Bowmanville, Ontario -- Paul Gentilozzi ( ...
Bowmanville, Ontario -- Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls HomeLink Jaguar XKR) passed Tommy Archer (#36 Motorcity True Performance Cinjo Racing Banner Engineering Dodge Viper) midway through lap 44 and held on for victory this afternoon at the Trans-Am Series 125 at Mosport International Raceway. The race was marred by a serious two-car accident in which Mike Gagliardo (Chicago, Ill.) was fatally injured.
Gentilozzi, who started from the pole, waged a spirited battle with Archer throughout the day. After leading the field on the opening lap, Archer passed Gentilozzi midway through lap two. He would hold the lead for 16 laps before relinquishing on lap 18.
Gentilozzi came into the pits after lap 25 on a mandatory fuel stop. He would follow both Anthony Lazzaro (#8 TWC Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette) and Archer before gaining the lead for the final race to the finish line.
Gentilozzi's battle with Archer came to a head in turn eight. "Both our cars were so evenly matched at that point," said Gentilozzi. "Catching and passing somebody here at Mosport are two different things. We were very close. He got wide, and I was able to get under him and he wasn't able to get me back. There was plenty more in the car and the tires. But there was no reason to push it any more than neccessary."
Gentilozzi's teammate Johnny Miller (#64 Automationdirect EATON Cutler Hammer Jaguar XKR) finished third to complete the podium. Miller, who unofficially took the points lead in the race for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, has three top-five finishes this season.
Gagliardo and Gary Longo (#53 Wickes Lumber Trilithic Panoz Esperante) made contact between turns one and two during the 38th lap of the 50-lap feature. Gagliardo was transported to Lakeridge Health Center in Bowmanville and was pronounced dead upon arrival. Longo (Evanston, Ill.) was airlifted to Sunnybrook Medical Center in Toronto. Longo was awake and alert and is listed in critical condition.