CHAMPCAR/CART: Paul Gentilozzi - racer, entrepreneur, leader

LANSING, Mich. - Three-time Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup champion Paul Gentilozzi set out last year to add to the Trans-Am Series legacy.

Gentilozzi-a successful team owner in both the Trans-Am Series and Champ Car World Series, as well as a commercial real estate developer-decided this year to acknowledge the many rewards the Trans-Am Series has given him during his 17-year racing career.

Paul Gentilozzi.
Photo by John Thawley.
Gentilozzi acquired the Series' marketing and international promotional rights last year, taking the helm of the Trans-Am Series with one goal in mind: Make an already successful series even greater.

Gentilozzi, put quite simply, is a racer. And his racing resume demonstrates his determination and dedication to excellence.

In 2001, Gentilozzi won his third Trans-Am Series championship in four years and led Jaguar to its first manufacturers' title since 1978. Winning two-straight titles in 1998 and 1999, Gentilozzi ranks first in top-three, top-five and top-10 finishes. He also ranks first in "Fast-Five" starts, laps led, fastest race laps, lead-lap finishes and total winnings. He is third on the career list with 24 victories.

Last year, Gentilozzi finished third in the championship after winning the thrilling season opener at Long Beach and went on to collect eight top-five and 10 top-ten finishes.

But Gentilozzi's accomplishments aren't limited to just the Trans-Am Series.

Gentilozzi took the overall victory in the 1994 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Adding to his Daytona record book was a GTS class victory in the 2002 Rolex 24. Gentilozzi also won the GTS class at the 1992 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 1993 IMSA GTS Manufacturers' Championship. He owns eight IMSA/Grand-Am victories.

Gentilozzi got his start in motorsports in drag racing. In fact, Gentilozzi owns three drag-racing national records, before transitioning into road racing in the mid-1980s in IMSA American Challenge and GTS series.

Yet, Gentilozzi is much more than just an acclaimed race car driver, as will soon become evident to insiders and casual observers, alike.

Gentilozzi settles for nothing less than perfection. That mantra has helped Gentilozzi build his successful real-estate firm from the ground up into one of the top development firms in mid-Michigan. His drive also allowed him to form one of the most competitive teams in Trans-Am Series history.

Gentilozzi now sits firmly behind the wheel of America's oldest continuously running road racing series, and, considering his past successes, he is poised to continue the Trans-Am Series legend.

-scca pro racing-