ENGINE PROBLEMS HINDER MULTIMATIC PANOZ TEST Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz finished with the fourth fastest GT2 class time at the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans test day despite a disrupted assault which restricted the team to only 32 laps ...
ENGINE PROBLEMS HINDER MULTIMATIC PANOZ TEST
Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz finished with the fourth fastest GT2 class time at the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans test day despite a disrupted assault which restricted the team to only 32 laps today.
The #77 car lost the majority of the opening four hour session after suffering an oil filter o-ring failure that sent Le Mans rookie Tom Milner sailing into the gravel trap at the first chicane on his own oil.
After lengthy repairs and clean-up, Milner was able to return to the track to complete his mandatory 10 lap stint before the lunch break.
Scott Maxwell stopped the clocks at 4 minutes, 6.844 seconds to record the team's fastest time after lunch but team-mate Gunnar Jeannette was not as fortunate, bringing the car back to the pit lane after three laps after the engine went "soft".
The team will now fit the proposed race engine with today's power-plant being returned to the US for repairs.
"I am quite pleased with the speed of the car, but pretty disappointed we were unable to do a lot more laps today," Multimatic Vice President and Motorsports Technical Director, Larry Holt said.
"The guys at Elan Power Products will take a close look at the cause this week. The fuel specification here at the track has caused problems for a lot of teams in the past.
"The day wasn't a complete disaster. Tom was able to complete his mandatory ten lap stint to get qualified for the race and our pace was very strong."
The team will continue race preparations at the circuit over the next two days before returning for scrutineering on race week next Tuesday in down-town Le Mans.
Scott Maxwell: "It was sort of a mixed day for us, but the potential of the Panoz I am very happy with. "I would have liked some more laps to develop the car a little further but I think we showed in the short time that we were out there that will be a threat as long as we can get our reliability issues sorted out. "We need to work on the balance a little bit and fine tune the car with Pirelli. I don't think we are far off when it comes to handling we just need to make the car a little easier to drive. "I was really impressed with Tom today - he did a great job and I think the three of us will make a great combination for the race. Gunnar didn't get a lot of laps today but he is always fast so I think we will be in good shape."
Gunnar Jeanette: "The car didn't really feel quite right so I came back to the pits for the guys to take a closer look. "Scotty was still able to do a very good lap time on tires which had done quite a bit of work so I still believe we are in pretty good shape. "We have a very good baseline to start next week with so we just need to get to the bottom of the engine problem and get ready to go win a race. "It's great to be back to Le Mans this year and interesting to see what they have done to the track. The tighter turn one is a bit more of a challenge - I think I am actually going to like it a lot once I have done a few more laps. "The new pit exit however is really terrible. You are on the pit lane speed limiter forever and you re-enter the track in a pretty dangerous spot."
Tom Milner: "The track is fantastic - I love it here. It is every bit as impressive as I expected. The Porsche curves are really exciting to drive - very fast. "The oil filter problem this morning was disappointing. I got down to the first chicane, got on the brakes and just had no grip with oil all over the rear tires. "The car came back full of gravel - Larry reckons I set a new record for the amount I brought back into the pits. "The guys did a great job to get me back out and it was handy to get my ten laps under my belt before we come back next week."