Photo: Panoz LLC

Panoz reveals Green4U all-electric concept race car

Leave a comment

Don Panoz is back at Le Mans for this year’s race, with hopes of getting back on the grid in another Garage 56 slot. Panoz last raced at Le Mans with the original DeltaWing in 2012, then backed by Nissan, as the initial Garage 56 entry at the 24-hour race.

The new Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, which is being developed at the company’s design and engineering hub in Braselton, Ga., was revealed today in Le Mans Village at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The release with more information is below:

Green4U Technologies, Inc., formed in 2016 to provide electric vehicles (EVs) and EV technologies, and Panoz, a Green4U company, today unveiled an all-electric race car concept with the goal of delivering performance and range similar to internal combustion engine and hybrid powertrain race cars and able to compete in long-distance endurance races.

Don Panoz, chairman and co-founder of Green4U Technologies, Inc., unveiled the new race car concept this morning during an announcement at the company’s display in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Village. Christened the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, it is being developed at the company’s design and engineering hub in Braselton, Ga.

“We’re debuting it here at Le Mans because of this iconic race’s history where the brightest and most ambitious and tenacious competitors always push the motorsports and automotive boundaries,” Don Panoz said. “We pushed the boundaries when we brought Sparky [the 1998 Panoz Q9 GTR-1 Hybrid] and the DeltaWing to Le Mans, and we’ll do the same with the all-electric GT-EV.

“Our goal is to run our car in a race, perhaps even applying for a future Garage 56 slot, and apply what we learn to our Green4U EV vehicle designs.”

Jack Perkowski, Green4U Technologies, Inc. CEO and co-founder, added, “The development of an all-electric race car that can compete with the best internal combustion engine race cars places Green4U at the forefront of electric vehicle technology.”

Photo: Panoz LLC

The Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV team, led by Vice President of Engineering & Design Brian Willis, has outlined the race car’s initial design and performance targets:

  • 400 to 450 kW total power
  • 175 to 180 mph top speed
  • Removable battery pack design enabling battery exchanges during pit stops
  • 90- to 110-mile range in race conditions
  • All-wheel drive with two electric motors (One driving the front wheels and the second powering the rear wheels)
  • 2,200 to 2,750 lbs. total mass with battery pack
  • Roughly 192 x 72 x 48 inches (L x W x H)
  • A unique carbon fiber chassis design with an offset closed cockpit
  • Active aerodynamics to reduce drag on straightaways and increase range and performance
  • Regenerative braking technology on all wheels

“Our team is focused on achieving the speed and range of current road racing sports cars,” said Willis. “Key is the ability to go as far as petrol and hybrid race cars on the power contained in a single battery pack, then exchange the battery in about the time that it takes them to refill their tanks.”

Don Panoz considers the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of racing, and is an avid believer in ‘roots in racing’ and pioneering and proving innovative technologies through motorsports.

Green4U Technologies, Inc. also revealed renderings of its proposed street-legal sports car based on the GT-EV. Conceptualized by renowned car designer Peter Stevens, who has contributed to the design of many vehicles such as the Panoz Esperante GTR-1, the design features a unique two-passenger, jet fighter-style passenger compartment where the passenger sits behind the driver.

Hartley happy with ‘big progression’ on first day with Toro Rosso

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With 69 laps completed (28 in free practice one and 41 in free practice two) and respectable lap times in both sessions, Brendon Hartley quickly acclimated to a modern day Formula 1 chassis in his first run with Scuderia Toro Rosso in Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix.

The Porsche factory driver has been drafted into the team following a convoluted series of musical chairs that sees Daniil Kvyat back after a two-race absence, Carlos Sainz Jr. now at Renault and Pierre Gasly racing at the Super Formula season finale in Suzuka.

Over the time in the car today, Hartley experienced changeable conditions in FP1 before a more normal FP2, and discovered the new F1 cockpit after a day learning in the garage yesterday.

“A steep learning curve today! It all went pretty smoothly and I kept the car on track without making too many mistakes, so I’m quite happy,” the New Zealander reflected at day’s end.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from today because I just had so much to learn! I think I made quite a big progression throughout the day.

“The biggest difference from what I’m used to is the high-speed grip, it’s incredible here in Formula 1…it was quite an eye-opener! Another challenge are the tires, which are also quite different to what I’m used to. On the other hand, the long-run looks quite positive and I did a good job managing the tires there – the biggest thing I need to work on now is the new tire pace, and I’ll get another crack at it tomorrow morning before qualifying.

“All in all, I’d say it’s all coming together. We’ll now work hard and go through plenty of data tonight and hopefully I’ll make another step forward tomorrow.”

His best lap was 1.1 seconds up on Friday driver Sean Gelael, the Indonesian Formula 2 driver, in FP1 (1:39.267 to 1:40.406, good enough for 14th) and 1.1 seconds off the returning Kvyat in FP2 (1:37.987 to 1:36.761, good enough for 17th). Interestingly, the Gelael/Hartley combination in FP1 marked the second time in three races that Toro Rosso had a pair of drivers in its cars without a single Grand Prix start between them – Gasly’s debut at Malaysia was the other, when he and Gelael were in in FP1.

Coming into Friday’s running, Hartley said he was more ready for this opportunity now than he had been as a teenager. He admitted he’d called Red Bull’s Helmut Marko in the wake of Porsche’s LMP1 withdrawal news earlier this year to say he was game for any chance that might come.

“I’m a lot stronger than I was back then, basically. I wasn’t ready at 18 years old. I like to think I’m ready now,” he said.

“I haven’t driven a single-seater since 2012, but I like to think that Porsche LMP1 has hopefully prepared me well.”

As for the rest of his weekend, it’s been made more complicated by Hartley being assessed a 25-spot grid penalty, even though Hartley had done nothing to accrue the penalties.

The roundabout sequence of driver changes at Toro Rosso saw Gasly replace Kvyat, Kvyat replace Sainz, and now Hartley replace Gasly, as is outlined by NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton below.