JMB Classic in the Dix Mille Tours 2019: Two Panoz GTR1 on the grid, 21 years later!
21 years after the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, two Panoz GTR1 were starting a race again, during the Dix Mille Tours this weekend in Paul Ricard Circuit.
On 6 June 1998, Panoz Motorsports and the French team DAMS both entered a Panoz GTR1 in the 66th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, competing with 14 other factory GT1 and LMP1 cars: Mercedes CLK LM, Porsche GT1, Toyota GT One, McLaren F1 GTR, Nissan R390 GT1 and BMW V12 LM. The factory Panoz, which qualified 11th, finished in a very nice 7th place. An exceptional result for the American manufacturer, which was only completing its second motorsport season!
This weekend on the Paul Ricard circuit, during the Dix Mille Tours, JMB Classic brought two Panoz GTR1 back on track for the first time as part of the Endurance Racing Legends, a series that includes GT1 and GT2 from 1994 to 2010, and LMP1 and LMP2 from 1994 to 2005.
Even if one of the two JMB Classic drivers discovered the Panoz, the two GTR1 set the 2nd and 7th fastest qualifying times. In Race 1, after a cautious start on a wet track, Olivier Galant who had taken the lead was unfortunately forced to retire due to a gearbox problem. Xavier Galant finished 4th in GT1 class.
In Race 2, this time on a dry track, the two Panoz GTR1 of JMB Classic quickly took the 4th and 5th places in GT1 and offered the spectators a superb duel, racing for 15 laps at 4 tenths from each other!
JMB Classic and its drivers couldn't finish the season in a better way!