New Panoz Esperante GT-LM Shows Strength in Sebring Testing
BRASELTON, GA.- With its toughest testing session ever completed, the new Panoz Esperante GT-LM American Le Mans Series race car, built by Elan Motorsports Technologies (EMT), is causing its designers and builders to be increasingly confident that the car has the potential to be competitive in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series.
The car endured a rigorous testing session recently at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway. With the 3.7-mile track still in racing condition following the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the goal of the test was to measure the performance of the Esperante GT-LM against other cars of the ALMS GT class that had just competed in the 12-hour endurance race.
"We wanted to take the car out and really pound it around," said David Bowes, CEO of EMT. "The intention was to measure the car's capabilities compared to the GT results from the race, but also to find any problems or bugs that might develop and solve them. We wanted to achieve this on a track surface that was in racing condition.
"We were very pleased," he said. "The car responded to all changes and was very consistent all day. We were able to get some very important feedback."
Bowes said that EMT would continue its testing and development of the car, with testing sessions planned for the coming weeks at Road Atlanta and potentially at other venues. The car is expected to make its racing debut later this year at an ALMS event to be determined following more testing.
Based on the Panoz Esperante road car built by Panoz Auto Development, the GT-LM is powered by a 4.6 litre modular V-8 engine from Elan Power Products.
EMT, located in Braselton, Ga., is a multi-faceted motorsports company founded by entrepreneur Don Panoz. EMT subsidiary Panoz G-Force designed and built the winning chassis for the 2003 Indianapolis 500 and 2003 Indy Racing League, and the impressive EMT portfolio also includes Van Diemen International, the world's largest volume manufacturer of single-seater racing cars. EMT subsidiaries are currently building the next-generation car for the Star Mazda Series and the new STRANA Super Truck.