Washington DC: Panoz Motor Sports Friday practice notes

The pace hots up in Washington as Panoz hits the track. With track temperatures soaring well into the 100s, the pace certainly hotted up as Panoz Motor Sports hit the track for the first time in the nation's capital for the opening practice of...

The pace hots up in Washington as Panoz hits the track.

With track temperatures soaring well into the 100s, the pace certainly hotted up as Panoz Motor Sports hit the track for the first time in the nation's capital for the opening practice of the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington D.C. today.

The two Panoz "Spirit of America" machines finished the day fourth and fifth fastest, but made dramatic improvement between the two opening practice sessions.

Jan Magnussen eventually stopped the clocks at 1 minute, 4.831 seconds - improving more than 8/10ths of a second from the first practice session.

The #51 Panoz also improved dramatically with Bryan Herta slicing nearly two seconds of the opening practice time to finish at 1:05.612 Herta's co-driver and fellow American Bill Auberlen remains confident of finding even more improvement in tomorrow's qualifying session.

"Everybody believed this circuit would really suit our car but we have made lot of changes during the day to get the car right," Auberlen said.

"While the Audi guys found 10ths of a second between sessions, our guys have found huge improvement during the day.

"I am confident we should be right with them tomorrow and challenge really strongly in qualifying."

Magnussen and regular partner David Brabham also believe they can find further improvement in tomorrow's practice and qualifying sessions.

"We still have a bit of work to do to improve the car, but we have made some very positive steps today," Magnussen said.

"The heat was very tough on the car and could play a big factor in Sunday's results.

"The Washington people have done a really great job with this event and the whole team is very keen to put up a big challenge for the win. With our cars in stars and stripes - I am sure we are going to be big favorites with the fans.

The team will take to the track for final practice tomorrow from 9.00 to 10.00am with qualifying taking place for 30 minutes from at 12.50pm.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen