CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 9, 2002) -- For the fifth consecutive year, Johnson Controls, Inc. is returning as title sponsor of the annual Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup event on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.
This year's event, scheduled for Sunday, April 14, will launch the Trans-Am's 12-race 2002 schedule.
"Johnson Controls is proud to be the lead sponsor of the first Trans-Am race of the season," said Bill Fluharty, vice president of industrial design and new product strategy, North America for Johnson Controls. "This race provides Johnson Controls, our automaker customers and the automotive design community an excellent platform for innovation in automotive interior design."
In addition to its title sponsorship of the opening Trans-Am round in Long Beach, Johnson Controls is also a sponsor of the season-long Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, as well as primary sponsor on the Rocketsports Racing Jaguar XKR campaigned by Paul Gentilozzi, defending and three-time Trans-Am Series champion. Gentilozzi, Trans-Am Series champion in 1998, '99 and 2001, is seeking to become only the second driver in Trans-Am history to win four consecutive titles, joining Tom Kendall (1990, '95, '96, '97).
"Our friends at Johnson Controls have continually demonstrated their commitment to the Trans-Am Series in a wide variety of ways," said Trans-Am Series president Dennis Huth. "We are pleased that they have once again chosen to sponsor the Trans-Am season opener at Long Beach, one of the most popular stops of the entire Trans-Am season."
The Trans-Am Series, sanctioned by Englewood, Colorado-based Sports Car Club of America Pro Racing, is the longest-running road racing series in North America, entering its 37th year of competition in 2002. Gentilozzi will be looking to claim his fourth title against a strong field of rivals including former champion Brian Simo, Johnny Miller, Lou Gigliotti, Michael Lewis and Rookie of the Year Justin Bell. Three of the Trans-Am's mid-season events will be televised nationally by CBS Sports, while the others will be carried by SPEED Channel on either a live or tape-delayed basis. All Trans-Am drivers compete for the prestigious BFGoodrich Tires Cup, emblematic of the series title.
-scca pro racing/trans am-