Panoz surprised by Premier's announcement of Adelaide race cancel

BRASELTON, Ga. (February 23, 2001) -- American Le Mans Series founder Don Panoz was "shocked and disappointed" to learn that South Australia Premier John Olsen, speaking at a political luncheon on Friday in Adelaide, announced the ...

BRASELTON, Ga. (February 23, 2001) -- American Le Mans Series founder Don Panoz was "shocked and disappointed" to learn that South Australia Premier John Olsen, speaking at a political luncheon on Friday in Adelaide, announced the cancellation of the scheduled Dec. 2 Asia-Pacific Le Mans Series event on the Adelaide street circuit. Panoz, who had just returned to the United States from a 10-day trip to Adelaide to finalize details of the second annual event, was notified of Olsen's announcement Friday morning (U.S. Eastern time) at his offices in Georgia. "The Premier's announcement was unexpected, and I was shocked and disappointed to learn he had made it," said Panoz, who indicated that his Australian partner, Dean Rainsford, and Glenn Cooper, sponsor of the event through Coopers Brewery, were also surprised by the announcement. Olsen was speaking at a Liberal Party lunch at an Adelaide hotel, and Panoz said that he and Rainsford are aware of external forces that may have prompted Olsen to make such an announcement. The inaugural Race of a Thousand Years, held Dec. 31 at Adelaide, attracted 144,000 attendees over three days of activity. Panoz said that his organization will begin actively pursuing various options within the Australian market. "We are optimistic that with the success of the inaugural event in Adelaide that we will find a way to bring our racing teams back to Australia," Panoz said.

- Andy Hall

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Series ALMS
Drivers Glenn Cooper , Don Panoz