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2004 Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2

2004 Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2

2004 Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2

After building sports prototypes for years, Panoz starting developing race versions of their Esperante, a two seat roadster built on an aluminum chassis and powered by Ford’s SVT V8. With help from Elan Motorsports, Panoz raced the Esperante with success in the Trans-Am championship and it only made sense to contest it in Don Panoz’s own ALMS series.

Panoz partnered with Multimatic from Ontario Canada, to release GTLM road-going supercar which provided a basis for the 2004 contender. To cope with the air intake restrictions imposed by the governing bodies, Panoz had Elan Racing bore out the 4.6 liter MOD V8 to 5.0 liters and remove the supercharger.

In 2004, the GTLM was tested out on a number of tracks, and the Panoz gave the green light to contest the entire ALMS 2005 season. A highlight victory was achieved at the Road Atlanta where the GTLM of Bill Auberlen and Robin Liddell achieved a first in class over the factory-backed Porsche teams. Due to reliability, the GTLM factory racing team couldn’t keep up their Atlanta pace, and fell wayside to Porsche for the rest of the season including their first visit to Lemans.

Currently, the upcoming 2006 season couldn’t look any more promising for the Panoz team. Raced and developed by Multimatic Motorsports, they have managed to ‘crush’ the class record at Sebring during winter testing by more than two seconds. The followed up by dominatinh the opening round of 2006 American Le Mans Series, with the #50 Panoz Esperante GTLM of David Brabham, Scott Maxwell and Sebastien Bourdais winning the GT2 class in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Despite tough challenges from the Ferrari, Porsche and BMW opposition, the #50 Panoz Esperante led 178 of the 320 laps completed to win it class, just 5.365 seconds ahead of the Porsche of Mark Lieb, Jon Fogarty and Johannes van Overbeek.

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In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
engine Elan Power-Modified, Ford MOD V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cyl
displacement 4995 cc / 304.8 in³
bore 94 mm / 3.7 in
stroke 90 mm / 3.54 in
power 372.9 kw / 500 bhp
specific output 100.1 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 416.67 bhp per tonne
torque 610.12 nm / 450 ft lbs
body / frame Aluminum Frame w/Front & Rear Steel Subframes
driven wheels RWD
wheel type BBS magnesium
front brakes Iron Discs w/6-Piston Calipers
f brake size mm / in
rear brakes Iron Discs w/4-Piston Calipers
r brake size mm / in
front wheels F 45.7 x 31.8 cm / 18 x 12.5 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 33.0 cm / 18 x 13 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspension Wishbones w/Coils over DSSV Dampers, Adj Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Wishbones w/Coils over DSSV Dampers, Adj Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1200 kg / 2645 lbs
wheelbase 2692 mm / 106 in
front track 1608 mm / 63.3 in
rear track 1626 mm / 64.0 in
transmission Hewland 6-Speed Sequential
gear ratios :1