THE VISTEON PANOZ RACING TEAM WINS AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 14 -- In today's 2 1/2 hour U.S. Road Racing Classic GT/Can-Am race at Mid-Ohio, the ...
THE VISTEON PANOZ RACING TEAM WINS AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 14 -- In today's 2 1/2 hour U.S. Road Racing Classic GT/Can-Am race at Mid-Ohio, the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, driven by Andy Wallace and David Brabham, finished first in class and third overall, behind the #16 and #20 Dyson Can-Am cars. Fastest lap of the race was set by David Brabham, with a 1:18.019 at 103.821mph. The #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, driven by Raul Boesel and Eric Bernard, finished second in class and fourth overall. This was the first race at Mid-Ohio for David Brabham, Andy Wallace, and Eric Bernard.
The Visteon Panoz Racing Team was challenged throughout the race by the #38 Porsche GT1 entry and the #16 and #20 Can-Am cars. with many position changes from the start. Traffic was a major issue in the tight 2.25 mile circuit, but all drivers enjoyed the 13-turn course with its many elevation changes.
Andy Wallace drove the first stint in the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, and was proud of the team and the car. "The Visteon Panoz Racing Team had a good race today," he said. "I had a good start -- the first corner of the first lap was quite exciting -- I went in right behind the #16 Can-Am car and watched as it turned 90 degrees in front of me before he caught it. Then I had quite a dice with the #38 Porsche GT1. Traffic was tough, because you could get caught behind a GT2 or GT3 car for a little bit before you were able to pass. Mid-Ohio is a great track to race on and I'd like to thank Michelle Truman for having us here." "The Visteon Panoz got better and better as the race went on, and the Michelin tires were exceptional," said David Brabham, the second driver of the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1. "I treated every lap like a qualifying lap, and all the equipment and team was there to back me up. This is a great finish for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team."
The #5 Visteon Panoz ran strong all day, but had some trouble during the race. "The #5 Visteon Panoz had a lot of power, but I had a bit of understeer during my stint," said Raul Boesel, who drove first. " It was a challenging race, especially with the traffic, which I got in the middle of and lost some places. The crew worked very well, and I enjoy driving for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team."
Eric Bernard, #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, commented on his first race at Mid-Ohio. "I enjoyed driving in this race -- I like the track very much," he said. "There was a bit of traffic out there which reminded me of the Champs d'Elysee. The car was running warm, and I was forced to back off in order to make sure that we had no problems. All in all, it was a great race. I look forward to racing next weekend at Road Atlanta."
"I'm happy for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team, who worked very hard over the weekend," said Tony Dowe, managing director, Panoz Motor Sports. "David Brabham did an outstanding job to get the fastest lap of the race and finish on the same lap as the Can-Am cars. We enjoy the friendly competition with the Dyson Can-Am cars and the Porsche GT-1, which makes us faster and makes a better show for the fans."
Don Panoz was also happy for the win. "We've got quite a streak going," he said. "We've proven to be very competitive in our second year of racing. Let's hope it continues."
This race marks the fifth straight class win for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team after victories at the Sebring 12 Hour, Nevada Grand Prix, 1998 Sports Car Extravaganza at Homestead, and the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock. Mid-Ohio is the first U.S. race after the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, driven by David Brabham, Andy Wallace, and Jamie Davies, placed seventh among the finest sports cars and companies in the world.
The Visteon Panoz Racing Team will return to their home track for the next race, the SPORTS CAR Grand Prix at Road Atlanta, held on June 19 - 22.