Brabham, Magnussen Laguna Seca preview

Bbrabham, Magnussen chase one that got away at Llaguna MONTEREY, Calif. (August 30, 2001) -- They are the hottest driving duo in the American Le Mans Series, with two wins and a second in the last three races. But David Brabham and Jan...

Bbrabham, Magnussen chase one that got away at Llaguna

MONTEREY, Calif. (August 30, 2001) -- They are the hottest driving duo in the American Le Mans Series, with two wins and a second in the last three races. But David Brabham and Jan Magnussen will have more than a streak on their mind when they compete in the Monterey Sports Car Championships, Presented by Mazda, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Brabham and Magussen, drivers for the rejuvenated Panoz Motor Sports team, will come to Monterey looking to take victory in a race that both feel got away from them last year. After leading all but two of the first 52 laps of the event, and holding a 17-second lead at one point, the two disgustedly watched the finish of the race from the pits after engine failure ended their day.

"The races we've won this year help make up for some of the ones we should have won last year," said Magnussen, from Denmark. "But you never totally forget the ones that got away."

Magnussen, who started the race last year in second position, grabbed the lead at the start and basically pedaled the Panoz LMP-1 Roadster away from the rest of the field. Three other cars led one lap each during routine pit stops and driver changes, but Brabham's stint in the car also included 13 laps in front before the car's engine ceased operation. The Audi R8 of Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish went on to win.

The Panoz team started the 2001 season with a new car, the LMP 07, but persistent problems with the machine led to it being parked after June's 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team then brought out last year's car and has not finished lower than third in the four races since. The team's win in August at Portland, Ore., was the first non-Audi win in the ALMS for more than a year. They won again in the most recent series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"At the beginning of the year, I never thought we'd be ending this way," said Brabham, an Australian who lives in England. "The team has done such a fantastic job, and everyone is excited about being at the races."

The Panoz team, which also includes a car co-driven by Klaus Graf and Franck Lagorce, will again face the two-car Audi team at Monterey, along with a formidable field of Prototypes. "We have to keep beating the Audis," said Brabham. "They have such a great team."

The two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race will start at 12 noon on Sunday, Sept. 9, and will be televised live by NBC Sports. Live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.

The weekend will also include events for the Trans-Am Series, the Historic IMSA GTP Series, the SPEEDVISION World Challenge GT and Touring Car Series and the Star Mazda Series. Ticket information is available online at www.laguna-seca.com, or by calling 1-800-327-7322.

-ALMS

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Klaus Graf , Franck Lagorce