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Champ Car Confirm Panoz Deal

Champ Car officials have confirmed that Panoz will be the sole supplier of Champ Cars for three years from 2007

The Panoz DP01 will be built by sister company Elan Motorsports Technologies and will be powered by a turbo-charged Ford-Cosworth engine.

Panoz won the fiercely contested battle with current majority supplier Lola to build the car, with a design that will give teams significant cost savings over the current machine. Early estimates are that the car will cost 35 per cent less than the current Lola, with spare parts costs being slashed in half.

"The reduction in cost of the Panoz DP01 and Cosworth engine will benefit Champ Car's teams immensely," said Tony Cotman, Champ Car vice president of operations. "The design and cost will keep our current teams in the series but will also attract new teams to the series.

"Combined with the reduced cost, the new design also makes the Champ Car World Series even more of a driver's series. The lighter, smaller car means teams will rely even more on the drivers to achieve maximum performance."

The DP01 has been designed to better suit the street courses that now dominate the schedule, but will still be able to run on permanent road courses and ovals.

The car is smaller than the current Champ Car in both length and width and weighs 165 pounds less aiming at providing a more nimble and quicker machine. It has been designed to improve the ability to pass and follow cars in the dirty air, with smaller wings and bigger tunnels to create less aerodynamic turbulence. There is an on-board starter to reduce yellow-flag time during events.

The design also has improved safety features including upgrades to the head protection and seat back areas, increased leg padding. It incorporates a collapsible steering column, new side intrusion panels and a two-stage nose crush and a rear crash structure for oval events.

Champ Car president Steve Johnson said: "We are extremely excited about the potential that the Panoz DP01 chassis built by Elan Motorsports Technologies and the Ford-Cosworth engine bring to the Champ Car World Series.

"This combination benefits Champ Car not only by providing a strong package for our current teams, but also by giving prospective teams an opportunity to be competitive right away."

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