LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 25, 2001) -- The 2001 BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series continued today, in the ninth of eleven races, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Tom Gloy Racing team entered two Qvale Mangustas that carried the Tommy...
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 25, 2001) -- The 2001 BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series continued today, in the ninth of eleven races, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Tom Gloy Racing team entered two Qvale Mangustas that carried the Tommy Bahama banner for the weekend. #88, Brian Simo, the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Cup Trans-Am Champion finished 12th. #4 Tony Ave finished 26th.
Simo started tenth and ran as high as ninth on the 13-turn road course. While racing on lap three, the yellow Tommy Bahama entry was mistaken for another yellow entry for jumping the start of the race. The officials brought Simo in for a stop-and-go penalty, for "improving his position before the start of the race." The team spoke with officials in pit lane asking for a review of the television tape. Simo and the team did not agree with officials before or after the penalty was issued. He returned to racing in 30th position after the penalty was assessed. While running in ninth, Simo and Tommy Drissi made contact and Simo went from ninth to twelfth position near the end of the race.
After the race, SCCA Chief Steward Dick Templeton and Panoz Executive Director John Clagett omitted to team owner Tom Gloy that Simo was penalized in error when Simo was mistaken for another car.
"This mistake on the part of the officials, has cost my team hundreds of thousandths of dollars in pursuit of the championship," said team owner, Tom Gloy "SCCA and Panoz has now erroneously eliminated us from the championship. The incredibly incompetent officials had at their disposal the television broadcast which we asked them to review before they assessed the penalty. They refused on the grounds of an eye witness account of us "improving our position at the start." After assessing the penalty, the television announcers verified the official's error. Had they taken the time to properly review the tapes, they would not have ended our season long campaign for the championship by black-flagging us. The SCCA and Panoz officials have made numerous errors during the year and since the management runs the series, ultimately they must be responsible. Had I or one of our drivers made a mistake or violated a rule, they would have fined, penalized or suspended me or a driver from competition. However, their errors carry no penalties to them. These circumstances allow no positive remedy for our sponsors or our team. Once the penalty is assessed there is not a way to change to altered outcome. I am ultimately disappointed in the effect this has bad officiating has on the entire Trans-Am Series."
Ave, debuting the new Riley & Scott Mk VIII Trans-Am chassis, started third and ran as high as fifth in the 31-car field. This was Ave's second Fast-Five appearance in the Trans-Am Series. At the beginning of the 45-lap event, Ave called into the crew informing them he thought a transmission gear broke at the green flag. He continued to race with the lead pack but while running in fifth place he was forced to retire the new Riley & Scott chassis due a failure in the gearbox on lap 30.
"We had a good car today and I was just running along, waiting for the end to really go for it,' said Ave. "I passed people when I could but I did not have first gear. The new chassis did great but we had a mechanical with the gearbox that was not in any relation to the chassis. I know with more time and testing this car will be even better."
"This race was really an actual test for the new chassis to see how it compares in competition." Said Bill Riley, vice president of Riley & Scott. "It was a good test, starting third and running in the top five shows that the latest Riley & Scott will be good."
Today's race will air on September 1, on the Speedvision Television Network at 1:30p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST. Please check local listings. For more information or updates on the BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series go to: http://www.trans-amseries.com/index.html
The next race for Tom Gloy Racing will be at Laguna Seca Raceway on September 9, 2001. Round Ten of the 2001 Trans-Am Series/ BFGoodrich Tires Cup will be on the 2.238 permanent road course in the hills of Salinas, near Monterey, Calif. The race will air on the Speedvision Television Network. At 5 - 6:30 p.m. live.
<pre> TELEVISION SCHEDULE Mid-Ohio August 25 September 1 Speedvision; 1:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. Laguna Seca September 8 September 8 Speedvision; 5 - 6:30 p.m. (Live) Houston October 6 October 13 Speedvision, 2-3:30 p.m.