GENTILOZZI WINS 29TH TRANS-AM POLE AT EDMONTON GRAND PRIX EDMONTON, Alberta (July 15, 2005) -- Paul Gentilozzi further cemented his legendary Trans-Am status Friday, winning his 29th career Trans-Am pole Friday for Saturday's Festival City 100...
GENTILOZZI WINS 29TH TRANS-AM POLE AT EDMONTON GRAND PRIX
EDMONTON, Alberta (July 15, 2005) -- Paul Gentilozzi further cemented his legendary Trans-Am status Friday, winning his 29th career Trans-Am pole Friday for Saturday's Festival City 100 at the Grand Prix of Edmonton. In front of 55,722 fans, Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) turned in a record 1:17.144-minute lap at 92.072 miles per hour around the 1.973-mile temporary street course. It was his first pole this season.
Tomy Drissi qualified second in the No. 5 Supercross -- The Movie Jaguar XKR, ahead of points leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Canada Chevrolet Corvette). Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) and Joey Scarallo (No. 06 Group A Wheels/AutoTrend/Toyo Tires Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five. Scarallo will start first and Pickett will roll off second tomorrow due to Trans-Am's Fast Five Qualifying format, which inverts the top five in qualifying.
Gentilozzi earned three bonus championship points for the pole and also wins the Jaguar Pole Award, which goes to any pole-winning Jaguar this season. Gentilozzi will start fifth tomorrow.
"We really weren't trying for the pole," said the four-time Trans-Am champion. "We were looking for fifth. First of all, the engine in my car hadn't even been started before qualifying. I needed to go out, put some easy laps on it and get it up to temperature. Then I had a really good lap going, and I came up on a slower car. Then I had another good lap, and they said I was sixth. Pickett and I then had a battle going for fifth. Then, I just had to go. So I went, and as I went around the final turn, the car just quit for a second. Then it straightened out and it got going again. I ran out of gas on my fast lap."
"It was just a comedy," added Gentilozzi. "We're not bragging about it but we're happy to win the pole on an empty tank."
Drissi earned on bonus point for the outside pole, and will start fourth tomorrow.
"The track is fast," said Drissi. "In fact, I think it's a lot faster than we're will to go right now. The car is good. I went out and I had an oil pressure problem, so I came in and they fixed that. I only really got five good laps in. I thought I had the pole at the end, so I came in and then the boss took two points from me."
Ruhlman will roll off third tomorrow. He was pleased with his weekend thus far and said his Jim Derhaag-led team are ready for the race.
"The car has been great, but the track has been a real challenge," said Ruhlman. "It's not really what you expect from an airport circuit; there are a lot more walls and a lot more technical sections. We made a couple changes after the second practice and they look like they are going to work out really well for the race."
Tim Barber won the GT America Class pole. He'll start seventh overall tomorrow in the No. 96 Riverside Motorsports Park Pontiac Grand Prix.
"I'm just really happy for the Riverside Motorsports car," said Barber. "We have a skeleton crew this weekend; it's just the truck driver and I. We came here to get some points toward the championship. This is a fun track and we're having a great time. I don't know if I'll get any sleep this weekend; Edmonton seems like such a fun town."
Final practice is scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. The Festival City 100 is to start at 4:45 MDT. The race will air on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. on SPEED Channel.