The inaugural 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 series ran its course and ended with the 2000 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 2001, the Panoz Racing Series replaced the WGGTS, which allowed both genders to participate.

The Panoz Racing Series has two classes, each with separate schedules and formats. The Panoz GT Series consists of five events and there will be three races for the Panoz GTS competitors.

The GT class cars are "spec" vehicles fielded by the Panoz Motor Sports Group. All are equally-prepared Panoz Esperantes. The GTS category is for privately entered cars. They are also built by Panoz Auto Development. The GTS and GT cars race together at three Panoz Racing Series events but are scored separately.

The competitors drive the Panoz Esperante sports cars. 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 2001 Panoz Racing Series kicked off at Sebring International Raceway as a support event for the 48th Annual 12-Hours of Sebring. Competitors raced around the seventeen-turn 3.74-mile road course in a twelve-lap contest.

There were thirteen GTS Panoz Esperantes entered in round one of the Panoz Racing Series. Qualifying on the class and overall pole was Brian Angen in the No. 09 Rocky’s Wire EDM sponsored Panoz. Angen finished third in last year’s Skip Barber series and was awarded the Most Improved Driver trophy. He would lead the twelve-lap event at Sebring flag-to-flag, collecting his first professional race win.
Gavin Riches was the twelfth fastest in the qualifying session but topped the GT class timesheet. He drove the No. 25 Panoz Esperante with backing from Autoquest, Adventure Magazine and Pro Scapes Express. Although the fastest race lap belonged to the No. 21 Panoz of Barry Davison, Riches would lead the other six GT category competitors to the class victory and finish eighth overall.
Finishing second overall and in the GTS category was Rocky Angen. Angen, the father of the winner Brian, qualified third fastest overall and in the GTS division. The driver of the No. 44 Rocky’s Wire EDM Panoz Esperante was able to capitalize on an issue for the second-place starter, Gary Curtis, to collect the runner-up result. Angen finished 18.511-seconds behind his son.
Earning the runner-up spot in the GT division was Sonja Bayer. Bayer won the opening round of last year’s Women’s Global GT Series at Sebring International Raceway. She went on to collect victories at Road Atlanta and Texas on her way to the title. In the first race of 2001, Bayer qualified thirteenth overall and second in the GT category driving the No. 19 Dick Barbour Racing Panoz. She advanced to ninth overall.
The podium at Sebring International Raceway for round one of the 2001 Panoz Racing Series. From left to right: Paul Liccardo, who finished third in GTS, then the GTS winner, Brian Angen and beside him is his father and the runner-up, Rocky Angen. Next to Angen is the second-place finisher in the GT division, Sonja Bayer, and beside her Barry Davison, who finished third in class. On the end is the GT category winner, Gavin Riches.

11GTSBrian AngenRocky’s Wire EDM / Panoz GTS12-
23GTSRocky AngenRocky’s Wire EDM / Panoz GTS12-
36GTSPaul LiccardoKenwood Communications / Panoz GTS12-
42GTSGary CurtisDonny Brooke Motorsports / Panoz GTS12-
58GTSDave DunlapSan Jose Harley Davidson / Panoz GTS12-
67GTSDan GutermanHallett Motor Racing Circuit / Panoz GTS12-
79GTSBrad WardPanoz GTS12-
812GTGavin RichesPro Scapes Express / Panoz GT12-
913GTSonja BayerDick Barbour Racing / Panoz GT12-
1014GTBarry DavisonLabor Management / Panoz GT12-
1115GTAudrey ZavodskyVisteon / Panoz GT12-
1220GTBelinda EndressXID / Panoz GT12-
1311GTSRobert GranadoRSG Solutions / Panoz GTS12-
1418GTSBill ToddPanoz Auto Development / Panoz GTS12-
1519GTJeff WadeShowtime Networks / Panoz GT12-
1610GTSPhil EiselinBPSI Racing / Panoz GTS11-
1716GTMilka DunoMRW-CANTV/Solera/PDV / Panoz GT9Mechanical
184GTSDon BarnesCar Parts In Sale.Com / Panoz GTS4Mechanical
1917GTSSteven LewisNew Auto Toy Store / Panoz GTS1Mechanical
205GTSBob DeeksPanoz GTS0Mechanical

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