At Road Atlanta
"It's my first time in a Ferrari, my first time in the U.S.
and obviously my first time at Road Atlanta," said a well-travelled
Markus Palttala today - but not nearly as well-travelled as he'll
be by the middle of the next week. After 10 laps on Friday at Jarama,
for the Le Mans Series race, the young Finn made his flight to Atlanta
with minutes to spare but found himself searching for a Wal-Mart
early Saturday morning in the US. "You know with the new restrictions
you can't bring toothpaste or anything like that, and I needed some,"
most of the morning today acquainting himself to the Risi F430 GTC,
already a three-time winner this year in the American Le Mans Series.
"I met everyone on the team for the first time this morning,"
he said. "They told me to take it easy and not worry about
pace. Just get comfortable with the car, and it was good."
As good as the
Porsche 911? He wasn't quite ready to say. "I've driven for
five years with Porsches, so I know them like the back of my hand."
It wouldn't be quite fair to make a direct comparison, given he
has turned only a handful of laps at the Georgia circuit.
an easy place. There are fast corners and blind corners," he
said. "The European circuits are wider but a bit more boring.
That's not really the case at Jarama, which isn't as wide and has
more bumps and ups and downs. I'm not sure about passing prototypes
here because of the speed differences."
With thanks to Ryan Smith