Thursday
Apr122007

TEAM NEWS: LG Motorsports Corvettes ready to rumble on the streets of Long Beach

Photo by John Thawley Dallas Texas (April 12th 2007): Lou Gigliotti and his three car LG Motorsports team of Chevy Corvettes is looking to Round 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing’s SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series as a means to finish what the team started in Round One in Sebring Florida where all three showed front running speed.

The Sebring race weekend was saved by Tomy Drissi who charged up from 10th to finish a strong 3rd in his LG Motorsports Corvette. Doug Peterson qualified his LG Corvette on the pole but fell from the lead group with an electrical problem while Lou Gigliotti had a broken differential drop him out of the second position.

“We know that all three of our cars and drivers have top 5 or podium potential, we demonstrated that at Sebring, but SCCA has given the Vipers a 100 pound weight break, the Porsches a larger air restrictor and the Cadillacs are always tough here so we will have to see how things work out,” said team owner Lou Gigliotti of Dallas Texas.

“Hopefully SCCA got it (the recent adjustments in GT) right on the head and the last lap at Long Beach will come down to a 5 car shoot out and we will be grinding door handle to door handle for the win,” Gigliotti said. “It should be an awesome race! I sure hope so at least!”

Gigliotti, who won the Long Beach Trans-Am race back in 2001, and his LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevy Corvette C-6 were leading the World Challenge GT race here last year when a soft brake pedal caused him to fade back to a 4th place finish.

“Once I had to start pumping the brake pedal you start to lose your confidence a little bit going into the turns and those Vipers just ABS’ed into the turns past me,” Lou recalled of the 2006 race.

“This year we are using new Cobalt brake pads and they are giving us the best breaking we have ever had, the Cobalt pads are great,” Lou said of the brake package on his 2007 Corvette. “Between the Cobalt pads and the larger rotors hopefully we won’t have that problem this year.”

“It is a point and squirt kind of track with a lot of heavy braking required,” Gigliotti said of the historic street track at Long Beach. “Turns 1 through 5 are second gear turns, in fact they are all 2nd gear turns in the Corvette. You get on the brakes hard, turn in and accelerate hard out to the next turn. Down force means nothing at Long Beach! You could take the rear wings off for all the good they will do you!”

Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood California, considers the temporary street track at Long Beach to be his home track and is looking to parlay his great experience on the difficult track into a continuation of his great season opening run to the podium at Sebring.

Drissi won the Trans-Am race in 2000 and when Tomy brings his Next – The Movie Chevy Corvette C-6 into action for Sunday’s race it will be Tomy’s 9th straight Long Beach start since 1999.

Drissi indicated that caution, particularly in practice, is the key to success and even surviving races at Long Beach saying, “When I first came to Long Beach I was told that if I could keep my car out of trouble during practice and qualifying I would have beaten 3 or 4 drivers before the race had even started!”

“Long Beach is right in my back yard and it is my home track so I look forward to this race weekend every year,” summed up Drissi. “I can’t wait!”

For Doug Peterson, of Bonita Springs Florida, practice on Friday will be his first look at the historic Long Beach track but he cannot wait to get into his UrbanAssaultMovie.com Corvette onto the Long Beach course and get the racing started.

“I look at Long Beach as our Super Bowl,” said Peterson of racing at Long Beach. “I look at this race as the race of the year and it is really important for me to do well so I am going to race as hard as I can right from the get go!

“Normally I start off really conservatively but we just don’t have the track time for that so I am going to be going hard at it right from the start. Especially in qualifying I am going to be very aggressive.”

This will be Peterson’s 2nd race on a street track in the Corvette but Doug has extensive experience on temporary circuits in open wheel cars who said of the difference, “In a production car it is actually easier because you have a better line of sight than you do in the lower open wheel car but racing is racing so there isn’t all than much difference.”

“Also with the fenders on the car you get a greater sense of security but in reality it is probably a false sense of security, Peterson continued. “It isn’t that much of a factor for me as I usually drive within myself so I don’t spin out or go off the track very often.”

The LG Motorsports Chevy Corvette C-6s of Lou Gigliotti, Tomy Drissi and Doug Peterson will compete in Round Two of the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series at 4:00 PM Pacific Time on Sunday April 15th.

The race can be seen on SPEED TV on tape delay on April 21st 2007 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Qualifying for the Long Beach World Challenge GT race will be on Sunday morning April 15th at 8:30 AM Pacific Time.

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