The DeltaWing has been given an extension on its eligibility, as the innovative prototype will take part in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona as a final send-off.
Don Panoz made the announcement Wednesday evening during a 20th anniversary celebration of Panoz’s involvement in motorsports, at his company’s museum near Road Atlanta.
The car was set to run its final race in this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-ending Petit Le Mans, but Panoz confirmed they have been granted permission from IMSA for to race at Daytona next year.
“We will be racing in Daytona in 2017 as our last race,” Panoz said.
Panoz explained that this year’s result, which saw the Elan-powered prototype crash out early after leading, left them with unfinished business in the twice-around-the-clock Florida endurance classic.
The car is expected to be classified within the new-look Prototype class, which will feature 2017-spec DPi and LMP2 machinery, as well as eligible grandfathered 2016 P2 cars.
“We’ve been working with Don and his DeltaWing folks to have a proper finale for the car,” IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton told Sportscar365.
“[Don] approached us with that idea and we talked about it internally.
“We clearly want the focus at Daytona to be on the new era of Prototypes, with DPi and LMP2. But this seemed like the right thing to do.”
The driver lineup for the one-race program has yet to be confirmed.
Sean Rayhall, Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick will drive the car this weekend at Road Atlanta.
“I think it’s a really good thing,” team manager Tim Keene told Sportscar365. “Obviously the car is a fan-favorite.”
Keene said they are still putting the pieces together for the Daytona-only program.
“We just got word of it,” he said. “From what I understand, it will be just as it was this year.
“We’ve kind of depleted our inventory. It’s just a matter of ordering new parts, just as you would when you go into a new year.
“Knowing that’s probably the last race for it, you have to be careful to order enough but not too much. You want to make it effective.”