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Panoz Avezzano GT4 Breaks Cover

Ian James out testing in Georgia

Panoz’s new GT4 racer, the Avezzano, has been pictured for the first time by the marque while out testing at Road Atlanta with driver Ian James.

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The car, which is a development of the Esperante, will take part in the Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS class this year as part of a two-car effort by the American manufacturer.

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Panoz has also released a short clip of the car turning its wheels after its first shakedown (below).

Tom Milner is leading the project which sees the marque return to US sportscar racing for the first time since 2011.

Ian James: “It’s very rewarding, not just for me, but for all the guys and girls who’ve worked on it over the winter,” said James after the morning test session.

“They put this car together in a very short period of time. I visited the shop [in early January] and we just had a roll cage sitting on the floor and yesterday the car was 99 percent complete. It’s great to get a Panoz racecar back on the track and looking forward to the year.”

“Some of the components are more sprint race, but a lot of the basics are the same,” James said. “Today is mostly a roll out, checking all the systems, the clearances, the thermal properties of the car, and then we’ll start to get into the setup work. The Panoz organization, honestly, has never done a GTS car before, so a lot of it’s learning for us. All the theoretical math that has gone into the car, we need to make sure it’s real on the race track. We’re just starting to scratch the surface on an exciting new project.”

The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season begins on March 10-12th, when the teams head to Florida to race on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Photos courtesy of Panoz