Road America: Rocketsports Racing qualifying notes

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 6, 2004) -- Three-time Motorock Trans-Am Series Champion, Paul Gentilozzi, qualified third for the Saturdays Grand Prix of Road America. Gentilozzi turned a lap of 2:09.846 (112.231 mph) around the 4.048 permanent road...

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 6, 2004) -- Three-time Motorock Trans-Am Series Champion, Paul Gentilozzi, qualified third for the Saturdays Grand Prix of Road America. Gentilozzi turned a lap of 2:09.846 (112.231 mph) around the 4.048 permanent road course in the No. 3 Jaguar XKR. Four-time champion, Tommy Kendall, will line the No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR up 16th after a lap of 2:21.892 (102.703 mph). Tomy Drissi completes the Rocketsports trio in the No. 5 TAXI -- The Movie Jaguar. Drissi starts 18th after a qualifying lap of 2:24.237 (100.894 mph). Randy Ruhlman set the fastest lap to earn his first career pole in 144 starts.

Rocketsports Racing owner, Gentilozzi, was disappointed with his third place starting position. After thrashing all afternoon, the changes made to his Jaguar XKR slowed the car rather than making it quicker. "We made several changes to the set-up of the car, we felt that there was plenty left after morning practice," said Gentilozzi. "The track must have changed with the temperature or other rubber left on the track by the different series. We will re-evaluate our changes and go from there."

By winning Saturday's Trans-Am event at Road America, Gentilozzi would tie Mark Donahue's record for all-time wins with 29.

With hopes for his 44th series pole, Kendall wasn't able to back up his blistering fast morning practice speed. The only fuel-injected machine in the field of 23 experience electrical problems not allowing for maximum speed. "I wanted the pole or at least to be very close to the front," commented Kendall. "Track position is very important here so we'll have to work hard to come up through the field. We know the car has it in it, we were only a couple tenths off last year's pole in morning practice."

The crew of the TAXI -- The Movie Jaguar hustled all afternoon changing motors after morning practice. "It's all in the recovery," remarked a confident Drissi. "We found something with the original engine, the guy's had to change it and we weren't able to focus on the changes to the chassis. Don't count us out, we still have something for the field."

Tomy Drissi became the first driver in the Trans-Am series to use a custom form-fitted seat, similar to the ones used in Champ Cars. The seat is designed for driver safety and comfort, made of foam pellets vacuum formed to the contours of the driver's body.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Randy Ruhlman , Tommy Kendall
Teams HART