By Paul Tippins - Motorsport.com
A stunning performance in final Practice this afternoon saw Australian Brad Jones tear around Adelaide's streets to set the seventh fastest time of the session after only a handful of laps and setting eyes on the car for the first time only hours before.
Jones has been called in to support Rinaldo Capello and Alan McNish in the no 77 Audi R8. Scotsman McNish is suffering from a bad backache and has been resting in the team's hotel room all day after going into hospital this morning for some precautionary X-rays.
McNish who is set to become the series Champion for 2000 said, "I've been looking forward so much to this spectacle in Adelaide and now hope my back will show some understanding as well. Right now my only wish is to sit in our crocodile tomorrow afternoon."
ALMS founder, American Don Panoz Spoke to the media today, with his thoughts on the new race, to be held tomorrow evening (Aus. Time).
When asked about the reaction from the teams he said "I can only describe it as 'The Wow Factor'. Guys like Capello and Brabham have been here before, but a lot of the others have said races in the States should take a few lessons from the Adelaide organizers." Panoz and his family have been in Australia for over a week soaking up the sun and beaches. "It shore beats snow and ice"
It is claimed 170,000 tickets have been sold. Four Thousand International visitors included. That's a pretty high figure for an event in Australia, but Panoz sticks by his figures. "As of yesterday (Friday), we calculated that this will be the third largest race in the history of Sports Car Racing, behind Le Mans and Sebring. If we have a large enough crowd tomorrow we may well have the second largest race."
Another interesting comment was that Panoz will manufacture a road car in South Australia. The car will be homologated to race in the GT class and says it should be a winning contender. "We will sit down in the next four to five weeks and begin a process which will see the production of a new Panoz road car." The car will be called the 'Adelaide' and should be a lot more affordable than their current road version of the LMP.