Charlotte Paul Gentilozzi on Pole

CONCORD, N.C. - Defending BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Drivers' Champion Paul Gentilozzi scored the first pole position for his new Jaguar XKR to front a 37-car field for Saturday's 44-lap, 99.0-mile race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. ...

CONCORD, N.C. - Defending BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Drivers' Champion Paul Gentilozzi scored the first pole position for his new Jaguar XKR to front a 37-car field for Saturday's 44-lap, 99.0-mile race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We got the fast time on our last qualifying lap," said Gentilozzi. "I cruised around, got a 10.6 and came into the pits. But I though Simo might suck one up and I wanted to be able to answer it. Simo is brave and if he ran hard, he'd get a good lap. The infield part of the circuit is fun - it's hilly and has some great contours - and on the oval, well, we don't get to reach terminal speeds like this very often (in excess of 175 mph). Gentilozzi, driving the No. 1 Johnson Controls/HomeLink XKR, posted a top time of 1:10.387 (115.078 mph), while Brian Simo, in the No. 88 Qvale Mangusta, was second fastest at 1:10.594 (114.740 mph). Rookie Jack Willes, of Cornelius, N.C., who won the Pro Spec Racer Drivers' Championship in 1999, was third fastest at 1:11.718 (112.942 mph), followed by Mike Lewis and Stu Hayner. "It was a good year for us last season in the Pro Spec Racer series, and we ran a lot of races with the Trans-Am Series, so I was under close eye from Tom Coleman (owner and entrant of Willes' No. 48 TWC Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)," said Willes. "I was in the team's Corvette at the Sebring opener because it was an unproven car and I was the unproven driver so it matched the situation. This weekend I'm in the Camaro that's supposed to be a little bit slower (teammate John Paul Jr. is in the No. 8 TWC Motorsports Corvette) but the team's really got my car hooked up and I was able to get in a few really good laps. It's exciting to be in my first Fast Five, but it's a little bit intimidating, too. I've got to keep my head and be fast off the corners and be sure nobody is there to take it away from me." Saturday's Trans-Am 100 begins at 12:00 p.m. (ET) and will be televised live on the Speedvision Network. For additional information and the latest updates, go to www.trans-amseries.com.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Paul Gentilozzi , Jack Willes , Stu Hayner , John Paul