Paul Gentilozzi


Record updated 06-Feb-07

Paul Gentilozzi
Racing driver and businessman born in Lansing, Michigan. Prior to catching the racing bug, he received his MBA from Michigan State University.

Gentilozzi’s pursuit of fast cars started when he won his first race in March of 1966. The competition took place on Interstate 496 in Michigan – which at the time was not yet open to traffic. The prize money, a used twenty-dollar bill, marked the first investment in his 37-year racing venture. Those early street races, in and around Lansing, funded bigger tires, bigger headers, more horsepower, and enough 60's era muscle cars to fill a museum. For Gentilozzi, those races ignited a desire to compete which today blazes hotter than ever. 

An A-modified production 427 Camaro was Gentilozzi’s first real race car, which he raced in 1969 at the start of his thirteen-year NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) career. He completed his NHRA experience in Pro-Stock, the ultimate factory hotrod class, with three national titles and records in A-modified, B-modified, C gas and D gas categories as well.

In 1982, Gentilozzi’s career expanded from drag-racing to road-racing, resulting in more than 20 years of competition, with races from Trans-Am in New Zealand to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Highlighting Gentilozzi’s list of accomplishments behind the wheel are a pair of victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona, a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and four driver's championship titles in the Trans-Am Series.

In 1985 he founded the successful Rocketsports Racing team that has run in the Trans-Am series and Champ Car World Series. As a driver he has won a number of championships and 30 races, the most in series history which eclipsed the record held by the late Mark Donohue.

He has run a number of different manufacturers, Chevy, Ford and more recently Jaguar among them. In 2005 he fielded Champ Cars for rookie of the year Timo Glock and 2004 Star Mazda series champion Michael McDowell while running three Trans-Am cars for himself, Hollywood actor/racer Tomy Drissi and that year's series champion Klaus Graf of Germany.

He made his mark as an entrepreneur purchasing the assets of Champ Car World Series with fellow owners Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, 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 and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League.

  • 2002 24 Hours at Daytona GTS class win
  • 1994 24 Hours at Daytona Overall win
  • 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans 3rd in class
  • 1992 12 Hours of Sebring GTS class win

wikipedia + Rocketsports Racing