Sears Point: Panoz Motor Sports practice notes

Panoz set to challenge Audi after strong Friday showing. Panoz Motor Sports threw down the challenge to their Audi rivals today, just failing to clinch the fastest time in Friday practice for this weekend's round of the American Le Mans Series...

Panoz set to challenge Audi after strong Friday showing.

Panoz Motor Sports threw down the challenge to their Audi rivals today, just failing to clinch the fastest time in Friday practice for this weekend's round of the American Le Mans Series at Sears Point in California.

The #50 "Spirit of America" Panoz LMP-01 Evo of Jan Magnussen and David Brabham was less than one 10th of a second behind the Audi of Frank Biela, Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro at the conclusion of practice today.

The first day of action for the ALMS at the recently updated Sears Point facility was successful for Panoz with its three cars filling 2nd, 4th and 6th places.

"We are very close to the Audi at the moment, but I believe we still have a lot more time left to find in the car," Magnussen said.

"I am quite pleased to be so close at the moment, but tomorrow's qualifying will be very important.

"Getting a strong start getting a good run through traffic is going to be the important thing on Sunday.

"Everyone is very confident we can give Audi a strong fight. For David and myself, it is also important for us to come away with maximum points after the problems we had at Sebring."

Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen were 4th fastest in the #51 machine, stopping the clocks at 1:26.609 while the additional #49 car of Gunnar Jeannette and David Donohue finished in 6th position.

All six Panoz drivers for the upcoming Le Mans 24 Hours will be in action at the Sears Point track this weekend.

"Our car doesn't have the latest updates like the #50 and #51 including the paddle shift and the aerodynamics, but it is still important for us to get miles in the car before Le Mans," Jeannette said.

"We had a bit of an oversteer problem today, but the guys are working hard on finding improvements to the set-up overnight before qualifying tomorrow."

Qualifying for the LMP 900 class kicks off on Saturday at 3.10pm local time.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette , Dindo Capello , Emanuele Pirro