Paul Gentilozzi, driver of the no. 3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR, was in a single car incident in the turn 16/17 complex during Thursday's test session. Gentilozzi broke two ribs on his right side and sat out Saturday'S practice and qualifying session and started at the back of the pack in today's Trans-Am race. Gentilozzi started the car, pitted under green on lap nine to change drivers. A suspension bolt forcing another unscheduled pit stop. Gentilozzi and Willes finished 17th. Gentilozzi tentatively finished Third In The Championship Points standings.
NOTE 1 - Gentilozzi 2002 Stats. Third in the points standings.Won the season-opener at Long Beach.Has three additional top-two finishes and eight top-five finishes.
NOTE 2 - Gentilozzi Career Stats. Three-time Trans-Am champion (2001, 1999, 1998). Only driver to have won three championships driving three different marques. Ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-three (59), top-five (94), and top-ten (124) finishes, lead lap finishes (122), "Fast Five" qualifying starts (111), lead-lap finishes (122), race starts (185). Has 24 Trans-Am wins.
Gentilozzi on his stint in the car. "The first few laps weren't too bad. Right after the start, Mike Davis spun and I had to go off in the grass to avoid a major deal. Then another damaged car was driving down the middle of the track and I had to maneuver around that. It was the shifting after that that caused the big muscles around the broken ribs to become inflamed and they started to protest the abuse. I couldn't catch my breath. At that point, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and brought it in and turned it over to Jack."
Willes on his drive during the race. "It was unfortunate that we had to make the driver change under green. But I still thought we'd be OK. I was learning more about the car each lap. But then I thought I had punctured the left front tire, so we pitted again. Turns out we sheered a suspension bolt.which is virtually unheard of. But it was nice to drive a well- prepared , championship car and I thank Paul for that opportunity. If Paul should only drive half the Trans-Am races next year, I'd sure like to be in the car the other half of the season!"