With two of the four hours of practice sessions now completed, and just the night session to run, the Panoz Motor Sports team has experienced a day of highs and lows. The ...
With two of the four hours of practice sessions now completed, and just the night session to run, the Panoz Motor Sports team has experienced a day of highs and lows.
The #50 car of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen has topped the practice sheets on both occasions ahead of all four Audis -- their strongest competition.
David and Jan shared the time in the car and worked on set up and balance. Both felt that there was not as much grip in the track as they had experienced in testing, but were progressively happier as the day went on.
David Brabham explained: "I think part of it is that there is so much traffic, you spend quite a lot of time overtaking and are therefore not on the racing line. Off line you pick up all sorts of dust and rubbish on the tires and that obviously affects y our grip levels. However, we know that traffic is going to be an issue so you just have to grit your teeth and work round it. We've made lots of moves in the right direction today and so far, so good."
Traffic was also the cause of the lows experienced by the #51 car. Franck Lagorce set the second quickest time of the first practice session early on, but while Klaus Graf was at the driving wheel he tangled with two slower cars and was forced off the tra ck headfirst into a tire wall. Klaus was taken to the Medical Center for a precautionary check and was released soon afterwards. The car suffered extensive damage to the front section and therefore missed the afternoon practice session while repairs were made.
Klaus said, "I came up on an LMP 675 car which was about to overtake a GT. I slowed to let that happen but as I followed the 675 through the driver suddenly braked hard. I had the choice of going into the back of him or going into the wall. I've got a s ore neck but otherwise feel fine. The driver came and apologised to me afterwards but I'm pretty mad that we've lost so much track time because of it."
Both cars will be out again on track later this evening as all four drivers have to complete a minimum of three "night" laps to comply with the regulations for the race.