Controversy looms over Houston

By Chris Speigner - Motorsport.com Houston, TX - A controversial win was awarded to the Sonen Motorsports Mustang and Chris Neville after Paul Gentilozzi was assessed a 25 second penalty for a rules violation. After a great start by...

By Chris Speigner - Motorsport.com

Houston, TX - A controversial win was awarded to the Sonen Motorsports Mustang and Chris Neville after Paul Gentilozzi was assessed a 25 second penalty for a rules violation.

After a great start by Brian Simo, Gentilozzi was stuck in second. On lap 19 Gentilozzi made a move to pass Simo. During the move, Simo made contact with the right rear of Gentilozzi's car causing wheel damage and a flat tire. Gentilozzi made a dive for the pits, changed the tire, and returned to the race. Gentilozzi made a great run back to the front and held on for the victory. He was followed by Chris Neville and Jack Willes. Mechanical problems plagued several of the teams with Johnny Miller dropping a valve and loosing his engine early on, along with Andre Toennis and Willy T. Ribbs who continues to battle gremlins.

After the race Gentilozzi was awarded the win, but was later stripped of the award by CART officials. It was determined that during the pit stop for his tire change, the Johnson Controls/Homelink team had five crewmen over the wall. Rules only allow for four team members across the wall at any one time.

Jack Willes was also assessed a twenty-five second penalty for passing under caution. When the dust had settled from the penalties, Chris Neville, Stu Hayner, and G.J. Mennen emerged to claim their places on the podium. That leaves the points standings with Gentilozzi on top followed by Brian Simo, Jeff Altenburg, Chris Neville, and Leighton Reese.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Andre Toennis , Willy T. Ribbs , Jack Willes , Jeff Altenburg , G.J. Mennen , Stu Hayner