Murphy, Noske to test Panoz car in U.S.

Local heroes Greg Murphy and Mark Noske are set to head to the United States next week to get their first taste of a Le Mans Prototype racecar. The duo are scheduled to do battle with the international stars in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand...

Local heroes Greg Murphy and Mark Noske are set to head to the United States next week to get their first taste of a Le Mans Prototype racecar.

The duo are scheduled to do battle with the international stars in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years on New Year's Eve with the Panoz sportscar team.

Murphy and Noske will head to the Sebring circuit in Florida next Monday for a two-day test to get acclimatised to their new machine.

For both drivers, it will be a dramatic change from next weekend at Bathurst when Murphy will be aboard his V8 Supercar in the FAI 1000 and Noske will drive a Team Prancing Horse Ferrari F360 Modena in the GTP Nation's Cup events.

"It is going to be great to get over there to try the car for the first time," Murphy said.

"I certainly have a very exciting couple of weeks coming up. There will be a lot of learn about the Panoz because it is radically different from a V8 Supercar.

"It will be great to talk to David Brabham about it because he has driven both types of cars.

"This is a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to it."

Murphy was recruited last week to replace Craig Lowndes who is unable to contest the event due to a contractual problem with his V8 Supercar team.

Noske has previously raced at the Sebring circuit - albeit on the shortened version of the Florida venue.

"I have waiting all year to finally get aboard the car and I can't wait to get to Florida," Noske said.

"I raced a Formula Ford 2000 at Sebring at the end of 1995, but that was only on the short circuit. At least I will know half the circuit.

"We arrive Monday night in the U.S. and will have a seat fitting on Tuesday morning before getting to drive the car for the first time that afternoon.

"I don't think there will be much chance of jet-leg because the adrenaline will really kick in once we get into the car."

Murphy and Noske will join forces with the regular Panoz drivers David Brabham and Jan Magnussen as well as Johnny O'Connell and Hiroki Katoh at the Sebring test.

The three-day Adelaide event will be held from December 29-31 and is the final round of the 2000 Le Mans Series.

The "Race of a Thousand Years" will also feature two spectacular after-race concerts with INXS and Taxiride at the Pit-Side Party in Victoria Park and the New Year's Revolution on CBC Oval featuring The Living End, Spiderbait and You Am I.

Paul Ryan ryan@panoz.com.au www.lemansadelaide.com.au

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Johnny O'Connell , Ryan Paul , Hiroki Kato , Greg Murphy , Craig Lowndes , Mark Noske