JML Team Panoz had an impressive test at LeMans this past weekend in preparation for the 2003 running of the historic 24 Heures du Mans race to take place on June 14-15. "Mad Max" Papis was the first to take the wheel aboard the No. 11 Panoz he...
JML Team Panoz had an impressive test at LeMans this past weekend in preparation for the 2003 running of the historic 24 Heures du Mans race to take place on June 14-15.
"Mad Max" Papis was the first to take the wheel aboard the No. 11 Panoz he shares with Olivier Beretta and Gunnar Jeannette and set the fastest time in the car in the early session with a time of 3 minutes, 46.826 seconds.
Papis then returned to the track and clocked a 3:44.694 in the late session, again the fastest time in the No. 11 Panoz entry.
"It was a productive day," said Papis. "We made a lot of progress. The 44.6 came when I was not pushing too much and there was quite a lot of traffic. There's potential in the car. I was pleasantly surprised with our results on Sunday.
"We will continue what we did at Sebring. We actually have a better car here. It's really encouraging," added Papis. "I believe we surprised many people. We will continue to do that.
"Olivier (Beretta) was able to give me a bit of advice, which was a big help, because it has been a few years since I've been here."
The No. 11 car of Papis, Beretta and Jeannette finished the day in 11th place. The No. 7 Bentley of Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capelli and Guy Smith topped the charts with a time of 3:34.820.
"Things have started very well for the team and I was very surprised with how comfortable the car was straight away," Papis continued. "We have been working through our program, testing a few different changes but our initial impression is the car is very good.
Michelin has also done an exceptional job as well. They have had a number of different combinations for us to try and the performance has been very strong.
"Our plan for the weekend was not to put the car at risk, just to work away at making improvements and ensuring we have a good base of data to work from when we get back for the race," said Papis.
The two Panoz LMP-01 racecars will remain in Europe until the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the weekend of June 14 and 15.