JML Team Panoz on the pace in opening practice for Petit. JML Team Panoz signaled they are going to be a leading contender for this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta by setting the third fastest time in opening practice today. The ...
JML Team Panoz on the pace in opening practice for Petit.
JML Team Panoz signaled they are going to be a leading contender for this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta by setting the third fastest time in opening practice today.
The #10 car stopped the clocks at 1 minute, 13.137 seconds with Olivier Beretta behind the wheel - putting the Panoz third for the day and outpacing the championship leading Audi of Frank Biela and Marco Werner.
Beretta, David Saelens and Max Papis all had the chance to get behind the wheel of the LMP-01 in the opening session.
However, the #11 car of Gunnar Jeannette, Benjamin Leuenberger and Scott Maxwell was not as fortunate.
Jeannette spun on cold tires on his out-lap coming out of turn seven, damaging the bodywork and breaking a steering arm.
The car was returned to the JML Team Panoz workshop adjacent to Road Atlanta to undergo repairs in time for the opening practice session tomorrow at 9.20am.
Leuenberger and Maxwell did not get the chance to drive #11 machine.
The trio will have three opportunities to get behind the wheel tomorrow with two 1-hour practice sessions at 9.20am and 2.30pm, plus a further two-hour night practice session at 7.00pm.
"Having Max join us for the weekend will be a real bonus as we have a very strong driver line-up.
"The race may be up to 10 hours long, but it really is a 10 hour sprint race.
"We will be trying very hard to continue our run of podium finishes and target our best result of the year here at our home track at Road Atlanta.
"I have a very good feeling about the car after the first day and I am quite confident we can do a very good job this weekend.
"Unfortunately, my son came down with a cold and I have caught it from him. I lost my voice on the plane on the way over from Monaco, but I am sure I will be fine for the race.
"I won at Daytona before racing with chicken pox so a cold will not be a problem."
"I enjoyed every lap I did in the car and it was a fantastic to be back in the Panoz this weekend.
"The car was very user friendly but we still need to make some improvements to the stability in the rear end under braking.
"But overall we stand a great chance this weekend. The car is very strong and quick on the straight so I think it is going to be a really interesting race for us.
"Compared to the Atlanta Grand Prix weekend, the car was a lot better in the high speed parts of the circuit and the guys have obviously made a lot of improvements to the car over the course of the year."
"The car feels very stable and I think we have made an extremely good start to the race weekend.
"We made some improvement during the session and Oli got back in at the end and went very fast.
"There was a lot of traffic when I was in the car but I feel we are going to be quite strong this weekend.
"The guys have a done a great job in preparing the car and I am really looking forward to getting back tomorrow and getting some more laps under my belt
"It was great to get back in the car after getting dehydrated in Miami but I have been training extremely hard since that race and I am sure I will be in top shape for Saturday."
"I basically got caught out on new cold tires and spun the car coming out of turn seven.
"I was really lucky that I didn't get hit by somebody else because I bounced back out onto the track.
"The damage is nowhere near as bad as I first feared and we will be back out again tomorrow.
"Unfortunately, we missed the session but we will look at the settings from the #10 car and use that as a starting point tomorrow.
"Hopefully I have got that out of my system now and I just have to put my head down and concentrate on the rest of the weekend.
"The other car was strong today and are aiming to following their lead tomorrow."