Road America: JML Team Panoz preview

Road America "rookies" ready to rumble for JML Team Panoz Despite the fact none of the JML Team Panoz quartet has raced an LMP900 machine at Road America previously, the Georgia-based squad enters this weekend's sixth round of the American Le...

Road America "rookies" ready to rumble for JML Team Panoz

Despite the fact none of the JML Team Panoz quartet has raced an LMP900 machine at Road America previously, the Georgia-based squad enters this weekend's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series full of confidence.

The team put two cars on the LMP900 podium last weekend at Mosport in Canada with Gunnar Jeannette and Scott Maxwell finishing second and Olivier Beretta and David Saelens grabbing third in class despite a late race crash.

For this weekend's round, young Swiss star Benjamin Leuenberger returns to the driver's seat to share with Jeannette while Beretta and Saelens are targeting their third consecutive podium finish.

The JML Team Panoz drivers today made themselves feel right at home in Wisconsin, wearing "Cheeseheads" as they took over the Road America kitchen to serve up some of the world-famous local bratwurst.

The new JML team is hoping for better fortunes than last year when both Panoz LMP-01 machines were out early with electrical problems and a broken driveshaft.

The Road America "rookies' will hit the track for the first time tomorrow in the ALMS test session.

Sunday's 2 hour, 45 minute race kicks off at 1pm on Sunday and is broadcast live on Speed Channel.

OLIVIER BERETTA

"I have had to chance to race right across the US before in the ALMS but this is my first time here at Road America.

"I have heard so much about this place and I am really looking forward to getting out on the track.

"I certainly hope to have a better weekend than last week. The crash at the end of Mosport was very disappointing, but at least we still finished with a podium spot because of the other cars that didn't finish.

"We were still able to get a good handful of points which is very good for the team. Our target now is to challenge for a win."

GUNNAR JEANNETTE

"I have raced here before in historic cars, but this is the first time in the Panoz and I can't wait to drive the LMP-01 here.

"Michelin came up with a new compound for us last weekend which worked very well and I am sure it will be very strong again for this race.

"Ben did a great job at Sebring and Le Mans and we should make a good combination as the two young guys.

"Last week's podium was a big thrill but our aim now is to repeat that effort.

"The team morale is very strong after last week and everybody is extremely keen to try to push this car to through to a win."

DAVID SAELENS

"Olivier and I have done two races and ended up with two podium results in the American Le Mans Series which is a very good start to our driving partnership.

"Nick Potter our engineer has worked very well with us and knows exactly what we like in the car.

"I feel we can only get stronger from here.

"I really like fast race tracks and can't wait to try Road America.

"My rib problem is now a lot better and I was able to get through Mosport without too many problems."

BEN LEUENBERGER

"I am very happy to be back in the car and from what I have seen of the track so far - this is a beautiful circuit.

"This will be the first time I have had the chance to drive with Gunnar and judging on the speed of the car from last week, we have a good shot at the podium.

"Last week in Mosport was very nerve-racking for me - I was probably more nervous out of the car than when I am racing.

"But seeing how well it went certainly has given me a lot of confidence for this weekend."

-pmg-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Saelens , Scott Maxwell , Gunnar Jeannette , Benjamin Leuenberger , Olivier Beretta