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
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.
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.