On This Day in Trans Am History: July 9, 2005

July 9, 2020

On This Day in Trans Am History: July 9, 2005

July 9, 2005

After a trio of consecutive mechanical DNFs, Paul Gentilozzi got his No. 1 Rocketsports Jaguar XKR working with a dominant victory Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli victory at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Coming off his fourth (of five career) Trans Am title – when he won five of eight races – the Michigan businessman led 28 laps in the season opener at Long Beach before dropping out with nine laps remaining. He then finished 21st at Portland and 13th at Cleveland before coming to Toronto.

Gentilozzi started on the pole and led the first four laps before being passed by the No. 7 of Rocketsports Racing teammate Klaus Graf. The eventual champion led 28 laps before beginning to slow on lap 33. Gentilozzi took over and led the final 23 laps, winning over Greg Pickett in the No. 6 Cytomax Sport Drink Jaguar XKR by 4.451 seconds.

Current Trans Am contender Tomy Drissi made it an all-Rocketsports podium. Drissi’s livery promoted Supercross – The Movie. Joey Scarallo took fourth in Tony Ave’s Corvette, while John Baucom – another current competitor – rounded out the top five in the No. 86 MAP Quality Engineering Ford Mustang.

This proved to be Gentilozzi’s lone triumph of the season, although he managed to finish second behind Graf in the penultimate round at Road America. He won his final Trans Am race at Heartland Park Topeka the following year – his 31st overall triumph, a record that still stands. Mark Donohue is second with 29, followed by Tommy Kendall, 28, and Scott Pruett, 22. Six-time Trans Am champ Ernie Francis Jr. has 21 overall victories – and leads everyone with 44 triumphs including all classes.

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