TOMY DRISSI LEADS ROCKETSPORTS IN EDMONTON EDMONTON, AB. (July 17, 2005) The 1999 Trans-Am Rookie-of-the-Year, Tomy Drissi led 33 of the 51 laps only to come up short as fluid on the track sent all of the front runners spinning. Drissi recovered...
TOMY DRISSI LEADS ROCKETSPORTS IN EDMONTON
EDMONTON, AB. (July 17, 2005) The 1999 Trans-Am Rookie-of-the-Year, Tomy Drissi led 33 of the 51 laps only to come up short as fluid on the track sent all of the front runners spinning. Drissi recovered to finish second behind Greg Pickett in the Festival City 100, the Trans-Am portion of the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton. Klaus Graf drove the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR through the spinning cars to rebound from an early race incident and finished third while Rocketsports team owner, Paul Gentilozzi, made an attempt on the lead early but finished 6th. The Jaguar sweep of the podium moves the British manufacturer into a tie for the 2005 Trans-Am Manufacturer's championship.
Taking the lead on lap 18 with a move past Graf and Joey Scarallo in turn one, the Hollywood native set the pace holding off eventual winner Pickett for the majority of the race. Drissi set the fastest lap of the race and led the most laps earning two bonus points maintaining fourth place in the championship. "We all spun around there," said Drissi. "Klaus told me he has been in the lead before and was the first one to an incident and has lost races that way. It was a tough race and I learned a lot, so wait for the rest of the season."
The 2005 Rookie-of-the-Year contender, Graf started from the rear of the field and on lap 11 challenged Joey Scarallo for the lead; contact between the two hard chargers damaged the No. 7 Jaguar. The German native maintained a top-five position throughout the race and was a benefactor of the late race incident capturing his second podium finish of the year. "It was tough place starting from the back," described Graf. "I was going for the lead with Joey Scarallo and we got together so the car was way off. It was really difficult to drive so I had to hang in there and make it to the end."
Four-time champion, Gentilozzi, elected to start the race on sticker tires and started from the rear of the field behind Graf. Following Graf through traffic, Gentilozzi eventually took a shot at the lead and found the tires barrier damaging the No. 1 Jaguar. Continuing to turn competitive lap times, the Michigan native needed a caution to make up the nearly one minute lost in the incident.
SPEED TV will air the Festival City 100 from Edmonton, Alberta, on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, July 24th at 12:30 pm Eastern time.