The ACO announced today that the applications process for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours is now open, ahead of revelation of the full entry list in February. As teams across the globe begin putting plans together to file an entry, RACER has learned that Panoz’s Green4U GT-EV Garage 56 project, which was revealed at Le Mans this past June, is now in doubt for a 2018 debut.
At Le Mans, Panoz founder Don Panoz explained that the plan was to compete at Le Mans with the new all-electric car in 2018. The Panoz Green4U GT-EV has been designed to run at Le Mans at a pace similar to GTE cars in 50-minute stints during the race, with a tandem cockpit, a low-drag body and a swappable battery pack using hybrid battery technology.
“We’re the candidate for Garage 56 next year, and as far as I know, the ACO doesn’t have any other candidates,” he said.
However, it appears that the ambitious Green4U Garage 56 entry is not yet a fully confirmed project for next year, as a spokesperson for the project explained to RACER today:
“While Don did say at the 2017 Le Mans race that we are a candidate for Garage 56 in 2018, that statement was more of a forward-thinking position reflecting his desire to prove the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV concept on the racetrack and hopefully at endurance racing’s greatest venue.
“Don’s hope is to prove the GT-EV as a Garage 56 entry much like he did with the DeltaWing in 2012. But it’s very important to communicate that we have not officially been granted a future Garage 56 slot, whether 2018 or beyond.
“Discussions have been ongoing since our reveal last summer and we hope to have news to share soon, but it would be inaccurate and premature to say at this time that we’re a Garage 56 entrant.”
However, should it not be be granted a Le Mans entry, Panoz/Green4U hinted that there would be plenty of other opportunities to prove the concept on track.
“There’s a lot of other races that would love to have this car in,” Panoz told RACER back in June. “It won’t run for points, but they would love the attraction of an all-EV sports car. It could run at the Nurburgring (24 Hours), Spa (24 Hours), Daytona (24 Hours), Sebring (12 Hours).”