Panoz Motor Sports has entered a third "Spirit of America" prototype machine in the forthcoming round of the American Le Mans Sears at Sears Point in California. All six members of the Panoz line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hour will get the chance to...
Panoz Motor Sports has entered a third "Spirit of America" prototype machine in the forthcoming round of the American Le Mans Sears at Sears Point in California.
All six members of the Panoz line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hour will get the chance to get additional track time prior to the classic French event.
The decision to place the additional entry came after the team's second Le Mans entry struck trouble in last week's Le Mans preliminary practice session in France.
Bill Auberlen, David Donohue and Gunnar Jeannette had their track time restricted by a prop-shaft failure which stranded the car out on the circuit in the early part of the opening four-hour practice session.
"The three guys in the #11 car at Le Mans really didn't get the chance to get as many miles as we would have liked, so we thought it was important for every member of the team to get as many laps as possible," Team Manager, Andy Waldrep said.
For Sears Point, Panoz will field David Brabham and Jan Magnussen in their regular #50 machine, Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen in the #51 car, and David Donohue and Gunnar Jeannette in the third #49 car.
The additional entry is the same car which Jeannette contested the Sebring 12-Hour at the start of the year.
"David Donohue has a lot of experience and we thought we would use that to team him up with Gunnar for this weekend," Waldrep said.
"The Sears Point weekend will be another important step for Gunnar in his development as a young driver with this team."
Donohue is eagerly awaiting the chance to compete at Sears Point, a track at which he has previously tasted success in GTS aboard a Dodge Viper.
The Sears Point circuit has undergone dramatic changes in recent months with more than $50 million spend on improvements.
"Sears Point is a great challenge and probably one of the most difficult and demanding tracks in the country," Donohue said.
"I am really thrilled to hear of the fantastic improvements they are making to the track and can't wait to see them next week."
The three Panoz machines will hit the track for the first time next Friday at Sears Point with Sunday's 2 hour, 45 minute race kicking off at 1.00pm.
Following Sears Point, the team will begin preparations for the Le Mans 24 Hour which will be staged in France on the weekend of June 15-16.