CHAMPCAR/CART: Teams take delivery of Panoz DP01 chassis

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES TEAMS TAKE FIRST DELIVERY OF NEW PANOZ DP01 CHAMP CARS INDIANAPOLIS (December 20, 2006) -- Christmas literally came early for the 10 teams that expect to contest for the Champ Car World Series title next season as Santa ...

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES TEAMS TAKE FIRST DELIVERY OF NEW PANOZ DP01 CHAMP CARS

INDIANAPOLIS (December 20, 2006) -- Christmas literally came early for the 10 teams that expect to contest for the Champ Car World Series title next season as Santa Claus personally introduced each team to the Future of Racing this morning at Champ Car's Indianapolis headquarters.

Champ Car teams from Michigan to California descended upon Indianapolis to take delivery of the new Panoz DP01 Champ Cars, which will serve as the exclusive car to the series in 2007. The newly-constructed cars arrived Monday in Indianapolis from the Elan Motorsports facility in Braselton, Georgia, and each team was greeted with a carbon-fiber machine distinguishable from the others only by a car number and a team logo affixed to the nose.

"We look at today as the actual start of the 2007 season," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "This has been an exciting process, watching the new Champ Car take shape. From the first design sketches to wind tunnel testing and now to see the cars going to our teams, it has been a very rewarding experience for all of us and I couldn't be happier about the way our team as well as the team from Elan Motorsports Technologies have performed throughout the process."

Wednesday's delivery completed a year-long process that carried the new Champ Car from design to construction and included a rigorous testing schedule that saw former driver Roberto Moreno put 2,500 miles on a single car during three weeks at Sebring International Raceway. After that the car went on the road, running exhibition laps in Australia and Mexico City before becoming the first Champ Car ever to turn laps in China, completing successful show laps at Zhuhai in advance of 2007's inaugural Champ Car event.

"In all my years of experience in motorsport, I have never known a situation where a manufacturer was able to deliver as many as ten "all-new" race cars of this complexity before Christmas," said EMT CEO David Bowes. "It is a tremendous feat and everyone at Elan should be proud of what they have accomplished. In just over one year we have designed, developed and built a prototype car, undertaken over two thousand miles of successful testing, and then built ten production cars. The plan is to continue on and build thirty-five cars before the start of 2007 season."

"This has been a very rewarding process for all of us and to see the entire plan come to fruition today is something we can all be proud of," said Champ Car Director of Technology Scot Elkins. "The thing that I am most proud of is the fact that the schedule we laid out almost a year ago has gone as close to plan as any project could go. It is a testament to the hard work of everyone concerned, not only at Champ Car and Elan, but also with all of our suppliers and partners."

EMT and Champ Car will continue production of the new DP01 chassis, constructing batches of five cars at a time until the 2007 goal of 35 is reached. Meanwhile, Daryl Fox of the newly-christened Minardi Team USA summed up the feelings of the teams as he and some of his teammates were the first to roll their new cars out of the Champ Car warehouse and on to the trailer.

"Gotta go man," Fox grinned. "Got work to do."

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno , Steve Johnson