PANOZ EARNS FIRST AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT2 WIN Braselton, Ga. - The day could not have been more perfect for the exciting conclusion of the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta where Panoz Motor Sports finished on top of the American Le Mans...
PANOZ EARNS FIRST AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT2 WIN
Braselton, Ga. - The day could not have been more perfect for the exciting conclusion of the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta where Panoz Motor Sports finished on top of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 class podium for the first time.
The No. 50 Panoz Esperante GTLM piloted by Bill Auberlen and Robin Liddell managed to edge out the team of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3. This ends the seven-race Porsche win streak that began at Infineon Raceway in 2004.
Starting from the front of the GT2 field as a result of the first Panoz GT2 pole position set by Auberlen, the Panoz Esperante GTLM led all but 43 minutes of the two-hour and 45 minute race. Liddell successfully blocked the No. 23 Porsche for the last 10 minutes of the sprint to the finish until Bernhard tapped Liddell's right rear bumper sending him into a spin. Bernhard was immediately black flagged by IMSA for a stop and go penalty, ultimately giving the lead back to the No. 50. The Esperante was credited with a 27.5 second margin of victory.
On site at Road Atlanta for the win were Don Panoz, founder of the ALMS, and his son, Dan, President of Panoz Auto Development (makers of the Panoz Esperante consumer sports car).
"This is the culmination of hard work and preparation," said Don Panoz. "The credit goes to the team for their sincere dedication to building a successful racing team. The fact that we are at the top of the podium is incredible and the win is shared with all of our partners especially Pirelli. I could not have asked for a better (70th) birthday present!"
Panoz Motor Sports will now head to Round 3 of the 2005 ALMS schedule at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a win under its belt and a confidence to keep the momentum going.