Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Motorsports Style - The Panoz LMP-1 Roadster

John Marine | 7/27/2010 12:44:00 AM | |
Panoz took their front/RWD drivetrain to unfamiliar territory when they made perhaps the only front-engined LMP... EVER. This was the only car that took the fight to the Audi R8 LMPs if not consistently, then regularly. This car is one of my all-time favorite race cars. Unfortunately for it, though, it has never won Le Mans. A car this exotic with a good old American V8 powered this beautiful beast. This blog entry shares my ideas on its looks.

--- Motorsports Style: The Panoz LMP-1 Roadster ---
Here is the car back in 2000:

Its unusual front/RWD drivetrain made this car especially unique. Sportscar racing machines are usually known as being purely exotic. You'd be hard-pressed to find a front-engined LMP besides this one. It was a different idea from one of the most (in my view) underrated exotic car makers in the world.

When you look at it from the front, you tend to sense DNA characteristics of the Panoz Esperante GTR-1. It boasts a bold set of headlights just like the powerful and flamboyant Esperante GTR-1. Its front just screams aggression. It is in no way a coward. From the sides, it is literally a sexy dame. It has the right amount of sexy and sweet with its luscious curves. The car manages to take a form similar to its Esperante GTR-1 brotheren while also carrying a profile similar to almost any average LMP. For the most part, most LMPs of the late 1990s and early 2000s had the single roll hoop similar to single-seater formula cars. These LMPs were mostly two-seat formula cars with lights and (obviously) fenders. This one was no different. The cars just look strange now with the double roll hoop arrangement. Equally imposing in its design is the appearnce of the rear wing arrangement is in comparison with the rest of the car. The rear of the Panoz LMP Roadster is merely modest in design, but lovely.

(information below courtesy of racingsportscars.com)
Perhaps my favorite Panoz LMP Roadster was the TV Asahi Team Dragon cars that raced Le Mans in 2000. This Japanese team consisted of two cars- the #22 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster. The #22 Cup Noodle car was run with the team of Keiichi Tsuchiya, Masahiko Kondou, and Akira Iida. The #23 Cup Noodle car featured the team of Toshio Suzuki, Masahiko Kageyama, and Masami Kageyama. The #22 car finished 8th (38 laps down), and the #23 car finished 6th (28 laps down). The car's paintscheme was white with black and gold accents. It was a beautifully-liveried car.

We may never see another front-engined LMP, but it was certainly interesting to see Panoz Motorsport try this. I would love to see Panoz return to the LMP ranks with another stellar LMP. Either that, or just love to see Panoz get back into the GT ranks. Thank you for reading my blog entry on this beautiful race car.
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