PANOZ RACE EFFORT YIELDS FOURTH-PLACE FINISH IN MONTEREY FIA GT
MONTEREY, CA, October 25 -- David Brabham and Eric Bernard finished the season with a strong performance in the FIA GT event at Laguna Seca this afternoon. With three separate driver stints and two sets of tires, the Panoz team proved that consistent driving is key when it comes to enduring a three-hour race.
Brabham started the #3 Panoz GTR-1 from the second row and took the lead briefly before pitting for fuel and tires. Bernard stepped in to re-enter the field in third, eventually dropping back to fourth before turning the car over to Brabham to finish the race.
"We (the team) decided to use two sets of tires (instead of three) for the race, so the second stint on the same tires had an effect on overall performace," Brabham explained.
"I struggled to keep the car in the fourth position, as Eric had before me. I'm glad that we were able to do it. Fourth-place is pretty good and I'm proud of everyone involved in the race program."
Panoz Motorsports Manager, Tony Dowe, was pleased with the results. "It's a very good way for the team to finish -- qualifying and finishing fourth. At one point we were able to get ahead of the factory Porsche running ahead of us and I think both of our drivers ran a very consistent race."
The FIA GT race was won by Richard Zonta and Klaus Ludwig, in the #2 Mercedes.
"I'd like to thank Visteon, Motorola and Michelin for a wonderful season," Dowe added. "The Visteon Panoz Racing team has come a long way in 1998, and now has a solid base with which to go forward in 1999."