PORTLAND, Ore. (July 24, 2001) -- The popular Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, America's oldest road racing series, will make its first appearance in six years at Portland International Raceway with the running of the Tommy ...
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 24, 2001) -- The popular Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, America's oldest road racing series, will make its first appearance in six years at Portland International Raceway with the running of the Tommy Bahama 125 on Saturday, August 4.
The event will be part of Grand Prix of Portland weekend for the American Le Mans Series, with the ALMS event being run on Sunday, August 5. The 125-mile event for the Trans-Am Series will get the green flag at 1 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday.
Although Trans-Am cars competed on the 1.944-mile Portland circuit for 19 years, the series has not visited the track since former series champion Ron Fellows drove to victory in a 1995 event, his third straight win at Portland. John Greenwood won the inaugural event in 1975.
Among other drivers who have scored Trans-Am wins at Portland International Raceway are Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Darin Brassfield, Bob Tullius, Willy T. Ribbs, Greg Pickett, Doc Bundy, Irv Hoerr, Pete Halsmer and George Follmer, as well as current series star Paul Gentilozzi.
In its 36th year of competition in 2001, the Trans-Am Series is America's performance car road racing series. Since its inception in 1966, the series has provided a competition arena for stock-appearing touring (sedans) and grand touring (sports) race cars.
The current generation of Trans-Am drivers is led by defending series champion Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., who drives a Qvale Mangusta. Simo, who won the most recent series race at Sears Point, took three wins last year en route to the series championship.
The hottest competitor on the series is Jaguar driver Gentilozzi of Lansing, Mich., who won three consecutive races and four straight pole positions earlier this season. His winning streak started at Canada's Mosport International Raceway, then stretched to Detroit and continued at Cleveland before Simo scored a win at Sears Point. He finished second in that race and continues to lead the series point standings.
Johnny Miller of Johnson City, Tenn., is currently third in the standings, while Lou Gigliotti of Dallas is fourth. Gigliotti and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., are the other two drivers with series wins this season. Michael Lewis of San Diego rounds out the current top five.
The schedule at Portland calls for Trans-Am practice and qualifying on Friday, August 3. Saturday's race will be televised live on the Speedvision Network. Ticket information for the Grand Prix of Portland weekend is available online at www.fastixx.com, or by calling 1-800-922-TIXX.