Busy Night for Team Modena
Team Modena has overcome a dramatic night of racing in the 2007 Le Mans 24-Hour race to still be racing hard and on course to record a finish in the testing endurance classic. Twice the drivers were forced off the track in reaction to slower prototypes, while punctures have also played their part in delaying the team's Aston Martin DBR9, which has now completed over 250 laps and is running in the top twenty overall.
In Jos Menten's first night time stint around midnight, the Dutchman had a trip through the gravel at Mulsanne corner after being baulked by an erratic LMP2 category car.
"Near the end of my stint I got caught up with an LMP2," explained Jos. "He was quick on the straight but slow in the corners, and at the end of the straight I wasn't sure what he was going to do, just overshot my braking point, and went straight on."
While that incident caused no major delay for the team, a similar moment a little later into the night for Antonio Garcia saw the car back in its garage for repairs to the rear. Rapid work by the Team Modena crew saw a new rear wing fitted and other repairs to the car made for it to return to the action and start climbing back up the order.
"I don't know what car it was," said Antonio, "but he was quick in a straight line, slow everywhere else and impossible to overtake. He didn't seem to realise that I was quicker and trying to overtake. I was close to him at the second chicane on the straight and he missed a gear or something on the exit that I wasn't expecting, which let me no room and I had to spin to avoid him. There were two cars behind so I couldn't stay on the power and do a full 360 and went off."
"It has been a difficult night," said Team Modena's Rik Bryan. "We had the incidents with Jos and Antonio which had very similar causes, plus a couple of punctures. We are still on the pace and pushing on, and there are still hours of racing left."
The weather at Le Mans improved through the night, the circuit currently bathed in morning sunlight, but rain is again forecast for the early afternoon.