In 2001, Trans-Am competitors were competing for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. To date, this season would have the largest payout – with potentially more than $2.3-million in prize money. New for 2001 was the introduction of live network television - the Sears Point event was telecast live.

As in 2000, a number of new body styles were homologated - these included the Panoz Esperante, Dodge Viper and the redesigned Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang. Other than the addition of these cars the rules remained basically the same as in 2000. The series continued to use a tube-frame chassis powered by a V8 engine producing approximately 650-horsepower.

The eleven-race season opened in March at Sebring, Florida and was followed by Long Beach, Mosport, Detroit, Cleveland, Sears Point, Portland, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca and concluded at Houston.

The Trans Am series opened their 36th season at Sebring International Raceway, the site of the first event in 1966. Over forty cars were entered for this event.

The starting grid prepares for 27-laps/100-miles at Sebring International Raceway. The pole-sitter, Boris Said, made the decision to start on the outside of the front row – giving himself a better entry into Sebring’s very fast first turn. Next to Said is Johnny Miller in his new Rocketsports Jaguar XKR.
Boris Said qualified on the pole and led all but one lap of the race. Johnny Miller got by Said on the eleventh-lap but the Ford Mustang driver was back around him before the first corner. Said was scheduled to drive a new Panoz Esperante but it was not ready until the Mosport event. The victory was his third series win.
Kevin Allen goes wide at the 'Tower Turn' during practice. Allen was transitioning to the professional ranks after a successful amateur career in the Sports Car Club of America’s G Production class. The Eagle Racing Chevrolet Camaro driver started twenty-sixth and was blacked flagged when he lost the rear window.
Three-time series champion Paul Gentilozzi started the Rocketsports Jaguar XKR in fifth. But by lap-3 Gentilozzi was fourth and he passed his teammate, Johnny Miller, for second on the twelfth circuit. Gentilozzi finished in the runner-up spot and during the event set the fastest race lap.
2000 Trans Am Champion Brian Simo struggled in qualifying. He started fifteenth in the Tom Gloy Racing prepared Qvale Mangusta – almost four seconds behind the pole-sitter Said. Simo was able to move into the top ten and finished seventh.
Simo's teammate was former ALMS team owner and driver Jim Mathews. In qualifying Matthews was only a second slower than Simo. He started from the eighteenth grid position and finished ninth.
Kenny Wilden took over driving duties in the No. 66 Chevrolet Corvette after driver/owner Leighton Reese broke his forearm and injured his shoulder in February while on a skiing holiday with his family. Wilden was able to pass Johnny Miller on the last lap and beat him by less than a car length to finish third.
After eight months of work, Cinjo Racing unveiled their 2001 Dodge Viper at Sebring. Cinjo Racing driver Tommy Archer, who drove an ORECA Viper during the 2000 ALMS season, sits on the grid in the sixth starting position. Archer was able to pass Lou Gigliotti during the event and finish fifth.
Justin Bell entered the 2001 Trans-Am series with Derhaag Motorsports and would be contending for 'Rookie of the Year' honours. The son of two-time World Sportscar Champion, Derek Bell, also had an impressive racing resume. Justin was a former factory Corvette driver and had won the FIA GT2 World Championship. In his first Trans-Am race, he finished eighth.
During the previous season, Johnny Miller prepared and drove his own Chevrolet Corvette. But in 2001, he joined Paul Gentilozzi’s Rocketsports Racing team. His performance at the first event was an indication that the change was a good decision. Miller started on the front row and finished fourth.
Lou Gigliotti turned in an exceptional performance during qualifying and earned the third place spot on the starting grid. The Chevrolet Corvette driver lost some positions during the race and finished sixth.
Don Meluzio brakes for corner seven in his Chevrolet Camaro. The veteran of the Sports Car Club of America’s National racing program started last in the forty-car field and finished on the lead lap in fifteenth place.

11Boris SaidFord MustangACS Express27
25Paul GentilozziJaguar XKRRocketsports27
34Kenny WildenChevrolet CorvetteBanner Engineering27
42Johnny MillerJaguar XKRRocketsports27
56Tommy ArcherDodge Viper GTSMotor City True Performance Parts27
63Lou GigliottiChevrolet CorvetteLG Motorsport27
715Brian SimoQvale MangustaTom Gloy Racing27
89Justin BellChevrolet CorvetteDerhaag Motorsports27
918Jim MatthewsQvale MangustaTom Gloy Racing27
1021Bob RumanChevrolet CorvetteMcNichols27
1116Tom ColemanChevrolet CorvetteTWC Motorsports27
1227Kerry AlexanderChevrolet CamaroWickers Lumber27
138Michael LewisJaguar XKRAutocon Autosport27
1417Steve PelkeFord MustangKay Manufacturing27
1540Don MeluzioChevrolet CamaroManheim Auto Auction27
1624Simon GreggChevrolet CorvetteDerhaag Motorsports27
1725Jerry KinnChevrolet CorvetteJDK Motorsports27
1828Don SoenenFord MustangSoenen Motorsports27
1913Cliff EbbenFord MustangHoerr Racing Products27
207Stu HaynerFord MustangSoenen Mts27
2122Dan MillerJaguar XKRTDM Motorsports27
2223Tom MillerFord MustangMoosedrool27
2330Paul Fix IIFord MustangClassic Tube27
2435Dick GreerChevrolet CorvetteWendy's Racing27
2537Jerry SimmonsFord MustangToo Fast Racing27
2619John BaucomFord MustangBaucom Motorsports27
2726Kevin AllenChevrolet CamaroEagle Racing Development27
2829Gary LongoChevrolet CamaroWickers Lumber27
2914Randy RuhlmanChevrolet CorvettePerformed Line Products26
3013Mike DavisFord MustangACS Express26
3139Max LagodChevrolet CamaroHypermax Engineering26
3211Tomy DrissiJaguar XKRTDM Motorsports24
3310G.J. MennenChevrolet CamaroMotor Check19
3430Bill BentleyChevrolet CamaroBentley Architects & Engineers16
3533Bruce DeweyChevrolet CamaroBudweiser13
3631Tim CowenFord MustangCowen Truck Lines13
3738Richard LaBarbaraFord MustangInternational Union Painters11
3836Tom SloeChevrolet CorvetteSloe Motorsports2
3932Dick DownsChevrolet CamaroClover Enterprises1

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