Tough day for Panoz pair in Trois Rivieres street battle. Panoz Motor Sports endured a race of mixed fortunes to finish 4th and 6th today in round six of the American Le Mans Series at Trois Rivieres in Canada. The team had a blistering start...
Tough day for Panoz pair in Trois Rivieres street battle.
Panoz Motor Sports endured a race of mixed fortunes to finish 4th and 6th today in round six of the American Le Mans Series at Trois Rivieres in Canada.
The team had a blistering start to the race with Bryan Herta and Jan Magnussen exiting the first corner in second and third place. The pair held down those positions for the first 25 minutes - although swapping places, 20 minutes into the race.
Magnussen made his first pit stop for fuel and tires an hour into the race but had the car stall entering the pits. An electrical problem which stopped the engine at low speed eventually forced the car behind the wall at half race distance.
While the Panoz crew repaired the problem, Magnussen handed over to David Brabham, but 12 laps were lost during the repairs.
The balance in the #51 car also began to hinder Herta who handed over to Bill Auberlen after 70 minutes in the car. Quick changes by the Panoz crew greatly improved the car and Auberlen (and later Herta who completed the final stint) ran strongly to the finish - trading fast times with the leading Audis.
"I made a great start and missed all the drama at the first corner," Herta said.
"The car was good early but we struggled with the balance as the laps wore on. Bill did a super job when he got in the car and we were able to make some changes - the car was really strong from that point.
"When I got back in at the finish it ran like a jet and with the extra rubber being laid down, the car was really fast. Unfortunately, we lost too much time early but both of us still came away with a good points haul."
Brabham is now eagerly awaiting the second Canadian race of the ALMS, round six at Mosport near Toronto.
"It was tough when I first got in the car because I still had Jan's tires on and we also collected a lot of pick-up on the tires when we went behind the wall to fix the electrical problem," Brabham said.
"Once I had some new Michelins on, the car was really good and I was able to push pretty hard. It is just unfortunate to have the electrical gremlin struck coming into pit lane.
"That really put us behind the 8-ball. The up side is both cars are still straight and we can now set our sights on Mosport."