JML Team Panoz final qualifying report

JML Team Panoz tonight completed two days of near-perfect preparation for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour. The Atlanta, GA, based crew today installed the two race engines in the Panoz LMP-01 machines and the team completed the night with ...

JML Team Panoz tonight completed two days of near-perfect preparation for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hour.

The Atlanta, GA, based crew today installed the two race engines in the Panoz LMP-01 machines and the team completed the night with impressive reliability.

The only drama to strike occured when Scott Maxwell ran over some debris on the circuit and a cut a tire.

However, despite suffering a lurid spin just before the Indianapolis corner at one of the fastest parts of the circuit, the #12 Panoz did not make contact with wall and the car was able to complete qualifying. The incident happened just prior to the 9.00pm break between the dual two-hour qualifying sessions.

The JML Team Panoz drivers including Maxwell, Olivier Beretta, Gunnar Jeannette, Max Papis, David Saelens and Benjamin Leuenberger will now take part in the famous down-town driver's parade tomorrow night before the race kicks off on Saturday at 4pm local time.

OLIVIER BERETTA

"I am quite happy because we have had two trouble free days and that is a very good preparation.

"Max, Gunnar and myself have had the chance to do a lot of miles and I think we are in very good shape for the race.

"The entire team has done an exceptionally good job and tomorrow we just have to put the finishing touches on the car to get ready for the race.

"The parade on Friday night through the town is always a highlight, so I look forward to doing that, then getting a good night's sleep."

GUNNAR JEANNETTE

"Everything went well today and all the changes we made to the car was a big improvement.

"I was able to get out first and do a really good long run and the Michelin tires were really impressive.

"I am really looking forward to the race. Tomorrow we will practice some driver changes before heading for the parade - it is always a buzz. Having 200,000 people chasing autographs is a real thrill."

MAX PAPIS

"Today I concentrated again on long runs and I was able to do a complete fuel stint and the car was very consistent.

"We have been experimenting with different tire compounds and I now think we have the right tire combination from Michelin.

"The car is very strong and reliable and I think our pace and consistency should put us in a very strong position for the race."

DAVID SAELENS

"The job the engineer and the mechanics have done this week is really impressive

"Qualifying went very well and we have improved the car quite a bit from yesterday.

"It is in our hands to do a good race.

"The track tonight was a little bit crazy - cars going everywhere and dirt being dragged back out onto the circuit - it is a very good preparation for me to keep me on my toes for the race."

SCOTT MAXWELL

"It was a pretty dramatic day for me because I ended up having a big off when I ran over some debris and cut a tire.

"The car actually spun at the fastest part of the track heading into Indianapolis and I used all my car control…stood on the brakes and closed my eyes -- luckily when I stopped I hadn't hit anything.

"That was a bonus and we were able to get back out in qualifying. I had another shot on Michelin qualifying rubber, but I struck traffic again.

"We probably could have ended up a couple of spots higher, but we have a good strong new engine and everything is ready to roll. I can't wait to get going."

BENJAMIN LEUENBERGER

"I did a long run today which was important for me to get lots of laps at night. I drove at night for the first time at Sebring and it takes a while to get used to.

"I am really starting to feel comfortable with it and I feel I am getting faster and faster.

"I can't wait for the race to start. This entire event is so unique - this experience has been amazing so far and JML Team Panoz has done a really good job."

-pmg-

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers David Saelens , Max Papis , Scott Maxwell , Benjamin Leuenberger , Olivier Beretta