PSCR: Visteon Panoz Racing Team Victorious at Mosport
10 August 1998BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, August 9 -- The fans at the Mosport Festival GT/World Sports Car race saw wheel-to-wheel and passing action, as well as a photo finish with a .324 second split between first and second places. The duel was between the two Visteon Panoz Racing Team entries -- the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 driven by David Brabham and Andy Wallace, and the #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 driven by Eric Bernard and Raul Boesel.
Brabham and Wallace finished the 2 hour and 45 minute Mosport Festival WSC/GT race first in class and third overall, battling the WSC entrants of Ferrari and Dyson as well as their fellow Visteon Panoz Racing Team drivers Bernard and Boesel in the #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1. Brabham set the fastest race lap in the GT1 class at 1:14.695 at 118.530mph, quicker than his GT1 record-setting qualifying lap of 1:14.710. The race lap record was set in 1997 by Andy Wallace in a Panoz GTR-1 with a 1:18.634 at 112.577mph.
This race marks the seventh GT1 class win for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team in the 1998 sports car season.
David Brabham was very tired as he exited the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 after the contest. "It was great racing Eric in the last few laps -- the best racing we've had all season," he said. "It was a fantastic event. I've got to thank the whole Visteon Panoz Racing Team, who did an excellent job, as well as Michelin, giving us strong, reliable tires."
In the Professional Sports Car Racing points race, the Visteon Panoz Racing Team remains the leader in the GT1 class in the manufacturer and team championships. The Visteon Panoz Racing Team drivers also hold the top four spots in the GT1 driver's championship.
"We're right in the middle of a great points championship for the drivers," said Andy Wallace, co-driver of the #4 Visteon Panoz GTR-1. "The competitiveness between us is great -- a lot of fun for us and for the fans. The Visteon Panoz was very strong today, perfectly suited to Mosport International Raceway with its many high-speed corners."
Eric Bernard drove #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 to a second place finish in GT1 and fourth overall. Bernard is also David Brabham's teammate in the 1998 FIA GT World Championship, driving the #3 DAMS Visteon Panoz GTR-1. "It was a great race because David and I were so close," he said. "The Visteon Panoz was nice and consistent. Everybody on the Visteon Panoz Racing Team worked very hard, and the Michelin tires were up to the task. David is my teammate in the FIA GT Championship, so I tried to be fair with him, but it was tough."
Co-driver of the #5 Visteon Panoz GTR-1 was Raul Boesel, who ran into some traffic during his stint. "Even though I got stuck in some traffic, the Visteon Panoz GTR-1 has proven very reliable, which is our main concern," he said. "The track was quite challenging because it was a hot day, but I love the layout -- it is a very enjoyable track to drive."
"I'm delighted with the result -- first and second, and very very close, " said Tony Dowe, managing director of Panoz Motor Sports. "It can be difficult in my position for our cars to be that close -- unfortunately somebody has to be second, but it was so close it could have gone either way. The relationship between the drivers in a competitive situation was very good, so what more could I ask?"
Don Panoz, founder of Panoz Motor Sports enjoyed watching his cars battle with the WSC entrants and each other. "The fans at Mosport saw some great racing today," he said. "I'd like to thank our partners at Visteon and Roush, as well as the team, for giving us an exciting race with a split-second finish."
"Incredible, that's the only word which adequately describes our joy at this moment," said Charlie Szuluk, president, Visteon Automotive Systems. "This is a great day for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team, which has proven to be a winner."
The next race for the Visteon Panoz Racing Team is the First Union Six Hours of the Glen, at Watkins Glen International Raceway, August 23, 1998.