Panoz Preview 98-05-03

VISTEON HEADS FOR 1998 LE MANS LE MANS, France, May 3 --The Visteon Panoz Racing Team will challenge the famous Le Mans circuit as two GTR-1s, one fielded by the French DAMS FIA GT team and one by the USA team, prequalified in the GT1 class ...

VISTEON HEADS FOR 1998 LE MANS

LE MANS, France, May 3 --The Visteon Panoz Racing Team will challenge the famous Le Mans circuit as two GTR-1s, one fielded by the French DAMS FIA GT team and one by the USA team, prequalified in the GT1 class for the 24-hour race.

David Brabham qualified the #45 U.S. Visteon/Panoz entry in the GT1 class with a time of 3:41.667. "I am delighted that we have pre-qualified," said Brabham. "There were a lot of good cars in the group, and we have ended up near the Nissans and Toyotas. However, there are many more areas we can improve upon before the race.

"When I first went out the car didn't feel so good and didn't have good grip. Then we had an exhaust problem which lost us some track time. We changed a lot of little things throughout the session and I gradually got more confidence in the car."

Eric Bernard qualified the #44 Visteon DAMS/Panoz entry with a time of 3:42.347. "We are very happy that the two cars have qualified against some very tough competition," said Jean-Paul Driot, owner of the DAMS team. "We're a little disappointed, however, because we were not able to make the best of our last two sets of qualifying tires due to traffic. For sure we would have been in the low 41s otherwise."

"I'm extremely pleased for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team," said Tony Dowe, managing director, Panoz Motor Sports. "We would not have been able to do so well without the technical support of our partners at Visteon."

"This is a great day for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team," says Charles W. Szuluk, president, Visteon Automotive Systems. "We're looking forward to taking on the world's best at Le Mans in June."

An enterprise of the Ford Motor Company, Visteon has over 79,000 employees and nearly a century of automotive parts experience. It is comprised of seven systems divisions -- Powertrain, Chassis, Glass, Interior, Exterior, Electronics, and Climate Control -- and more than 30 sales, engineering, and technical centers in 19 countries around the world.

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Series LEMANS