Nurburgring Win Team Modena Highlight!
With Team Modena racing on two fronts this weekend, the highlight was a superb win in the Le Mans Series race at the Nurburgring in Germany, while the British GT race at Silverstone saw both cars out before the halfway mark.
"It's been a day when we have really showed we are an International team racing in two countries," said Team Principal Graham Schultz. "The Nurburgring LMS race was a good result and went to plan for us with everyone else having problems, while Silverstone was also going to plan and the cars ran well but went out due to a racing incident and oil on the track."
Nurburgring LMS Win for Team Modena
Tomas placed the Team Modena Aston Martin on LM GT1 class pole on Saturday afternoon, the Czech racer over a second clear of the nearest rival.
"We're delighted with pole," said Sporting Director Rik Bryan. "Tomas did his out lap, set the pole time, then came back in, it was very straightforward. It is a good day for us."
"We brought the car here with the basic set-up that the team used to good effect last year," said Tomas. "That has worked very well and has allowed us to concentrate on other things, particularly tyre selection. I was quite surprised at the gap to the Corvettes behind in qualifying but that was really more due to our tyre strategy than to me.
"It is always good to get pole position but in a race as long as this, with so much traffic and on a relatively narrow track it is much more important to stay out of trouble in the race. That's not easy when the straights are not so long, the prototypes are not much faster than us out of the corners and all of the overtaking is done under braking."
Team Modena dominated the LM GT1 category at the Le Mans Series event at the Nurburgring today, Antonio Garcia bringing home the Aston Martin DBR9 he shares with Tomas Enge home 32-laps clear of the nearest class rival after 1000km of racing, and 20th overall in the 46-car field. At the circuit that saw the team's DBR9 take its maiden win in 2005, the squad recorded one of the category's most emphatic victories to claim their second LMS win of the season.
"It has been a great weekend for us," said Sporting Director Rik Bryan from the Nurburgring, "it is fair to say we dominated the race and the drivers were superb. >From about halfway through the second stint with the car we knew we could win the race, and we had a drama free run, which shows the quality of the work done by the crew in re-building the car after Le Mans."
Tomas was in the car for the start, and in a strong opening stint moved clear of the LM GT1 class field. Antonio carried on lapping quickly, and as the challenge of the class rivals wilted in the heat of competition, the Team Modena crew kept lapping quickly, completing 172-laps of the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit, and setting a best lap over a second clear of the next quickest in class.
"It was a strange race," said Antonio, "it was tight at the beginning but after an hour and a half our rivals were already having problems, so we were only racing the traffic and trying to stay out of trouble."
Next Le Mans Series Race: Silverstone, September 14th.
Double Knock-Out for Team Modena at Silverstone
Team Modena Gallery from Silverstone It was a frustrating penultimate round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Silverstone with both Team Modena Lamborghinis eliminated from the race due to other cars. Ben de Zille Butler was hit by a back marker, while Piers Johnson hit oil in number 21 dropped by a rival's blown engine and spun off.
Team Modena prepared for the first two-hour Avon Tyres British GT race of the season with a controlled performance in Saturday's 30-minute qualifying session, the cars lining up tenth and eleventh quickest as the team ran with new engines in both Lamborghini Gallardos.
"We are very happy," said Graham after qualifying. "We wanted to be careful with the new engines and monitor the temperatures and oil pressure etc, but everything has gone to plan and we are very pleased. It is a long race for these cars tomorrow so anything can happen."
The number 21 Gallardo of Piers Johnson and Rachel Green lined up tenth with Ben de Zille Butler and Guy Harrington one place behind on the 19-car grid.
Ben had worked his way up the order in the number 11 Lamborghini early in the two-hour race and was in a chain of cars challenging for fifth when he went to lap a back-marker. The Ferrari decided to defend the position and turned in, damaging the Gallardo's radiator and seeing Ben retire to the pits on lap on lap 28.
"We are happy the cars ran well," said Graham, "we have put in weeks of hard work to get to the bottom of our engine problems and it looks like they may finally be resolved as we have had no issues - so from that point of view the weekend was a success. Ben was put out in a racing incident, and Piers simply had a car put oil down on the track right in front of him."
"I went to go up the inside of a car a lap down," said Ben, "had the run on him, braked as I normally would and he tried to out-brake me and turned in. He caught my rear and tipped me into a spin. The cars was perfect in the quick sections of the circuit and would have been god for the distance and we could have had a strong result."
Piers recovered from an early delay to work his way into the top ten, and was running seventh when he encountered oil from a blown engine as he exited a corner and the Gallardo spun, clipping the barriers and retiring.
"Two cars came together in front of me at Copse on lap one," said Piers, "and I lost places, so from there I was just trying to make up time. Then the Ascari dumped its oil down in front of me, I didn't see it and the next thing I knew I was off and into the barriers. I tried to bring the car back but could see the temperatures rising so I parked the car to protect the engine."
The final round of the 2008 championship will be at Donington Park, East Midlands, October 12th.
Team Modena supporters Finally a big thankyou to Steve "Mosi" and the supporters from Pistonheads who turned up at Silverstone - look forward to seeing you all at either the next LMS race at Silverstone or at Donington at the end of the year.