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Panoz Considering Options for Avezzano GT4

Panoz evaluating new opportunities for Avezzano GT4 amid recent SRO homologation…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

The Panoz Avezzano GT4 could soon be seen outside of Pirelli World Challenge competition, with multiple programs under consideration for the future, according to team manager Tom Milner.

The Georgia-based squad, which made its PWC debut last year running with an interim GTS version of the car, recently received full SRO GT4 homologation, which has opened the door for new opportunities both in North America and globally.

Milner, who came out of retirement to run the GT4 program, wouldn’t be drawn on a specific plan but admitted that in-house and customer-run efforts are currently being discussed, in addition to potentially remaining in PWC next year.

“We are primarily evaluating various options further to the Panoz Avezzano being granted GT4-homologated status by the SRO,” Milner told Sportscar365.

“Now that we have this, combined with the team’s history, Don’s history, my history, we have many more doors open to us that could be promising.”

It’s understood that among the options being evaluated include the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, which beginning next year will carry title sponsorship from Michelin as part of the tire manufacturer’s increased involvement in IMSA.

However, the car is currently not eligible for GS class competition, per an IMSA spokesperson.

“I think that’s where this racing team really belongs but that wasn’t possible last year because we didn’t have a [GT4-compliant] car,” Milner said. “They’re now also a GT4 series, and their rules are slightly different… and they have their own BoP.”

Team Committed to PWC Despite Concerns

Milner said he’s become increasingly concerned over incidents in PWC relating to his team, including several last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, although said they remain committed to the series.

The team expanded into a two-car entry this year with a customer effort for Preston Calvert in GTSA.

It’s GTS entry of Ian James, however, lost out on two podium finishes at CTMP, with the Englishman told to surrender his position on the final lap of Race 1 after contact with another car, while James was excluded from Race 2 due to the car not being equipped with a catalytic converter.

“It is fair to say that recent PWC officiating has given us cause for concern as to the safety of the series,” he said.

“To us, some of the decisions they make are questionable and inconsistent, and at some points appear unfair. That could be because they don’t have enough experience or not enough staff, but it has had several negative impacts on our team’s results that we feel could have been avoided.”

Additionally, Milner has been fined and banned from any further interactions with Race Control this year for “inappropriate language to officials” and “not exhibiting good sportsmanship” following the CTMP incident.

Milner indicated that Race Control took offense to his criticism over the recent calls.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Andy

    May 23, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Not sure if Milner has read the rules since he retired, other than maybe overseas he is stuck with PWC with the Avezzano. The Conti rules have specifically banned kit cars and others not available for the street so unless they start selling this thing soon I think he is out of luck. And doubt any Euro series would be any happier with them running outside of the rules in GT4 either, or being loud and abusive about it after the race.

    “Milner indicated that Race Control took offense to his criticism over the recent calls.” Really, do you think we are that stupid sir?? Think race control has heard all kinds of criticism of their decisions in the past without banning team managers. I’m thinking it is more than a little questioning of the decisions of race officials and likely a profanity and/or threat laden outburst after having been caught outside the rules. And if previous reports are correct, being outside of the rules AGAIN.

    • John Dagys

      May 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

      The car is SRO GT4-homologated. It’s not outside of the rules.

      They are also producing road cars, AFAIK, so it would be eligible for IMSA competition. They would just need to come to an agreement for the manufacturer license.

      • Nate B

        May 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

        Pretty sure Conti limits to cars that have road-going equivalents. Been a while since I read the rulebook though. That’s why there’s no KTMs or Ginettas or Sin R1’s

      • Andy

        May 23, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        But it was EXCLUDED last week for running outside the rules. To me that’s a banish the team and park them another race. Especially as you had reported it is something WC officials knew about for multiple events.

        And according to Panoz they have orders but no cars have been built as of yet. And IMSA said specifically when asked earlier this year NO, it is no eligible for Conti at this time.

        • Andy looks like an ass

          May 24, 2018 at 7:00 am

          ok mister know-it-all! News flash! Pretty sure John has better insight as to whats happening.

          • Seems like someone else is a fucking idiot

            May 24, 2018 at 7:08 am

            News flash MORON, direct quote from a Dagys written article:

            The No. 50 Panoz Avezanno GT4 of Ian James has lost its runner-up finish in Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge GTS Sprint round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, series officials have confirmed.

            James, who enjoyed a battle with the eventual race-winning No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Lawson Aschenbach, was excluded from the results due to a technical infringement.

            Sportscar365 understands it relates to an issue with the car’s catalytic converter, a nonconformity which PWC officials had been made aware of in previous events.

  2. Matt

    May 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Why do GT4 cars have to run cats?? With modern engine management systems, cats are pretty much useless. Either way, they’re race cars, they’re supposed to be loud. The French consistently come out with the most idiotic rules for motorsport.

    • Matt's an idiot

      May 23, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      Wow, spreading your usually idiocy everywhere you go. Can’t even escape the morons leaving tenths and the absolutely biased and bullshit filled “IMSA” fb page.

      • You’re truely insightful

        May 25, 2018 at 2:20 pm

        Great comment here by another butthurt old man…

  3. Panoz1973

    May 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    It’s not a FORD is the answer. More ideas in racing allow them to race. Bring back the Deltawing. Hahaha. Go Panoz don’t let them beat you down

  4. bjones

    May 23, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Is it just me? PWC seems to be run by a bunch of ???? How is it the Panoz runs for how many races and now PWC has discovered the Cat is missing? PWC reminds me of sandlot baseball back in the day, shit didn’t like that so lets change the rules or choose to enforce them. I will await the answer on how no one noticed the cat missing,the answer ought to be good cause I am just not seeing the how. This series never fails to amaze me.

    • Matt

      May 25, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      It’s PWC run by Greg Gill, and they refuse to bring in new leadership. Are you surprised?

  5. Zone

    May 29, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I’ve seen so many ugly duckling Panoz race cars it just amazing. Who the hell designs those things. It’s almost a given if it’s got Panoz name on it it’s fugly .
    No more please !

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