Gentilozzi to race a new body style Jaguar in 2002 Trans-Am series LANSING, Mich. - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi will again campaign a Jaguar XKR for the third consecutive year during the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich...
Gentilozzi to race a new body style Jaguar in 2002 Trans-Am series
LANSING, Mich. - Three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi will again campaign a Jaguar XKR for the third consecutive year during the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Gentilozzi will debut the updated, new style XKR body work at the Series season-opener during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.
Gentilozzi reintroduced Jaguar to Trans-Am competition during in the 2000 season. In 2001, Gentilozzi drove to his third Trans-Am title and delivered the coveted Manufacturers' Championship to Jaguar with his flag-to-flag Mid-Ohio win. Jaguar captured its last Trans-Am Manufacturers' title in 1978 and a Jaguar product hadn't competed in the Series since 1981.
"It's quite unusual for us to compete in the same marque for so many years," said Gentilozzi, who scored four wins in 2001 and won this year's Rolex 24 of Daytona - GTS Class. "But we've finally found a home that makes good sense on the race track and on the business side.
"Johnson Controls, our marketing partner, is a supplier to the Premier Automotive Group and Jaguar in particular," Gentilozzi continued, who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-three (55), top-five (86), and top-ten finishes (114). "With the recent management changes at Jaguar we've now got Sue Callaway as Vice-President and General Manager. She has a wonderful grasp of motorsports in the United States; she gets it. Campaigning the XKR in Trans-Am supplies a great grass roots relationship that hasn't existed here in a long time."
According to Gentilozzi, the development of the new XKR body has been an ongoing process. "We've been working on this for quite some time," said Gentilozzi, who has 23 Trans-Am wins to his credit. "The Panoz/Sanchez Group had a new vision when they took over the Series. They reinvented the look of the Trans-Am car, after we had a body style we really liked. But the 2002 XKR body more closely follows the styling cues of the production car. The `add-on' aerodynamics are standard today in internationally recognized series like DTM.
"The challenge for us as a team is to try to make this as good a race car as the car we've had the past two seasons," concluded Gentilozzi. "The aerodynamic drag has increased, but we're hoping that the additional downforce will give us track results similar to our 2000-2001 package."