Panoz, Green4U Technologies to unveil a 'Holy Grail' of race cars at Le Mans
Green4U Technologies, which incorporates the motorsports entity formerly known as DeltaWing Technology Group, is expected to announce on Thursday that they will unveil a “revolutionary” vehicle just prior to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Both the DeltaWing and the new Green4U car are backed by company founder Don Panoz, former owner of the American Le Mans Series.
The car that will be unveiled at Le Mans, Panoz told Autoweek, “is my Holy Grail.” According to Green4U’s apparent goal of becoming a leader in electric technology, it’s more than possible the company is at work on an all-electric race car.
Given the timing and the location, it also seems possible the car may be a future candidate for what was previously known as Le Mans’ Garage 56, an exhibition-only entry into the race reserved for race cars using new technology. The DeltaWing was the Garage 56 entry in 2012, and was arguably the most successful to date. Whether the car would be considered for 2018 is unclear.
Advancing technology — and often paying for it out of his own pocket — is nothing new to Panoz, who had no real interest in motorsports until he entered the field in 1997. Prior to that, he spent 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1961, he founded Mylan N.V., a multi-billion-dollar global generic drug producer. In 1969, Panoz moved to Dublin, Ireland where he founded Élan Corporation plc, another multi-billion-dollar generic drug company.
It did not take long for Panoz to begin making waves in motorsports — his ownership of the American Le Mans Series, the IMSA sanctioning body and Road Atlanta, Mosport in Canada and as leaseholder of Sebring International Raceway, he helped bolster a sagging sports car racing scene. IMSA, the ALMS and the tracks in the U.S. were sold to NASCAR in 2013, and the ALMS and NASCAR’s Grand-Am series were merged into the present IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Through it all, Panoz continued to back advanced race technology, including a car called “Sparky,” a hybrid race car that debuted far ahead of its time, in 1998. That technology support continued with the DeltaWing, which Panoz backed at a time few others saw the value in the odd-shaped car that could go as fast as IMSA Prototypes using a 300-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.
The unveiling of the new vehicle is expected to take place at 11 a.m. on June 15, the Thursday prior to the 2017 Le Mans weekend, at the Green4U exhibit at the track. We’ll have more details soon.