Panoz Motor Sports Signs Bill Auberlen For 2005 ALMS Assault
BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series continues to add to the 2005 driver line up with the announcement made by Panoz Motor Sports that Bill Auberlen will be a full time addition to the team piloting the No. 50 Panoz Esperante throughout the 2005 season beginning with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 19.
Panoz Motor Sports brought Auberlen to a frigid Road Atlanta circuit to announce that the experienced sportscar ace has signed with the team for the 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 title chase. For Auberlen, who hails from Redondo Beach, Calif., it was a bit of a return to the Panoz fold. Bill last piloted a Panoz Le Mans Prototype in the 2002 season.
"The Panoz Esperante is powerful and comfortable to drive fast", said Auberlen. "The track was below freezing for pretty much the whole morning, so we were only able to put in a couple of hours of track time in the afternoon. I'm excited to have been invited to help take the GT LM to the next competitive level. The car really has loads of potential and they've only scratched the surface. It's great to be back with the Panoz boys and we're all looking forward to racing against the Porsches this year. Based on this brief first outing, I expect we'll bring some excitement to the GT2 battleground next year."
"Signing Bill Auberlen is an enormous boost for us." said team General Manager, Ed Triolo. "It's confirmed the winter homework we've done since the end of the 2004 season, to see that even in near-freezing conditions, we were able to turn Road Atlanta within a few tenths of a second of our previous best time here. To be in such a position this early on before the season is also a credit to our partners at Elan Power Products, Pirelli and the engineering support of Elan Motorsport Technologies."
Rookie driver Jameson Riley (19) also had a stint behind the wheel on the day. Riley achieved some good lap times in his first outing and further benefitted from some coaching by Gunnar Jeannette. In 2004, Riley drove for the Volvo team in the SPEED World Challenge GT series alongside Derek Bell and has been a top level contender in the Barber Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Series. Jameson hails from Wilton, Conn.