Panoz/Èlan DP01 Champ Car and DP09 Superleague Race Cars Duke it out in Europe’s Exciting BOSS GP Series

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Panoz/Èlan DP01 Champ Car and DP09 Superleague Race Cars Duke it out in Europe’s Exciting BOSS GP Series

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

Élan NP01 Shows Endurance Race Capabilities

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np01-photo-dave-balingit-high-plains-raceway-24hourOn Sunday Aug. 28, 2016 the Élan NP01 once again demonstrated capabilities beyond its original sprint racing design. Dave Balingit, Team NASA Rocks team owner from Denver, competed in and completed the World Racing League’s 24-hour race at High Plains Raceway with co-drivers Jesse Grose, Chris Sarian, and Dan and Trevor Aweida.

The race started at 10 am on the Saturday, and over 24 hours the team completed 497 laps of the 2.55-mile track, taking the checkered flag at 10 am on Sunday.

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“The primary goal for the team was to finish and be running at the checkered flag. The second goal was to win the GPX class, and the third was to have lots of fun doing it,” said Balingit.

The quickest lap time of the race was set by the youngest driver on the team, Trevor Aweida. Having raced with NASA for the past two years in an Audi in the GTS class and a Mustang in the American Iron class, this was the 18-year old’s first race in a purpose-built race car. Taking advantage of the cooler air, the NP01’s fastest lap of 2:01.9 came in the post-dawn hours on Sunday morning and was the second fastest lap of all cars in the race, only 0.044 seconds behind pro-racer Jason Hart in a GPX BMW m235.

The team successfully completed all three goals, winning the GPX class and placing 25th overall. “Goals of having fun were definitely met by all five drivers and seven crew members,” said Balingit. “The goal of winning overall is the priority for 2017.

????????????????????????????????????“The NP01 is designed to be a cost-effective, prototype-style race car for sprint racing,” said Balingit. “We’ve entered the car in several non-NASA sprint races to show off its capabilities in other arenas and expose the car to a wider audience.”

In addition to the 24-hour endurance race, the team competed in the 100th Anniversary of the Pikes Peak International Hill climb in June, winning its class and completing the 12.42-mile, 156-turn course in 11 minutes, 35 seconds.

The NASA Prototype Championship Series that features the Élan NP01 began this year, but the cars competed prior to this in various open-spec races including the 2015 25 Hours of Thunderhill Presented by Hawk Performance. CLP Motorsports was one of two teams entered and took the checkered flag after the grueling 25-hour race having completed 514 laps. The car is expected to compete again in this year’s race (Dec. 3-4) with a confirmed entry from Diamond Level Motorsports.

For more information about the Élan NP01 including test drives, specifications and how to purchase, please see nasaprototype.com or elanmotorsports.com/np01.

Photo credit to Danielle Trakney.

Panoz/Élan DP09 Superleague Wins BOSS GP Formula Class Championship

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On September 11, 2016 Christopher Brenier secured enough points to win the BOSS GP Formula Class Championship with his Panoz/Élan DP09 Superleague in the penultimate round of the series at the Masaryk Circuit in Brno, Czech Republic. Brenier went on to pick up the trophy at the final round in Imola, Italy with a 36-point lead over second-placed Luis Michael Dorrbecker driving a Lola B05/52.

christopher-brenier“The meeting at Brno was stressful as we struggled to find the right setup,” said Brenier. “Starting from the back of the grid in the second race, I pushed hard all race long to catch the third position, and the points to secure the title. I’m proud to add my small contribution to the Panoz/Élan Motorsport winning history.”

The BOSS GP series, authorized by the FIA, is for Big Open Single Seaters from international single-seater categories both past and present. The Formula Class in which Brenier competes mainly consists of GP2, World Series by Renault and the Superleague Formula cars who compete for individual race podium positions in 12 races around Europe as well as points for the Championship.

Brenier, based in France, competes as part of Team Easy Formula alongside his father Gilles Brenier who also drives a Panoz/Élan DP09 Superleague Formula. Gilles finished fourth in this year’s Championship making it a double top-five finish for the father-son team. This marks Team Easy Formula’s second year competing in the BOSS GP series, showing an impressive climb from the fifth and 11th place finish in 2015 by Christopher and Gilles respectively in their Panoz/Élan DP09 Superleague cars.

For a video to watch Christopher and Gilles Brenier in action with their Panoz/Élan DP09 Superleague cars at Brno, click here.