Following two wins yesterday, both the #50 driven by Ian James and Mathew Keegan, and the #51 driven by Preston Calvert finish second in the Pro/Am and Am classes respectively during the final round of the GTS Sprint-X Championship.
Aug. 12, 2018, Tooele, Utah. –
A second day of podiums for both Panoz Avezzanos at Utah Motorsports Campus. Starting on pole, the #50 driven by Ian James and Mathew Keegan finished second, reversing the positions of yesterday’s race with the #69 driven by Harry Gottsacker. Starting in eighth, the #50 driven by Preston Calvert, had an eventful race, but finished second in class, ninth overall.
From the first corner, the race proved it was going to be challenging. With the first yellow flag being called and sand in the air making visibility almost impossible, both James and Calvert lost ground to second and 13th respectively, but managed to avoid damage or being caught up in the accident. As the race continued, Calvert made up positions and was running third in class prior to pitting.
After pit stops timed to perfection, Calvert returned to the track in second and Keegan returned to the track leading the race. Calvert made expert work of the traffic and was soon leading the Am class before accident struck again, causing the #51 to move back to third. With only one lap under green at the end of the race, Calvert made ground and snuck past the #71 to take the checkered flag second in class, ninth overall. Keegan put on a strong performance but with only one lap, was not able to get around Gottsacker in the #69, so also crossed the finish line in second.
A strong weekend for both Panoz Avezzanos, each taking a win and a second during the final round of the GTS Sprint-X Championship.
Next up for Team Panoz Racing are PWC GTS & GTSA Championship rounds seven and eight at the GP of Watkins Glen, August 31- September 2, 2018, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York. This will be the final race weekend of the GTS Championship.
“What a weekend. Double podium finish. Everybody on the team has been working so hard all year to get these results. Matt drove a stellar last stint, and I think we sneaked third in the Championship in the last Sprint X event. Let’s head to Watkins Glen and get a couple more wins.”
“Given a bit longer I feel we could have got a second victory but unfortunately it wasn’t to be with the final long yellow flag. Our car was definitely better on the longer run. Another great weekend for the team. A weekend with two podiums is pretty cool and we secured third in the Championship.”
Dr. Preston Calvert*
“Today was a very different race. I had a good starting position and was able to come through the first corner and first few turns without any damage to the car which was reassuring. The field began to spread out and I began to track down the cars ahead of me. The race then became bursts of green running, punctuated by long full course yellows for contact. I managed the restarts the best that I could and ultimately was able to get past the car running second in class on the white flag lap, to finish second. I’m very grateful to my crew chief, Richard Hassel, and all of the Panoz crew for giving me an outstanding car this weekend. I look forward to our final Sprint races at Watkins Glen in three- weeks’ time.”
* Dr. Calvert, a nationally-recognized neurologist and neuro-ophthalmologist for more than over 30 years, serves as a media advisor to the Pirelli World Challenge Safety Team and also is director of the series’ new mTBI (minimal Traumatic Brain Injury) Screening Program for driver safety as part of the protocol for possible concussion testing among PWC drivers.
“This was the best weekend for results we’ve had since we started racing in the GTS class with Pirelli World Challenge last year. We are very happy with the job that we did. We couldn’t have done any better of a job, given the circumstances in Race 2. Looking forward to rounding out the season at Watkins Glen.”
Honoring Those Who Serve
Team Panoz Racing in a partnership with Hometown Heroes Racing proudly displays the badges of the U.S. Fire, Police and EMS services on the Nos. 50 and 51 Avezzano GT race cars to honor those who dedicate their lives to serve our nation and protect, defend and save the lives of complete strangers every day. Michael E. Murphy, RN, EMT-P, founded Hometown Heroes Racing in 2014 with the sole focus of building honor and camaraderie amongst first responders and the military.