esting in Spain, DBR9 on Show and LMS Entry List
The new season is rapidly approaching and Team Modena has been busy – testing their new Ferrari in Spain last week in preparation for the Le Mans Series. The entry list for the LMS has now been issued, seeing the team in the biggest category in the championship, while the Aston Martin DBR9 that has brought the team so much success and recognition is currently on display at Aston Martin.
Team Modena Aston Martin on Display
Team Modena’s Aston Martin – the most successful DBR9 in private hands with wins in the FIA GT series, the Le Mans Series and a top-ten overall finish at Le Mans – is now on display with Aston Martin. The Racecar designed livery still looks cool. The car, chassis 101, was the first customer DBR9 and is now retired from racing after an extensive racing career which included completing the Le Mans 24-Hour race three times.
“We delivered the car to Aston Martin’s facility at Gaydon and it was placed in the foyer,” said Sporting Director Rik Bryan. “We have returned the car to its original specification engine and gearbox and kept it in working order. We’re happy to have it on display in such a suitable environment.”
In its total of 22 races, the DBR9 won six times, and only failed to finish twice, covering in excess of 4,000 racing laps. Competitive throughout its racing existence, the car won its last two races and three out of the six races it contested in 2008.
Spanish Test a Success for Team Modena
Team Modena last week successfully tested their new Ferrari 430 GT at the southern Spanish circuit of Jerez, drivers Antonio Garcia and Leo Mansell working through a structured program to explore the potential of the Ferrari. The car will run in this season’s Le Mans Series of endurance races across Europe – and hopefully in the Le Mans 24-Hours race itself when the entry list is announced.
“It was a very intense test and an opportunity for the team and drivers to get used to a new car,” said Team Principal Graham Schultz. “We had people out at the factory helping with the build of the car just so that we could get up to speed with it as soon as possible, now the team is solidifying round the Ferrari and we are very pleased with how things are going.”
Over the two days the team had exclusive use of the 4.4km circuit and completed over 900kms of running, the new Ferrari performing faultlessly and providing the team with a host of data on their new mount. The car was taken to Jerez straight from Italy where it had been delivered to the team at Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit earlier in the month.
“We had a busy two days,” said Team Manager Hans Muelhbauer. “We did some set-up work at first, including dampers as we have a new supplier, then tyre work with Michelin.
“There was a lot of routine work to get through, exploring the limits of the fuel consumption on a long run for example, and also some long runs for the two drivers simulating a race stint where we were looking at tyre wear and fuel. We had no technical problems with the car and not a single unplanned stop – now we have a lot of data on the car to work through.”
The Ferrari arrives at the team’s High Wycombe base this week to be prepared for its next outing – the official LMS test at the Le Castellet circuit in France next month. The LMS race season starts at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona on the fifth of April, with subsequent rounds in Portugal, Germany, Belgium and Britain.
Team Modena on Le Mans Series Entry List
Le Mans Series organisers have issued a 2009 entry list which sees Team Modena’ Ferrari 430 GT as one of 17 entries in the GT2 category – numerically the biggest class in the LMS this coming season. The team will be up against nine other Ferrari F430s, as well as Porsches, Aston Martins, and other marques run by some very accomplished teams.
Issued with the race number of 84 for the season, Team Modena are currently the only team running a Ferrari on Michelin tyres, continuing the relationship built up with the French tyre company when successfully running the team’s Aston Martin DBR9 in recent seasons.
“It will be a new challenge for us,” says Graham, “there are some good teams in GT2, competition there is fierce and we are looking forward to racing against not only the other Ferraris but also the other marques that are entered. It will be an opportunity for us to develop our relationship with Ferrari and a chance for both of our drivers to show what they can do in what will be some very close races.”
The field may be boosted by entries joining just for specific races, ensuring the large and high-quality grids the series has become known for.