Cleveland: Paul Gentilozzi preview

Gentilozzi looks to make it three-in-a row in Cleveland Trans-Am race. Cleveland, Ohio - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi looks to extend his Cleveland winning streak to three-in-row when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires...

Gentilozzi looks to make it three-in-a row in Cleveland Trans-Am race.

Cleveland, Ohio - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi looks to extend his Cleveland winning streak to three-in-row when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns the Burke Lakefront Airport for the Trans-Am on the Tarmac presented by Microchip during the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland weekend on July 12-13. Gentilozzi, driver of the No.3 Johnson Controls/Microchip Jaguar XKR, scored back-to-back wins in 2000 and 2001.

Gentilozzi, who currently ranks second in the championship points standings, started on the pole and collected the win last year in a rain-soaked race after pitting on the pace lap to change from rain tires to slicks. Gentilozzi notched a flag-to-flag victory in 2000.

"This track is extremely interesting from the driving perspective because it's so different from what we're used to," said Gentilozzi who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-three (57), top-five (89) and top-ten (118) finishes, "Fast Five" qualifying starts (107), race starts (177), and prize money winnings. "This is such a simple, really the most basic of tracks, and yet it's totally misunderstood.

"They turn us loose on all these seemingly endless acres of concrete and say `go race'," quipped Gentilozzi, who has 24 Trans-Am victories. "You've really got to be technically competent to find the quick way around this circuit.

"Because the track is extremely flat and featureless, you absolutely have to develop a rhythm or you'll become disoriented," explained Gentilozzi, who finished second in the points standings in 2000. "It takes years of experience to learn all the nuances and bumps that are so unique to this circuit.

"But I see lots of definition," continued Gentilozzi. "I know every little crack, the runway lights, where the slippery paint is. Passing here can be tough; the only two places are at the end of the braking zones on each straightaway. Everywhere else, it's a transition on and off the throttle.

"This is the only road course where the fans can see the entire circuit," concluded Gentilozzi. "It makes for a great race - from both the cockpit and the grandstand."

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi