Brian and Mark Simo Charlotte Preview

Brian and Mark Simo will have a second chance to race together this month, during the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Charlotte (N.C.), March 30 to April 1 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Carlsbad, Calif., twins usually compete at...

Brian and Mark Simo will have a second chance to race together this month, during the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Charlotte (N.C.), March 30 to April 1 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Carlsbad, Calif., twins usually compete at different venues, but the decision to link the American Le Mans Series and the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series at selected tracks will give them five joint race weekends this season.

Brian

Brian Simo will be looking for championship points in the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series. He posted a dramatic victory in the season-opener at Sebring International Raceway on March 17 in the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta. After pitting early in the race to replace a spark-plug wire, he moved up from the back of the 36-car field to take the lead with just four turns to go on the final lap.

He says every track session at Charlotte will be critical, because his championship rival, Paul Gentilozzi of Lansing, Mich., has already logged valuable track time on the 2.25-mile road course. "My experience on new tracks is usually pretty good," Brian said. "But the only downside is that Paul's done testing there for BFGoodrich, which gives him a bit of a leg up because he's been on the track. So we're going to be chasing a little bit, I think.

"You can walk around the track and drive around in a rental car, but you don't know anything until you actually drive it in a race car. We're just going to have to try really hard and hope that nothing goes wrong in any of the sessions because we need all the information we can get."

Mark

Mark Simo, competing in the prestigious prototype class of the American Le Mans Series, had a tough weekend at Sebring. Although the Pole Team's No. 02 Judd-powered Riley & Scott Mark III qualified eighth overall, he didn't get a chance to drive in the 12-hour endurance race because the car's clutch broke after just eight laps. But the 1998 SPORTS CAR GT champion is still enthusiastic about his move up into the prototype class.

"I know I made the right decision, moving up to the prototype cars," he said. "This team is terrific -- they're professional and they're great guys to work with. I still need some track time with the car, but it's fantastic to drive. It's nice to be at the front of the field!" Driving Force

Brian and Mark Simo founded the sports brand No Fear in 1990. The company's Driving Force division manufactures racing gear, including driver shoes made with a Kevlar radiant heat- reflective material that is used in the U.S. space program. The brothers also own Spy Optic, a leading sports optics company.

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Series ALMS , Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Paul Gentilozzi