The inaugural race for the Women’s Global GT Series (WGGTS) was held on April 18, 1999, at Road Atlanta.
The championship was the first professional women’s auto racing series in North America.
The event attracted sixteen drivers.
The concept was the brainchild of American Le Man Series founder, Dr. Don Panoz.
The first event was a culmination of six months of work to plan, build cars and test potential participants. More than 200 women contacted the series’ executive director, Lyn St. James, expressing an interest in the new championship.
The competitors drive equally-prepared Panoz Esperante sports cars provided by the Panoz Racing School. The race version of the Esperante, the Panoz GT-RA, is a tube-frame chassis powered by a Ford DOHC 4.6-liter engine, which produces 320-horsepower. Fitted to the motor is a five-speed Tremec T-45 transmission. Stopping the 2,680-pound cars are four-piston AP calipers with 13-inch vented rotors on the front and 12-inch on the rear.
The 2000 WGGTS season kicks off at Sebring international as a support race for the 48th Annual 12-Hours of Sebring. The next event takes place in early April at Lowes Motor Speedway. Then the series travels to the west coast for a weekend at Sears Point. Race five of seven is held at Texas Motor Speedway. The penultimate round will take place at Road Atlanta, with the finale being conducted at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the end of October.
Round two of the 2000 Women’s Global GT Series was held at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Competitors would race for forty-five-minutes on the ‘roval’ layout. The 2.25-mile ten-turn track used almost the entire 1.5-mile oval with an infield road course section.
|The Starter gives the field the green flag for round two of the 2000 Women’s Global GT Series at Lowes Motor Speedway. On the pole is the racing veteran, Divina Galica. Sharing the front row with Galica is last year’s series champion, Cindi Lux. Gridded behind the leaders are Sarah Wahl and Belinda Endress. A total of fourteen competitors were entered in the forty-five-minute contest.|
|At 55-years of age, Davina Galica was the oldest driver entered in the series. Galica’s racing resume included a stint in the 1970s British F1 championship and three F1 World Championship events. Just two weeks earlier, she was second in the season opener at Sebring International Raceway. At Lowes Motor Speedway, Galica started on the pole and led the forty-five-minute event flag-to-flag.|
|Finishing second at Lowes Motor Speedway was Belinda Endress. Endress competed in last season’s Women’s Global GT series and finished eighth in the final standings. Her best result in 1999 was a runner-up finish at Road Atlanta. For her efforts last year, she received the ‘Most Improved Driver’ award. Endress was gridded fourth at Lowes and finished 26.27-seconds behind the winner, Davina Galica.|
|The No. 18 National MS Society Panoz GT-RA was piloted by Sarah Wahl. Wahl was also a participant in the 1999 Women’s Global GT Series but only entered two events. She also had open-wheel experience obtained in the Skip Barber Series. At Lowes Motor Speedway, Wahl was the third fastest in the qualifying season. Early in the race, she spun and dropped to twelfth-place. Wahl charged through the field to finish third.|
|The winner of the opening round of the 2000 Women’s Global GT Series was Sonja Bayer. Bayer made her series debut last year in the finale at Laguna Seca Raceway and finished third. The German driver was victorious in the season opener when she made a successful last-lap pass on the race leader, Davina Galica. At Lowes Motor Speed, Bayer started and finished fifth in the No. 6 Dick Barbour Racing Panoz GT-RA.|
|The reigning Women’s Global GT Series champion, Cindi Lux, started the defence of her title with a third-place finish in round one at Sebring International Raceway. In the second race of the season, Lux qualified on the outside of the front row. Unfortunately, luck was not on her side. On lap-2 of the race, a belt broke on the No. 17 Panoz GT-RA and Lux was forced to retire – credited with a last-place finish.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||Divina Galica||ARAMARK Uniform Services / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|2||4||Belinda Endress||Xtreme Island Designs / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|3||3||Sarah Wahl||National MS Society / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|4||9||Milka Duno||MRW/Pits 39/MLP Productions / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|5||5||Sonja Bayer||Dick Barbour Racing / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|6||12||Kiki Wolfkill||TBD / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|7||10||Terri Hundertmark||Racing for Kids/T.C.R. / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|8||8||Amy Ruman||rumanracing.com / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|9||7||Dana Moore||SteadyPlay/Moore Video / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|10||13||Alisa Kincaid||Third Eye Productions / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|11||11||Nikki LaRue||Crocotile/LaRue Motorsports / Panoz GT-RA||20||-|
|12||6||Audrey Zavodsky||Visteon / Panoz GT-RA||19||-|
|13||14||Sherri DeCoursey||fast jane / Panoz GT-RA||19||-|
|14||2||Cindi Lux||Satellite Beach / Panoz GT-RA||2||Mechanical|
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