Victoria Motorsports Long Beach preview

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Monday, April 2, 2001) - It took some last-lap wildness, but Victoria Motorsports driver Willy T. Ribbs underscored his return to Trans-Am racing at last year's Long Beach race when he finished on the podium, collecting a ...

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Monday, April 2, 2001) - It took some last-lap wildness, but Victoria Motorsports driver Willy T. Ribbs underscored his return to Trans-Am racing at last year's Long Beach race when he finished on the podium, collecting a second-place finish in just his third race for the team. When the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Cup returns to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 6-8 for the Johnson Controls 100 Presented by Simple Green, Victoria Motorsports hopes to repeat that feat.

"This was a really wild race last year," says Frank Cioppettini, co-owner of Victoria Motorsports and driver of the #16 Ourhouse.com/Clover Enterprises Camaro. "It turned out to be just the first of several podium finishes for us, but it was pretty nerve-wracking. It took a few weeks to get the results of this race finalized. I don't necessarily want the same last-lap excitement this year, just the same results!"

Driving the #6 Greased Lightning/MotorCheck/Onkyo America Camaro once again for Victoria Motorsports this year at Long Beach will be G. J. Mennen, who did Willy T. one better last year by finishing on the podium at Houston in his very first ride for Victoria Motorsports.

"G. J. did a great job for us at Houston last year, and at Sebring this year in a car better suited to a street course," commented June Cioppettini, the other co-owner of Victoria Motorsports. "We're hoping that, with his abilities, and his proven success on street circuits, we can get another podium for Victoria Motorsports here at Long Beach."

Frank Cioppettini will be aboard the older Rocketsports chassis which he drove at Long Beach last year, but Mennen will be in the brand new Vanquish RS2M chassis, designed and built by Victoria Motorsports in their Mooresville, NC shops since the Sebring race. The Vanquish chassis that Mennen drove at Sebring is still being repaired, but will be Cioppettini's regular car for the remainder of the season.

The Long Beach race is scheduled to take the green flag at 3:45 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, April 8. It will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by the Speedvision Network. The broadcast is slated to start at noon EDT on Sunday, April 15.

-VS

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Willy T. Ribbs