While the DeltaWing may no longer be eligible for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, the Don Panoz-owned team is working on a way to remain in the top class of the series with a new Prototype program.
Sportscar365 has learned that Panoz has proposed the concept of a Panoz DPi, complete with a bespoke engine and Panoz-branded bodywork, for the new-look class in 2017.
According to Panoz DeltaWing Racing team manager Tim Keene, it’s something that hasn’t yet been formally approved by the sanctioning body, due to the company not being a high-volume car manufacturer.
“If we were able to get in as a low-manufacturer OEM, that’s what we’d be hoping for,” Keene told Sportscar365. “But it would be up to Don and IMSA to agree on what we could do.
“I think it would be cool to keep the brand in the series.”
Keene said they’ve already narrowed down the chassis constructor for the proposed project, but would not disclose which one of the four approved LMP2 chassis they would go with.
Bodywork, inspired by one of the Panoz road cars, would be designed and built by the Georgia-based team, along with a bespoke four-cylinder turbo engine.
Keene stressed final approval on the project has yet been given but sees the project as the best way of keeping the team in the series next year.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “I wish I knew what we were doing now because you really need to be starting now with what you’re going to be doing for next year.
“Hopefully something can be decided in the next three to four weeks.”
Should the Panoz DPi materialize, it would mark at least the third different manufacturer in the new-look Prototype class for 2017, joining Mazda and Cadillac.