Trans-Am makes historic return

It’s been more than 30 years since Edmonton has heard the rumble of V-8 racing engines, but that will change this weekend as the Trans-Am Series returns to Alberta’s capital city for the Festival City 100, the first Trans-Am race in Edmonton since 1973. The race, which is part of the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton weekend, is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 at Finning International Raceway, which is being constructed on the grounds of Edmonton’s City Centre Airport.

Though Trans-Am has visited Edmonton just twice, in 1971 and 1973 at the now shuttered Edmonton International Speedway, it has consistently made history.

The 1971 race was won by the late Trans-Am legend Mark Donohue. Driving an AMC Javelin, Donohue won from the pole that year, beating George Follmer’s Ford Mustang by 19.5 seconds. Donohue’s Edmonton victory started a six-race win streak that guided Donohue to his third and final Trans-Am title, in his final full season of Trans-Am competition.

The 1973 race featured a John Greenwood sweep of the pole, fastest race lap and the victory. Greenwood drove a Chevrolet Corvette in that event, the season finale, and finished fourth in the final points tally.

That history will continue this year as Paul Gentilozzi enters the event, following his passing the most significant milestone in his illustrious Trans-Am career. By scoring his 30th career victory last week in Toronto, Gentilozzi moved out of tie with Donohue for first on Trans-Am’s all-time win list. Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) will bring that same drive and determination to Edmonton with eyes on #31. Gentilozzi also leads nearly every Trans-Am performance category, including podiums, top-five and top-ten finishes; fast race laps, career laps led, lead-lap finishes, career starts, and consecutive starts. Trans-Am

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