Pirelli-Shod Panoz Heads GT2 Times at Sebring

Pirelli-Shod Panoz Heads GT2 Times at Sebring in First Official ALMS Test of 2006 Season Class Lap Record Bettered by Over Two Seconds Sebring, Fl., Jan. 25, 2006 In the first official testing for the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the three-day event this week at Sebring, the Pirelli-shod Multimatic Panoz Esperante headed the GT2 leader board with an astounding 2.02.585 lap time with Canadian Scott Maxwell at the wheel, more than two seconds quicker than the existing lap record for the class. This year's GT2 championship is expected to be the most competitive yet, with up to five different car manufacturers and three different tyre companies fighting for the title. The Multimatic team, underlining the seriousness of their effort, took the opportunity at Sebring to announce that established sports car star and ex-Formula 1 driver David Brabham is joining the team and will partner Maxwell for the whole season. Of course, the 12 Hours of Sebring demands endurance as well as outright speed. Although individual lap times in test sessions can be deceptive, Peter Tyson, vice president of Advertising, PR and Motorsport for Pirelli Tire North America, was very enthused by the Panoz performance. "Those times were set on endurance tyres that showed virtually zero drop-off in performance over a full stint of driving, which means that both Pirelli and Panoz are surely going to be a significant force in the 2006 championship", commented Tyson. Pirelli Tire North America specializes in the manufacture and marketing of highperformance car, light truck and motorcycle tyres and currently has four of its highly advanced MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) modules in operation in its newest automated production facility in Rome, Georgia, to better serve the American OEM and Replacement markets. For more information and pictures on Pirelli's motorsport activities visit www.pirellicompetizioni.com