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TRANS AM: LAC Motorsports Unveils Panoz Esperante At LA Auto Show

6 January 2001

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
LAC Motorsports used the glitz and glamour of the Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal their 2001 Trans-Am plans. LAC will significantly intensify its efforts for the 2001 Trans-Am Championship and expand to two cars. The team has purchased two new 2001 Panoz Esperante bodied Elan Motorsports Technologies chassis. The multi-year agreement provides LAC with testing and developmental opportunities along with access to one of the Worlds leading builders of motorsports chassis. LAC will also switch to fuel injection for 2001 with the help of Elan Power Products and their factory engine program. In addition, LAC will be the official on-track parts supplier for all Panoz Esperante/Elan Motorsports Trans-Am related parts.

Vernon Hills, Ill., based Wickes Lumber, the teams primary sponsor in 2000, returns to Trans-Am in 2001 as primary sponsor of both LAC entries. Drivers for 2001 include team owner Kerry Alexander and Trans-Am newcomer Gary Longo. Alexander will be returning for his second full season of Trans-Am competition.

Trilithic, an engineering and technology company based in Indianapolis, Ind., has increased its commitment to the team by expanding their sponsorship on the #35 to be fielded by Kerry Alexander. Trilithic will also become an associate sponsor on the #53 to be debuted by Gary Longo. Longo, whose previous experience includes a Rookie of the Year title in Barber Dodge, will be competing for Trans-Am Rookie of the Year honors for 2001.

"What a tremendous program we have put together for 2001," said team owner Alexander. "We are so fortunate to have sponsors like Wickes and Trilithic. They have both made major commitments that have allowed us to make the investments necessary to seriously challenge for the 2001 Championship. We are real excited to be able to provide a driving opportunity for Gary Longo. He is going to be a real bright light in the future of Trans-Am. I fully expect Gary to be a serious contender for the 2001 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year title."

"We looked long and hard at all of our options for chassis for 2001. After serious consideration, we felt that the Panoz organization and their Esperante body/Elan chassis was the best package. We believe that partnering with Panoz and Elan Motorsports will provide us the best opportunity to win."

Pictures of the #35 Wickes Lumber Trilithic Panoz Esperante are posted on the Trans-Am website at

Text Provided By David Lang

Editors Note: To view hundreds of hot racing photos and art, visit The Racing Photo Museum and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.