TEAM NEWS: Lou Gigliotti has strong podium finish at Long Beach as Doug Peterson finishes 9th in their LGM Corvettes

Photo by John Thawley Long Beach, California (April 15th 2007): Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas Texas, and his LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevy Corvette C6 finished a strong 3rd here at Long beach California in Round 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing’s SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series.

Gigliotti, who started the race in 4th, had dropped to as low as 8th place in the early running but worked his way back through the tough top ten World Challenge competition picking off a Viper here and a Porsche there until a lap 23 crash essentially brought the race to an early end as he was closing in on Andy Pilgrim’s Cadillac in the 2nd position.

“I got off to a really bad start and to make matters worse I flat-spotted my front tires going into the first turn and had to drive the entire race with square front tires,” Lou Gigliotti said of the beginning of the race. “I got past McCann coming out of the fountain and passed Archer and Galati into turn 9 all under braking. Our Cobalt brakes really helped me out today!”

After the opening lap caution period brought out as several cars including Tomy Drissi’s Next – The Movie LGM Corvette got mixed up in turn one Lou Gigliotti’s race got a lot more interesting on the subsequent restart as Lou got hit by Randy Pobst’s as Pobst made a re-pass attempt on the outside.

“On the restart I got past Pobst and then he tried to go back around the outside of me,” Gigliotti recalled of the incident. “I was right behind Michael Galati and when Pobst tried to back off and fall in line behind Galati the only place he could go was smash into me!”

The incident dropped Gigliotti back behind Tommy Archer’s Viper who also got into Gigliotti’s Corvette and Lou was left to re-pass them all to finish 3rd eventually although it was a harrowing drive.

“I had a damaged wheel and a tire that really should have gone flat but for some reason didn’t,” said Gigliotti. “I also had so much damage to the front end that I had no high speed aero. There were times I thought I should lift coming down the high speed turning straight but of course I didn’t!”

The race, won by Eric Curran’s Whelen Engineering Chevy Corvette C6, did have one final green flag lap but Lou Gigliotti and his Chevy Corvette ran out of time and laps to advance any more positions as the race ended one lap early having run out to the time limit with Gigliotti’s #28 Corvette in 3rd right behind Pilgrim.

“Eric is the only guy who can beat you and you still like him,” Gigliotti concluded of the GT race at Long Beach. “Seriously I have to hand it to SCCA because they look to have gotten the adjustments right. We had a Viper, Cadillac and a Corvette leading the race and the race was really tight! This is the probably the closest GT race SCCA has ever had that I have been in!

“It was a great race and it ought to be a great show when it comes out on SPEED TV!”

Doug Peterson, of Bonita Springs Florida, used an excellent start and a safe smart race to survive a race long duel with James Sofronas’s GMG Porsche 997 to finish his Chevy Corvette C6 in 9th position.

“He and I had a great race,” said “We went back and forth the whole race. He would make a little mistake and I would get by him and then I would make one and he would pass me! It was actually a very fun race!”

Peterson’s move to the front was aided by a great start and a first lap crash that brought out an early caution.

“I had an awesome start and then there was a little bit of a melee in turn 1 which was able to drive around and avoid,” Peterson recalled of his first race lap at the storied Long Beach track. “They (his crew) were giving me my lap times and they weren’t that far off the leaders. I was really happy with that. I was actually still learning the track during the race!”

“Being able to advance so many positions at the start and having some good laps here made it a good day for me,” Peterson continued. “I could have driven more aggressively but I drove a smart conservative race because I needed a strong finish. I couldn’t afford to have another DNF!”

Tomy Drissi’s race was all too short as he got caught up in the first lap mess in turn one. Drissi, of Hollywood California, started last due to a mechanical problem in qualifying and ran out of room when he got to turn 1.

“That is part of the problem of starting at the back of the pack,” said Gigliotti. “After the contact he had a problem getting the car back into gear so he couldn’t get restarted.”

Unfortunately Drissi coasted his Next – The Movie Chevy Corvette to a stop and never was able to complete a single lap!

Round 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing’s SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series can be seen on SPEED TV on tape delay on April 21st 2007 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time. Don’t miss it!

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