Sebring: Panoz Friday notes

Panoz Stars Show Off Their Volleyball Skills At Sebring! March in Florida is famous for spring break and legendary sporting events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring. But today, Panoz Motor Sports had a unique combination of both events. Five...

Panoz Stars Show Off Their Volleyball Skills At Sebring!

March in Florida is famous for spring break and legendary sporting events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring.

But today, Panoz Motor Sports had a unique combination of both events.

Five of the Panoz stars took part in the Sebring Beach Volleyball Challenge ­ doing battle with the Hawiian Tropic girls.

Beach Volleyball at a racetrack??? Yes, that¹s right ­ it is all part of the unique spring break parties which take place in the infield at this unique event.

With a huge crowd in attendance ­ of course, purely to watch the athletic prowess of the drivers ­ the Panoz crew proved too skilful for their opponents.

This was despite the fact the Hawiian Tropic girls dragged in a few ring-ins including Audi rival, Tom Kristensen.

"I used to play beach volleyball every day when I was in college, but today was a lot of fun," Bryan Herta said.

"I was actually pretty impressed with our skills and Bill Auberlen really threw himself into things.

"The reaction from the crowd was a lot of fun. However, I don't really believe everybody was there to see us!"

Famous for the pre-race visits to the grid at the Le Mans 24 Hour in France, the Hawiian Tropic girls will visit the grid at every American Le Mans Series race in 2002.

Herta is looking forward to Saturday's race after experiencing his first night practice on Thursday evening.

"When I came in at the end of my stint I joked with the guys on the radio that I didn't want to get out of the car - I was really having too much fun,"Herta said.

"The night racing was something I had never experienced before - I am really looking forward to doing some actual race miles at night tomorrow."

Panoz Motor Sports had their final practice session this morning with David Brabham recording the third fastest time of 1 minute, 51.972 seconds.

Brabham, Jan Magnussen and Eric van de Poele ­ all ex-Formula One stars - will team up for tomorrow's 12 hour event which kicks off at 10.30am.

Bryan Herta was fifth fastest today in the #51 car. Herta's time was only just adrift of Brabham's at 1:53.585.

Herta will form an all-American line-up with David Donohue and Bill Auberlen.

The Panoz crew will go through a final 20 minute warm-up at 7.20am tomorrow morning before the 50th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - Presented by Dodge.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Eric van de Poele , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue