Palttala 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," he explained.

Palttala spent 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.

"It's not 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


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