July 5, 2002 -- Elkhart Lake, WI -- The MBD Sportcars Team is in the paddock here at Road America busily readying their two Panoz LMP07/Mugen's for this Sunday's Road America 500. Just as at last week's Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, the team will once...
July 5, 2002 -- Elkhart Lake, WI -- The MBD Sportcars Team is in the paddock here at Road America busily readying their two Panoz LMP07/Mugen's for this Sunday's Road America 500.
Just as at last week's Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, the team will once again field their two team cars -- the #17 driven by teammates Milka Duno and John Graham, and the #18 with Didier de Radigues and John Graham sharing the drive time.
The team hopes to have a result at this weekend's 500-miler as good as last week's at Mid-Ohio where the #17 scored an 8th place overall and a 6th in class -- the team's highest finish to date.
Today marked the first time the ALMS entries were allowed to take to the track during an IMSA-sanctioned Promoter's Test Day that found the LMP's sharing the circuit with the GTS and GT cars from 12:30-1:30pm EDT and then just the LMP's from 1:30-2:00pm EDT. In today's test the #18 placed 7th overall and the #17 came in 10th overall.
Immediately following the Test Session, here is what three of the MBD drivers had to say:
It's great to be back here. Road America is one of America's premier tracks. It's a beautiful road circuit so it's great for the series I think that way, but from my point of view it puts us at a bit of a disadvantage because it is a power track and we're still developing our program. As far as the car's performance today, initially we're about 80% on set-up. I think everybody is still learning the track because a lot of these competitors haven't been here before. There were a few incidents this morning where we were behind GT cars that weren't really looking -- it caused a little bit of a problem, but other than that as long as the sky stays clear and the track stays dry it'll be great.
I had pole here last year with Multimatic and the Lola SRPII -- but we broke in the race. The track here is fantastic. It's long and it's fast. I love this track. Our performance on the track today was reasonable and we haven't found the balance yet -- so we still have a lot of work to do. We'll go a lot quicker tomorrow.
Didier de Radiques
It's my first time here and I really like this track. A friend of mine and fellow driver Randy Wars, who's driving this weekend in Formula Mazda, let me drive his car yesterday morning for 10 laps or so which means I had a chance to learn this track a little bit before today. In fact, I was on the top of their list on the times in my first experience in a Formula car. I'm really enjoying this track. The Test went quite good considering that we tested today with a lot of fuel in the car and very hard-compound tires - too hard for the race.
The Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune is a 500 mile/125 lap road course that has 12 turns spread out over it's 4 mile length. The Sunday race will begin at 12:15pm CDT and will be televised live on CBS starting at 4:00pm EDT.