Long Beach: Rocketsports Racing race notes

BAD LUCK STRIKES ROCKETSPORTS TRANS-AM EFFORTS LONG BEACH, CA (April 10, 2005) The Rocketsports Racing trio of Klaus Graf, Tomy Drissi and Paul Gentilozzi were bitten by bad luck in the Cytomax Challenge during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long...

BAD LUCK STRIKES ROCKETSPORTS TRANS-AM EFFORTS

LONG BEACH, CA (April 10, 2005) The Rocketsports Racing trio of Klaus Graf, Tomy Drissi and Paul Gentilozzi were bitten by bad luck in the Cytomax Challenge during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Driving the No. 5 SAHARA the Movie Jaguar XKR, Drissi, came on strong and challenged for the victory in the closing laps but had to settle for sixth after suffering a flat right front tire. Gentilozzi and Graf flexed the muscles of their Jaguar R Performance XKR's powered by production based AJ-V8 engine to lead laps early until mechanical problems relinquished the pair to a 13h and 22nd place finishes respectively.

Slowed in the early laps, Drissi took advantage of a full course caution to regroup and challenge the eventual winner Randy Ruhlman. With only a few laps remaining Drissi was forced to pit to change a flat tire. "We had a fast car at the end," declared the 2000 event winner, Drissi. "We had some bad luck so we didn't finish where we should have. The car is good and I look forward to Portland."

2004 winner, Gentilozzi led early until Graf made his way to the front. Gentilozzi eventually returned to the lead until the power steering locked up and sent the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR into the wall ending his day. "It was a tough day for Klaus and then for me to have problems," said Gentilozzi. "I knew the fluid was leaking, it kicked the steering straight as I was diving into the turn and it put me right into the tires."

The series new-comer, Graf demonstrated his driving abilities as he started seventh and quickly moved to the lead. Graf led until a mechanic issue forced him to park the No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR. "The car was great," stated Graf. "I worked my way up through the field and was ready to settle in, keep the pace and lead some laps. Then something went wrong. It was too bad because the car was really good and the guys worked very hard this weekend."

You can see coverage of the 2005 Trans-Am Series Cytomax Challenge on Speed TV Sunday April 17th at 1:30pm Eastern Time.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Randy Ruhlman