Team Panoz Racing’s Ian James secured the Panoz Avezzano GTS’s first podium, placing third in PWC GTS/GT4 Championship Round 4 held Sunday with a thrilling last-turn pass on the challenging 17-turn, 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway circuit.
As the green flag dropped for Sunday’s Round 4 standing start, James immediately jumped from P9 to P4 on the first lap. Throughout the 50-minute race James and the Avezzano GTS showed tremendous pace and performance and stayed in the top five all race. In the final 10-minutes, James continued to close the gap on the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4 to put the Avezzano in position to make a move on the final lap.
The VIR race weekend was a tremendous success for Team Panoz Racing with the team showing great progress and significant performance gains since the PWC GTS/GT4 Championship kickoff at the 2017 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. The team worked hard since St. Petersburg and all week in Virginia to raise the performance bar, which showed when James qualified P8 in Saturday’s PWC GTS/GT4 qualifying session with a time of 1:56.032, only 0.888 seconds off the pole-sitting time of 1:55.144.
In Saturday’s Round 3 race James quickly moved from P8 to P6 on the first lap, a positon he held throughout the 50-minute race. His best lap time of 1:57.264 occurred on lap 7, which placed him P9 for Sunday’s race. James’ best lap time in Sunday’s race was 1:55.578.
The Avezzano GTS is based on the new Panoz Avezzano sports car, the latest street-legal Panoz creation.
Next up for Team Panoz Racing is PWC GTS/GT4 Rounds 5 and 6 at the Castrol presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, May 19-21, 2017.
“I think it’s been a great day for Team Panoz Racing and it really shows how people who have worked together for a long time can step up and overcome huge challenges, especially when you consider this is only our second race weekend. The team worked so hard to overcome the challenges, so this is a great race weekend result. We still have a lot of work to do, but it really feels good and this will really motivate everybody on the race team and all who work for the various Panoz companies. Tomorrow that they will all have a little smile on their faces. I think racing is a great motivator and can be a positive thing because it makes all of us work as a team and proud, happy and motivated to be contributing to the company’s success.”
“We spent most of the race chasing after the No. 10 Camaro, and finally got up close in the back straight and was able to get around and put my nose inside going into the top of the esses and go side-by-side until I was able to make the pass. This was a great weekend for a built-from-the-ground up race car that was a pile of parts not too long ago. I’m very happy for the team and for Panoz. It’s an amazing testament to the team’s hard work, and it’s great to get this car on the podium where it belongs. It’s also terrific to get the Panoz brand back on the podium and add to the Panoz racing heritage.”
Source. Panoz LLC