Sebring: Multimatic/Panoz qualifying report

Pole position debut at Sebring for Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz Panoz veteran David Brabham has given the new Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz squad the perfect start to its 2006 American Le Mans Series assault by clinching the GT2 class...

Pole position debut at Sebring for Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz

Panoz veteran David Brabham has given the new Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz squad the perfect start to its 2006 American Le Mans Series assault by clinching the GT2 class pole position at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Brabham stopped the clock at 2 minutes, 3.563 seconds to topple the Risi Ferrari 430 of Ralf Kelleners and steal pole position aboard the #50 Panoz Esperante GTLM.

Team-mate Gunnar Jeannette was equally impressive, recording the third fastest GT2 time aboard the #51 car - just over 1/10th of a second behind Brabham.

The qualifying performance capped a perfect preparation for the Multimatic squad which earlier in the week set the fastest overall time of the week in the testing and offcial practice sessions.

However, the result came after a few tense moments in qualifying when the session was red flagged following a major crash by one of the Spyker C8 Spyder entries. Neither Panoz had set a representative time prior to the crash, and a long track clean-up put both cars in danger of starting towards the rear of the grid.

Race officials elected to extend the session by 10 minutes, enabling both Brabham and Jeannette to qualify strongly - despite the track surface now being extremely slippery at the site of the Spyker crash.

Brabham will team with Multimatic veteran Scott Maxwell and two-time Champ Car World Series champ Sebastien Bourdais in Saturday's race. Jeannette is joined by fellow American young-gun Tom Milner and Bourdais's Newman-Haas Racing team-mate - former Indy 500 pole winner, Bruno Junqueira. . "With the speed and reliability we have show this week, everybody keeps asking me what is the silver bullet for us," Multimatic Vice President and Motorsports Technical Director, Larry Holt said.

"There is no magic answer. We have used a set-up straight off our four-post rig and have just got a great team of guys to screw the cars together really well.

"But it has been a great job from the drivers - they are all first class performers and have driven brilliantly all week.

"It was a great lap from Brabs, especially considering the Ferrari set its time before the Spyker crash when track was still in good shape."

Saturday's 54th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will greet the green flag at 10.30am (US Eastern standard time). The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channell in the US and MotorsTV throughout Europe.

-mmtp-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Ralf Kelleners , Bruno Junqueira , Scott Maxwell , Sébastien Bourdais , Gunnar Jeannette
Teams Multimatic Motorsports