PAUL GENTILOZZI NETS 30TH CAREER TRANS-AM POLE WILL START FIFTH IN THE CYTOMAX SPORT DRINK 100 DENVER (Aug. 12, 2005) -- Paul Gentilozzi won his 30th career Trans-Am pole Friday during qualifying for Saturday's Cytomax Sport...
PAUL GENTILOZZI NETS 30TH CAREER TRANS-AM POLE
WILL START FIFTH IN THE CYTOMAX SPORT DRINK 100
DENVER (Aug. 12, 2005) -- Paul Gentilozzi won his 30th career Trans-Am pole Friday during qualifying for Saturday's Cytomax Sport Drink 100 at the Grand Prix of Denver. Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) waited until the final lap of the shortened session to set his fastest lap, a one-minute, 13.934-second time at 80.683 miles per hour.
Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing teammate Tomy Drissi was second fastest in the No. 5 Four Brothers -- The Movie Jaguar XKR, while points leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette) was third quickest. John Baucom (No. 86 MAP Quality Engineering/SoftwareToolbox.com Ford Mustang) and rookie Klaus Graf (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) completed the top five. Gentilozzi will start fifth tomorrow due to Trans-Am's Fast Five® invert, while Graf will roll off first.
Gentilozzi, a four-time Trans-Am Drivers' Champion, earned three bonus points for the pole, his second this season. He earned the pole on the final lap of the session, which was shortened due to a car that stalled on course on its out lap.
"I had a good first third of a lap going, then I locked up the brakes and went into the runoff," said Gentilozzi. "My crew said I had one minute left. I had a good lap going, then I made one little mistake, but I drove it harder. It was just luck that we earned the pole.
"During a shortened session like this, you have to treat it like it's a race," added Gentilozzi. "You basically have one pace lap and you have to go. On the out lap you have to work the car to build the air pressure in your tires. These cars don't like low air pressure; it softens the spring rate and the tires deform in the turns. I had two laps to do it, so I had to resign myself to the fact that I just had five minutes."
Drissi earned one point for his outside pole. Drissi will start fourth tomorrow.
"This inversion thing kind of plays havoc for me sometimes, because I want to be the fastest when I go out," said Drissi. "I was going for the pole. I had a little glitch in the car, so I was finished. I radioed in and my crew chief said: Tomy, you're P-1, but Paul still has a half a lap to go.' So, that's the second race this year where Paul has gotten me at the end, but tomorrow it will be time to put it the mentor."
GTA points leader Tim Barber recovered from a hard crash in this morning's practice to time 10th overall and first in class. Barber (No. 97 Riverside Motorsports Park Ford Taurus) credited his crew for the effort.
"My team really worked hard to get me back on track," said Barber. "A couple rolls of duct tape and we were ready to go. They put a lot of sweat and blood into it and I'm just happy to be here at Denver."
Paul Fix won the GT-1 Class pole in the No. 77 Stop Flex/Buca di Beppo/Hotel Monaco/Pennzoil Ford Mustang).
Final practice is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:45 a.m. MDT. The Cytomax Sport Drink 100 is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. MDT. The race will air on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. on SPEED Channel.