Panoz is aiming to be back on the Pirelli GT4 America grid “in some form” next year according to Ian James, who said interest levels in the recently homologated GT4 car has been high.
The Georgia-based manufacturer and team, which has continued racing this year in honor of its founder Don Panoz, has yet to determine possible future race plans, with Don’s wife, Nancy, having initially committed to the 2019 season only.
James, who has taken on a team manager/principal role in addition to his driving duties at Team Panoz Racing, however, is working on multiple options that could see the Panoz Avezzano GT4 remain on the GT4 America grid.
“We hope to be back in some form,” James told Sportscar365. “We’re looking at some options and hope to see some Panozes on the grid.
“My goal is to keep Panoz on a race track somewhere around the world.
“We’ve really enjoyed racing here in [SRO America]. The car is competitive and is a fan favorite.
“What Don did for racing, there’s so many people that still recognize that and they love to see a Panoz drive around. Fingers crossed we can keep it out there.”
James said there’s been increased interest in the car since it received its GT4 homologation by the SRO in the summer.
“There’s a lot of interest in the car,” he said. “Now that it’s got its homologation papers, it’s definitely been given a bit of impetus.
“There’s definitely inquiries for projects to run it. We’ll see where it leads.
“No options are off the table. Money makes motor racing go around so we’ll see how that all pans out.”
Panoz’s customer effort of Matt Keegan and Preston Calvert, who have shared an Avezzano GT4 this season in the GT4 America SprintX, hold a 40-point lead in the Am class title race heading into next month’s season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
James Enjoying Dual Manager-Driver Role
Having taken on the management duties from Tom Milner, who departed the team during the off-season, James said he’s been enjoying his increased role with the team.
The 45-year-old Englishman has hinted that it could be an “evolution” of his career in the future.
“I’ve really enjoyed as a dual team manager/principal/driver role,” he said. “It’s a lot more challenging and a lot more stuff to do.
“But I’ve had a great group of people to work with.
“It’s probably the evolution of my career. We’ll see more of that in the future.”