Herta excited about Le Mans debut after first track tour Panoz Motor Sports' Le Mans debutante Bryan Herta is eagerly awaiting the chance to get behind the wheel of the Panoz "Spirit of America" LMP900 car for pre-qualifying on Sunday after...
Herta excited about Le Mans debut after first track tour
Panoz Motor Sports' Le Mans debutante Bryan Herta is eagerly awaiting the chance to get behind the wheel of the Panoz "Spirit of America" LMP900 car for pre-qualifying on Sunday after seeing the track for the first time today.
Herta joined team-mates David Brabham, Jan Magnussen, David Donohue, Bill Auberlen and Gunnar Jeannette in a tour of the circuit aboard one of the team's crew busses.
While today's lap was at a sedate 35mph, on Sunday Herta and his fellow Panoz drivers will reach speeds in excess of 215mph.
"I had a look at the track on a Playstation game back in the US, but nothing can prepare you for when you see it in the flesh," Herta said.
"I am really looking forward to getting in the car on Sunday, the high speed straights and series of fast corners are just brilliant.
"The circuit is absolutely fantastic - way better than what I was expecting. This is going to be a new experience for me and it was handy to do a slow lap of the track today and have some of the other guys give me a few tips about particular parts of the circuit."
Herta and his team-mates also had their first chance to take a look at the new section of the course which runs from the famous Le Mans landmark bridge down to the esses leading into Tertre Rouge.
Brabham was particularly impressed with the new changes which were installed to improve the corner leading onto the Bugatti circuit that is used for the French Motorcycle Grand Prix.
"I was certainly wondering what the new part was going to be like, but it looks like they have done a fantastic job," Brabham said.
"As you come under the bridge you are now immediately turning to the left and the new section looks like it will flow really well.
"We won't know for sure what it is like until we run on Sunday, but I think it is really a great addition to the circuit."
The Panoz LMP-1 Evo machines will undergo their final preparations tomorrow before tackling two four-hour practice sessions on Sunday.
The team will then return to the US for the next round of the American Le Mans Series at Sears Point on May 19, before returning to France for the Le Mans 24 Hour on the weekend of June 15-16.