Mid-Ohio: Paul Gentilozzi preview

Trans-Am Champion Paul Gentilozzi looks for fourth consecutive Mid-Ohio win. Lexington, Ohio - Three-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi is seeking his fourth consecutive win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when the Trans-Am Series...

Trans-Am Champion Paul Gentilozzi looks for fourth consecutive Mid-Ohio win.

Lexington, Ohio - Three-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi is seeking his fourth consecutive win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns during the American LeMans Series weekend on June 28-29. Gentilozzi, driver of the No.3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR, scored a flag-to-flag victory here last season, delivering the coveted Manufacturers' Championship to Jaguar for the first time since 1978. Prior to the Series one-year hiatus at Mid-Ohio in 2000, Gentilozzi collected back-to-back wins in 1999 and 1998. It was a Rocketsports Racing 1-2 sweep in 1998 when his teammate, Bill Saunders, finished a mere 0.065-second behind him in second place to record the second closest finish in the Series' history.

Gentilozzi always looks forward to his tour of this celebrated circuit. "I've developed a real affection for the track," said Gentilozzi, who has 24 Trans-Am victories. "It's the site of my first road race, my first crash, and my first pole. In addition, Jim Trueman was very kind and generous to me which also made this place feel special.

"Mid-Ohio is one of the best real road racing tracks in the world," continued Gentilozzi, who ranks first in all-time top-three (56), top-five (88) and top-ten (117) Trans-Am finishes, "Fast Five" starts (106), race starts (176), lead-lap finishes (114), and prize money winnings. "This circuit is so technical. It requires so much more than just the `stab and steer' approach to driving.

"This has always been my favorite permanent circuit because it's the most challenging track to do right," explained Gentilozzi, who started on the pole and won the season-opener in Long Beach. "The handling of the car is absolutely critical. Your ability as a driver to put together a whole lap, not just two corners, is of greater importance here than at any other track we race on.

"The emphasis here is on handling and drivability and Rocketsports excels in both those areas," said Gentilozzi. "We use an engine package that makes the car very drivable.

"This track always demands the utmost from the car and driver," revealed Gentilozzi. "There are definite nuances to this track that can make a substantial difference in lap times. But if you're hooked up, you develop a real rhythm and the laps just seem to melt away."

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi