Team Modena Thursday qualifying report

Sixth for Team Modena after first night at Le Mans Team Modena Quickest in Qualifying at Wet Le Mans Team Modena ended their qualifying running for Saturday's 24-Hour race a superb quickest in the LM GT1 category at a rain-lashed Le Mans.

Sixth for Team Modena after first night at Le Mans
Team Modena Quickest in Qualifying at Wet Le Mans

Team Modena ended their qualifying running for Saturday's 24-Hour race a superb quickest in the LM GT1 category at a rain-lashed Le Mans. All three drivers took the team's Aston Martin DBR9 out onto the wet track, with Antonio Garcia setting a time near the end of the session over a second quicker than any other car in the highly competitive class.

With further rain expected and the track unlikely to dry, the team decided not to run the car in the final two-hour session this evening. With no possibility for improvement over the qualifying time set in the dry in yesterday's session, and all the drivers happy with the set-up and handling of the car, the team concluded a successful qualifying and will start sixth in class on Saturday's grid.

"All three drivers drove very well, and it was great to have Antonio quickest in GT1 by a long way at the end," said team Sporting Director Rik Bryan. "The car seems competitive in the different conditions, and we are pleased qualifying has gone so well."

Garcia's flying lap at the end put the seal on the team's fine performance, with Chief Engineer Hans Muelhbauer summing up Team Modena's feelings at the end of the session: "It's job done!"

"I can't remember when I last drove the car on wet tyres," said Garcia. "We all did a few laps each just for experience, but we were all quick and now know how the car is in the wet. On my quick lap I was pushing hard without taking any risks, so I am pleased with the time. We know we have a car that is driveable in wet and dry conditions."

Christian Fiittipaldi started the evening's running with the car, going out onto a wet track after another heavy belt of rain had passed over and having to cope with the spray from the other cars. "The car is very good," said Fittipaldi, "it is working well. It is hard to see when you are following someone, but you can see well when running on your own."

Newest recruit to the strong Team Modena driver line-up Jos Menten was also happy after his wet-weather run. "It was getting wetter lap-by-lap," said Menten, "but it was good to do as I now know what the car is like in those conditions. We have a car that is very good for all conditions and easy to drive."

Friday is a rest day at the circuit with the highlight the traditional driver's parade in Le Mans town centre, with the start of the 75th Le Mans 24-Hour race at 15.00 local time on Saturday afternoon.

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Jos Menten , Christian F