Skip to main content

1998 Panoz GT-RA news, pictures, specifications, and information
The Panoz Auto Development Corporation was founded in 1989 by Dan Panoz, the son of pharmaceutical and motorsport mogul Don Panoz. All of the vehicles produced by Panoz were given extensive testing at the Panoz-owned Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georigina and handcrafted at the Hoschton workshop.

When Don Panoz purchased Road Atlanta, the track was using aged Nissan 300ZX's. So the decision was made to replace the well-used cars with Panoz bodied GT cars. The Panoz Racing School contracted with a company in Florida to design and build cars that could be used in their racing school. At the time, the Panoz Auto factory was building the AIV Roadster and working on designs for the Esperante, and were unable to take on another project. This soon changed as the Florida based company was unable to comply with the delivery time and build quality, so the project was moved to Panoz Auto.

In 1998, the first batch of GTRA's were delivered to Road Atlanta. The 'RA' in the GT name represented 'Road Atlanta.' The Panoz Racing School was designed for amateurs to learn racing in a low-cost environment. After successful completion of the driving school, students were eligible for an SCCA regional racing license.

The GT-RA's were powered by a 5-liter Ford V-8 fitted with an electronic fuel injection system delivering around 250 horsepower. The chassis was of steel-tube frame construction and clothed in a fiberglass and thermal-formed plastic bodies. They had a TTC 'R' Tremec 5-speed gearbox, disc brakes at all four corners, and a 25-gallon fuel cell.

Later, a second batch of GTRA's were built for an all-woman racing series headed by Lynn St. James. The series was meant as a support race in the ALMS series. These cars were powered by a 4.6 liter 4-cam Cobra powerplant and given proper safety updates to comply with the standards required by the Professional Sports Car racing. These cars were given the designation 'GTWC' representing 'Women's cup.' They were built in the late 1990s.

The woman's series ran as the Women's Global GT series for two seasons, after which it opened up to men as well, and renamed to the Panoz Pro series.

In 1999, Panoz experimented with a 351 Ford crate motor that delivered 400 horsepower. The plan was to build these cars as a spec series that could later run within the SCCA GT1 class. Initially, they were given treaded tires, but that later changed to slicks. These cars were called GTS cars for SCCA.

Panoz also built cars for other driving school programs, including Sebring and the Texas Motor Speedway. Most of the Sebring cars were powered by the Australian Falcon 5-liter while the Texas cars were given Ford Explorer V8 engines.

Skip Barber purchased the Panoz Racing School on July 1st of 2007 which prompted the sale of the Panoz School and Pro Series cars.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011
MAZDA SHOOTOUT FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
October 23, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif) The Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing. Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks. The $75,000 prize funds a drive in the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup. Eighteen racers were semi-finalists, having met the eligibility criteria for 2013, each having won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors. Now, after each made a formal written business proposal, the field has...[Read more...]
DEAN DEFENDS HIS MAZDA MX-5 CORONADO TITLE
NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2013) – John Dean, of Sebring, Fla., notched his first SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup win of the season, as the checkered flag marked the end of Round Nine of 12 in 2013. Championship leader Christian Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., finished second, ahead of Elliott Skeer, of Carlsbad, Calif., who came home third. The 35-lap race, which averaged 80.132 mph, was slowed by one caution period that lasted three laps. The yellow flag was brought ou...[Read more...]
U.S. Dot, Mazda Motorsports, The Ad Council, And Noys Announce Winners Of 2013 Project Yellow Light Video Contest
 As part of Global Youth Traffic Safety MonthTM , the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Mazda Motorsports, the Ad Council and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) announced the six high school and college winners of their second annual Project Yellow Light scholarship contest. 'One Text or Call Could Wreck It All,' was the theme of this year's contest. Entrants were asked to develop and produce a short video that would depict for their peers the dangers of risky mobile behavi...[Read more...]
A MAD MARCH FOR MAZDA MOTORSPORTS
 -- 15 Races in Seven Series at Three Race Tracks in Two States in One Month -- March 1, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.) Mazda is ramping up the 2013 professional racing season with their usual hectic month of March, starting with races on March 1st in Austin, Texas, before two busy weekends in Florida. For Mazda, racing is not just a single series, but the majority of all sports car and open wheel road-racing classes in North America. 2013 highlights on the professional level will include: ...[Read more...]
MAZDA CONTINUES AS THE GRASSROOTS MOTORSPORTS SUPPORTER
 • Total 2012 Payouts Exceed $2 Million
March 1, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.). For the past decade Mazda has used the tagline of 'on any given weekend, more Mazdas are road-raced than any other brand.' It could just as easily been, 'on any given weekday, Mazda offers more prize money to grassroots road-racers than any other car company.' Mazda pays winning racers, competing with a Mazda or Mazda-powered racecar, in approved Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the National Auto Sports...[Read more...]

AIV Roadster
Esperante

© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.