FAR HILLS, New Jersey (February 14, 2000) â€” Willy T. Ribbs, of San Jose, CA., and Frank V. Cioppettini, owner of Far Hills, NJ-based Victoria Motorsports, announced today that Ribbs will contest the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series in a...
FAR HILLS, New Jersey (February 14, 2000) — Willy T. Ribbs, of San Jose, CA., and Frank V. Cioppettini, owner of Far Hills, NJ-based Victoria Motorsports, announced today that Ribbs will contest the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series in a Victoria Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet Camaro. It marks Ribbs' first return to the series since scoring 17 wins between 1983 and 1987. He will go into the season's first race at Sebring, March 17, with more wins than any other active driver in the series.
"When I was in the Trans-Am before, it was very, very intense and very exciting," said Ribbs, 44, who also has 10 career GT wins in IMSA competition, and became the first driver of African-American descent to compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 1991. "Frank and I have known each other for several years, and we've been looking for a way to make this happen. With the new competition and the new management of the series, now is the time to come back. I am really looking forward to my return to the series. It was a lot of fun then, and I think it should be a lot of fun now."
"We are very happy to have Willy agree to drive for us," said Cioppettini, 49, himself a Trans-Am competitor. "We proved to ourselves last year that, though we are a small team, we can produce big results. This year, we have committed to stepping up our program substantially, and giving Willy the kind of first-class machinery he deserves. With the positive changes that have happened in the Trans-Am in recent weeks, and with Willy back in the series, we have no doubt it will be a very exciting season."
Ribbs scored 17 wins and 28 podium finishes in 50 career Trans-Am starts, tying him with Dorsey Schroeder for sixth all-time. He also has 35 top-ten finishes, and 20 fastest race laps - second only to Tom Kendall's 22 in a career.
"I know I'm way behind right now in knowing what the cars are capable of," noted Ribbs, who is scheduled to begin testing with the team soon, "but when Frank said he was committed to putting together a team that could go for the c hampionship, that's what caught my interest. I am fully focused on winning the Trans-Am title for Victoria Motorsports."