Team Panoz Racing completed the first comprehensive Panoz Avezzano GTS test at Road Atlanta last week, checking all systems, dialing in the new race car’s setup, and gathering the performance data needed to prepare for its debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 10-12, 2017.
Upon the completion of the two-day test Team Manager Tom Milner said the outing was an overall success, but added the team returned to the shop knowing a lot of work remained to be done. The crew is devoting long hours preparing the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GTS in these final days before the St. Petersburg, Fla. races.
Ian James, who joined Team Panoz Racing in January for the full Pirelli World Challenge Championship season, also spent long hours with the team and on the track to best prepare the brand new race car for its first race weekend. One fortunate benefit is James’ familiarity with Panoz sports cars, having raced various Panoz machines during his successful 18-year career. James will drive the No. 50 Avezzano GTS in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class this season, starting with rounds one and two on the Streets of St. Petersburg circuit.
Team Panoz Racing also welcomes Stefan Pfeiffer, who assumes the team’s race engineer responsibilities for the Pirelli World Challenge Championship season.
The race car is based on the new Panoz Avezzano sports car, the latest street legal Panoz creation featuring Panoz hallmarks – aluminum-intensive construction, an American V8, and a proper manual gearbox.
The green flag for Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship Race No. 1 drops at 12:15 pm EST, Friday, March 10. Race No. 2 is at 12:55 pm on Saturday, March 11. CBS Sports Network will broadcast the GTS race on Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 pm EST. Live video streaming and other video content is available at www.motortrendondemand.com and www.world-challenge.com/video/. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat for up-to-the-minute updates.
“After our first two days with a new car, I have to say it’s been a good test. In all of my years of racing, I can’t ever remember having tested a brand new car with so few problems. But it’s not all roses; there’s still a lot to do before we head to St. Petersburg. We ended the day with a degree of confidence we’ll do well, and I think that in itself speaks well of the whole crew. The mechanics, the engineers, the designers, everyone at Team Panoz Racing, as well as Ian [James] have all worked very hard and as a team and devoted a lot of hours to get ready. It’s really terrific, and all deserve credit. I am very proud of the team.”
“For a new car rollout, yesterday was very successful and today we made continuous progress. We had quite a list to go through. Obviously with any new car you have that. But we went through them and ticked off all the boxes. I’m very happy with the car. It’s very enjoyable to drive, and I’m definitely looking forward to the first race.”