Panoz - Ready for Le Mans pre-qualifying

Panoz squad ready for Le Mans pre-qualifying challenge. Panoz Motor Sports assault on the 2002 Le Mans 24 Hour officially kicks off tomorrow with the two "Spirit of America" Panoz LMP-1 Evo machine departing the team's Braselton, Georgia ...

Panoz squad ready for Le Mans pre-qualifying challenge.

Panoz Motor Sports assault on the 2002 Le Mans 24 Hour officially kicks off tomorrow with the two "Spirit of America" Panoz LMP-1 Evo machine departing the team's Braselton, Georgia headquarters, bound for France.

The team will contest the all-important Le Mans pre-qualifying day on Sunday, May 5, a vital shakedown in preparation for the 24 Hour event which is staged on July 15 and 16.

More than 10 tons of equipment including the two racecars will be transported by truck to Orlando tomorrow, before being air-freighted to France.

The Panoz team will arrive in Le Mans this Sunday, March 28, to oversee the final preparations of the cars.

After a successful test last week at Virginia International Raceway, both Panoz cars were shaken down at Road Atlanta yesterday before being packed away for the trip for France.

"The team has worked extremely hard in the past couple of weeks and the test at VIR last week was extremely encouraging," David Brabham said.

"We are in an intense development phase at the moment which I confident will provide us with a very strong package for the 24 Hour.

"Le Mans is always a key highlight of the year and I am really looking forward to the pre-qualifying day.

"We know the competition is going to be very tough, but there has been no shortage of effort from the team, the Elan Motor Sports Technologies group, our suppliers and Michelin to make sure we give this our best shot."

Brabham will team up with Jan Magnussen and Bryan Herta in the team's #11 car for Le Mans, while Gunnar Jeannette, David Donohue and Bill Auberlen will form an all-American line-up in the #12 machine.

For Jeannette, the chance to compete in the prototype class is a lifetime dream for the 19-year-old team test driver.

"I can't wait to try the car at Le Mans and I am really thrilled with the chance to form an all-American line-up with David and Bill," Jeannette said.

"We are really looking forward to waving the stars and stripes in the 'Spirit of America' car. This is going to be an experience I will never forget.

"The atmosphere in the team is extremely positive and I have learned an enormous amount already from all the guys. The experience level in this team is quite amazing and I can't wait to get to France to sample what this car is like at Le Mans."

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About this article
Series ALMS , Le Mans
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette