Le Mans »

Team Modena keeps finishing record

Team Modena has continued its 100 per cent finishing record in the Le Mans 24-Hours race after taking seventh on its first appearance in the GT2 class.

The team could have finished higher had not been hit twice hit by other cars during the night, but Leo Mansell brought the car over the line at 15.00 local time to complete 314-laps of hard racing and the team's fourth consecutive finish.

"The secret to Le Mans is in the preparation," team principal Graham Schultz said, "and you can only get that from a great team. We have one of the best teams there is and we have finished four out of four here, a fantastic performance from the guys in the crew and in the car."

"It's our fourth start and fourth finish in a row," sporting director Rik Bryan added. "It wasn't a straightforward race but mechanically the car was perfect. We were unfortunate in having a couple of collisions at the hands of others cars which lost a lot of time and set us back each time we rising up the classification."

All three drivers pushed hard race long, with Pierre Ehret - on his Team Modena debut - taking the start and bringing the car safely through the early laps. Mansell then completed his first Le Mans race laps early on Saturday evening, with Roman Rusinov taking the car over from him for the late evening run.

From then on the drivers were in a set rotation with the team's first dramas taking place in the night, Mansell being hit by a car when being lapped and having to crawl round with a puncture, before Rusinov was hit from behind at three in the morning and had to be pulled out the Dunlop Curve gravel bed, losing six laps.

From then on the drivers were on a recovery charge, bringing the car back up the LM GT2 class order to take seventh at the finish.

"It's a great achievement just to finish here," Mansell said, "and I think seventh is not a bad result all things considered. If we had not had a couple of the problems we could maybe have been on the podium, but all things considered the guys did a great job, as did Pierre and Roman, and the car ran perfectly.

"It worked out really well at the end and I crossed the line with the leaders. I am not sure how happy they will be about it but it was good for us and a brilliant way to finish!"

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