Will it be Lola, Dallara or Panoz (Elan)? UPDATE #5 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Look for the new Elan manufactured Panoz Champ Car to blow the existing Champ Car in the weeds, and that is sure to excite Champ Car fans. But more importantly the lower cost (and higher prize money to be announced at a later date) will bring new teams into the series. The new car will weigh about 165 pounds less than the existing car, and that in itself will make the slightly narrower and shorter car be significantly faster. In addition, the 2.65 liter turbocharged Ford Cosworth engine will pump out 775 HP (or perhaps even 800 HP), up from the current 750 HP. With the push-to-pass button the HP will now be 825 HP. That will put the new Champ Car more on par with a F1 car, though the F1 car will always be faster because it 1) Still weighs much less and, 2) The tire war means F1 has super sticky tires compared to the hard Bridgestones used in Champ Car.
It is expected Lola, which lost the bid to the American company, will make a bid to supply the new 2007 IRL chassis in a head-to-head competition with Dallara. We doubt IRL officials will allow Elan to supply cars to their series beyond 2006 if they are supplying the entire Champ Car grid, not at the rate IRL teams go through cars as they explode against the oval track walls.
10/10/05 AutoRacing1.com has learned through sources that Lola did not win the contract for the 2007 Champ Car. It is assumed, therefore, that American manufacturer Panoz (Elan Motorsports) will be named the exclusive supplier on Tuesday during Champ Car's planned media teleconference. Mark C.
10/05/05 As recently as the Las Vegas Champ Car race in late September it appeared Champ Car was poised to throw long-time chassis supplier Lola under the bus in favor of Panoz (formerly GForce) which, of course, is owned in part by ALMS founder Don Panoz. Now, it seems Lola may have regained the inside track on the ’07 Champ Car chassis. SPEEDTV.com
09/16/05 AutoRacing1.com has now learned that Dallara is out of the running and it's down to Lola and Panoz. Champ Car officials have visited both factories recently. Mark C.
09/16/05 We hear Dallara made a better financial proposal to Champ Car than Lola using the old Honda/Midland F1 project (with logical changes) and considering how fast the present GP2 and World Series by Renault cars there is no doubt they could build a fast Champ Car. We hear that since 2001 Dallara has been eyeing a Champ Car project and apparently they have come in with an aggressive bid. However, we suspect that Carl Haas' political ties will ultimately land Lola the deal.
09/16/05 Rumor has it that Lola was the frontrunner for the new Champ Car, but unconfirmed reports out of Italy tell us that Dallara has beat their price. Most, including us, are assuming Lola will get the contract, maybe. Could Dallara, which also supplies cars in the IRL, handle both leagues given how many cars and parts the IRL teams go through when they hit those walls?