Cleveland: Rocketsports Racing preview

LANSING, Mich. (June 22, 2005) Coming off what can only be described as a successful weekend, Trans-Am rookie, Klaus Graf, heads to Cleveland for the Trans-Am on the Tarmac event. Graf, in only his second event in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance...

LANSING, Mich. (June 22, 2005) Coming off what can only be described as a successful weekend, Trans-Am rookie, Klaus Graf, heads to Cleveland for the Trans-Am on the Tarmac event. Graf, in only his second event in the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, set the fastest time in qualifying and then drove to victory in the Rose City 100 last weekend in Portland, moving him to third in the championship standings. Four-time Trans-Am champion, Paul Gentilozzi, heads to this weekend's event for his 200th career series event and the chance to break the tie for most series wins. Rocketsports teammate and last year's runner-up, Tomy Drissi, looks to improve his best Cleveland finish by one and take the No. 5 Fantastic Four the Movie Jaguar XKR to victory circle.

The leading rookie of the year contender, Graf, looks forward to the challenge of the 2.106-mile temporary airport circuit. "Coming off of our Portland win, a perfect weekend, I am ready to get to Cleveland," said Graf. "Racing airport circuits was very common in Germany and because the circuits are flat it adds to the challenge. I have heard a lot of good things about Cleveland and am convinced that after last week, the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR will be competitive and can repeat the success from Portland."

When Gentilozzi takes the green flag on Saturday a major milestone will be reached, his 200th Trans-Am series start. Over the last 20 years, the Michigan native has continuously rewritten the record book climbing to the top in many of the categories. Gentilozzi name appears atop the list of Most Career Starts, Most Podium Finishes, Most Top-5 Finishes, Most Top-10, Most Lead Lap Finishes, Most Fast Laps, and Career Lap Leader. His next victory will move the four-time champion to the top of Most Career Wins with 30, breaking the tie between himself and the legendary Mark Donohue. "Since race one in Detroit in 1987 I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to accomplish what I have," said Gentilozzi. "Over the years I have competed against some of the best drivers around. As for the breaking the record for most wins this weekend, we'll see, the competition this year is very strong."

In 2004 the Rocketsports crew did the impossible, after the green and silver Jaguar was destroyed in qualifying on Saturday, the crew drove all night to Lansing and back bringing with them a six year old show car chassis. In a matter of hours, installed a new engine and made several modifactions to pass technical inspection and continued working until the car reached the starting grid. Gentilozzi drove from the rear of the fields to his third victory of 2004.

After starting third last year, the Rockin' Moroccan, Tomy Drissi, set the fastest lap of the race en route to his second place finish. Setting seventh in the championship, Drissi looks to get his first podium of the 2005. "We have been strong in both races so far this year," declared the 1999 Rookie of the Year. "Our results haven't quite shown it. I have been ready for Cleveland for a long time, last year we did everything right, we qualified third, set the fastest lap of the race but needed a few more laps to get around Paul for the win. We'll get them this year."

The Trans-Am event is schedule for Saturday June 25th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern and will be aired on SPEED TV July 3rd at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

-RSR-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Klaus Graf , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Mark Donohue