Mid-Ohio: Panoz Motor Sports preview

Panoz Motor Sports aims for Mid-Ohio repeat in ALMS return. Fresh from its assault on this year's Le Mans 24 Hour, Panoz Motor Sports will now re-focus its efforts on the American Le Mans Series this week at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car...

Panoz Motor Sports aims for Mid-Ohio repeat in ALMS return.

Fresh from its assault on this year's Le Mans 24 Hour, Panoz Motor Sports will now re-focus its efforts on the American Le Mans Series this week at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Panoz enters this week's race as not only the reigning winner from Mid-Ohio, but also the victor from the previous round of the championship at Sears Point in California in May.

The team will field two "Spirit of America" Panoz LMP-01 machines this weekend for David Brabham and Jan Magnussen (Car #50) and the all-American pairing of Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen (Car #51).

Despite last year's success and the win at Sears Point, Panoz star Jan Magnussen believes the team will still face a tough battle at Mid-Ohio.

"Audi remain the guys to catch, but we will certainly be pushing very hard as always," Magnussen said.

"Maintaining that pressure has been the secret to our race wins in the past couple of years. Matching their pace is always tough, but we have to keep nipping at their heels and see what happens.

"Le Mans was a tough weekend for us, but hopefully we will be able to turn things around this week."

The Panoz team and the American Le Mans Series will face two races in the next two weeks - doing battle at two of North America's finest road courses, Mid Ohio and Road America.

These are two circuits that new Panoz driver Bryan Herta is eagerly awaiting the chance to compete on - getting the chance to put his CART experience to good use.

During his CART career, Herta was based in near-by Columbus during his tenure with Team Rahal.

"I am really looking forward to these two tracks because I already have a lot of recent experience there," Herta said.

"What is even better is these two tracks are two of the best circuits in North America and absolutely fantastic to drive on.

"I won't have to learn the circuit and learn how the car reacts. I will be able to get stuck straight into fine tuning the car."

Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio will be a 2 hour, 45 minute race while the Road America event the following weekend will be staged over 500 miles.

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