Tough break for Panoz Crew in Petit Le Mans practice.
Panoz Motor Sport's attack on this year's Audi Presents Petit Le Mans suffered a set-back in practice today at the Road Atlanta circuit with the #50 Panoz suffering a heavy crash with David Donohue behind the wheel.
Donohue was having his first stint for the weekend when the car turned right under braking at turn ten, heavily impacting the wall.
The impact inflicted heavy damage on the car and tore the right front wheel off. The car will miss tonight's evening practice while being repaired at the team's home base adjacent to the Road Atlanta track.
"We are not sure actually what happened, but we are reviewing the data to try and work out what went wrong," Team Manager, Andy Waldrep said.
"The reports from the corner marshals indicate the car just turned right under braking. We will be going over both cars in great detail to try and find out what happened."
The impact spoiled a strong day for the Panoz team which had recorded the second fastest time of the practice session with Jan Magnussen behind the wheel of the #50 car.
"I'm not sure what happened, but it felt like it started to steer from the rear of the car," Donohue said.
"Losing out on the track time tonight is the biggest drama. Every lap you can get prior to the race is important in sorting out a good race package."
The second #51 Panoz of Bryan Herta, Bill Auberlen and Gunnar Jeannette continued their strong progress on the second day of practice.
"We started out with pretty good base package so we haven't had to do much to improve the car," Jeannette said.
"The car was really nice to drive and I think we are in good shape for the race. If the weather stays clear, we will do some longer runs tonight to see how the car performs over a complete stint."
After tonight's practice, the team will have one more practice session tomorrow morning before qualifying begins tomorrow at 1.35pm.