VISTEON PANOZ RACING TEAM PRESS NOTES 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
Race Notes Three, 6:15am -- 16 1/4 hours into the race
Sunday, June 7,1998
Due to the constantly changing weather and intermittent rain, both the Panoz U.S. and DAMS teams have been frequently changing tires between wets, slicks, and intermediates.
Jamie Davies turned the #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 over to David Brabham at 1:50am. Brabham drove a double stint, and Andy Wallace took over at 3:20am. Other than refueling and tire changes, all was well in the #45 pits until an accident occurred when the pit boom fell at 5:50am. No one was hurt and the team fixed the boom.
David Brabham, driver, #45 Visteon Panoz GTR-1, commenting on his double stint: "No problems. The gearbox is working well and the engine is strong. No real dramas."
In car #44, Johnny O'Connell drove a double stint before handing the car over to Eric Bernard at 2:00am. Bernard came into the pits with a broken front splitter and malfunctioning taillights at 4:18am. The splitter was replaced and taillights were inspected, and the car was sent out at 4:32am with Christophe Tinseau behind the wheel. The next lap, #44 returned to the pits for a rear bodywork change due to the recurring taillight problem. The culprit was found in the wiring loom of the tail section. The car is now fixed and running strongly.
Eric Bernard, driver, #44 Visteon Motorola DAMS Panoz GTR-1: "The car is fast in the wet. I think I hit some debris on the track that caused the broken front splitter, which is never a good feeling. The weather has been challenging -- first it rains, then it stops, then it rains again."
Christophe Tinseau, driver, #44 Visteon Motorola DAMS Panoz GTR-1: "It was very difficult out there with the changing weather conditions -- one lap wet, one dry. It was tough to judge the right time to come in for new tires, but I think we're improving our position in the race."