Sebring: Panoz Motor Sports hour three report

Heartbreak For Panoz After Brief Shot At Glory Panoz Motor Sports' attack on the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring faced disappointment after two hours with the ...

Heartbreak For Panoz After Brief Shot At Glory

Panoz Motor Sports' attack on the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring faced disappointment after two hours with the #50 car retiring from the race with an engine component failure.

Jan Magnussen had just climbed behind the wheel of the car after David Brabham had double-stinted the opening portion of the race.

Clever pit tactics by Panoz actually put Brabham in the lead at the one-hour mark, but the team's hopes will now rely on the all-American squad of Bryan Herta, David Donohue and Bill Auberlen.

"The balance on our car was actually OK in the early part of the race, and the timing of our first pit-stop was perfect," Brabham said.

"Unfortunately, I ran a little wide on my first lap in the lead and let the Audi by. Today's result is disappointing for the all the crew who have worked very hard in the past couple of months.

"I really am disappointed. Our luck never seems to be on our side at this race. We now have to put our heads down and concrete on the Le Mans test day."

Bryan Herta greatly enjoyed his opening stint in American Le Mans Series competition. He also did a double stint before handing over to Bill Auberlen.

"The racing out there was a lot of fun - while the traffic was busy, it was really enjoyable trying to maintain your pace," Herta said.

"The balance of our car is not as good as we would like, but we will continue to make adjustments and push on as hard as we can.

"Bill (Auberlen) has done a great job in his stint so far and then David (Donohue) will take over.

"This race is far from over yet. The Audis look pretty strong but there is still a very long way to go."

After the 3 hour mark, the Herta/Donohue/Auberlen "Spirit of America" car was in 4th position. The Audi pairing of Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro held the lead at 1/4 distance ahead of Champion team Audi of Andy Wallace/Jan Lammers and Stefan Johansson.

<pre> RESULTS AFTER THREE HOURS 1. - Biela/Kristensen/Pirro - Audi R8 - 89 laps 2. - Wallace/Lammers/Johansson - Audi R8 - 89 laps 3. - Capello/Herbert/Pescatori - Audi R8 - 88 laps 4. - Herta/Donohue/Auberlen - Panoz Motor Sports - 87 laps 5. - Matthews/Smith/Goossens - Riley & Scott - 86 laps

LMP675 - Knight/Lally/Kane - MG Lola - 8th outright GTS - Fellows/O'Connell/Gavin - Corvette - 10th outright GT - Luhr/Maassen Porsche - 14th outright

-pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Jan Lammers , Stefan Johansson , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Emanuele Pirro