it in to us as an MMS message on +44 (0)7786 207882 - and you could be one of the lucky winners.

The best picture from qualifying sees the winning snapper join the team on the grid before the race and have his picture taken with the world-famous Hawaiian Tropic girls. The best race picture sent in will win someone a passenger ride in one of the team's British GT Championship Lamborghini Gallardos at a test session later this year - two unequalled prizes!

Full details are on the web-site and renowned sportscar photographer John Brookes will be casting his expert eye over the entries to decide on the winners. As ever with any competition, terms and conditions apply - and these can be found at www.teammodena.com also.

The competition is not Team Modena's only link with Autosport over the Le Mans week. The team are working on with the magazine to offer a unique insight to the race - read about it in subsequent issues following the 24-Hours!

Difficult Snetterton For Team Modena

click here for pictures from snetterton Snetterton proved to be a difficult Avon Tyres British GT Championship meeting for Team Modena, a meeting that promised much ending in disappointment despite having a Lamborghini Gallardo running in second for the first part of Sunday's race. Technical issues denied the team a strong result - and now they can move their attention to Le Mans the 24-Hour race that begins next weekend.

Qualifying

Saturday's qualifying for rounds seven and eight was held on a wet track, something the drivers are getting used to this year, and the highlight for Team Modena was Adam Jones placing the number 21 Lamborghini Gallardo second on the grid for Sunday's race. The sister number 11 car was qualified fourth on the grid for today's race by Guy Harrington, putting the team in a strong position for both races.

Guy and Piers Johnson were on board the Lamborghini Wycombe-backed Gallardos for the first of the two 15-minute sessions, and with Guy claiming fourth, Piers slotted number 21 into a top ten position.

"We had a slight gearshifting problem in one corner," said Guy, "which made it hard to accelerate fully out the chicane, but we are looking good for the first race with fourth on the grid. The conditions were tricky - but it may be dry for the race."

"There was a lot of standing water," said Piers, "but it was greasy rather than wet, with a bit of a river on the exit of some corners. The car went better the wetter it was, you had to acclimatize to the conditions."

Though the rain eased briefly between sessions, it started again as the cars went back out once more, Adam using his experience - he gave the Gallardo its British GT debut at Snetterton last year - to be second quickest. Ben de Zille Butler was now in number 11, and was disappointed to finish the session 16th in the changeable conditions.

"The water on the track was getting cleared," said Adam, "but the track was really greasy - you had to get a quick lap in as you will start getting slower. It is always good to start on the front row than the middle of the pack, you get it easier at the start."

"I was out on Guy's old tyres and got a bit of understeer" said Ben. "These are not my favourite conditions but we kept it on the track and although sixteenth isn't where we wanted to be, but anything can happen in these races."

Race One

Dramas began for Guy Harrington in number 11 before the start, officials stopping him exiting the pit-lane when following Jones as the pits were closed early. Denied starting from the second row of the grid, Guy was on a charge from the pit lane and was up to 15th before being forced to retire to the pits.

Piers was lapping consistently in the other Gallardo, and a Safety Car period just as the pit stop window opened him saw him join the vast majority of the field by heading for the pits. The volume of cars saw Piers blocked trying to get to the team pit, but Adam took over and was 12th when racing resumed.

"You were looking everywhere you could at the first corner to see who was doing what," said Piers. "I was on the outside and was just being careful, and watching for anyone coming across me. The spray makes things difficult; you are relying on the car in front as a guide of where to be on the track. It was hard to get past people in the spray, but I had some good battles."

Some rapid lapping saw Adam into the top ten, but he lost ground again with a clash with a Ferrari. Finally finishing eighth, Adam spent the final laps trying to fight his way past the car in seventh.

"I had a good battle towards the end," said Adam, "but it was just so difficult to see. The car wasn't handling great, but the Ferrari had amazing traction which made things hard. I had a coming together with another Ferrari, he had me into the chicane, but I got him on the exit and into the Bombhole, then I got a bit crossed up on some water, we touched and went off - but could both continue."

Race Two

After running second for the first half of the race, the Team Modena Lamborghini Gallardo of Adam Jones and Piers Johnson retired at the mid-point of the one-hour race with a brake problem. The retirement, after a strong start to the race, rounded off a frustrating day for the team, the engine issue that sidelined car number 11 in Saturday's race ultimately saw it take no further part in the weekend.

For once racing under bright sunshine, Adam had the car lapping rapidly from second on the grid, until he pitted on his 22nd lap. With no brakes, Piers could not take the car back out, and it was pushed back into the pit garage.

"The car was good," said Adam, "considering the lack of dry track time we had the set-up was really good. I felt I could maintain a good pace. Then we had a problem with the brakes, the pedal was getting longer - then at the end of the straight it suddenly went down to the bulkhead. There was an escape road there, so at least I had some extra tarmac to use and get the car back to the pits. The team have been doing a great job - logistically with Le Mans this must be a nightmare for them."

"The was a shame - we were effectively leading for 22-laps," said Team Principal Graham Schultz, "as the lead car was just guesting. We were having a good battle, so it was a disappointing end to the weekend."

Next Avon Tyres British GT Championship races: Thruxton, Hampshire, June 28th and 29th

-credit: teammodena.com

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About this article
Series GT , Le Mans
Drivers Piers Johnson , Adam Jones , Ben de Zille Butler , Guy Harrington