Road America: Panoz Motor Sport Friday practice summary

Panoz on the pace as titanic battle looms at Road America. Yesterday may have been Independence Day in the US, but the Panoz Motor Sports' "Spirit of America" machines continued to wave the flag with a strong showing in practice today for this...

Panoz on the pace as titanic battle looms at Road America.

Yesterday may have been Independence Day in the US, but the Panoz Motor Sports' "Spirit of America" machines continued to wave the flag with a strong showing in practice today for this weekend's Road America 500 - round four of the American Le Mans Series.

David Brabham held the fastest lap for much of the day with the Panoz LMP-01, only to be pushed out of the top spot in the later moments of the session by the Audi of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.

Brabham set a fastest time of 1 minute, 55.533 seconds for the 4 mile circuit.

The all-American Panoz line-up of Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen finished the session in 5th position, stopping the clocks at 1:57.798.

"This is my first visit to Road America and I have to say I really love the circuit," Brabham said.

"We are probably a little more competitive that what we were expecting. That is extremely pleasing especially considering we know where we can find some more improvement.

"To roll off the truck and be on the pace is a great start to our weekend, but we know sunday is going to be a very tough race."

The Panoz squad will have two more practice sessions tomorrow before the single qualifying session at 3.10pm. Jan Magnussen will handle qualifying duties for the #50 car while Bryan Herta will drive the #51 machine.

"I have had a lot of laps here in champ cars, but it is great to be back here at Road America in a Panoz," Herta said.

"We have been gradually improving the car, but finding a gap in the traffic is always the tough aspect.

"The circuit is just fantastic for these cars and I can't wait for qualifying tomorrow."

Panoz finished 3rd and 4th in the previous round of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio last weekend.

Sunday's 500 mile event starts at 12.30pm

-pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , Emanuele Pirro