On This Day in Trans Am History: April 5, 1998

April 5, 2020

On This Day in Trans Am History: April 5, 1998

April 5, 1998

Paul Gentilozzi opened the 1998 campaign by winning at Long Beach in the No. 3 AutoLink Corvette.

The Michigan driver ran the table, leading Fast Five qualifying, turning the fastest race lap and leading all 52 circuits.

Gentilozzi found himself at home on the challenging street circuit. His first career triumph came in 1988 in the second Long Beach Trans Am. The 1998 victory was his fourth career victory. He also won in 1999, in a Mustang, and in 2002 and 2004, in a Jaguar XKR – with all winning entries fielded by his Rocketsports team.

While Gentilozzi gave Oldsmobile its first Trans Am victory in 1988, the 1998 triumph came in the debut of the fifth-generation Corvette. He won by 6.536 seconds ahead of Camaro driver Stu Hayner. John Miller IV finished third in a Camaro, followed by Chris Neville and Bill Saunders.

Gentilozzi remains atop the all-time Trans Am victory list, winning 31 career races – two more than Mark Donohue and three more than Tommy Kendall. Current competitor Ernie Francis Jr. is Gentilozzi’s main active challenger, taking his 20th overall (of 44 career) victories in the 2020 season opener at Sebring.


Read more on Trans Am history here- http://gotransam.com/about/Our-History/59342

If you would like to suggest an important date in Trans Am History, please email transampr@gotransam.com.


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