Washington DC: Panoz Motor Sports qualifying notes

Panoz Motor Sports ready for D.C. attack after qualifying. Panoz Motor Sports' attack on qualifying today for the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington D.C. gave the "Spirit of America" team 2nd and 3rd row starting positions for tomorrow's...

Panoz Motor Sports ready for D.C. attack after qualifying.

Panoz Motor Sports' attack on qualifying today for the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington D.C. gave the "Spirit of America" team 2nd and 3rd row starting positions for tomorrow's inaugural race.

Jan Magnussen set the third fastest time in the 30 minute session,stopping the clocks at 1:03.739 - just shy of the two leading Audis.

American Bryan Herta will start from the third row after finishing 6th fastest with a time of 1:04.442.

While both were slightly disappointed with the qualifying performance, the Panoz squad remains confident of a strong showing tomorrow in the first major motor race in the Washington D.C. area for more than 80 years.

"We had a little bit of understeer in the slow corners which is just taking the edge of our speed but the race tomorrow could be a different story," Magnussen said.

"Although the circuit is quite wide, traffic is going to be the major problem and It could really win or lose you this race.

"The weather has started to cool down a little which is good for the cars and I am sure it will make it more comfortable for the drivers tomorrow.

"The Michelin tires we have selected have been really consistent so far so that should also be a big help in race conditions."

Magnussen will again team up with David Brabham in the #50 car while Bill Auberlen forms an all-American partnership with Herta in the #51 Panoz.

"Unfortunately for us we made a change to try to improve the car for qualifying and it proved to be the wrong way to go," Herta said.

"Two hours and 45 minutes around a circuit like this is going to be very hard on the machinery and the drivers and I will be surprised if there are not a number of safety car periods.

"The promoters here have done a fantastic job with this event. The crowds today and yesterday are fantastic and I am sure tomorrow will be enormous.

"The level of interest in the race is amazing in D.C. and I have no doubt this will be a real land-mark event for the American Le Mans Series."

-pms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta