Panoz Steps It Up In 2005 With Two Esperantes In The American Le Mans Series and Robin Liddell added to driver line-up
Braselton, Ga. - Braselton, Ga. - Panoz Motor Sports, the heart of the American Le Mans Series, has announced that it will run two Panoz Esperante GTLM entries during the 2005 ALMS season. The team will keep the No. 50 and will add the No. 51 Esperante to its arsenal beginning with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in mid-March. Drivers for the second entry will be announced at a later date. In addition to Bill Auberlen, Panoz also announced that Robin Liddell will co-pilot one of the entries this season.
Liddell will commence his fourth ALMS season on the heels of his most successful campaign yet. Versed in both GT and prototype competition, Liddell started the 2004 season with PK Sport and registered a 15th place finish at Sebring. He was signed by Intersport Racing shortly thereafter, and spent the balance of the year competing with and against both Jon and Clint Field. At Mid-Ohio, Liddell drove with C. Field to win in the LMP2 class finishing fifth among all entrants. Liddell returned with the Fields again, taking the checkered flag at both Infineon and Portland. Liddell and C. Field drove to their fourth P2 victory lane appearance at Mosport. The duo returned to winning form at Petit Le Mans adding Milka Duno as third driver. At the season closer, Liddell and C. Field clinched their seventh LMP2 win of the season with third driver Rick Sutherland at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"Liddell is a great fit for the team, said General Manager of Panoz Motor Sports Ed Triolo. "His talent, drive to win and experience with the circuits and with Pirelli are major plusses that will give the team an extra edge this season. Our goal is to enhance the reputation of the Panoz Esperante sports car. We have no illusions about the effort needed to challenge decades of Porsche racing success but neither are we daunted by it. Bottom line - credible challenger to Porsche equals brand success."
The Panoz team has certainly been concentrating on improving performance over the course of the "off-season" this time with two Esperantes instead of one. Newly acquired racing star Bill Auberlen is excited about the venture and the first race of the season.
"We've been doing a lot of development in the last two months and it shows great promise," Auberlen reported. "I can't wait until we debut this car and the team. I can't wait to drive those first laps at Sebring International Raceway, in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 19. Sebring is one of my favorite tracks in the world, and if this car runs as good in the race as it's been in testing, we should have a great shot."