Team Modena worked hard these last few weeks preparing the Aston Martin DBR9 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The technical crew, led by Hans Muehlbauer, travelled down to the test day with the car in perfect and due form. On the...
Team Modena worked hard these last few weeks preparing the Aston Martin DBR9 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The technical crew, led by Hans Muehlbauer, travelled down to the test day with the car in perfect and due form. On the other hand ideal weather conditions at Le Mans were not on hand. Intermittent rain and sunshine set the scene on an eventful training session, with several red flag interruptions. Team Modena's programme was also disrupted, because Jos Menten was unable to complete a single lap on a dry track.
"The intention was to cover as many miles as possible with the Aston Martin, but the weather Gods had different ideas. As a result we were only able to complete a limited part of the programme as we didn't want to take any risks. Several cars were seriously damaged going off track and that's the last thing you want a mere two weeks before the start of the race", Jos Menten remarked. "I drove all my runs on either a wet or drying track. This is obviously one way of getting to know the track under varying conditions."
This will be Menten's second participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a legendary endurance race now in its 76th edition. Together with team mate Jos Verstappen the driver from Haelen will be defending the honour of the Limburg region: "I'm really pleased to be part and parcel of the event once more. Le Mans will always remain the greatest competition of the year! In addition I'm in an ideal environment. The collaboration with the team is running smoothly, as was the case last year also. Working with Christian Fittipaldi and Terry Borcheller is congenial. All three of us have experience of driving the Aston Martin DBR9 and that is pretty important in an event such as this one."
On completion of the eventful training session Menten and co finished 33rd overall and seventh in the LMGT1-class. With a lap time of 4:01,021 Team Modena are not quite on track yet: "We 're fully aware that we're going to have to push harder to keep in touch with all the works teams. The lap time definitely doesn't reflect the car's real potential . but with Sunday's conditions it's far better to keep a cool head. In just under a fortnight's time things will be far better, I can assure you of that!"
"The rain has been really heavy," said Team Principal Graham Schultz at the circuit, "but we are really pleased with what we have achieved today and we even split the work's cars at one point Sunday morning. All three drivers are very happy, Jos slotted in as if he had never been away, Christian was in the groove straightaway and Terry just needed time in our car - he already has Aston Martin experience. We didn't need to qualify any of the drivers and we completed our wet programme, and dealt with all the little issues that crop up on a day like this. This event is all about preparation, and we know our car, we have data from our last two years here, and we are looking good now for the race."
Rendezvous on 14th and 15th June for the 24 Heures du Mans!
-credit: jos menten