VISTEON PANOZ RACING TEAM NOTES
24 HOURS OF LE MANS
Race Notes One, 19:30
Saturday, 6 June 1998
The #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 has been running well, and all three drivers have completed double stints. David Brabham, in the car now, has made one unscheduled pit stop for a new set of tires after suffering a puncture.
Andy Wallace, driver, #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1: "The weather's been very kind to us by cooling down, and it's not too bad in the car now. We've been making adjustments to the car at every pit stop, and it's getting better and better. The car is going well and the gearbox is perfect. Everything is going great, especially the pit work."
Jamie Davies, driver, #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1: "Everything is going very well. There's lots of traffic and the circuit was like olive oil -- very slippery. I didn't take any risks, I just wanted to get a double stint in the bag and then we can look forward to the rest of the race."
The #44 Visteon Motorola DAMS Panoz GTR-1 ran well for the first three hours of the race and both Eric Bernard and Christophe Tinseau completed double stints reporting that the car was running well and felt comfortable for a 24 Hour race. After Johnny O'Connell's first stint (17:00), he suffered a starter motor problem in the pits, which the DAMS team replaced, losing 25 minutes. A short time after, #44 stopped on the track, O'Connell reporting a gear shift lever problem and was stuck in neutral. Verbally guided by mechanics, he removed the tail of the car, selected a gear by hand, and returned to the pits. The problem was identified as a breakage in the gear linkage system, which was repaired by mechanics. After losing nearly one hour, the car returned to the track at 19:30 with Eric Bernard at the wheel.