KLAUS GRAF WINS MONTREAL AND SIXTH CHAMPIONSHIP FOR ROCKETSPORTS
MONTREAL, Quebec (August 27, 2005) Trans-Am series Rookie-of-the-Year, Klaus Graf was named champion after the checkered flag fell on the season ending Trans-Am event during the Molson Indy Montreal. Driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR from his fifth place starting position, the German native worked his way through the field to take over the lead on lap 25 and remained there to the end. Rocketsports teammate Tomy Drissi in the No. 5 Transporter2 the Movie Jaguar XKR and four-time series champion, Paul Gentilozzi in the No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR were sidelined early with mechanical problems.
Heading into today's event, Graf needed to finish sixth or better to clinch the 2005 Trans-Am Championship. The 34-year-old became the first German national to win the Trans-Am championship in its 40-year history. Graf also is only the second driver to win both the Rookie-of-the-Year title and the championship in the same year. Dorsey Schroeder accomplished the feat 1989.
The goal for the 2005 Trans-Am Champion today was to finish the race, circumstances allowed him to not only finish but win. "I actually wasn't planning on winning today," declared Graf. "Paul had some kind of problem, it was unfortunate. We had a nice lead running one and two and we wanted to keep it that way. Thanks a lot to Trans-Am, Rocketsports Racing and Jaguar, I really enjoyed this year. We had some really good racing, unbelievable, a perfect weekend. My family came from Germany especially for this weekend, we won the race and the championship, it couldn't be better."
With Graf championship, Rocketsports Racing owner, Gentilozzi grabs his sixth championship as an owner. "We needed to do this. It was the right thing for Jaguar and Klaus," said Gentilozzi. "I am happy. You know it is hard to be hap py for other people but now that they are part of our team and that really validates it. Klaus is a classy guy who can really drive a race car and now that he is part of the Rocketsports and Jaguar tradition, I couldn't be happier."
Starting from the pole after the top-five inversion, the Rockin' Moroccan, Drissi drove hard and led the first 10 laps until clutch problems ended his day early on lap 14. "I really wanted to win this event in Montreal," said Drissi. "We ran up front giving Transporter2 the movie some good television time and held off Paul for a while. Congratulations to Klaus, he is a great driver and an all around good guy. I look forward to racing with him in the future."