PGTS: Son beats father at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2001) -- Brian Angen of San Jose, Calif., started first and led all the way to beat his father and 18 others in the inaugural race for the new Panoz GT Pro Series Friday at Sebring International Raceway. ...

SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2001) -- Brian Angen of San Jose, Calif., started first and led all the way to beat his father and 18 others in the inaugural race for the new Panoz GT Pro Series Friday at Sebring International Raceway. Angen finished 18.5 seconds ahead of his father, Rocky, in the 30-minute timed event. The 20-car field included 13 GTS-class cars and seven GT, all Panoz Esperantes. Gavin Riches, a native of New Zealand, won the hotly-contested GT class and finished eighth overall. Sonja Bayer of Germany, the champion of the Women's Global GT Series in 2000, finished second in GT. "Once the green flag fell, I punched," said Angen. "Lap after lap, I was just putting the hammer down. When I realized I had a bit of a lead, I backed off slightly to make sure I had a smooth and consistent race. I treated it like a 24-hour race, trying not to overuse the car." His father, who started third, conceded the race to his son. "Even if I had a hundred more horsepower, I couldn't catch him," he said. "He's such a good driver." Paul Liccardo of Braselton, Ga., finished third, followed by Gary Curtis of Chanhasen, Minn., and Dave Dunlap of Livermore, Calif. Riches, who was the Panoz Racing School series champion in 2000, was competing in his first pro race. Though he led the GT class the entire race, he had to fight off challenges from Bayer over the final laps. "It was a tough race," he said. "My brakes were going there at the end, but especially my tires were going away. I had to struggle to save them and take it easy." The Panoz GT Pro Series, which will have three races this year, is an outgrowth of the former Women's Global GT Series and the Panoz Racing School series. The GTS cars are privately entered, while the GT cars are equally-prepared by the racing school crew and drivers draw for the car they will compete in. The next race will be in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series event at Mosport International Raceway in August.

-PGTS

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Gavin Riches