VOICES OF PETIT: JOEY HAND It only took one start at Petit Le Mans for Joey Hand to realize the true scope and impact of the American Le Mans Series' cornerstone event. The Sacramento, Calif., driver will drive with Bill...
VOICES OF PETIT: JOEY HAND
It only took one start at Petit Le Mans for Joey Hand to realize the true scope and impact of the American Le Mans Series' cornerstone event. The Sacramento, Calif., driver will drive with Bill Auberlen and Tom Kimber- Smith for Team Panoz PTG in the No. 21 Panoz Esperante GTLM. The trio is hopeful to give the Panoz marque its second Petit Le Mans victory and first in GT2.
Long day in the office: "It's a lot more work. We're earning our money, let's say that. Bill and I do hour-and-10 minute stints, which is a full fuel load. So you're basically going to do three or four stints in the car, and that's a good bit. If you're just doing two drivers, then you don't have a time to rest. If you're doing three, you have a little more time."
For the drivers: "It's unbelievable. There's a lot of people at Petit Le Mans. For drivers, the big thing for us is to see people lining the sides of the track. There are people at the fence line 10-deep and it's solid all the way around the track. The people you get at Petit Le Mans are excited fans. They know about us. They know about our race cars. They're huge American Le Mans Series fans, and that makes it a great weekend for us right away."
'A proper American road course': "It's fun. Road Atlanta is one of those tracks that are proper American road courses. Street courses are fun and all the other tracks are fun but there is a certain group of tracks that racing and sports car racing were built on in the United States. There's a lot of heritage and that's why I think that's why you get so many more people to see these cars go around. It's a throwback."
Home game for Panoz: "You'll have all the Panoz people there. For us there's always pressure. Tom is always on top of us to get on the wheel. For us there is some pressure because we want to do well. We haven't gotten that big finish yet for Panoz and this PTG team. We're trying to get that win that makes it all worthwhile."
The 10th running of Petit Le Mans, the annual 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta, is set for 11:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 6. SPEED will provide live coverage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 10 p.m. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.