ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 18, 2001) -- The 2001 BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series continued today, in the eighth of eleven races, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tom Gloy Racing-entered Brian Simo, the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Cup Trans-Am Champion,...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 18, 2001) -- The 2001 BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series continued today, in the eighth of eleven races, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tom Gloy Racing-entered Brian Simo, the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Cup Trans-Am Champion, was unable to finish after heavy rains, thunder and lightening moved into the Wisconsin countryside.
Road America is a permanent road course, 4.048 miles in length. Simo, driving the Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta, started fifth and ran as high as second. This was Simo's 58th Fast-Five appearance in the Trans-Am Series.
The 25-lap race started under light rain conditions. Team Owner, Tom Gloy wisely opted with only three minutes before the start of the race to have the Tommy Bahama number 88 start on rain tires after carefully surveying the likelihood of heavy rain. Simo likes Road America, the 14-turn track; he was running second when the light rain turned to a heavy downpour. He ended up going off into one of the gravel pits on lap 18. Many of the other drivers ended up off course, sliding off or hitting each other in the deluge. The rain was red flagged and all of the Trans-Am entries were stopped in pit lane. The race was eventually red flagged; it did not continue and Simo posted an 11th place finish.
"It was a white out when the heavy rains came and a lot of cars ended up in the gravel pit," said Simo. "When the rain really started to dump we could not see where we were going for a brief second. That second was right at the gravel pit and about three guys slid in right behind me. We had another car right in front of us and his rear spray combined with the rain made it impossible to see the track. We had a good finishing position until it rained. I feel bad for the Tom Gloy Racing team; the Tommy Bahama car was awesome today and I wanted a good finish for them. We were racing for a win today with just a hand full of laps to go before the white out."
Today's race will air on August 25 on the Speedvision Television Network at 2:00 p.m. EST.
The next race for Tom Gloy Racing will be at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 25, 2001. Round Nine of the 2001 Trans-Am Series/ BFGoodrich Tires Cup will be on the permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio. The race will air on September 1 at 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST on the Speedvision Television Network.
Additionally, Tom Gloy Racing announced on August 15, it will enter a third car for the upcoming race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Tony Ave, from Indianapolis, will drive the new Riley & Scott Mk VIII Trans-Am chassis. The Tom Gloy Racing entry will be a Qvale Mangusta with Ford power and will carry the number 4.
Ave, a Hurley, Wis. native, is currently fourth in the Drivers' Championship points standings in the CART Toyota Atlantic series. The 30 year old driver has extensive road course experience and has competed in the SCCA Trans-Am series as well as the KOOL Toyota Atlantic, USAC Silver Crown, USAC Midget and Sprint Cars, Snowmobiles, Pan-American GT, Formula Atlantic, North American Pro Series and the Oldsmobile Pro Series.
Last January, Tom Gloy Racing was named the Riley & Scott factory development team for 2001 and beyond. This all-new car is the first major redesign of the most successful chassis in the history of the Trans-Am Series.