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Panoz Targeting to Race New Esperante Avezzano

Don Panoz reveals plans to race new Esperante Avezzano…

Photo: Panoz

Photo: Panoz

The Panoz Esperante could return to top-level GT racing competition, with Don Panoz revealing plans to race a new version of the American-built sports car.

Panoz unveiled the Esperante Avezzano on Wednesday evening, during a 20th anniversary celebration of his racing activities.

The first prototype model of the road car, which has yet to go into production, was on display.

“We’re probably going to race the Avezzano,” Panoz said. “I think it’s a good platform. We need to reorganize ourselves a little bit and produce the car.”

Further technical specifications of the car have yet to be revealed, or an exact timeframe for when it could debut.

Panoz DeltaWing Racing team manager Tim Keene told Sportscar365 it hasn’t yet been determined if the car would be homologated to GTE or GT3 specifications.

Both rulesets require a minimum number of production cars to be built.

Should the project get the green-light, it would be the rebirth of the Esperante in GT racing, after a successful seven-year run from 2003-2009 that included multiple teams and customers in North America and Europe.

The Esperante GTLM claimed GT2 class victories in 2006 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Team LNT and the Twelve Hours of Sebring with Multimatic, which built the car.

Panoz explained the Avezzano name comes from the town in Italy that saw more than 30,000 people killed by an earthquake in 1915. It included Panoz’s grandfather’s wife, with another family having taken in her children.

“Without that woman coming to take care of the kids, I would not be here,” Panoz said. “That’s why that car is called the Avezzano.

“It’s a culmination of what my life was traded for. Out of tragedy, we’re all here celebration from what can grow from a tragedy.”

Panoz also revealed hopes of racing an electric version of a proposed DeltaWing road car, although details remain unclear.

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

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