Two Jaguar RSRs for Petit LeMans
JaguarRSR will run two Jaguar XKR GT2s in the 13th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the season finale of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, and announces the driver lineup for the #33 car which will include Paul Gentilozzi, Butch Leitzinger and Tomy Drissi.
"The Petit Le Mans event obviously holds significance for our program as it was where we debuted the Jaguar GT last year," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "In over a year's time, we have made a lot of progress. Success at Petit Le Mans is important to us as it represents one of the toughest endurances tests in the United States. Having a second car there not only doubles our chances, but also allows us to expand our program in anticipation of the 2011 season."
Gentilozzi and Leitzinger reunite for the Petit Le Mans. The last time the two competed together they had an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona with Scott Pruett. Gentilozzi commented, "I have a great respect for Butch on both his experience and character. We won together in 1994, and I was there to share in his first Trans-Am victory celebration when I finished second to him at Mid-Ohio in 2002. It will be great to get back to racing with him and he will bring additional value to this program."
Leitzinger is one of the most experienced and competitive drivers in the ALMS series, transitioning from prototypes to GT cars this year. He has a total of 91 starts in the series, four starts this season in the GTC category. The Pennsylvania native has won the 24 Hours of Daytona three times, the World Sportscar Championship twice and both the CanAm championship and IMSA GTU championships. Also notably he earned a GTP class victory at Le Mans, finishing third overall in 2001, and has had success in the Grand Am Series and NASCAR ranks.
"Growing up around racing, I have followed Paul Gentilozzi through the years and seen how much depth his race programs have had - in all aspects with from the execution, driving, and engineering," commented Leitzinger. "I have always had a lot of respect for him, so it is an honor to now be a part of this group. I hope to be able to add a perspective and contribute to getting the Jaguar to the top of the class."
Drissi is slated to be the third driver on the #33 roster and also has his share of experience in the ALMS with 16 starts under his belt, two this season driving a LMP machine. The Californian will be doing double duty as he will also be driving a Jaguar XKR Trans-Am car in the series' season finale ahead of the ALMS race. The 2009 Trans-Am Champion has run with the RSR team in the last two consecutive Trans-Am seasons, driven for Paul Gentilozzi in Trans-Am for a total of eight. His resume also includes competition in the Speed World Challenge Series, Grand-Am and NASCAR Busch Series.
"I am so excited for this opportunity," added Drissi. "I will be driving in one of the most competitive classes in the world right now. I know that RSR has been working very hard with the Jaguar and this new program. From the looks of the dependability of the Jaguar, we should be able to have success because this race is all about who can be there in the end after all ten hours."
The #75 will continue to be piloted by season regulars Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel. Both have proven they are strong in the endurance challenges, can go the distance, and work well together. The team is making final preparations and will be heading down south in less than two weeks to partake in two days of testing the weekend before the 1,000 mile/10 hour endurance race, October 2. The race weekend officially kicks off on Thursday, September 30 with two practice sessions. Qualifying will be held on Friday at 3:15 p.m. ET and the race is scheduled to take the green flag on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. ALMS