DeltaWing and GTR-1 to pay tribute to Don Panoz
A DeltaWing coupe will return to the race track ahead of this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in tribute to the late Don Panoz
The demonstration by the DeltaWing-Mazda DWC13 prior to the start of the endurance blue-riband event established by Panoz in 1998 is part of a celebration of the life of the entrepreneur, who died last month at the age of 83.
The DeltaWing will be joined at the track he rescued in 1996 by a number of other cars fielded by the Panoz team over the past 20 years. A Panoz Esperante GTR-1 that raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1998 will undertake a one-lap demonstration together with the DeltaWing prior to the start of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale on Saturday.
Cars on static display will include a Panoz LMP1-01 from 2002 and a recreation of the Esperante GT-LM that won the GT2 class at Le Mans in 2006.
PANOZ / Esperante GTR-1 / 1998
Photo by: Marc Fleury
#0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing DWC13: Katherine Legge, Sean Rayhall
Photo by: Action Sports Photography
#82 Team LNT Panoz Esperante: Lawrence Tomlinson, Richard Dean, Robert Bell
Photo by: Richard Sloop
The DeltaWing will be driven by Johnny O'Connell, who claimed the first American Le Mans Series victory for Panoz at Mosport in 1999. At the wheel of the GTR-1 will be Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen, who made his name in sportscar racing with Panoz and was O'Connell's teammate at Mosport.
Panoz's wife, Nancy said: "Don has a lot of history with the Road Atlanta track and this race.
"I’m very happy we can have two of his most iconic cars do a lap of the track and it’s nice to have both Jan and Johnny back in a Panoz. I know that it would have made Don very happy.”
Panoz was one of the investors in the DeltaWing project ahead of its 2012 appearance in the 'Garage 56' experimental grid spot at Le Mans.
His team took over the design for 2013 and continued to run the car in the American Le Mans Series and then the IMSA series until the end of 2016.
Porsche to run retro 1998 liveries at Petit Le Mans
Vautier to sub for injured Barbosa at Petit Le Mans