Road Atlanta II: Max Papis race report

Star performance from Max Papis and JML Team Panoz at Petit Le Mans SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2003: JML Team Panoz brought the 2003 ALMS season to a spectacular close by finishing 2nd and 4th in today's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - the team's...

Star performance from Max Papis and JML Team Panoz at Petit Le Mans

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2003: JML Team Panoz brought the 2003 ALMS season to a spectacular close by finishing 2nd and 4th in today's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - the team's best overall finish of theyear.

Olivier Beretta, David Saelens and Max Papis took 2nd aboard their #10 Panoz LMP-01, while the #11 car of Gunnar Jeannette, Scott Maxwell and Benjamin Leuenberger were unlucky to suffer some problems during the 1000 mile journey - just missing out on a podium spot in 4th.

The Audi of Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto won the event while the #10 Panoz faced a race long battle to keep the #1 Audi of Frank Biela and Marco Werner at bay. The Panoz got the upper hand after the Audi crashed early in the race and faced a long repair behind the wall. As the race drew to a close with Papis behind the wheel, the #10 Panoz still had a one-lap advantage of the newly crowned 2003 series champions.

The only problem faced by the #10 car was a pit lane penalty earned when one of the team tire changes made contact with the car before the refueling was completed. However, despite being assessed an immediate unverified penalty while the car was in pit lane under a safety car period, the race steward later decided to again penalize the team a second time for the same offense.

Papis was forced to serve a stop-go penalty after the official decided that the original penalty should not have been completed under the safety car.

The #11 Panoz endured a tough journey throughout the day, losing several laps with power steering problems. The drivers also battled with no on-board dash readings or shift lights - an intermittent electrical problem which hindered their progress.

The JML Team Panoz squad will now set its sights on the return of the Panoz GTR coupe which will race in the Le Mans 1000km event on the Bugatti circuit in France on November 9.

MAX PAPIS

"This is just a brilliant way to finish the season for JML Team Panoz. We finished 5th at Sebring, 5th at Le Mans and now 2nd and 4th at Petit Le Mans - it really was a great day for us. We certainly didn't expect to do as well as we did but the real credit has to go to the crew which did a really outstanding job, Michelin for their great support, and a great drive by my teammates, Olivier (Beretta) and David (Saelens). Our car ran faultlessly all day and I am very pleased that we put on a great show for the local Panoz fans."

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Herbert , David Saelens , Frank Biela , Max Papis , Scott Maxwell , Gunnar Jeannette , Benjamin Leuenberger , Olivier Beretta , JJ Lehto