Monday, February 6, 2017

Paul Gentilozzi Born In Lansing, Michigan - February 6, 1950

February 6, 1950
Paul Gentilozzi
(Photo credit; www.mmshof.org)
Born in Lansing, Michigan, USA.
In 1985 he founded the successful Rocketsports Racing team that has competed in the Trans-Am series, Champ Car World Series and The International Motorsports Association. As a driver he has won five drivers championships, nine manufacturers championships, while holding the Trans Am record for wins, poles, top three finishes and prize monies won. With 31 Trans Am wins, the most in series history, eclipsing the record held by Mark Donohue. He has run a number of different manufacturers including Oldsmobile, Ferrari, Ford, Nissan Chevrolet and most recently Jaguar. Previous to this he was involved in NHRA Drag Racing, successfully driving many Plymouth and Dodge vehicles. In 2009 He formed RSR, LLC with his sons Anthony and John Gentilozzi.

He teamed up with three other drivers to win the 1994 24 Hours of Daytona, his biggest win as a driver. He and Scott Pruett won the GTS class at the 2002 Daytona 24 hour event. He has fielded Champ Cars for rookie of the year Timo Glock, Alex Tagliani, Justin Wilson, Mario Dominguez, Antonio Pizzonia and 2004 Star Mazda series champion Michael McDowell, while running three Trans-Am cars for himself, Hollywood advertising executive/racer Tomy Drissi and that year's series champion Klaus Graf of Germany and Television star Craig T. Nelson.

Gentilozzi and fellow Champ Car owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven purchased the assets of Champ Car following a financially difficult 2003 season. Judge Frank Otte ruled in favor of the trio, known as Open Wheel Racing Series LLC, over rival bidder Tony George, the chairman/CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League. In 2008, the series was acquired by the Indy Racing League.

Paul was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

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