SONOMA, Calif. (February 29, 2000) â€” Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports and sponsor Tommy Bahama have acquired the services of Brian Simo for the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series it was announced today. Simo, 40, has already begun testing with the...
SONOMA, Calif. (February 29, 2000) — Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports and sponsor Tommy Bahama have acquired the services of Brian Simo for the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series it was announced today. Simo, 40, has already begun testing with the team which will bring the new Mangusta into Trans-Am racing this year.
"Patience paid off in this case, and we couldn't be happier," stated Joe Huffaker, vice president and technical director of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports. "We were within one day of having someone else in the car when I heard Brian might be available. And as a bonus, we were not only able to get a driver as exciting and capable as Brian, but we were also able to strengthen our entire team. We now have a team with talent as deep as anyone in the entire series.
"This was a case of something good coming of something bad," noted Simo, who has eight Trans-Am victories to his credit, six of those coming last year. "Just weeks ago, it looked like my season was going nowhere for 2000. But now, to have connected with Huffaker/Qvale, and with the good folks at Tommy Bahama, we're back stronger than ever."
In addition to Simo, engineers Doug Louth and Lynn Bishop have also joined forces with the team after working with Simo last year, joining data man George Main. Veterans Bill Fingerlow, O.B. Barsh and relative newcomer Chris Jamieson, all of whom have worked with Simo as well, will also be part of the effort.
"I think we've assembled not only the most interesting Trans-Am effort, with the new Mangusta, but the strongest team as well," noted Bruce Qvale, president of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports. "This will be great for the Mangusta, great for Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports, great for our sponsor Tommy Bahama, and great for the series."
Simo made his first two Trans-Am starts in 1993. Since then, he has contested in 74 events, and scored eight victories. He was the only driver last year to have started all 13 races last year from the Fast Five, and led some 61% of all laps run in 1999. He has been the series runner-up the past three seasons.
"Believe me, we are all focused on winning the championship this year," added Huffaker.