Panoz/Èlan DP01 Champ Car and DP09 Superleague Race Cars Duke it out in Europe’s Exciting BOSS GP Series
Èlan Motorsports Technologies ceased production of its Panoz DP01 Champ Car World
Series and Panoz DP09 Superleague Formula race cars, yet examples still compete in various vintage motorsports events. One where these cars shine is the 2016 BOSS GP.
According to the organizers, the BOSS (Big Open Single Seaters) GP series “is built on speed, spectacle and noise. Brute race monsters from Formula 1 go head to head against GP2, IndyCar, World Series by Renault and other powerful, fast and noisy Formula cars.”
Panoz DP01 and DP09 race cars, with their powerful V8 and V12 engines, respectively, perfectly fit that bill.
The series visits some of Europe’s most famous and challenging circuits, including Hockenheim, Monza and Imola. There are two classes: the Open class for Formula 1, Champ Cars and IndyCars; and the Formula class for other single seat cars with engine displacements over 3000cc. A 2016 BOSS GP champion will be crowned in each class at the Oct. 9, 2016 BOSS GP Super Prix at Imola at the conclusion of six double-header events.
Team Easy Formula, based in France and led by the father-son duo of Gilles and Christopher Brenier, campaigns a pair of Panoz DP09 Superleague Formula cars in the Formula class.
At the midpoint of the season and having just completed the Peroni Race Weekend at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy, Christopher Brenier leads the 2016 BOSS GP championship’s Formula class with 141 total points.
“Driving the Superleague there was really impressive, with a top speed over 320 kph (199 mph),” said Christopher Brenier, who qualified P4 in class and P8 overall. He placed P2 in class and P4 overall in Race 1 before the race was red flagged due to weather. “In Race 2, I managed to get the second position overall and first in class.”
Christopher also clocked the event’s quickest overall lap in the Formula class, while his father Gilles improved his lap times all weekend and placed P9 in Race 2. Overall Christopher has won three of the first six Formula class races.
Peter Milavec, Austria, competes in the BOSS GP Open class with the GP Racing Panoz DP01. He currently is in second place with 86 points, and scored a third-place podium at the Peroni Race Weekend at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy.
The Panoz/Èlan DP01 and DP09
Panoz and Élan Motorsports Technologies developed the Panoz DP01 for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. About 60 percent of its 5,500 lbs of downforce came via underbody aerodynamics, and it weighed about 1,550 lbs and featured a 950-horsepower Cosworth XFE 2.65-liter turbocharged V8. The DP01 could go from 0-60 mph in 2.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and had an approximate top speed of 240 mph.
In 2007 three-time and defending Champ Car champion Sébastien Bourdais drove the No. 1 McDonald’s Cosworth/Panoz/Bridgestone DP01 and broke the existing Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track record with a time of 1:05.880 (122.295 mph). Ricardo Zonta in the Toyota F1 race car set the previous record (1:06.309) in 2006.
Around the same time Panoz and Èlan engineers developed the Panoz DP09 to be the exclusive chassis for Europe’s new Superleague Formula series that began in 2008.
The DP09 featured a 750-horsepower 4.2-liter V12 engine designed by Menard Competition Technologies. It also featured underbody aerodynamics, a Hewland six-speed semi-automatic gearbox, and weighed about 1,650 lbs. The DP09 race cars also were sans traction control, launch control and anti-stall technologies, making performance dependent on driver skill and team set up.