Sebring: JML Team Panoz Wednesday practice report

JML Team Panoz begins Sebring 12 Hour assault. The new JML Team Panoz continued to make strong improvement during the first official day of practice for the 51st Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - the opening round of the 2003 American Le...

JML Team Panoz begins Sebring 12 Hour assault.

The new JML Team Panoz continued to make strong improvement during the first official day of practice for the 51st Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - the opening round of the 2003 American Le Mans Series.

The lead #10 Panoz LMP-01 of Olivier Beretta, Max Papis and Gunnar Jeannette was 8th fastest during the afternoon practice session while the #11 machine of Panoz 'rookies' Scott Maxwell, John Graham and Benjamin Leuenberger finished 13th on the timesheets.

"This is the first day and we have improved the car quite a lot. As usual, the more time you spend on the track, the better you can make the car," Beretta said.

"The mechanics have done a good job and we had no real problems with the car today. We still have some time to chase but today has been a big improvement from the past couple of days of testing.

"As usual the traffic here at Sebring is a challenge - sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad - but it is the same for everybody.

"That is what endurance racing is all about."

Jeannette was enthused by the improved pace of the car in the afternoon session. Warmer track conditions resulted in slower times, yet the Panoz maintained its pace from the morning.

"Today was definitely better and a big improvement. We tried some new Michelin compounds which seemed to work well," Jeannette said.

"This afternoon everybody seemed to go slower because of the track conditions, but we were able to maintain our speed. That represented a big improvement.

"We are really working in the right direction and I am quite happy with the progress."

Maxwell, Graham and Leuenberger's progress was hindered during the morning session which was interrupted by several red flag stoppages.

"Our day went a lot a better and everybody was able to get a lot more laps in the car to start to feel more comfortable," Maxwell said.

"Our times are starting to fall and hopefully in qualifying we can really start to push hard. John (Graham) and Ben (Leuenberger) were unlucky with the session being stopped a couple of times in the morning with red flags, so they are looking forward to getting more time in the car tomorrow night."

-pmg-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Max Papis , John Graham , Scott Maxwell , Olivier Beretta