Toronto - ON (September 22nd, 2006) Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz has added a championship-winning duo to its driving strength for the forthcoming Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta.
Sebastien Bourdais returns to the team after winning the GT2 class at the Twelve Hours of Sebring with David Brabham and Scott Maxwell aboard the #50 Panoz Esperante. The Frenchman is on the verge of clinching his third consecutive Champ Car World Series title this weekend at Road America.
Joining Gunnar Jeannette and Tom Milner in the #51 will be the recently-crowned Rolex Series GT champion Andy Lally who will make his Panoz debut at his new home circuit.
The former New Yorker is now based near Road Atlanta. Lally enjoyed a highly successful year in the Rolex Series with Team TRG, winning five races and earning 10 podium finishes aboard a Pontiac GTO.
Bourdais was at the wheel when the Panoz Esperante completed its Sebring victory in the opening round of the championship and is now keen to repeat the experience.
"Sebring was a great result for me with Multimatic and Panoz and I am definitely looking forward to Petit Le Mans" if we can match what we did a Sebring it would be a brilliant result," the Newman Haas Racing Champ Car driver said.
"I'm hopeful I can clinch the Champ Car title at Road America this week - that would be a perfect way to head to Petit Le Mans to get back in the Panoz.
"The Champ Car and the Esperante are obviously wildly different cars â^a" it is almost like you have separate compartments in your brain for driving both cars, however really didn't find the swap that difficult when I drove in Sebring. It was probably tougher when I was mixing Formula 3000 and a P1 prototype a few years ago.
"I actually enjoy driving different cars. I think it really helps your maturity and helps fine tune your feedback and senses.
"David and Scott are very experienced and the guys had a very good test at Road Atlanta recently so I am confident it won't take me long to get up to speed. All three of us were pretty similar in our tastes with the car at Sebring so I expect it will be the same at Road Atlanta."
Lally's championship victory for Team TRG backed up a highly successful 2005 when he and co-driver Marc Bunting finished the year as runner-up in the Rolex Series GT championship.
A highly successful street luge racer, Lally is eagerly awaiting to chance to be teammates at Petit Le Mans with close friends, Jeannette and Milner.
"It is great to have an opportunity to race at Petit Le Mans this year and even better that I get to do it with good friends," Lally said.
"I've known a lot of the guys from Multimatic now for many years as well as the guys from Panoz.
"I live only 15 miles from Road Atlanta so it is great to be albe to do this race. I've been friends with Gunnar and Tom for quite some time but we've never been teammates before. I'm looking forward to it
"This is certainly one of my favorite races of the year, the crowds have been great and it is my new home track since moving down here from New York at the end of 2003.
"I have not driven the Panoz yet but I have been talking a lot with Gunnar about its characteristics and what I should expect. The Esperante has won two huge races this year and I'd love to be a part of the effort that makes it number three"
-credit: multimatic/team panoz