Trois-Rivieres: Rocketsports race report

Rocketsports Racing sweeps podium in Trois-Rivières Trans-Am race. LANSING, Mich. -- Rocketsports Racing swept the podium in Round 7 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup today during the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières race in the...

Rocketsports Racing sweeps podium in Trois-Rivières Trans-Am race.

LANSING, Mich. -- Rocketsports Racing swept the podium in Round 7 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup today during the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières race in the picturesque French Canadian city. Two-time Trans-Am Series champion Scott Pruett, driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, took the win, his sixth this season. Teammate Johnny Miller, piloting his No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, finished second in his fifth podium appearance this season. Tomy Drissi, behind the wheel of the No. 5 Stuck on You, The Movie Jaguar XKR posted his best effort this season, finishing third.

Claude Bourbonnais, making his Trans-Am Series debut in the No. 3 Design 500 Jaguar XKR usually driven by three-time champion Paul Gentilozzi, finished sixth after qualifying third. Bourbonnais, a well-respected French Canadian open wheel specialist, most recently competed at Trois-Rivières in 2000 in the Player's Grand Prix Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.

"We've won a lot of races, but I was pretty nervous coming to this race at Trois-Rivières," said Pruett, who finished 10th in his only previous start here in 1994. "Johnny was tough all day long. We've learned you can't push the cars too hard because you have to enough car left at the end. This is the toughest race track of the whole season."

Miller, who is currently second in points behind Pruett, agreed. "We wanted to run a good pace, not make a mistake, or do something foolish," said Miller, who was running second here late in the race last year when engine problems sidelined him prematurely relegated him to a 12th place finish. "We conserved the car and the tires to make it to the end and we did our job today. Even still, with seven laps to go, we ran laps near our qualifying times."

Drissi was delighted to return to the podium. "We've had some bad luck this season and this was just the boost we needed," said Drissi, who started from the back of the grid after missing qualifying due to damaged sustained in practice. "Our strategy to pit for tires under caution cost us two positions on the track but it bought us a podium finish."

Bourbonnais ran with the frontrunners most of the race before succumbing to tire wear. "I wish the race had been 20 laps shorter," quipped Bourbonnais. "These cars are tougher to manage for the race, as I found out. I ran my tires off and then I couldn't put the power down. But we had a good car and we showed that as we ran with the leaders."

Drissi's No. 5 Jaguar XKR failed post-race inspection, violating rule 2.10: "Ground Clearance." The penalty included forfeiture of all driver and team owner points earned at this race, loss of all prize money earned at this event, and a $2,000 fine, of which $1,000 was suspended.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Claude Bourbonnais