PGTS: Panoz GT Sebring race notes

South African Fourie Wins Panoz GT Pro Event At Sebring 'Going Away' Son of '60 Indy Winner Takes 3rd In Pro Debut Official Results Panoz Pro GT @ Sebring March 15, 2002 Tops Faster GTS Field SEBRING, Fla., March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- SEBRING ...

South African Fourie Wins Panoz GT Pro Event At Sebring 'Going Away' Son of '60 Indy Winner Takes 3rd In Pro Debut

Official Results Panoz Pro GT @ Sebring March 15, 2002 Tops Faster GTS Field

SEBRING, Fla., March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY -- South African Johan Fourie captured his second Panoz GT Pro Series event with a commanding pole-to-pole win over 25 other cars late this afternoon in the official support race leading up to tomorrow's historic 50th running 12 Hours of Sebring and the American Le Mans Series.

Fourie who says he likes driving the big engine coupes crossed the finish line nearly 23 seconds ahead of his closest challenger.

Second in the GTS class went to owner-driver Eddie Mady of Roca Raton, Florida, who took delivery of his car only four days prior to the race. Third went Scott Loftfield whose exciting but aggressive driving in pursuit of Fourie and late race spin outs cost him the higher podium finish.

In the GT class, consistent winner Gavin Riches of Ft Myers, Florida, held off persistent rival and former Women's Global GT Series ranked driver, Audrey Zavodsky of New Boston, Michigan. Their competitive finishes pushed them to 6th and 7th overall well ahead of seven other GTS cars.

Third place finish in the GT class went to rookie pro driver Jim Rathmann of Merritt Island, Florida, son of the 1960 Indianapolis 500, the elder Jim Rathmann who was on hand to see his son's debut.

This year marks the second time the Panoz GT Pro Racing Series opened its season at Sebring. In the largest field to date, 26 rising GT Pros participated in the timed event at the legendary 3.7-mile track.

In the Panoz GT Pro Series, racers compete in a two classes, GT and GTS.

GT racers drive 4.6-liter, 320-horsepower cars owned and set up to specification by Panoz Racing Series. In the GTS class, cars are privately owned, 5.8-liter, carbureted cars putting out 385 horsepower.

<pre> GT Finishers Place Name 1 Gavin Riches, Fort Myers, FL 2 Audrey Zavodsky, New Boston, MI 3 Jim Rathmann, Merritt Island, FL 4 Larry Hampton, Evansville, IN 5 Steve Elias, Parkland, FL 6 Scott Turner, Melbourne,FL 7 Dave Colledge, Roswell, GA 8 Rick Skelton, Atlanta, GA 9 Brad Nyberg, Houston, TX 10 Belinda Endress, Newbury Park, CA 11 Gary Schulteis, Boca Raton, FL 12 Greg Sullivan, Albuquerque, NM 13 Bob Frost, Beaver Creek, OH 14 Ed Braswell, Key West, FL 15 Randy Wars, Mexico City (DNS)

GTS Finishers 1 Johan Fourie, Cape Town, South Africa 2 Eddie Mady, Boca Raton, FL 3 Scott Loftfield, Jacksonville, FL 4 Joe Graziano, Chicago, IL 5 Larry Huang, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 6 Matt Barrows, McKinney, TX 7 Don Barnes, Irving, TX 8 Michael Cawley, Atlanta, GA 9 Rod Strub, Roswell, GA 10 Patrick Hong, Newport Beach, CA 11 David Barr, Duluth, GA 12 Brad Ward, Marietta, GA

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Brad Ward , Larry Huang , Michael Cawley , Rick Skelton , Brad Nyberg , Belinda Endress , Joe Graziano , Scott Turner , Ed Braswell , Randy Wars , Eddie Mady , Audrey Zavodsky , Gavin Riches