Houston, TX. -- Tommy Archer, driving the number 36 Control Concepts Dodge Viper started fourth and finished third in the final round of the 2001 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, but had to pass most of the field, then benefit from a protest to do it. Justin Bell won the race.
"We dropped a few spots early in the race, but as my tires warmed up, the car started getting better and I was able to pick them back up," said Duluth, Minnesota resident Archer.
Unfortunately, when he passed Paul Gentilozzi for third on lap 17, Gentilozzi spun him around. Archer fell to the back of the field, but by lap 40 (of 60), he was back up to eighth despite a second spin. A late-race caution bunched the field, and Archer vaulted to fourth at the finish. After the race Mike Lewis was penalized, elevating Archer to third.
"It's really a shame about Gentilozzi turning me around, because our car got better and better the whole race. By the end, we were turning faster laps than the leaders," added Archer. "It's been an up and down year, but we'll take fourth in the championship."
"We protested Gentilozzi's actions, but regardless of what happens, we're happy to finish third today," said Joe Tranchida, owner of Cinjo Racing. "I would have been happy with fourth points at the start of the year, but once we won, that's all I wanted to do. Certainly our season got better when Geoffrey Taylor and the folks at Control Concepts came on board. I think we're all thinking championship for next year." <pre>
Final Trans-Am Driver's Standings: 1. Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKR 287 2. Brian Simo Qvale Mangusta 255 3. Johnny Miller Jaguar XKR 255 4. Tommy Archer Dodge Viper 221 5. Justin Bell Chevrolet Corvette 219 6. Lou Gigliotti Chevrolet Corvette 212 7. Michael Lewis Jaguar XKR 201 8. Boris Said Panoz Esperante 166 9. Bob Ruman Chevrolet Corvette 142 10. Leighton Reese Chevrolet Corvette 140
The final race for the Trans-Am series will be televised on October 13 on Speedvision starting at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Cinjo Racing Season At-A-Glance: Sebring Qualify sixth Finish fifth Long Beach Quality sixth Finish fourth Mosport Qualify third Finish second, new track record Detroit Qualify second Finish nineteenth, axle failure Cleveland Qualify fifth Finish fourth Sears Point Qualify eighth - Anthony Lazzaro Finish fourth - Anthony Lazzaro Portland Qualify first Finish first Road America Qualify thirty-third - tech infraction Finish ninth Mid-Ohio Qualify second Finish ninth Laguna Seca Qualify first Finish ninth Houston Start fourth Finish third