JML Team Panoz first qualifying report

Scott Maxwell and Gunnar Jeannette get ready to kick off the 2003 Le Mans assault. JML Team Panoz kicked off it's 2003 assault on the Le Mans 24 Hour with an impressive performance on the opening night of qualifying. Both the ...

Scott Maxwell and Gunnar Jeannette get ready to kick off the 2003 Le Mans assault.

JML Team Panoz kicked off it's 2003 assault on the Le Mans 24 Hour with an impressive performance on the opening night of qualifying.

Both the #11 car of Olivier Beretta (Monaco), Gunnar Jeannette (USA) and Max Papis (Italy) and the #12 Panoz LMP-01 of Benjamin Leuenberger (Switzerland), Scott Maxwell (Canada) and David Saelens (Belgium) enjoyed faultless reliability during the dual-two hour qualifying sessions.

Beretta set the fastest time for the #11 at 3 minutes 40.766 seconds with Michelin qualifying rubber while Maxwell stopped the clocks at 3:43.924 - putting the USA-based squad in 8th and 15th place on overnight grid.

Qualifying continues tomorrow night at 7.00pm.

OLIVIER BERETTA

"The whole team did a very good job and I am very happy about my team-mates because we all worked extremely well together.

"We had the opportunity for everybody to run during the day and again at night and we improved the car quite a bit through the session.

"We tried a few different Michelin compounds for the race which is a very important part of getting your race set-up right.

"The qualifying run was pretty good but I did get a bit of traffic at the end of the lap. Regardless, qualifying for a 24 hour race is not so important as making sure the race set-up is very good."

GUNNAR JEANNETTE

"Things went pretty well tonight and I am pretty pleased. I got the chance to go out early and be a bit of a street sweeper because the roads are used by the general public for the most of the year.

"Olivier did an excellent qualifying run on the Michelin qualifying tires which are worth quite a bit of time around here.

"I was able to get back into the car this evening and get some more running and the guys really did a good job on improving the car during the night."

MAX PAPIS

"I thought we achieved exactly the goal we wanted from when we left here last time for the pre-qualifying weekend.

"We probably believed we would qualify at about a 3 minute, 40, and that is about where we are so far. For me, I basically concentrated on race runs and trying the different tires that Michelin had to offer.

"I felt everybody did a really good job and being 8th fastest so far probably has surprised a few people.

"Overall we have done a better job than what we expected and I am really looking forward to the race because I think the car will be very strong."

DAVID SAELENS

"It was really nice to be here at Le Mans after a couple days and finally get back in the car - I've been saying to myself, I 'I want to drive, I want to drive' since we got here.

"Driving the car at night was very impressive and the Panoz felt excellent.

"Initially when I went out at night it was a bit strange because I got in straight after a red flag and there was a lot of sand on the straight - it was almost like it was snowing.

"With Scott and Ben our relationship is really getting strong and everytime we head out on the track the car gets better and better."

SCOTT MAXWELL

"I am very happy with the car because we headed in a different direction from what we tried at the pre-qualifying weekend and the car was a lot more stable.

"Now I think it is up to the drivers to squeeze a bit more time out of the car and work a little more on the race set-up.

"This is the greatest race in the world and the excitement is building everyday as we get closer to the race. Knowing we have a good, reliable, solid car is even more exciting because we have the chance to pull off a very strong result."

BENJAMIN LEUENBERGER

"We really improved car quite a bit from the pre-qualifying weekend. The car is now a lot more stable, particularly under brakes.

"The car is pretty quick on the straight and I am starting to get used to the track with every lap I do. I really do enjoy driving here.

"Being out at night was a big thrill and a great way to celebrate my 21st birthday today. I really can't wait for the race itself, it is going to be an amazing experience."

LE MANS WEDNESDAY QUALIFYING
8. Beretta/Jeannette/Papis JML Team Panoz LMP900 3:40.766
15. Maxwell/Saelens/Leuenberger JML Team Panoz LMP900 3:43.924

-pmg-

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