Long Beach: BFGoodrich race weekend report

BFGoodrich Tires at a glance - Trans-Am Series. Gentilozzi wins Johnson Controls 100 at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach * Last Lap Battle at Long Beach Makes for Exciting 2002 Season Start - Dubbed by many as "the best race of the weekend" Paul...

BFGoodrich Tires at a glance - Trans-Am Series.
Gentilozzi wins Johnson Controls 100 at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

* Last Lap Battle at Long Beach Makes for Exciting 2002 Season Start - Dubbed by many as "the best race of the weekend" Paul Gentilozzi in the No. 3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR finished the Johnson Controls 100 Trans-Am Series race for the BFGoodrich Tires(R) Cup at Long Beach with a race clinching pass on the last lap. Boris Said in the No. 33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante finished second and Johnny Miller in the No. 64 Automation Direct/Eaton/Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR finished third.

Gentilozzi, who started on the pole and lead the first 21 laps of the race took home his fourth victory at Long Beach and 24th career victory. Said had been leading since a restart on lap 27 and battled Paul and an effort by Justin Bell in the No. 40 www.711.tv.com Chevy Corvette. Bell, in third place made an effort to pass Gentilozzi and Said but missed the braking point and spun out in turn 8; presenting Miller with a podium finish.

"Trans-Am is about hard racing," remarked Said referring to the blocking, bumping and passing on the last lap. "If you're faint of heart and can't take the heat from the back, you shouldn't be here."

* Pit Stops Don't Change usage of Tires - The first race of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich(R) Tires Cup saw the introduction of pit stops for fuel to the series. Only one driver, Gentilozzi opted to change tires during his stop. "Although it wasn't necessary, our strategy was to make sure we had the freshest tires possible at the end of the race," Gentilozzi said. "BFGoodrich(R) Tires has always provided us with tires that could go the distance, and they proved that again today."

* Gentilozzi Takes Lead in Quest for BFGoodrich( Tires Cup - Paul Gentilozzi took the lead today in Long Beach in the Trans-Am Series championship for the BFGoodrich(r) Tires Cup. Gentilozzi who had the fastest lap of the weekend at 1:21:571 in qualifying started on the pole and led the most laps (23) in the race. Gentilozzi now has 34 points toward the BFGoodrich(r) Tires Cup, followed by Boris Said with 29 and Johnny Miller with 25.

* BFGoodrich(R) Tires "Take Control" Award - In addition to winning the race, Paul Gentilozzi won the BFGoodrich(R) Tires "Take Control" Award for leading the most laps in today's race. Gentilozzi led 23 of the 45 laps. For his efforts, he received a free set of BFGoodrich(R) g-Force T/A radials.

* New Track Record - Pole-sitter Paul Gentilozzi established a new one-lap track record for the Trans-Am Series at Long Beach during qualifying yesterday. His speed of 86:854 miles per hour (1:21:571) broke the mark that he established last year. Boris Said also broke the previous record with a qualifying lap time of 1:21:814 (86.596 mph).

* Speed Channel to rebroadcast Trans-Am Race - The Trans-Am series race for the BFGoodrich(r) Tires Cup at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 14, 2002 will be rebroadcast on the Speed Channel on Saturday, April 20 at 5 p.m. ET.

* Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich( Tires Cup, Round Two - The 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich(r) Tires Cup takes a five-week break before resuming at Mosport International Raceway, just outside of Toronto, Ontario, May 18-20

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Justin Bell , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller