Local heros test for Adelaide race

Local stars Jason Bright and Greg Murphy have completed their first laps aboard the Panoz LMP-1 sportscar which they will drive in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years from December 29 to 31. The Australian/New Zealand combination spent two...

Local stars Jason Bright and Greg Murphy have completed their first laps aboard the Panoz LMP-1 sportscar which they will drive in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years from December 29 to 31.

The Australian/New Zealand combination spent two days aboard the V8 powered Panoz at the Sebring track in Florida last week- impressing team bosses.

Fellow Aussie David Brabham was also impressed with the performances of his fellow "down under" drivers.

"They looked like they really enjoyed themselves out there and they settled in quickly and did a good job," Brabham said.

"They both got down to similar times and they are really looking forward to racing at Adelaide."

Panoz Motor Sport Director of Racing, David Price, believes his new young recruits will be a strong combination in Adelaide.

"Both Jason and Greg have a lot of experience in open-wheel cars and they adapted very well to the Panoz," Price said.

"Being a front engined sportscar, the Panoz is a very different type of car to drive, but both the boys adapted very well.

"They will make a great addition to our driver line-up for Adelaide."

The two locals will join Brabham, Jan Magnussen, Johnny O'Connell, Hiroki Katoh and Klaus Graf in a seven driver/three car attack on the Adelaide race.

Bright has had a busy international year contesting the Indy Lights championship in the U.S; making his CART debut at Surfers Paradise as well as driving for Dick Johnson Racing at Bathurst.

While Bright finished 2nd at Mount Panorama, he was joined on the podium by Murphy who finished third with the K-Mart team.

The Adelaide event will Murphy's second sportscar race of the his career. he previously contested the Le Mans 24 Hour in France in 1996.

Both drivers were thrilled with their first test aboard the Panoz machine.

"It certainly is very quick, there is no doubt about that," Murphy said.

"It is a bit like a Formula Holden, except it has double the downforce and double the horsepower. Having driven the car, I can't wait to get started in Adelaide."

While both drivers will be making their debuts in the prototype class, both Bright and Murphy have lots of experience at the Adelaide circuit.

"The car is fantastic to drive and I really enjoyed working with the team," Bright said.

"Murph and I have done a lot of laps in lots of different cars around Adelaide and I think that will be a real bonus for us as well as David Brabham.

"These opportunities don't come along ever day, and I am really looking forward to flying the flag on home soil. The reception I got at the Indy this year was amazing and I am sure the Adelaide crowd will also be right behind Murph, David and myself with the Panoz team."

Paul Ryan: ryan@panoz.com.au - www.lemansadelaide.com.au

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