Mosport: News and pre-race notes

The Victoria Day Trans-Am Series Weekend Round 3 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Championship The race will be run on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent Mosport road course, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada Distance: 41 ...

The Victoria Day Trans-Am Series Weekend Round 3 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Championship

The race will be run on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent Mosport road course, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Distance: 41 laps/100.819 miles

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 16, 17, 18, 2003
Race Day: Sunday, May 18, at 1 p.m.

Tire Talk:

Gary Blalock, tire engineer for spec tire supplier BFGoodrich® Tires, is bringing 440 g-Force T/A® tires to Mosport in two dry compounds--200 (medium) and 75 (hard)--and a one full wet compound. Blalock is recommending 26 pounds per square inch of hot air pressure in all four tires.

"The dynamics are a lot different at a permanent road course versus a street course," said Blalock. "The cornering speeds and the cornering loads are higher. We want to see higher operating pressures in the rear tires. We recommend 26 psi front and rear to try to get a little more mechanical grip to launch off of the corners. Mosport is as fast or faster than any track we visit all year. It's a fast track."

Mosport Minutes:

* Scott Pruett (No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR) has a perfect record at Mosport. Pruett has won in all three of his Trans-Am Series starts (1986, '87, '94) and also won an SCCA World Challenge Endurance race, driving for Saleen in 1987. Two of Pruett's Trans-Am Series victories came during his championship seasons in 1987 and 1994. The only other repeat winner in the field is Paul Gentilozzi (1996, 2001). Inactive repeat winners include current Indy Racing League IndyCar Series driver Scott Sharp (1991, '92, '93), Ludwig Heimrath (1976, '77), Greg Pickett (1978), Dorsey Schroeder (1990, '95), Brian Simo (1999, 2000), and Bob Tullius (1978, '81).

* With a victory here, Gentilozzi will move to within one victory of Tommy Kendall in the all-time winners' list. Kendall sits second in victories with 26, behind the late Mark Donohue.

* This weekend's race marks the first visit to a permanent road course this year by the Trans-Am Series. Pruett said car setup changes significantly from what is done to prepare for a temporary street course. "The basic setup changes because the turns are typically faster," said Pruett. "The track will normally have more grip. You're going to look for a little stiffer, more responsive car. At a street course, you're looking for a soft setup. You're just looking for grip. At a permanent circuit, you're looking for support, because you talk about some pretty fast turns. You want different things out of your car than you would on a street circuit."

* Coming into Mosport, Pruett leads the championship with 65 points, ahead of Boris Said (62), Johnny Miller (54), Gentilozzi (50), and rookie Jorge Diaz, Jr. (41).

* Gentilozzi's 2001 Mosport victory was 10th closest in Trans-Am Series history, eclipsing the 0.265 second margin of victory achieved by Dorsey Schroeder in 1995. Gentilozzi beat Justin Bell by 0.224 seconds. The closest margin of victory in Series history came at Green Valley in 1967, when Dan Gurney led Parnelli Jones under the checkered flag by just three feet.

* Jerry Simmons will take his final checkered flag in the Trans-Am Series this weekend. Simmons, 60, will make his 93rd Series start this weekend, and has posted a best finish of ninth, at Trois-Rivières in 1992. Simmons made his Series debut in 1984 at Watkins Glen International in New York. Simmons won the 1999 Canadian GT Championship Series race at Mosport.

* The Trans-Am Series race at Mosport has been won by the driver who led every lap five times. Flag-to-flag winners are: 1979, John Paul, Porsche 935 Turbo; 1987, Pruett, Merkur XR4Ti; 1992, Scott Sharp, Chevrolet Camaro; 1996, Gentilozzi, Chevrolet Camaro; and 1999, Brian Simo, Ford Mustang.

* Gentilozzi will be looking for his third Mosport Trans-Am Series victory vhere and Jaguar's third at Mosport. Bob Tullius won the 1981 Mosport race in a Group 44 Jaguar XJS. Tullius also won Category I (with Brian Fuerstenau) in a Group 44 XJS in the 1977 Mosport round.

* Stu Hayner is looking to add a Trans-Am Series victory at Mosport to his record of five wins here: the 1988 Corvette Challenge, 1989 and 1990 USEC/World Challenge 24 Hours, 1997 Showroom Stock GS and 1999 Motorola Cup.

* Ford's Mustang last won a Mosport Trans-Am Series race in 1998 (Brian Simo, Racewerx); Chevrolet's Camaro last won here in 1996 (Paul Gentilozzi, Rocketsports); and Chevrolet's Corvette last won at Mosport in 1988 (Darin Brassfield).

* Overall, Mosport has held 23 Trans-Am Series events; two-class (Category II and I) events were held in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979, while one-class, current-format events have been held in 1981, from 1984 through 1997, and in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

* The last 13 races here have seen the following winners: Ron Fellows in 1989, Dorsey Schroeder, 1990; Sharp, 1991, 1992, and 1993; Pruett in 1994; Schroeder in 1995 as he ended the McCall Racing four-race win streak; Gentilozzi in 1996, Tommy Kendall in 1997; Simo in 1999 and 2000; Gentilozzi in 2001; and Said in 2002. Fifteen drivers have won the 23 Mosport races.

* Kendall's 1997 victory marked the end of his record 11-race win streak.

* Nine of the 27 (including Category I, 1976-79) Mosport winners have started from the pole (33.33%): Gentilozzi (1996, 2001), Simo (1999), victory and Gentilozzi's 1996 victory; Sharp's 1991, 1992, and 1993 wins and John Paul's in 1979; Wally Dallenbach, Jr.'s in 1985, and Pruett's in 1987. Gentilozzi's win in 1996, however, came from an "inverted pole" as he actually qualified fifth fastest.

* The outside pole has produced 11 winners (including Said in 2002, Simo in 2000, Schroeder in 1995, Scott Pruett in 1994) or 47.8%, and is thus the historically "most popular" starting position for Mosport Trans-Am Series race winners. The "front row" has produced 20 race winners, or 86.9% of the 23 victors.

* The 2000 race set the Mosport Trans-Am Series record for lead-lap finishers with 19, replacing the 1995 race's 15.

* Schroeder's 1995 victory in a Ford ended a Chevrolet victory streak at four, the Mosport Trans-Am Series marque win-streak record. Chevrolet won again in 1996, however, with Gentilozzi, before Kendall struck back for Ford in 1997. Simo won for Ford in 1999 and for Qvale in 2000. Gentilozzi put Jaguar in the win column in 2001. Said gave the Panoz Esperante its first-ever Trans-Am Series victory in 2002.

* The McCall team holds the Mosport Trans-Am Series consecutive win record of four (1991-94).

-scca pro racing/trans am-

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