Panoz, PTG hoping to build on Sebring podium; Team enters second Esperante GTLM for Sutherland, Phinney On the heels of a solid third-place GT2 podium finish to open the 2009 American Le Mans Series season, Panoz Team PTG has entered a second ...
Panoz, PTG hoping to build on Sebring podium; Team enters second Esperante GTLM for Sutherland, Phinney
On the heels of a solid third-place GT2 podium finish to open the 2009 American Le Mans Series season, Panoz Team PTG has entered a second Panoz Esperante GTLM for the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. Sebring teammates Dominik Farnbacher and Ian James will drive the lead entry with Tom Sutherland and newcomer Ryan Phinney in the second car.
Farnbacher and James ran in podium position most of the day at the season- opening 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Their Panoz Esperante survived a heated battle with a Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche after the two cars came together with less than two hours left and James defending third place.
The result marked the best finish at Sebring for the Panoz since a 2006 class victory. James climbed the podium for the first time since winning the LMP2 class at Sebring in 2005, and Farnbacher made the podium at Sebring for the first time.
Farnbacher enters St. Petersburg as the defending GT2 champion, having won last year's race with Dirk Muller in a Ferrari F430 GT.
In the second car, Sutherland will make his second consecutive St. Petersburg start for Panoz Team PTG. He finished sixth in class last with Tommy Milner with the pairing's best showing in 2008 a fourth-place showing at Salt Lake City.
Phinney will make his first start in the American Le Mans Series and at the St. Petersburg street circuit. He has past experience in sports cars and is a former karting national champion.
The next race for the American Le Mans Series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg from the St. Petersburg street circuit. The green flag is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 4. ABC Sports will televise the race live beginning at 1:30 p.m. Live Timing & Scoring and American Le Mans Radio can be found at the new americanlemans.com. Satellite radio subscribers can hear the race live from 1 to 3:30 p.m. ET on XM Channel 244 and Sirius Channel 126.
The race also will mark the first street race for the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge. For tickets, visit americanlemans.com or gpstpete.com.