Road America: JML Team Panoz qualifying report

Saelens and Beretta back on Track at Road America 500. After watching yesterday's action from the sidelines, the JML Team Panoz euro duo of David Saelens and Olivier Beretta were back in force today in preparation for tomorrow's Road America ...

Saelens and Beretta back on Track at Road America 500.

After watching yesterday's action from the sidelines, the JML Team Panoz euro duo of David Saelens and Olivier Beretta were back in force today in preparation for tomorrow's Road America 500.

The #10 Panoz LMP-01 made quick progress during the morning practice session which was severely interupted by a number of red flags.

Saelens quickly got into stride during final practice in his first visit to the Wisconsin circuit to be fourth fastest.

While he improved further on the stop watch during qualifying, the Belgian slipped a couple of spots to sixth with a fastest time of 1:55.158.

The duo missed yesterday's action while waiting for parts to arrive following a late race crash at Mosport last week.

Gunnar Jeannette was just behind his team-mate in the #11 machine he is sharing with Benjamin Leuenberger.

Saelens' efforts were hindered by traffic in the single qualifying session while Jeannette battled understeer in the high speed sections of the track to set his time.

Beretta and Jeannette got some additional track time between the sessions when they took part in the inaugural race of the Tonka STRANA Super Truck Challenge.

Despite starting from the pit lane, Beretta made strong progress in the 10,000lb machine to loose to Justin Bell by only .001 of a second at the checkered flag.

Tomorrow's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series will be broadcast live on Speed Channel.

OLIVIER BERETTA
"This is a very nice track - I heard a lot about it, but now I have had the chance to drive here I can see what everyone was saying.

"Every corner here is fantastic - I am really enjoying driving here.

"There was a lot of red flags when I was in the car in the first session which hindered our progress, but David and the team improved the car a lot during the second session and he drove very well during qualifying.

"We still have the chance to improve further in the warm-up tomorrow morning."

GUNNAR JEANNETTE
"We got the car working very well in the slow speed sections, but we are still battling a little bit in the high speed parts of the circuit.

"The front of the car doesn't want to grip in the faster parts of the track and that is really hurting our lap time.

"We made a couple of changes between practice and qualifying and went about a second faster, but it wasn't quite enough to move up the grid.

"The plan will be to try some more changes for the warm-up tomorrow and hopefully we will have a good race car."

DAVID SAELENS
"Qualifying was OK, but I still struggled with some traffic on my fastest laps which hurt us a bit.

"The team really improved the car quickly today and Oli and I hadn't driven here before, but our progress was very encouraging.

"In the last practice before qualifying we were a lot closer to the Audis which was good. Michelin came up with some compound combinations which took quite a bit of understeer out of the car.

"We are certainly still very confident we can challenge for a another podium tomorrow."

BEN LEUENBERGER
"We had the chance to get a lot of laps on the car this morning and were able to dial out a lot of the understeer that we had yesterday.

"Michelin gave us a new tire compound which really worked well.

"I was able to learn a lot more about the track today and I really enjoy driving here - it is probably one of the best tracks I have raced on anywhere in the world.

"Gunnar did a good job in qualifying but of course the Audis and the MGs were very strong.

"I still believe we are in pretty good shape tomorrow to challenge for a podium spot."

-pmg-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Saelens , Justin Bell , Gunnar Jeannette , Benjamin Leuenberger , Olivier Beretta