Coming off sixth- and fourth-place finishes at Virginia International Raceway last month, James and Team Panoz Racing focused on carrying momentum into the Canada race weekend.
James qualified P7 in Friday’s PWC GTS/GT4 qualifying session with a time of 1:24.787. In Saturday’s Round 5 race James moved from P7 to P6 in the early going, then held on to P7 for much of the 50-minute race until a minor drivetrain issue led to the Avezzano’s premature exit in the race’s final five minutes. His best lap time of 1:25.478 on lap five placed him P9 for Sunday’s Round 6 race.
At the start of Sunday’s race the No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang driven by Ernie Francis Jr. stalled during the standing start, forcing a yellow flag. Immediately upon the restart James moved up to P6, then secured P5 on lap 5, a position he defended for much of the 50-minute race. With less than 10 minutes remaining the No. 3 Flying Lizard Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport driven by Rodrigo Baptista received a drive-through penalty, enabling James to move up to P4, which he held all the way to the checkered flag.
The fourth-place finish to end the Castrol presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest weekend helped make up for Saturday’s disappointing result and gives Team Panoz Racing a positive outcome heading into next weekend’s Grand Prix of Lime Rock Park.
Next up for Team Panoz Racing is PWC GTS/GT4 Rounds 7 and 8 at the Grand Prix of Limme Rock Park, Lakeview, Conn., May 26-27.
“Today was a great day and everyone is happy. The team did a terrific job of fixing the problems we had yesterday, and Ian did a great job driving and keeping the others at bay and defending our position. He took advantage of every opportunity that he had and I think the whole team is happy we have to fourth-place finish today. We keep making great process, and it’s nice to have another good result, and hopefully the improvements will pan out and lead to us getting on the podium at Lime Rock.”
“Good day today, and you know it’s always good when you start P9 and finish P4. The Avezzano was great today. It’s still a work in progress, but we keep getting better and better every week. It was terrific to have Dr. Panoz here today cheering us on, and the entire team’s hard work keeps us moving in the right direction. It’s nice to leave Canada with a fourth-place finish, and I’m looking forward to going to Lime Rock next weekend and working hard to get Panoz back on the podium.”
Source. Panoz LLC