ROCKETSPORTS RACING RETURNS TO TRANS-AM COMPETITION WITH GENTILOZZI AND DRISSI EAST LANSING, Michigan (September 1, 2006) -- After the announcement that North America's longest running road racing series, the Trans-Am series, will not take the...
ROCKETSPORTS RACING RETURNS TO TRANS-AM COMPETITION WITH GENTILOZZI AND DRISSI
EAST LANSING, Michigan (September 1, 2006) -- After the announcement that North America's longest running road racing series, the Trans-Am series, will not take the green flag for its 41st season in 2006, Rocketsports Racing thought its end to an 18-year run in the series was red flagged for good. However, that red flag was not intended to remain permanent on the flag stand as two of the Rocketsports Jaguar R Performance XKR's will take the green flag this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka.
Heartland Park Topeka is set to host two Trans-Am series events in 2006 to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Trans-Am series. The first event, the "Trans-Am Thunder in the Heartland" will be run Labor Day, September 4 following the final SCCA National Event weekend of the year and will also include the Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata SCCA classes. The second and final event of the series is scheduled for Sunday, October 8 and will be a Trans-Am only race leading into the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs week. The 2006 race series marks the 41st consecutive season of competition for the venerable road racing series. Events will be promoted by Heartland Park Topeka and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing.
2005 Rocketsports Trans-Am drivers Paul Gentilozzi and Tomy Drissi will be competing in the first event this weekend in Topeka, Kansas. Gentilozzi will be behind the wheel of his four-time championship winning #1 Jaguar XKR, while Drissi will be back in the cockpit of his #5 Jaguar XKR.
"I am very excited to get back into my Jaguar XKR seat and take it for another drive," said Gentilozzi, Trans-Am's winningest driver. "I believed then, and still do, that the Trans-Am series was the countries greatest sports car series. I am excited about this opportunity that Heartland Park's Raymond Irwin has put together so that the Trans-Am legacy can continue. This is an opportunity that could not be missed, so I will be working hard on Labor Day to earn my 31st Trans-Am victory!"
Started in 1966 as the Trans-American Sedan Championship, the series provided fans with side-by-side racing on historic road course nationwide. Formed him 1985, Rocketsports Racing moved its road racing efforts to the Trans-Am series as owner, Gentilozzi, made his debut on the streets of Detroit in 1987. Driving an Oldsmobile Toronado, he completed every lap and finished fourth. Seven events later on the streets of Long Beach, Gentilozzi captured his first of what would be a series record of 30 victories.
From June 20, 1987 to August 27, 2005, Gentilozzi would rewrite the record book. In 206 start, Gentilozzi won four championships, 30 wins, 66 podiums, 107 top-five's, 139 top-ten's plus led 1,765 laps, set the fastest race lap 38 times and finished on the lead lap 136 times, all records making him a Trans-Am legend.
For many of the 18 years that Rocketsports completed in Trans-Am, Gentilozzi was not the only driver. The pages of the Rocketsports' history book hold the names of Darrin and Jerry Brassfield, Irv Hoerr, Johnny Miller, Brian Simo, Tommy Kendall, Drissi and celebrities Craig T. Nelson and Bruce Jenner to name only a few. Two names that will hold a special place in its history are Scott Pruett, the 2003 Trans-Am champion, and Klaus Graf, 2005 champion. They are the only drivers besides Gentilozzi to provide championship titles to the team.