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Panoz Esperante GT1
Eclisped by the March of Sportscar Design
Panoz Photo Courtesy of: Rick
Steiger Motorsports Photography
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Even with its revised nose and tail sections, by 1998 is was obvious that the march of Sportscar design had rapidly eclipsed the Panoz GT1. With the release of brand new Le Mans designs from Porsche, Mercedes and Toyota, the aging #45 Panoz of Brabham/Wallace/Davies did well to qualify in 11th place. The #44 sister car of Bernard/Tinseau/ O'Connell was well down on the grid in 18th place.
The 1998 Le Mans would see the #45 Panoz finish in a respectable 7th place. The #44 Panoz retired after 19 hours with a gearbox oil pump problem.

Our friends at Maison Blanche remember that car well:
"At 10:30AM the decibel level in the press room looked set to be cut in half when the number 44 Panoz was officially retired with gearbox oil pump failure. Our desks in the press room are directly over the Panoz pit and we certainly had no trouble staying awake last night as number 44 was a frequent visitor throughout the night. You really have to hear them at close quarters to truly believe the effect...  come back rotary powered Mazdas, all is forgiven."