POINTS BATTLE TIGHTENS FOR TRANS-AM CHAMPIONSHIP LANSING, Mich. (August 17, 2005) With just two races remaining in the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, the points battle tightened after Klaus Graf went to the Cytomax Sport Drink 100 victory circle...
POINTS BATTLE TIGHTENS FOR TRANS-AM CHAMPIONSHIP
LANSING, Mich. (August 17, 2005) With just two races remaining in the 2005 Trans-Am Championship, the points battle tightened after Klaus Graf went to the Cytomax Sport Drink 100 victory circle last weekend in Denver, Colorado, gaining 12 points and closing to just one point behind championship leader, Randy Ruhlman. The top four drivers are separated by only 19 points, just like last year, the champion could be decided on the last lap of the last race.
Jaguar sits atop the manufacturer's championship over Chevrolet heading for their fifth title in North America's longest running road racing series. Already in 2005, Jaguar drivers have been victorious four times, Graf twice, Paul Gentilozzi once and Greg Pickett once.
In his fight for the championship, Graf is also wrapped up in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle. Heading to Road America Graf needs only eight more points over Hima Maher to clinch the honor. Graf will become the first German to earn the coveted award.
As the true racer that he is, Graf goes to Road America looking for another win. The German native aims to leave Wisconsin with the points lead. "For he last two races I'll have to keep my concentration level up and try to win another race," said Graf. "Road America is one of the best road courses in the world and I am really looking forward to going there. I want to get in the point's lead at Road America, and then I can start looking a bit closer at the championship."
Hollywood native Tomy Drissi continued to show his strength, determination and growth as a driver in Denver. Starting fourth, he challenged Gentilozzi several times for his second place finish and his third podium of the season. "I am going to run as hard and fast as I can for every lap," said Drissi. "I am determined to get a pole and a win before the year is done. Paul has grabbed two poles away from me by less than 2/10th of a second combined. I hope when I get my next win, I am battling him for it. To beat Paul would make a win that much more special."
Although not chasing after the championship this year, Gentilozzi has not backed off his winning ways. 2005 brought his 30th victory; breaking the record for all-times series wins with the late Mark Donohue, and his 30th fast qualifier award. "I may be racing for fun this year, but I am not going to just drive around for 75 minutes and go home," said Gentilozzi. "If I am in that race car I am driving as hard as I can and going for the victory. Klaus, Tomy, myself and everyone else out there are on the race track for one reason- to win."
The Rumble at the Road Trans-Am event from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is scheduled for Sunday August 21st at 11:20 am Eastern Time. Coverage of the event will air on SPEED channel the following Sunday at 3:00 pm Eastern. This weekend marks the first event in 2005 the Trans-Am series is not running with the Champ Car World Series. Trans-Am will join back up with Champ Car for the Molson Indy Montreal, August 26-28, to determine the 2005 champion.