MONTEREY, Calif. (October 18, 2000) - It may not be over 'till the fat lady sings, but she was warming up after the GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships Presented by Honda last weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway. A lap 12 collision between Brian...
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 18, 2000) - It may not be over 'till the fat lady sings, but she was warming up after the GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships Presented by Honda last weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway. A lap 12 collision between Brian Simo in the #88 Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta and the Jaguar of point leader Paul Gentilozzi during the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race sent Simo sailing off course. Though Simo limped back to the pits and later rejoined the race, he'd suffered extensive damage and could do little but circulate the track and try to pick up valuable championship points. Even that wasn't enough; Simo was scored 26th at the end, just out of the points, while Gentilozzi finished third to extend his championship lead. Still, with two races remaining on the schedule a slim chance remains that Simo and the Tommy Bahama squad could take the season title.
"We still have a shot at it, and there's no quit in this team," noted Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports vice president and technical director Joe Huffaker, "I was proud of how our guys got the car repaired enough for Brian to get back out on the track, but there was too much damage to be able to really race. We haven't made things any easier on ourselves by finishing out of the points here.
"This was hard to take; we felt this was our home track and we had a lot of supporters here. But the next two are in our court, too, and we'll keep our chins up and go for them just as hard as before. We can only control what happens to us, so if we all execute the way we know we can, we'll be in good shape for those two races. Then the points will fall where they may; we can't control what happens to anyone else."
Simo, who has three race wins and six consecutive fastest race laps this year, is the only driver remaining with a chance at catching Gentilozzi in the points. The final two races of the 2000 Trans-Am season will take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV on October 29, and in San Diego on November 5.