The Car »
||Panoz Esperante GTR-1 Q9 'Sparky'
||John Nielsen, Doc Bundy, Christophe Tinseau
||Petit Le Mans 1998
||Number 12 general - Number 2 in LMGT1
During 1998 Panoz were working at a car that was at least 10 years ahead of time. The Esperante was equiped with a hybrid system enabling the car to harvest electrical energy during braking and releasing it again as a power boost during acceleration. This could lead to either more power or reduced fuel consumption - or ideally both. This is well known in 2020, but it was hi-tech in 1998.
However it turned out that the added power was not enough to compensate for the added extra weight from the batteries and 'Sparky' - as the car was named - did never run at Le Mans, which had been the intention. Its only race was the Petit Le Mans in USA later in 1998.
John Nielsen can tell, that it sometimes were quite exiting to race a hybrid racecar in the early days of the technology. The car carried a livery with lightning bolts at the outside - but sometime there was also lightnings at the inside when the hybrid system did not work quite as intended.
The Model »