Herta tests in rain at Road Atlanta

New Panoz Motor Sports signing Bryan Herta continued the team's American Le Mans Series pre-season testing today at Road Atlanta ­ encountering conditions similar to last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Herta had not previously driven the Panoz ...

New Panoz Motor Sports signing Bryan Herta continued the team's American Le Mans Series pre-season testing today at Road Atlanta ­ encountering conditions similar to last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Herta had not previously driven the Panoz LMP-01 in wet conditions, but today he was able to try the latest wet weather and intermediate tires from Michelin at the venue for the season-closing Petit Le Mans event.

The Panoz team has traditionally been strong in wet conditions, with victories including the Nurburgring event in Germany in 2000 with Jan Magnussen and David Brabham.

"It was certainly very handy to get some experience in a wide variety of conditions because that is what I am going to face throughout the year," Herta said.

"If we get a race like Le Mans last year, the wet weather experience will certainly be very beneficial.

"We didn't get to run as many laps as we would have liked because it actually became too wet at the end of the day. We were actually waiting for the rain to try the wets but it really came down hard ­ apparently there were flash flood warnings announced for the area."

"Despite the weather, the car feels really strong in all conditions and I am really feeling comfortable in it now."

Herta is looking forward to returning to the cockpit for a further test at Road Atlanta next Wednesday as the team prepares for the opening race of the year, the 50th anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, from March 13 to 16.

"Hopefully we can have some dry weather because I looking forward to getting more laps under my belt and trying some different adjustments to learn more about the car," Herta said.

"It is also great to get some more laps at Road Atlanta. The only time I have raced here was back before they put in the changes leading up to the bridge coming onto the straight.

"Some tracks will be new to me, but others I am really looking forward to. Laguna Seca, Elkhart Lake and Mid-Ohio are going to be fantastic races. I know those places extremely well from Champ cars and I can't wait to try the Panoz at those tracks."

-pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Bryan Herta