JML Team Panoz preliminary testing hour 4 notes

Strong start for JML Team Panoz in Le Mans practice. JML Team Panoz has made an encouraging start to it's 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour assault with an impressive performance in the opening four hour practice session at today's Preliminary Practice ...

Strong start for JML Team Panoz in Le Mans practice.

JML Team Panoz has made an encouraging start to it's 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour assault with an impressive performance in the opening four hour practice session at today's Preliminary Practice day.

Max Papis was the the first to hit the track aboard the #11 car he will share with Olivier Beretta and Gunnar Jeannette.

Papis set the fastest time of the day so far aboard the #11 car, stopping the clocks at 3 minutes, 46.826 seconds.

"Things have started very well for the team and I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the car was straight away," Papis said.

"We have been working through our program, testing a few different changes but our initial impression is the car is very good.

"Olivier (Beretta) was able to give me a bit of advice which was a big help because it has been a few years since I have been here.

"Our plan today is not to put the car at risk, we just have to work away at making improvements and ensuring we have a good base of data to work from for when we get back for the race.

"Michelin has also done an exception job as well. They have had a number of different combinations for us to try and the performance has been very strong"

David Saelens set the fast time in the #12 car (3:52.390) in his first visit to the full Le Mans circuit today aboard the Panoz #12 machine. The Belgian has found memories of Le Mans, having previously clinched the French Fomula 3 Championship on the smaller Bugatti circuit.

"It was great to get out on the full track, I really enjoyed it," Saelens said.

"For me, I am still learning the car so every lap has been a bonus, but the Panoz feels very stable.

"I really enjoyed the high speed sections - I can see why so many drivers rate Le Mans as one of their favorite circuits."

Saelens is teamed with fellow Le Mans rookie, Swiss Benjamin Leuenberger and former Le Mans LMP675 class winner Scott Maxwell (Canada) aboard the #12 car.

The car suffered some initial problems with a timing transponder during the morning, but otherwise enjoyed a trouble free session. <pre> LE MANS - TESTING AFTER FOUR HOURS

1.  Kristensen/Capello/Smith    Bentley LMGTP           3:38.888
2.  Brabham/Herbert/Blundell    Bentley LMGTP           3:38.935
3.  Biela/Salo/McCarthy         Audi LMP900             3:39.016
4.  Lehto/Pirro/Johansson       Audi LMP900             3.39.306
5.  Magnussen/Werner/Ara        Audi LMP900             3:40.081
9.  Beretta/Jeannette/Papis     JML Team Panoz LMP900   3:46.826
14. Leuenberger/Maxwell/Saelens JML Team Panoz LMP900   3:52.390

-pmg-

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers David Saelens , Max Papis , Scott Maxwell , Gunnar Jeannette , Benjamin Leuenberger , Olivier Beretta