British driver Ian James has revealed that Panoz will be returning to sportscar racing with two GT4 Avezzanos in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class for the 2017 season, headed by project manager Tom Milner.
The car is a new build car which houses a standard 6.2-liter, 450-plus horsepower Panoz/Èlan aluminum block V8 mated to a heavy duty, close ratio six-speed manual transmission. It’s a development of the Esperante. Ian James is the first driver confirmed for the effort, with Team Panoz Racing expected to announce its second driver in the near future.
“I’m pleased to announced I’m back with the Panoz organisation, and will be back with Tom Milner and Don Panoz with a GT4 this year,” James exclusively told Radio Le Mans during the 24 Hours of Dubai, where he’s driving the #250 Rotek Racing Porsche Cayman.
“It’s a new car, which has a history back to the Esperante but it’s specific for the road and the GT4. At the end of February we’ll start testing and we’ll start racing in March.”
The last time Panoz raced at the top end of sportscar racing was back in the 2011 American Le Mans Series season when it ran the Abruzzi with James in the GT class at Sebring and Mosport.
Ian James will next be seen in action in two weekends time at Daytona International Speedway for the Rolex 24 Hours as part of the 3GT Racing Lexus GTD squad.