Panoz & Courage
We’re more than happy to give full credit to Gary Watkins at Autosport for this one – which forum readers are probably already familiar with anyway.

The weekly magazine suggests that ALMS founder Don Panoz is “under pressure” to have his Panoz Motor Sports racing in LMP1 in 2005, and is therefore in negotiations with Yves Courage “with a view to putting his Ford-based Elan V8 into the back of one of the French constructor’s Courage chassis”.

Don Panoz indicated that the LMP01 is now just too old to make a return, but he believes his engine is the best available, so he’s looking to mate it to a more modern chassis. That could be a Courage C60, or “a new-rules version of the French manufacturer’s LMP1 design.”

That last expression is a little unclear: the French constructor is known to be working on a new LMP1/GTP for 2005, but is there any reason why an Elan engine couldn’t be fitted to a Courage C65, for LMP1?

It appears that a prototype project at Panoz Motor Sports may play ‘second fiddle’ to the Esperante GT car, but perhaps if a Courage-Elan prototype project gains momentum, it could be the perfect tie-up between a Le Mans-based team and the American Le Mans Series itself.

Two Champion Audis, two LMP1 Courages and three Lolas would make a very good foundation for the top class in the ALMS – with LMP2 set to show more growth too.


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