All-new Panoz the car to beat for 2001?

Next year's all-new Panoz Roadster is potential Le Mans 24 Hours winner first time out - that's the verdict of marque boss Don Panoz

All-new Panoz the car to beat for 2001?

"I think we've got a good chance," said the American on the unveiling of a 40% model of the car. "I thought that the first time we went back in 1997, but I'm smarter now. We know this car should be better than what we've got now [the two-year-old LMP Roadster S] and we're not that far behind."

The 2001 Panoz is a clean-sheet of paper design from the pen of Englishman Andy Thorby that takes advantage of bespoke Panoz engine built in conjunction with Zytek in Britain. Like all previous designs from the American marque, its engine is mounted up front ahead of the driver.

Thorby said: "The major objective was to make best advantage of the new engine, which is very low and has a low centre of gravity. Everything has been designed to complement that."

Thorby explained that the frontal area of the car had been reduced by approximately 12% over the existing Roadster S. "As a result the car is more efficient in terms of lift over drag, although we are not going to divulge any numbers."

The new Panoz powerplant replaces the Ford-based pushrod V8 used since 1997. Don Panoz said: "I think the Ford is the best engine out there, but we decided we could improve on that.

Zytek boss Bill Gibson said: "It's pretty obvious that if you put the engine in the front of the car that you've got to make it as small and as low as possible. We looked at all the scenarios and came up with a four-litre V8."

The Panoz engine weighs more than 70kg lighter than the Ford and hits the scales in endurance trim at 111kg, not far off a contemporary Formula 1 powerplant.

The new V8 has already completed 500 miles of trouble-free testing in a previous-generation Panoz, while the new car should hit the track at the end of October. Initial shakedown tests will be done in England, where the monocoque has been built, before the first chassis is shipped to Panoz HQ in the US.

The new car, which has yet to be assigned a type number, should make its debut in the finale round of this years American Le Mans Series at Adelaide on December 31. The team's number one pairing, David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, are expected to drive.

shares
comments
Terrien claims pole on home territory
Previous article

Terrien claims pole on home territory

Next article

Auberlen flips at Road Atlanta

Auberlen flips at Road Atlanta
The F1 technology behind Mercedes’ Nordschleife record hypercar  Plus

The F1 technology behind Mercedes’ Nordschleife record hypercar 

It’s taken over half a decade of development but now the Mercedes-AMG One is here – boasting 1048bhp from a Formula 1-based hybrid powertrain and smashing the Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record for a production car with Maro Engel at the wheel last month. ROBERT HOLMES wonders if it can now claim to be the ultimate hypercar...

GT
Nov 30, 2022
How to get the best out of amateur racers Plus

How to get the best out of amateur racers

Pro-Am GT racing is booming. But how should drivers approach working with an amateur? Autosport sought out a panel of experts to explain the pitfalls amateur drivers should avoid and how professionals can help them to achieve their goals

GT
Apr 3, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021