Sears Point to host first event in six years

SONOMA, Calif. (July 6, 2001) -- The popular Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup, America's oldest road racing series, will make its first appearance in six years at Sears Point Raceway with the running of the Wine Country 100 on...

SONOMA, Calif. (July 6, 2001) -- The popular Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup, America's oldest road racing series, will make its first appearance in six years at Sears Point Raceway with the running of the Wine Country 100 on Saturday, July 21.

The event will be part of The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend for the American Le Mans Series, with the ALMS event being run on Sunday, July 22. The 100-mile, 40-lap event for the Trans-Am Series will get the green flag at 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on Saturday.

Although Trans-Am cars have competed on the 2.52-mile Sears Point Raceway in 16 different years, the series has not visited the circuit since former series champion Dorsey Schroeder drove to victory in a 1995 event. The late Mark Donohue won the inaugural event in 1969.

Other drivers who have scored Trans-Am wins at Sears Point Raceway include Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Scott Sharp, Darin Brassfield, Scott Pruett, Willy T. Ribbs, Greg Pickett, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Tom Gloy, David Hobbs, Doc Bundy and Gene Bothello.

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 competed in the recent NASCAR Winston Cup race at Sears Point, took three wins last year en route to the series championship and is fourth in this year's standings after five of 11 races.

The hottest competitor on the series is Jaguar driver Paul Gentilozzi of Lansing, Mich., who has won three consecutive races and four straight pole positions. His winning streak started at Canada's Mosport International Raceway, then stretched to Detroit and to the most recent race at Cleveland.

Johnny Miller of Johnson City, Tenn., is currently third in the series point standings, while Lou Gigliotti of Dallas is third. Gigliotti and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., are the other two drivers with series wins this season. Tommy Archer of Duluth, Minn., rounds out the current top five.

The schedule at Sears Point calls for Trans-Am practice and qualifying on Friday, July 20. Saturday's race will be televised live by CBS, marking the series' first-ever live appearance on a major network.

-Andy Hall/ALMS-

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Boris Said , Scott Sharp , Brian Simo , Tommy Archer , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , David Hobbs , Dorsey Schroeder , Lou Gigliotti , Greg Pickett , Willy T. Ribbs , Darin Brassfield , Tom Gloy , Doc Bundy , Mark Donohue