News

Multimatic Panoz in Texas – “Houston We Have a Problem”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOUSTON, TX (May 13th, 2006) – Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz endured a tough time in tonight’s Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston, Texas with both cars suffering mechanical problems.

David Brabham and Scott Maxwell finished sixth in the GT2 class after enduring delays due to an incorrect tire choice and later suffering a suspension failure.

However, their team-mates Gunnar Jeannette and Tom Milner were not so fortunate. A broken valve spring eliminated the American young guns after only six laps of the Reliant Park street circuit.

With limited track time in the lead-up to tonight’s 2 hour, 45 minute sprint race, the Multimatic squad selected a tire compound which proved too soft for the Texas street circuit.

Scott Maxwell started in the #50 car and soon found himself struggling with a lack of grip. The team pitted early with David Brabham climbing aboard the car and the crew fitting the same Pirelli compound which the Panoz squad used successfully to win the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Brabham began a comeback – charging back past the Risi Ferrari as he began to un-lap himself. Unfortunately, the return to form came unstuck with only 26 minutes remaining when the #50 Panoz Esperante GTLM suffered broken rear suspension.

Fast work by the team put Maxwell back on track to complete the final few laps.

“Unfortunately, I made a tire selection that was just too soft,” Multimatic Vice President and Motorsports Technical Director, Larry Holt said.

“Pirelli gave us a fantastic compound which worked perfectly at Sebring and once we went back to that tire, the car was incredibly fast. Brabs was actually on the radio saying the Ferrari was holding him up.

“Once he got past, he was able to pull out a gap easily. As things turned out, the bumps eventually took its toll and we broke a part in the rear suspension.

“We put Scotty back in at the end on the right tires and he was super fast as well. We have still come out of here with a few points so it is not a complete disaster.

“Tom and Gunnar were really unlucky. They had a valve spring fail which put them out of action basically before they got the chance to have a real go.

“Mid Ohio should suit our car a lot better next week – that’s what we will focus on now.”

Quotes

David Brabham

“After we changed tires the car was getting better and better as the race continued but we broke a rod end in the rear suspension. It was a bit of a painful night but at least we picked up some points. We now have to put our heads down and focus on Mid Ohio. At least we came out of the weekend with two straight cars and no body damage at all.”

Scott Maxwell

“I had a really hard time early and we lost a lap and half and had to pit early. Once David got in the car and we switched back to the Pirelli Sebring compound he was flying. When I got back in at the finish, it was like night and day – the car was really good. We’ve had a tough night but there is no need to panic – I am sure Mid Ohio will be a lot better for us.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“I though we might be due for a change of luck after Sebring but it looks like we will have to wait one more round. The car was fantastic in the warm-up but the engine problem hit really early in the race and didn’t even get a chance to get in the car. Tom and I certainly plan to turn this around at Mid Ohio.”

Tom Milner

“I had only done three laps when I lost all power coming onto the straight. The guys tried to fix it because they thought a coil had gone bad or something but it had broken a valve spring. We were really happy with the car all week – we didn’t change a thing after the warm-up. The car felt really strong but we never got a chance to race.”