Trans-Am drivers ready for Sebring

LANSING, Mich. ^Ë Several current and past Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup drivers are set to take on some of the world's best endurance racers at the 51st running of the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring race this weekend at Sebring...

LANSING, Mich. ^Ë Several current and past Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup drivers are set to take on some of the world's best endurance racers at the 51st running of the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring race this weekend at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

Topping the entry list is 2002 Trans-Am Series champion Boris Said, who will share driving duties in the No. 40 Alegra Motorsports BMW M3 with Carlos de Queseda and Scooter Gabel. Said, who finished second after starting last in the first race of the season at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in February, won eight of 12 races last season to secure the title. Said drives the No. 33 ACS Express/Menards Ford Mustang in the Trans-Am Series.

Other current Trans-Am Series drivers in the field are Tomy Drissi and Michael Lewis, who will co-drive the No. 12 American Spirit Racing Riley & Scott MK III C Lincoln. The pair is entered in the Le Mans Prototype 900 class for faster, heavier prototype racing cars. Drissi drives the No. 5 LXG, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Movie Jaguar XKR in the Trans-Am Series. Lewis pilots the No. 12 Trans-Am Tools by ProQuest Jaguar XKR.

"Racing a prototype at Sebring makes me respect the Trans-Am Series car even more," said Drissi, who is no stranger to Sebring, having competed at the 3.7-mile road course in a Trans-Am Series car three times between 1999 and 2001. "Racing with other classes gives you such a different perspective. I really miss all the same kind of cars going after each other."

Meanwhile, in the LMP 675 class for lighter, less-powerful prototypes, 2002 Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Butch Leitzinger will share driving duties with James Weaver and Andy Wallace in the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola EX257 AER MG. Leitzinger won three races last season and finished second in the Drivers' Championship to Said.

In the GTS production-car ranks, Trans-Am Series legend Ron Fellows will co-drive with Johnny O'Connell and Franck Freon in the No. 3 Corvette Racing C5R. During his 10-year, 96-race Trans-Am Series career, Fellows won 19 races, placing him sixth on the all-time victory list behind the late Mark Donohue, Tommy Kendall, Paul Gentilozzi, Bob Tullius and the late Peter Gregg.

Also racing in the LMP 900 class is Trans-Am Series alumnus John Macaluso, who is teaming with Clint Field and Rick Sutherland in the No. 30 Banana Joe's Lola B2K/10 MG.

The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars. The Trans-Am Series is America's oldest continuously running sports car racing series and celebrates its 38th anniversary in 2003.

The next race for the Trans-Am Series is scheduled for April 13, during the Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend in California. The race will air on a same-day, tape-delayed basis on SPEED Channel at 9 p.m. ET.

-scca pro racing/transam-

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Series ALMS , Trans-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Boris Said , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Tom Kendall , Michael Lewis , Clint Field , Rick Sutherland , Scooter Gabel , Bob Tullius , Peter Gregg , Mark Donohue