Road Atlanta: Panoz Motor Sports qualifying notes

Magnussenu on the charge as Panoz Crew do an all-nighter. Under normal circumstances Jan Magnussen would be bitterly disappointed with qualifying fifth fastest, but after an all-night repair job by his race crew, the Danish driver hailed his...

Magnussenu on the charge as Panoz Crew do an all-nighter.

Under normal circumstances Jan Magnussen would be bitterly disappointed with qualifying fifth fastest, but after an all-night repair job by his race crew, the Danish driver hailed his team as the true heroes of Panoz Motor Sports.

After yesterday's practice accident, the Panoz squad worked through the night to repair the #50 "Spirit of America", just completing the task less than 30 minutes prior to the start of qualifying.

"Normally I would be pretty disappointed, but after the effort these guys put in, it is a pretty good result," Magnussen said.

"The car was very strong and considering we lost so much track time, 5th is much better than we could have hoped for. We are only a couple of 10ths off 3rd spot but I really believe we have a car that will be very strong in the race.

"Our team is just a brilliant bunch of guys. Now we have the car safely in the sharp end of field, they can go home and get some sleep.

"Tomorrow will be a tough race, especially with all the traffic." Magnussen will be partnered tomorrow by regular partner David Brabham and Panoz endurance race regular, David Donohue.

The second Panoz LMP-01 was not as fortunate in qualifying, Bryan Herta qualifying 11th fastest (8th in class) aboard the #51 car.

"The car had been really strong up until the qualifying session, but we didn't seem to have as much grip in the warmer conditions," Herta said.

"This is the first session where the track temperature has been warm all weekend and our car didn't seem to react as well as in the cooler temperatures.

"I am a little disappointed, but in a long endurance race like this, qualifying is not as important. Under race conditions I think we will be very competitive."

Herta will be joined in the #51 car by regular partner Bill Auberlen and Panoz official test driver, Gunnar Jeannette - combining for form an all-American line-up

The final round of the 2002 American Le Mans Series, the Audi Presents Petit Le Mans kicks off tomorrow at 11.30am.

The race will run for 1000 miles, or 10 hours, whichever mark is reached first.

-pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette