Tumminelli takes a second, a first & pole in all three WGGT races Mountain View, CA., April 23 - Women's Global GT driver, Jennifer Tumminelli, 33 of Los Gatos, California made history this weekend by being the first woman to win the first ...
Tumminelli takes a second, a first & pole in all three WGGT races
Mountain View, CA., April 23 - Women's Global GT driver, Jennifer Tumminelli, 33 of Los Gatos, California made history this weekend by being the first woman to win the first qualifying/elimination heat race on Saturday, April 17th. Tumminelli posted the fastest race lap and lead 10 out of 12 of the race laps in the 21 minute race putting her on the pole for the final Women's Global GT race.
Driving identically prepared Panoz GT-RA Esperante (3000lb, 320hp) 32 women mainly from the US along with one driver from Venezuela and another from Italy entered into the inaugural Women's Global GT Series at Road Atlanta.
Two out of the three races were split into two sessions with 16 drivers in each. The first 10 minute heat race was held on Friday morning where each driver drew a number for a Panoz car to drive.
On Friday in the first heat race, Tumminelli finished second overall out of 16 drivers putting her second on the grid for the next race.
On Saturday the second heat race was also an elimination race. The top 8 drivers from each of the two groups would move to the final race. Tumminelli was second on the grid for the heat race. A pace car started the 21 minute race. Tumminelli won the race, set the fastest lap and lead 10 out of the 12 laps.
A total of 16 driver were eliminated from the final race.
On Sunday at noon, the final race had the two race winners from each group, Tumminelli and (Shauna) Marinus setting the pace. 14 other drivers were gridded behind the two for the start of the inaugural Women's Global GT race.
Televised by Speedvision with race clips broadcasted on NBC Live the Women's Global GT Series took to the track at noon in front of 40,000 spectators.
Tumminelli and Marinus lined up for the start of the race in the back stretch between turns 7-10. Coming out of turn 10A Tumminelli received a punt by Marinus and again coming out from under the bridge before turn 12 and before the green flag. Tumminelli and Marinus both took the green flag. Going deep into turn 1, Marinus lost control of her car and spun coming out of turn 1. Tumminelli attempted to use what little track was left to go around Marinus. Marinus backed into Tumminelli pushing Tumminelli across the grass field and into the cement wall. Tumminelli's Panoz was retired from the race due to crash damage.
"I had a great car for the race and I ran well all weekend. It's unfortunate this happened because I had the potential of winning the race." Tumminelli observed.
The race was won by Audrey Zavodsky with Kiki Wolfkill finishing in second and Cindi Lux in third.
The Women's Global GT Series next race is scheduled for July 25 at Tumminelli's hometrack, Sears Point in Sonoma, CA.
"I'm looking forward to Sears Point. This is my hometrack and I have driven at this track many times and have won at this track in a GT car. I'll have my family, friends, sponsors and my good-luck charm, my daughter, Nicole (age 13) by my side hopefully with their support and my experience at the track I will have a good shot at a podium finish." Tumminelli stated.
On another note, Tumminelli along with friend and competitor, Sara Senske of Lynx Racing became the first two women in history to compete both an open wheel (Star Formula Mazda Pro Series) and GT (Women's Global GT Pro Series) during a single pro road race weekend. Janet Guthrie on July 18, 1975 became the first women to compete in both Indycar and a GT at Michigan on an oval track during a single race weekend.