Tom Milner, motorsports veteran and team owner with more than 40 years of top-level auto racing experience, has been named manager, Panoz Racing. Milner oversees all motorsports efforts for the Panoz sports car brand.
Milner is spearheading Panoz Racing’s development of a GT4-spec racing program based on the Panoz Avezzano, the company’s new two-seat aluminum-intensive sports car powered by a front mid-engine mounted American V8.
Milner is no stranger to motorsports, with decades of IMSA, SCCA, Grand-Am and NASCAR competition experience. This also marks Milner’s return to the Panoz brand. From 2007 to 2009 Milner’s PTG Racing Inc. fielded two Panoz Esperante race cars in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In 2007 PTG Racing scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes. The following year it secured one podium, four top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes. In 2010 it had podiums at the 12 Hours of Sebring and St. Petersburg, four top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes.
Milner and PTG Racing also developed and tested the Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans race car in 2010-2011. It competed and was immediately successful in ALMS races at Sebring and Mosport, running at the front of the pack in only its second race.
“I’m happy to be working again with my good friend Don Panoz,” Milner said. “Our goal is simple: prepare the best Avezzano GT race car we can, put together a program that will make Panoz and its fans proud, and have some fun while we’re at it.”
Under Milner’s direction the Panoz Racing team along with the Panoz and Èlan Motorsports Technologies experts will develop the Avezzano to FIA-sanctioned GT4 specifications, which will give the team race series competition flexibility. Panoz Racing has not announced the race series where the Avezzano will compete or information about the new race car’s first testing and competition outings.
“We are examining the series opportunities here in North America as well as in Europe and elsewhere and will share that decision down the road,” said Milner.
Panoz first showed its new Avezzano at the 2016 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the inaugural Atlanta Concours d’Elegance at Château Élan in Braselton, Ga. Panoz will share more Avezzano details soon, and expects to launch Avezzano street car production in 2017.
With the new Avezzano GT4 race car Panoz continues its commitment to the front mid-engine design popularized by legendary Panoz race cars like the GTR-1 and LMP-1 Roadster S race cars that competed on many of the world’s most renowned circuits, as well as the12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans winning Panoz Esperante GTLM.