Paul Gentilozzi Portland preview

Portland, Oregon - Two-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi is seeking his fourth win in five races, and his second win at Portland, when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Portland International Raceway for the...

Portland, Oregon - Two-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi is seeking his fourth win in five races, and his second win at Portland, when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Portland International Raceway for the Tommy Bahama 125 on August 3-4. Gentilozzi, driver of the No.3 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Jaguar XKR, scored three consecutive wins at Mosport, Detroit, and Cleveland. Two weeks ago at Sears Point, Gentilozzi stood second on the podium.

Gentilozzi's recent dominance in the series has put him in the lead in the Drivers' Championship point standings where he maintains a 14-point advantage over Brian Simo in second.

Gentilozzi, who won the 1992 Trans-Am race at Portland despite starting 19th because of a pre-race technical penalty, is enthusiastic about the return of Trans-Am competition to Portland.

"This is a great track," said Gentilozzi who has 22 Trans-Am victories to his credit. "It's a very high speed track and you develop a real sense of rhythm. It requires some cunning to set-up the car here because the track conditions can change so much during the race.

"I really liked it even more in the 'old days', before the chicane," revealed Gentilozzi who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-five (83) and top-ten (110) finishes, "Fast Five" starts (98), race starts (168), and prize money winnings. "But there's not much grip on the concrete and that creates lots of opportunity for drama. Guys get more careful as the speed increases, but at 35 mph, fools become brave," he said referring to numerous incidents in the chicane.

"You've got to have horsepower here to do well, but it's still very much a handling track. I think that's most critical," explained Gentilozzi who can tie three-time Trans-Am champion Tom Kendall's record for all-time top-three finishes (53) with a podium finish this weekend.

The race also includes a mandatory green flag pit stop, the second of the season. "It's so easy to make a mistake and get a penalty," said Gentilozzi. "So much depends on when you pit, if you elect to change tires, or if there's a caution after you pit. The win here is really up for grabs. "But Portland has really good race fans who understand and appreciate this style of racing and we intend to give them a great show," concluded Gentilozzi.

-RM

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About this article
Series SCCA , Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Paul Gentilozzi , Tom Kendall