Rocketsports Racing And Paul Gentilozzi To Compete In The Rolex 24 At Daytona
Lansing, Mich. - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi will again compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance classic on February 2-3. Gentilozzi, who won the overall 1994 Rolex 24 race driving a Nissan 300ZX GTS class car, raced in the 2001 Rolex 24 in a Saleen S7R in the GTS class.
Rocketsports Racing will enter a Jaguar XKR in the GTS class. Gentilozzi will participate in the pre-event January test days January 3-5 at the Speedway. Michael Lauer will co-drive with Gentilozzi and will also attend the test session. Additional co-drivers will be announced at a later date.
"The Rolex 24 is the ultimate challenge in road racing," explained Gentilozzi, who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-three, top-five, and top-ten finishes, "Fast Five" qualifying efforts, laps led, and race starts. "This is the most important race from a respect standpoint on the continent."
Unlike last year, Gentilozzi will compete in a car built and prepared by his championship Rocketsports Racing team. "We want to control our own destiny," continued Gentilozzi, who has 23 Trans-Am wins and seven IMSA GTS wins. "Nobody develops or prepares a car better than my guys at Rocketsports Racing. We've consistently proven that over the years in Trans-Am competition and we want to showcase that tradition here at Daytona."
Lauer, who has two previous starts at the Rolex 24 in a Riley-Scott prototype in 2001 and a GT3R Porsche in 2000 with co-drivers Paul Newman and Michael Brockman, is looking forward to piloting the Rocketsports entry. "It's a great honor to drive a legendary marque like Jaguar and an enormous privilege to drive with Paul Gentilozzi and Rocketsports Racing," said Lauer, who plans to compete in the Grand-Am, ALMS, and HSR series during 2002. "If we focus on ourselves, doing what we're suppose to, then we should be a favorite for the win."
Gentilozzi believes a second Rolex 24 win would be even sweeter. "As a driver, you receive a tremendous amount of respect for meeting and beating the challenge of Daytona," he said. "If you win the Indy 500 once, does that mean you don't want to go back and try to win again? Of course not. One victory here is more than thousands of drivers ever accomplish, but two wins here puts you in a very special position."