Road Atlanta: Paul Gentilozzi preview

Gentilozzi has unfinished business at Road Atlanta as Trans-Am Series returns to famed circuit. Braselton, GA - When the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Road Atlanta during the Petit LeMans weekend on October 9-12, ...

Gentilozzi has unfinished business at Road Atlanta as Trans-Am Series returns to famed circuit.

Braselton, GA - When the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Road Atlanta during the Petit LeMans weekend on October 9-12, three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi will be looking to settle some unfinished business. Gentilozzi, driver of the No.3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR, has competed in seven races at Road Atlanta, has qualified in the "Fast Five", and led numerous laps, but has yet to score a victory at the challenging circuit.

During the Series last stop at Road Atlanta in 1999, Gentilozzi, who has 24 Trans-Am wins, thought that would change. "I'd qualified fourth, but lost an engine and coasted back to the paddock," said Gentilozzi, who has one win, three second places, and seven top-five finishes this season. Because I hadn't technically been released from the pits, I was penalized and put to the back, starting 30th."

"All that did was motivate me even more," continued Gentilozzi, who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-three (59), top-five (93), and top-ten (123) finishes, "Fast Five" qualifying starts (111), race starts (183), fastest race laps (34), and lead lap finishes (121). "We worked our way up to the front and led several laps, but on lap 34, the motor let go. It was a real disappointment, so I'd really like to avenge that deal with a win this time.

"Road Atlanta has always been on the truly great road racing courses in North America," observed Gentilozzi. "It's one of America's great racing traditions with its inherent degree of difficulty and elevation changes."

Gentilozzi, who ranks second in the points standings, experienced another disappointment this past weekend in Miami. Following a late race restart, Gentilozzi was caught up in the aftermath of a two-car incident, resulting in a 12th place finish, his only finish out of the top-ten this season. Points leader Boris Said needs only to finish 16th at Road Atlanta to clinch the title.

"Although mathematically possible, realistically the championship battle is over," said Gentilozzi, who won the prestigious 2002 Rolex 24 of Daytona - GTS class. "I've always said that it's a lot harder to defend a championship than it is to win one, and this season has certainly proven that. But there are still two race wins to go after and we need to protect our second place standing in the points battle."

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Paul Gentilozzi