MULTIMATIC MOTORSPORTS TEAM PANOZ SHOW STRONG PACE IN PETIT LE MANS PREPARATIONS Braselton - GA (September 29th, 2006) Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz has begun its assault on this year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with a strong showing in...
MULTIMATIC MOTORSPORTS TEAM PANOZ SHOW STRONG PACE IN PETIT LE MANS PREPARATIONS
Braselton - GA (September 29th, 2006) Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz has begun its assault on this year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with a strong showing in initial practice sessions.
The venue for the first ever victory by the Panoz Esperante GTLM, Road Atlanta is located only a short distance from the home of Panoz Auto Developments where the Esperante road cars are built.
American young guns Gunnar Jeannette and Tom Milner have impressed in the four on-track sessions staged to date -- finishing in the top four in GT2 on three occasions.
The duo are joined this weekend by recently-crowned Rolex Series GT Champion Andy Lally. The Atlanta-based Panoz debutant only completed a handful of laps in initial preparations but used last night's evening session to get more accustomed to the Esperante.
David Brabham, Scott Maxwell and fellow Sebring 12-Hour GT2 winner Sebastien Bourdais have made steady improvement throughout the week -- moving up the time sheets from 8th to 7th to 5th in the three daytime sessions.
The evening session last night was also used by Bourdais to reacclimatize himself with the Panoz and learn the Road Atlanta circuit. The two-time Champ Car World Series title winner is competing at Road Atlanta for the first time this weekend.
The competition in GT2 is extremely fierce between Panoz, Porsche, Ferrari and BMW. The top eight cars in yesterday's opening practice session were covered by less than 7/10ths of a second.
All teams will have a final practice session this morning at 9.30am before qualifying kicks off at 2.50pm.
Tomorrow's Petit Le Mans event greets the green flag at 11.45am
David Brabham - "The team have certainly closed the gap on the competition and that is very pleasing. "Our car has had a couple of issues but we have made some good progress throughout the week - fine tuning our race set-up. "Sebastien has only done a handful of laps so far but he doesn't take long to get up to speed."
Gunnar Jeannette - "The car is actually a lot better than I expected - we could do with a little more front grip - but overall I am very pleased. "The times out there are extremely competitive and I think we have more to come because we haven't done a flat qualifying lap on low fuel yet."
Sebastien Bourdais -"I have been trying to learn the track because it is my first time here. "Yesterday's session also got cut short a little when it rained. "There are a lot of blind corners which take a little while to get used to but I got within a couple of tenths of David and Scott after only a handful of laps so I am pretty pleased so far."
Andy Lally - "I haven't done a lot of laps so far but I was pleasantly surprised with the Panoz - it is a really nice car to drive - a lot of fun. "Gunnar and Tom have been doing a great job and taught me a lot and I certainly feel I am pretty much in the ballpark so far. "I am really looking forward to the race and getting more laps under my belt."
-credit: multimatic/team panoz