Goodbye Panthera, welcome LKY SUNZ?

News Unraced 2020 - 2029

It seems i missed a lot of Formula One news. Already in May 2023 almost all Formula One sites, expect mine, published the same story about LKY SUNZ. A new team based in Asia. Interestingly is the fact that several key members of the Panthera Team Asia F1 Team are now with the new Asian attempt to enter the Formula One. So is it goodbye Panthera? Or is there something else going on? Could it be there will be two teams based in Asia to enter the sport, I have my thoughts about it so lets look a bit into it.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the complete planet there were several groups and companies that were interested to enter the Formula One. To name some China F1 Racing Team Limited, Brabham, Campos, Monaco F1 Racing and of course the Panthera attempt. The last one is the team that kept on re-appearing every now and then in the media with a statement. Though, since a year or so nothing much has been heard from the team. Now I found out about LKY SUNZ I start to believe why it doesn’t.

Looking into Panthera both Benjamin Durand and Paul Fleming left the company to start the new one. Some more employees are Andy Pyrah is the teams Chief Commercial Officer. Steve Price who, according to his Twitter’s account, Chief Creative Machine. Most of the names are unknown to me.

LKY SUNZ, which means Lucky Sons, their mission is to give people in the lower class of society the opportunity to develop themselves and enter the Formula One circus. Focusing on North America, Asia and Africa. Their base will be somewhere in East Asia though it is not sure still where they will build their factory. So far they managed to have their financial situation in order as they secured an investment from Legends Advocates Sports Group an American based sports fund. As well investment from Asian business people.

Their plan is to bring a different type of team in the Formula One, with a different type of vibe and set up of the team focussing more on the youth. If you ask me it is a noble thing they are doing. I only question if they will be able to materialise. I like the idea that they want to educate their own personal though you need to have experienced personnel as well.

So where is Panthera standing now. When you look in it you will see that Michel Orts is still the owner of the team. It seems that the team, back in February, said that they were working on an entry for 2026. There were also talks that the team was willing to negotiate with Calvin Lo who announced in late 2022 he was looking to enter the Formula One. Probably by buying a team, though nothing has been heard of that. It is interested that Durand went soon after Panthera’s announcement arrived at LKY SUNZ.

It seems that Panthera is still in existing though in what state that’s the question. No news, is good news is what people say. Though, I dare to question if there will be any future for Panthera. Looking at their road since the announcement I’m not sure.