Tom Drewer Panoz GT2 test notes

Drewer tests Panoz Team PTG American Le Mans Series GT2 car. Young Australian driver, Tom Drewer, had his first taste of the American Le Mans Series GT2 category after being invited to test a Panoz Team PTG Esperante GT2 car at Summit Point ...

Drewer tests Panoz Team PTG American Le Mans Series GT2 car.

Young Australian driver, Tom Drewer, had his first taste of the American Le Mans Series GT2 category after being invited to test a Panoz Team PTG Esperante GT2 car at Summit Point raceway, located in West Virginia, USA.

The twenty four year old and 2008 Champion of IMSA Lites 2, the feeder category to the American Le Mans series, is committed to one day racing against the best in world sportscars at the famed annual Le Mans 24 Hour event, to be held in France this weekend, and feels GT2 is the next logical step in his career.

"2008 was my first year of motorsport in North America after winning the Australian Thundersports sportscar Championship and selling up everything to pursue my goals.

I had an amazing start to my international motor racing career, winning ten from twelve races in the Lites 2 junior prototype category and taking the 2008 Championship for Daily Planet and West Race Cars.

This year I have stepped up from Lites 2 to Lites 1 and am racing a Panoz build Elan DP-02 prototype for Comprent Motor Sports, but my main focus for 2009 is to make the transition from the feeder category to the main game.

I am so grateful to Tom Milner and Panoz Team PTG for giving me this opportunity.

I had driven a couple of V8 Supercar events in Australia prior to coming to America, so I am familiar with big horsepower tin-tops.

In fact the Panoz is pretty similar really. Both the V8 Supercars I drove and the Panoz have a high power Ford V8 in the front, with the Supercar having around a 100 more horses, however the Panoz is a little lighter and has more grip with the wider rubber and traction control. But I felt very at home once again inside a production-based sportscar, staring at a Motec dash (Australian Company) with a Ford V8 thumping away.

My main focus for the test was to get used to driving a production based sportscar again after driving high down-force junior prototypes. It was fantastic to be able to experience the team and level of their professional operation, and gain insight into GT2 from the likes of Dominik Farnbacher, Ian James, Tom Sutherland and Tommy Milner.

The guys were very encouraging and I was pleased they were impressed at my pace given the little time I spent in the seat. In a car and circuit I'd never seen before.

I nearly had a GT2 drive with another team at Sebring this year, but they ended up not entering. Now I've checked the first box, actually driving one. The next step is getting on the grid."

Drewer is trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow South Australian Vern Schuppan, the only Australian ever to win Le Mans outright (Porsche, 1983), and the legendary David Brabham, who shared much success with Panoz in both the GT and Prototype categories and will attempt to win Le Mans outright this coming weekend with Peugeot.

Drewer will also be racing this weekend, in his Comprent Motor Sports, Daily Planet sponsored, Elan DP-02 prototype in two 45 minute sprint races for Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship to be held as part of the Mazda Formula X weekend at New Jersey Motorsport Park.

-credit: tomdrewer.com

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About this article
Series ALMS , IMSA Others
Drivers David Brabham , Ian James , Tommy Milner , Dominik Farnbacher , Tom Sutherland , Tom Drewer