Long Beach: Friday practice notes

Gentilozzi tops first round practice. LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Paul Gentilozzi was a dominant force during Friday's first-round practice for Sunday's Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup race, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of ...

Gentilozzi tops first round practice.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Paul Gentilozzi was a dominant force during Friday's first-round practice for Sunday's Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup race, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Gentilozzi, driver of the No. 3 Design 500 Jaguar XKR, toured the 11-turn temporary oval in a time of 1:22.570 minutes at an average speed of 85.804 miles per hour.

"We're not 100 percent yet, but it runs pretty good," said Gentilozzi. "The (brake) pedal was a little soft. I was being pretty careful under braking. In fact I was braking a good car length short, but we snuck up on it.

"The track conditions were pretty darn good," added Gentilozzi. "It was a little slick in spots, but overall, it was pretty good."

Boris Said, driver of the No. 33 New Century Mortgage/Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang, recovered from an early session shunt in turn nine to record the second fastest time at 1:23.371 minutes, ahead of Scott Pruett's No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR. Stu Hayner, driver of the No. 2 Trenton Forging/GMAC Commercial Finance Corvette and Michael Lewis, driver of the No. 12 Trans-Am Tools by ProQuest Jaguar XKR, completed the top five.

Lap by Lap:

Green flag
Lap 1 Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR) fastest.

Lap 2 Tomy Drissi (No. 5 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Movie Jaguar XKR) black flagged. Assessed a drive-through penalty for a blend-line violation.

Lap 3 Gentilozzi still on top of the speed charts.

Lap 5 George Nolte (No. 43 Margraf Racing/www.Nolte.com/BG Products Ford Mustang) short cuts between turns one and five

Lap 6 Gentilozzi improves time to 1:23.559 minutes. Boris Said (No. 33 New Century Mortgage/Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang) hits turn-nine tire wall. Car receives minor front and rear damage, but continues under its own power.

Lap 10 Bobby Sak (No. 10 Revolution Motorsports Corvette) reported to have no brake lights. Smoke reported from the car of Marvin Jones (No. 45 Margraf Racing/M&L Jones Racing, LLC/BG Products Qvale Mangusta)

Lap 11 Nolte black flagged. Assessed a drive-through penalty for a blend-line violation.

Lap 12 Said's car dragging bodywork. Car pits, and crew repairs with tape. Nolte short cuts between turns one and five.

Lap 14 Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) black flagged. Assessed a drive- through penalty for a blend-line violation.

Lap 16 Gentilozzi records his fastest lap, 1:22.570 minutes at 85.804 mph.
Checkered flag

Notes and quotes:

Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Design 500 Jaguar R Performance XKR)
Fastest with a time of 1:22.57 minutes at 85.804 mph

Do old habits die hard, being fastest at Long Beach?
"Well...This is kind of my house."

Tomy Drissi (No. 5 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Movie Jaguar XKR)
Seventh fastest with a time of 1:24.528 minutes at 83.816 mph)

"Right from the start we had a throttle problem. Paul has always told me nothing gets fixed right away, so we came in early. Then, on my second lap, I braked too deep, locked up my tires and flat spotted them. The car needs a little work. We didn't seem to putting the power down well. But, all in all, I'm not unsatisfied with where we are. We just need another lap. We'll be ready for qualifying, and that's all that counts. It feels a bit like we were just out sweeping the track. But that's not unexpected at this time of the day."

Scott Pruett (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR)
Third quickest with a time of 1:23.460 at 84.889 mph

"The driver got confused. I got the bars reversed. It was my fault. There is no problem. The car is really pretty good. We've got just a few small changes to make before qualifying. We were running on 100-mile-old tires, so all in all, we're in good shape. The track was a little bit slippery. I was chasing the rear of the car a bit. It was too 'assy' for me."

Stu Hayner (No. 2 Trenton Forging/GMAC Commercial Financing Chevrolet Corvette)
Fourth quickest with a time of 1:23.609 minutes at 84.737 mph

"The track is the same configuration as it was in year's past, but I think they've done something with the concrete or asphalt. Some of the corners have better grip than they did, and some of them seem to be a little slippery than they were. A lot of us are re-learning the track, which is not a big deal. I think our car is really awesome. We were only second behind the fast guys. My entire session I had oil on my brake pedal. Every time I went into a corner my foot slipped off, so I was a little tentative going into the braking zones. Once we get that cleared up I think we've got a great car. I think like every driver down here, we expect to win. We're going to give it our best to win. I think we've got the team and the car and the sponsors behind us, so we can win. But a lot of things can happen in racing. Racing is about luck. A lot of people say: 'You make your own luck,' but you do need some luck. I think weather is going to be an issue. They say it's going to rain on Sunday, and maybe on Saturday. If that's the case, all the bets go out the window. Our expectations are very good. I love Long Beach. I'm from this area. I live about 45 minutes away in Yorba Linda. I always have a lot of people down here to cheer me on."

Michael Lewis (No. 12 Trans-Am Tools by ProQuest Jaguar XKR)
Fifth quickest with a time of 1:23.690 minutes at 84.655 mph)

"Going out at the end of the day, we get to enjoy the benefits of everyone else laying down rubber. It's usually the best session of the weekend as far as I'm concerned. We ran about the same time we ran last year, except we were P1 last year, and we're P5 this year. We have to do a couple of things, but overall we're happy. The track is in good shape and the car performed pretty well. We always want to qualify in the top five and finish in the top three. We certainly didn't do that in St. Petersburg. Hopefully we can start here."

-scca pro racing/trans am-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Scott Pruett , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Michael Lewis , Bobby Sak , George Nolte , Marvin Jones , Stu Hayner