On This Day in Trans Am History: April 18, 2004
April 18, 2021
April 18, 2004
Paul Gentilozzi edged fellow Rocketsports Jaguar XKR driver Greg Pickett by .322 seconds to win the 2004 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli season-opening race at Long Beach.
It was the fifth victory on the streets of the California seaside city in what was then the Motorock Trans Am Series.
Driving the No. 3 Jaguar XKR, Gentilozzi also led every lap for the second time at Long Beach – then the only two flag-to-flag victories in series history. Beating Boris Said in the No. 33 Huffaker New Century Ford Mustang to turn one on the opening lap, Gentilozzi went on to hold off Greg Pickett by .322-seconds – the closest finish at the circuit. Said ran second for much of the event before sliding in oil, allowing Gentilozzi to pull away while opening the door for Pickett’s late charge.
John Baucom took fourth in the MAP Quality Engineering Mustang, followed by Michael Lewis in the No. 12 Autocon Engineering Jaguar XKR.
Tommy Kendall started on the pole in the Rocketsports No. 11 Jaguar. He ran third most of the race before a cracked oil pan resulted in an 11th-place finish.
Photo by Mark Windecker