MONTEREY, Calif. (October 13, 2000) â€” Brain Simo and the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta are just four points behind Paul Gentilozzi for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Championship heading into Laguna Seca Raceway...
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 13, 2000) — Brain Simo and the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta are just four points behind Paul Gentilozzi for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Championship heading into Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend. No bones about it, they are intent on coming out of the weekend with the points lead when the GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships Presented by Honda concludes on Sunday, October 15.
"We're back on our home court for the last three events," says Joe Huffaker, vice president and technical director of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports. "Our shops are based just north of Laguna Seca, in Sonoma, so we've very familiar with this track. And with the last two events at Las Vegas and San Diego we'll have a lot of the home crowd cheering for us. Plus, Brian has been doing a great job; we're usually fastest in practice, qualifying and the race. We're looking forward to getting that little extra advantage that being the home team can bring."
It's a somewhat historic event that the Trans-Am cars are returning to Laguna Seca Raceway; in the early years of the series 35-year history it made frequent stops here, none since 1982. But the Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports team brings a lot of history with them. The association between the Qvale and Huffaker families is a long and distinguished one, dating back to the 1950s. That association began when Kjell Qvale, father of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports President Bruce Qvale and a man who had been instrumental in establishing the West Coast Sports Car Club of America, joined forces with the father of Joe Huffaker. In 1960, the elder Huffaker and Qvale established the BMC Competition Department, which designed and developed competition engines and racecars like the Huffaker Genie. BMC Competition's success was highlighted by entries in the Indianapolis 500 in 1963-1965, with the MG Liquid Suspension Offenhauser Special.
Huffaker and Qvale reunited in 1998 to contest the Trans-Am series, with Bruce Qvale achieving the runner-up spot in rookie of the year honors. Last year, Tommy Bahama signed on as sponsor. Sunday's 100.71-mile sprint around the 2.238-mile, 11-Turn Laguna Seca road circuit will take the green flag at 3:45 pm PDT on October 15. The telecast will be tape delayed on the Speedvision Network, with coverage beginning at 8:00 pm EDT on Monday, October 16, and the rebroadcast four hours later at 12:00 am EDT on Tuesday, October 17.