Team Modena Newsletter - July 2007 Podium for Team Modena's Lee on Difficult Weekend A difficult weekend for Team Modena's Gene Lee saw him battle with tyre issues and more contact with rivals to improve his championship position and close on...
Team Modena Newsletter - July 2007
Podium for Team Modena's Lee on Difficult Weekend
A difficult weekend for Team Modena's Gene Lee saw him battle with tyre issues and more contact with rivals to improve his championship position and close on the overall lead. On a weekend punctuated by rain showers, Gene took fourth in the first race and claimed second in the final event of the weekend.
Gene qualified the Team Modena BMW 320i second quickest despite not testing the car on its new tyres and only running for the first time on the morning warm-up.
"We only managed to get within one second of the quickest Lexus," explained Gene, " as Michelin gave us tyres that were a year old and had lost their performance. In the first race, it was slightly damp, with a drying track, but everyone went out on slicks. Due to the performance of the tyres we struggled to hold second place throughout the race.
"Unfortunately another Lexus car tried an overtaking move in an impossible area of the track and hit me in the rear wheel, damaging it and puncturing the tyre with three laps left. I crept round the track and finished the race in fourth. The Lexus was awarded a 60 second penalty for the incident, but he was still able to keep third place as we were 65 seconds behind at the end!
"The second race was on a damp track and we started on wet weather tyres. The Lexus team had intermediates and were four seconds a lap faster, even after they too had changed to wets after their pit stop. I pitted during a Safety Car when the others stayed out, but was kept in the pits an extra lap than I should have been due to an error by the race directors, causing me to fall a lap behind!
"After we were let out of the pits, we lined up behind the field for the safety car restart - our pit strategy would have worked if we had not been held for the extra lap. We persevered to finish the race third, but after the race the Lexus was disqualified for a rule infraction during the pit stops and we were promoted to second.
"Overall, we had a disappointing weekend for numerous reasons, the main issue being the tyres we received from Michelin were not what we had expected. We have every confidence after discussion with Michelin that this issue will be resolved for the next race meeting. The positive side is that we are still in the chase for the Championship - we reduced the points deficits due to retirements and disqualifications."
Next LMS Race: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 18th / 19th.