Mid-Ohio: Panoz Motor Sports Friday practice

Panoz sets chase on Audi duo in opening Mid-Ohio practice. Panoz Motor Sports made a strong start to their defence of the Mid Ohio round of the American Le Mans Series by setting the third and fifth fastest times in official practice...

Panoz sets chase on Audi duo in opening Mid-Ohio practice.

Panoz Motor Sports made a strong start to their defence of the Mid Ohio round of the American Le Mans Series by setting the third and fifth fastest times in official practice today.

Last year's winners David Brabham and Jan Magnussen were third fastest today, stopping the clocks at 1 minute, 16. 096 seconds.

The #51 "Spirit of America" Panoz of American drivers Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen set the fifth fastest time at 1:16.939.

Both pairings enjoyed a trouble free hit-out at the picturesque Ohio circuit but the team is seeking further improvements prior to qualifying tomorrow.

"We have a pretty good baseline to start with so far, but we are going to have a good look at the data and see where we can gain some more time to the Audis," Brabham said.

"The initial balance of the car is quite good, but there are still a number of parts of the track where we can gain some time.

"The team is certainly in good position to move forward from here and we would love to challenge strongly to repeat our win here from last year."

A former resident of nearby Columbus, ex-CART driver and now Panoz star Bryan Herta enjoyed his first stint at the Mid-Ohio circuit aboard the LMP-01 Evo "Spirit of America" machine.

"This is the first track I have been to this year with the Panoz where I have not had to learn the track as I headed out for practice," Herta said.

"I obviously have a lot of experience around here in Champ cars and it is great to be back at what is a bit of home track for me.

"But I am not overly happy with the car so far. It is quite stable everywhere, but we are just lacking a bit of speed overall at the moment.

"We already have a number of ideas to try tomorrow and will compare notes with the #50 car to see where we are losing some time."

The team will have two one hour practice sessions tomorrow before heading out for qualifying at 3.45pm.

=pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen