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PANOZ PRESSES ON DESPITE CLUTCH PROBLEMS AT LE MANS As day broke at Le Mans, the Panoz Motor Sports ...

PANOZ PRESSES ON DESPITE CLUTCH PROBLEMS AT LE MANS

As day broke at Le Mans, the Panoz Motor Sports #12 "Spirit of America" machine of Bill Auberlen, David Donohue and Gunnar Jeannette continued to strive for a race finish despite clutch problems.

While the car continues to run faultlessly on circuit, returning to the track after each pit stop remains a problem due to a hydraulic problem with the clutch.

The team has bled the clutch hydraulic system and remains confident of getting the #12 car to the finish. In a tough battle for the three drivers, the lack of power steering has also resulted in rapidly developing blisters on the hands of the three American drivers.

"Once we are out on track, the balance of the car is quite good and we would be in quite a strong position if it wasn't for these niggling little problems," Donohue said.

"These guys are not about to give up with out a fight. Whatever happens to the car, the crew just keep working their tail off to get us back on track.

"With the paddle shift system you don't actually use the clutch out on the track, but getting out of the pits each time is causing us some problems.

"Getting this car to the finish will mean a lot to our guys and our fans. We have had a group of fans in the stands across from the pit waving Panoz flags wildly every time the car goes past."

Donohue drove the car through the day-break section of the race before handing over to Gunnar Jeannette.

The winner of the past two Le Mans 24 Hour events - the Audi combination of Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro continues to lead the race into the new day.

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Frank Biela , Bill Auberlen , David Donohue , Gunnar Jeannette , Emanuele Pirro