Oh Canada – Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz on Home Soil at Mosport

TORONTO, ON (August 31st, 2006) – Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz is looking to home track advantage this weekend to challenge for GT2 victory at the eighth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport International Raceway.

Located near the team base in Markham, Ontario, Mosport is the former home of the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix. Sir Jack Brabham – the father of current Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz driver David Brabham – won the first ever Formula One race at Mosport in 1967. In total, eight Formula One races were staged at Mosport – the last run in 1977.

The circuit also has strong historical links for the Panoz marque. Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen won the first ever event for the Panoz LMP-01 prototype car in 1999. The team actually scored a 1-2 result with David Brabham and Eric Bernard finishing second. Brabham and Bernard were actually first across the line but received a post-race 20-second penalty for a pit lane infringement.

In preparation for this weekend’s event, local hero Scott Maxwell has been behind the wheel of the #50 Panoz on Monday and Tuesday – working towards bringing the Esperante back into podium contention.

However, team-mate Gunnar Jeannette was not as fortunate – crashing the car in testing while investigating differential improvements. Jeannette was running with the traction control switched off and unfortunately the American young-gun dropped a wheel off the circuit and spun into the tire wall. The crash left Maxwell to fly solo with the #50 car in Tuesday testing.

Last year Multimatic dominated the podium in Mosport’s Grand Am Cup race, finishing 1st and 3rd with Jeannette taking the win with David Empringham and Milner finishing third in his debut race for the Canadian team paired with James Gue.

“We have tried a bunch of new things in testing including some aerodynamic and differential settings and have come away with a significant amount of data which should help us this weekend,” Multimatic Vice President and Motorsports Technical Director, Larry Holt said.

“It was a pretty serious test for us. Despite the eventual results from Road America, we came away from Elkhart Lake in a confident frame of mind because both cars could have ended up with a good result if not for some misfortune. We found some things that weekend which certainly improved the car.

“We had good pace in the test this week and it was just a bit unfortunate that Gunnar felt he had to even up with Tom’s crash from Road America by spinning into the wall. It was not totally his fault because I had him running out there with the traction control switched off to try some diff settings.

“There was a bit of damage which set us back a bit, but not too bad. We have also had a car on the four-post rig on Wednesday as well – from a technical perspective there is virtually nothing else we can really throw at the car this week – we have put 100 percent effort behind it.

“Scott Maxwell picked up the slack with the testing and did a great job. He is really looking forward to the weekend because this is his home track and has done a million laps around here over the years.

“He hasn’t had the chance to do many races at Mosport in recent years so he can’t wait to get out there.”


David Brabham

“This place has a lot of great memories for Panoz fans because we ended up with a 1-2 finish in 1999 and grabbed the first win for the Panoz LMP-01. I actually crossed the line first but had a penalty because one of the mechanics touched the car while we were refueling. That was strange because most of the penalties I ever got with Panoz were from my team-mate Jan Magnussen. Mosport is a very challenging racetrack. There are a lot of corners that are extremely fast and blind and you have no idea what could be over the brow of the hill. You have to rely very heavily on the marshalls here. It is the type of track where to do a fast lap you really have to hold your breath and go for it.” 

Scott Maxwell

“I literally grew up at Mosport. I was up there every weekend when I was a kid – 2 or 3 years old. I can actually recollect races there from 1970 when I was 6. My dad was a flagman, an amateur racer and clerk of the course. I can remember Mark Donahue and Bruce McLaren racing in Can-Am and all the Formula 1 races. There is a special feeling every time I head to Mosport, especially as the race is getting closer. Ron Fellows and I represent Canada at most of the races but the attention we’ll get this week is almost equal to what we get all year. There’s a lot of buzz going on around the area. I haven’t had the chance to race at Mosport for a couple of years so I am looking forward to the weekend – especially after a pretty productive test this week.” 

Gunnar Jeannette

“The crash in testing this week wasn’t the ideal start to preparations but the team was able to learn a great deal with Scotty in the other car. I dropped a wheel off the circuit while doing some diff testing with no traction control and the car just went around. The car didn’t look too bad on the outside but once we got it apart there was quite a bit of damage underneath. Being the home track for Multimatic, everybody is really looking forward to the weekend. I managed to win here last year in the Mustang in Grand-Am Cup so it would be great to repeat that again. We might get a bit of rain this weekend so that should certainly make things interesting.” 

Tom Milner

“When I first drove for Multimatic at Mosport last year in the Mustang I had no idea it would eventually lead to a full time drive. I had a fantastic race there last year and am really looking forward to racing the Esperante here this week. It will be very important for Gunnar, myself and the entire team to come away from this weekend with a strong result. All the guys have been working really hard all year but our luck hasn’t been on our side. We have made some strong improvements to the car in the last couple of weeks and the weather should be on our side. I have high hopes for the weekned.”