The ACO pays tribute to Don Panoz

The ACO pays tribute to Don Panoz

11.09.2018: The Automobile Club de l'Ouest is extremely saddened by the loss of Don Panoz. The American was not only a remarkable entrepreneur, cunning competitor, visionary organizer and great collaborator, he was an outstanding

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest is extremely saddened by the loss of Don Panoz. The American was not only a remarkable entrepreneur, cunning competitor, visionary organizer and great collaborator, he was an outstanding friend to endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.



Today, endurance racing is mourning the loss of one of its own. Don Panoz (83) has passed away after a long illness.   The Automobile Club de l'Ouest honours the memory of the 2006 Spirit of Le Mans winner whose involvement in the automotive world, launched after a highly successful career as an entrepreneur, was as passionate as it was diverse:



the Batmobile (the Panoz car that took on Audi), Petit Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series, the DeltaWing and most recently a Garage 56 project with an entirely new and experimental car can all attest to Panoz's widespread implication in endurance, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and with the ACO.



Michel Cosson, ACO President from 1992 to 2003, remembers a
"man who worked with us to make the ACO global. He readily joined us in our efforts to bring the ACO to the international stage."




Jean-Claude Plassart, ACO President from 2003 to 2012:
"Don was a great friend to the ACO and a personal friend of mine. I want to highlight his enthusiasm for developing motorsport all over the world and increasing the profile of the 24 Hours of Le Mans internationally, particularly in the U.S., his home country."




Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest:
"I am especially moved and saddened today. At the last edition of the Le Mans Classic, I had the privilege of driving the 1998 Panoz Esperante GTR-1 at the 24 Hours circuit.



The car was a stunning sight, but at the wheel, it went to a whole other level. I expected something exceptional, and it did not disappoint. I shared my experience with Don Panoz immediately, sending him a photo and a message, because we've always been close, partners and teammates in endurance. I was proud and happy to be able to express my friendship and respect for him once again.



This photo was one of many examples of our shared passion. Not only could we talk about the discipline, these outstanding cars and remarkable men for hours just for fun, but like me he worked on behalf of this sport. Since the inception of the American Le Mans Series, the ties between the U.S. and the ACO have strengthened. Don Panoz was the great ambassador of that relationship.




After a very successful and cutting-edge career, Don Panoz may have become involved in cars and motorsport somewhat accidentally, but he stayed for a reason. Having become a fan, he he applied his business acumen to the sport with his legendary trail-blazing flair. He was just recently working on a Garage 56 project.





He was always a step ahead. We shall miss the man as much as his expertise. On behalf of the ACO, I would like to extend my warmest condolences to his family and loved ones."
 

 
Automobile Club de l'Ouest - also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/aco-tribute-don-panoz---180508.html

11.09.2018 / MaP

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