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.
The finale of the 2000 Women’s Global GT Series was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Drivers would compete for forty-five-minutes around the 2.52-mile ‘roval’ layout in a contest sponsored by the Race Rock Supercharged Restaurant.
|The field of fifteen competitors funnel into the first turn chicane for lap one of the 2000 Women’s Global GT Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Leading the pack is the pole-sitter, Divina Galica, in the No. 24 Panoz GT-RA. Behind Galica is the No. 9 Xtreme Island Designs Panoz of the second-fastest qualifier, Belinda Endress. Beside Endress is the No. 2 Dick Barbour Racing Panoz of the fourth-place starter, Sonja Bayer.|
|It was another flag-to-flag victory for the oldest driver in the series, Davina Galica. The former three-time member of the Women’s Olympic British Ski Team started on the pole, which was the third time in 2000. Galica earned two victories and two runner-up finishes during the 2000 season. Unfortunately, a fifteenth place finish in the penultimate round at Road Atlanta left her second in the final standings.|
|The series 1999 ‘Most Improved Driver’ award was earned by Belinda Endress. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Endress drove the No. 9 Xtreme Island Designs sponsored Panoz GT-RA and qualified second fastest. She chased the eventual winner, Davina Galica, to a runner-up finish. This would be Endress’ third second-place result of the season. She would end the year fourth in the championship standings.|
|Shauna Marinus made her series debut last season at Road Atlanta, where she finished twelfth. This year her main focus was competing in the Touring Car division of the Speedvision World Challenge series. She earned five top-ten finishes driving a BMW 328Ci for TC Kline Racing. In her only Women’s Global GT Series start of 2000, Marinus qualified and finished third in the No. 25 Panoz GT-RA.|
|German driver, Sonja Bayer, started her 2000 campaign with a victory at Sebring International Raceway. This was followed by a season-low result of fifth-place at Lowes Motor Speedway. The remainder of the year, Bayer landed on the podium, which included victories at Texas and Road Atlanta. In the finale, she qualified and finished fourth. This conservative approach allowed her to claim the championship.|
|The 2000 Women’s Global GT Series year-end class photo. During the season, a total of twenty-five drivers scored points. And eight competitors raced in all six rounds. In addition, to the United States, there were participants from England, Ireland, Venezuela and Germany. By 2000, the series had run its course and next year it would be open to male drivers and called the Panoz Racing Series.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||Divina Galica||Aramark Uniform Services / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|2||2||Belinda Endress||Xtreme Island Designs / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|3||3||Shauna Marinus||TBD / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|4||4||Sonja Bayer||Dick Barbour Racing / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|5||6||Dana Moore||Moore Video / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|6||8||Audrey Zavodsky||Visteon / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|7||7||Amy Ruman||rumanracing.com / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|8||10||Niki Ruman||rumanracing.com / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|9||12||Nikki LaRue||Crocotile/LaRue Motorsports / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|10||11||Terri Hundertmark||Racing for Kids/T.C.R. / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|11||15||Karen Salvaggio||R & S Consultants/Corvette Ranch / Panoz GT-RA||29||-|
|12||28||Milka Duno||MRW/Pits 39/MLP Production / Panoz GT-RA||28||-|
|13||30||Alisa Kincaid||Third Eye Productions / Panoz GT-RA||28||-|
|14||26||Sherri DeCoursey||fast jane / Panoz GT-RA||27||-|
|15||8||Renee Eady||TBD / Panoz GT-RA||5||Mechanical|
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