Trans Am weekly news 2001-01-05

LAC Motorsports used the glitz and glamour of the Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal their 2001 Trans-Am plans. LAC will significantly intensify its efforts for the 2001 Trans-Am Championship and expand to two cars. The team has purchased two new...

LAC Motorsports used the glitz and glamour of the Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal their 2001 Trans-Am plans. LAC will significantly intensify its efforts for the 2001 Trans-Am Championship and expand to two cars. The team has purchased two new 2001 Panoz Esperante bodied Elan Motorsports Technologies chassis'.

The multi-year agreement provides LAC with testing and developmental opportunities along with access to one of the World's leading builders of motorsports chassis'. LAC will also switch to fuel injection for 2001 with the help of Elan Power Products and their factory engine program. In addition, LAC will be the official on-track parts supplier for all Panoz Esperante/Elan Motorsports Trans-Am related parts.

Vernon Hills, Ill., based Wickes Lumber, the team's primary sponsor in 2000, returns to Trans-Am in 2001 as primary sponsor of both LAC entries. Drivers for 2001 include team owner Kerry Alexander and Trans-Am newcomer Gary Longo. Alexander will be returning for his second full season of Trans-Am competition.

Trilithic, an engineering and technology company based in Indianapolis, Ind., has increased its commitment to the team by expanding their sponsorship on the #35 to be fielded by Kerry Alexander. Trilithic will also become an associate sponsor on the #53 to be debuted by Gary Longo. Longo, whose previous experience includes a Rookie of the Year title in Barber Dodge, will be competing for Trans-Am Rookie of the Year honors for 2001.

"What a tremendous program we have put together for 2001," said team owner Alexander. "We are so fortunate to have sponsors like Wickes and Trilithic. They have both made major commitments that have allowed us to make the investments necessary to seriously challenge for the 2001 Championship. We are real excited to be able to provide a driving opportunity for Gary Longo. He is going to be a real bright light in the future of Trans-Am. I fully expect Gary to be a serious contender for the 2001 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year title." "We looked long and hard at all of our options for chassis' for 2001. After serious consideration, we felt that the Panoz organization and their Esperante body/Elan chassis was the best package. We believe that partnering with Panoz and Elan Motorsports will provide us the best opportunity to win." Pictures of the #35 Wickes Lumber Trilithic Panoz Esperante are posted on the Trans-Am website at www.transamseries.com.

Tom Gloy Racing To Return To Series In 2001: One of the most respected and winning teams in Trans-Am racing announced it will return to the series for 2001. Tom Gloy Racing will field two entries for the new season with the 2000 Trans-Am Champion Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., and Jim Matthews of Chapel Hill, N.C. Tom Gloy Racing has entered Qvale Mangusta's with Ford power. Tommy Bahama' s Cafe and Emporium's is returning as the sponsor for the Simo entry. The purveyor of island lifestyles will be the primary sponsor, with associate sponsorship from Valvoline. "We are looking forward to returning to the Trans-Am series," said Gloy. "We see this series on a major upswing and are looking forward to becoming part of it. We are excited about our driver lineup, with Brian as the defending Drivers' Champion and Jim as a new driver to the series." "I'm happy to be back racing with Tom Gloy," said Simo. "He's a fierce competitor and has very high expectations, which are qualities you want in a team owner. It's also terrific to bring our two key sponsors together. We developed an exciting relationship with Tommy Bahama last year, and I look forward to doing more with them in 2001. And, of course, it's great to be back with Valvoline, which has such a powerful heritage in racing." "I am looking forward to racing in the 2001 Trans-Am Series," said Matthews. "I am also excited to be part of the Tom Gloy Racing Team and to be Brian's teammate."

2001 Trans-Am Series Schedule: March 16, Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring (with ALMS); April 8, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (with CART); May 20, Mosport Park (Feature); June 16, Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit (with CART); June 30, Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland (with CART); July 21, Sears Point (with ALMS); Aug. 5, Portland (with ALMS); Aug. 18, Motorola 220 Weekend at Road America (with CART); Sept. 9, Laguna Seca (with ALMS); Oct. 6, Texaco Grand Prix of Houston (with CART); TBA, San Diego Grand Prix (Feature).

--David Lang

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Kerry Alexander , Jim Matthews , Tom Gloy