Panoz Motor Sports Heads for Homestead Doc Bundy Talks About Racing In Miami 1998 Sports Car Extravaganza, May 15-17, 1998 Beginning with his days in the SCCA amateur ranks, Doc Bundy's racing talent propelled him into professional factory...
Panoz Motor Sports Heads for Homestead
Doc Bundy Talks About Racing In Miami 1998 Sports Car Extravaganza, May 15-17, 1998
Beginning with his days in the SCCA amateur ranks, Doc Bundy's racing talent propelled him into professional factory rides with the likes of Ford, Porsche, Jaguar and Lotus. Bundy has been a class winner at both Le Mans and the Daytona 24 Hour race, as well as the overall title in the Bridgestone Potenza Supercar series in 1992. Last season, Bundy scored three victories and three seconds in the Panoz GTR-1, finishing second overall in the U.S. series' driver standings.
Doc has a long and storied history with racing in Miami, beginning with the first Miami Grand Prix in 1983 when he drove for Aston Martin and including his victory in 1984 in a Jaguar.
Panoz Motor Sports, created by entrepreneur Don Panoz, is fielding one car in the 1998 Sports Car Extravaganza. This is the first time that Atlanta, Georgia-based Panoz Motor Sports has taken part in this event. After class wins at the 1998 Exxon Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring and the Nevada Grand Prix, the Ford-engined Visteon Panoz GTR-1 is a favorite to win Sunday's USRRC Championship GT race at Homestead.
Bundy will be teamed with Andy Wallace in the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 for Sunday's USRRC Championship GT race, the first sprint race of the USRRC schedule.
What did you think of the Miami Grand Prix street race?
Miami is one of my favorite places, for obvious reasons. I've done well in the past at the Miami Grand Prix.
In the very first one in 1983 -- the hurricane one as I call it -- I was doing very well and moving up in the field in a flat-bottomed Aston Martin. Then the organizers gave us a full-course yellow when it started to rain. At that point the battery went flat. So I had to run in during the caution lap, run back to the pits, get a battery, take it back, and put it in the car.
So you got out of the car and ran to the pits?
Yes. You know me, Mr. "No Quitter". I would have had a top-five finish in that race if the battery wouldn't have worn out. Aston Martin ran their alternator off the halfshafts, and during the caution we just weren't turning enough to spin the alternator to charge the battery. So it ran the battery flat. That was just one of those racing deals.
I've also had good races there. Obviously the highlight was winning the Miami Grand Prix with Brian Redman in 1984 in a Group 44 Jaguar XJR-5. Great car. At that time, it was the richest race of the IMSA circuit, and we finished 1-2. It was twice as good for the team.
I like Miami. I like going down there -- it's a fun city. The spectators are very enthusiastic. Any race fans who stay in the stands and sit through a hurricane are my kind of people.
Have you been to the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex before?
I've never been to Homestead. I'm looking forward to it.
What do you think of combination oval/road-courses?
Well, the Visteon Panoz is good no matter where it runs, just about any kind of circuit. Our biggest problem will be traffic but we should be in good shape. We're only running one car and the main thing is just to stay out of trouble. The race is long enough that I imagine that we'll get into a traffic situation where we'll be passing many slower cars. We'll just have to be very careful. We'll have to be cautious, take care of the car, and we'll win.
How are you preparing for this race?
I did the shake down of the U.S.-based Le Mans-spec Visteon Panoz GTR-1 before Le Mans prequalifying, and hopefully we'll shake down the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 at the end of this week.
We're coming into the time of year with high humidity and high temperatures. The Visteon Panoz GTR-1 is not the coolest -- it looks the coolest, but inside it's not the coolest, so I'm really trying to raise my levels of performance and conditioning. Since Sebring, I've lost 6 pounds. I've been running a lot. On my long day, I run 1 hour and 15 minutes, then I take a day off. The next day, I'll run 45 minutes, then next day I'll run 1:05, then the next day I'll run 1:15. then I take a day off. I also work out with light weights -- more repetitions than weight builds endurance. Whenever you can save pounds, in the car or yourself, that's always good.
I'm just excited to get back into the car again. I can't wait to drive.