Trans Am West heads back to California for Round 2 at Auto Club Speedway
April 26, 2017
Drissi, McAllister and McQuarrie eye repeat performances after Willow Springs success
FONTANA, Calif. [April 26, 2017] – Preceding the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s West Coast season opener at Willow Springs, it had been over a decade since the Series had touched California soil. The follow up trip will officially take a meager 32 days with the Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli set for Round 2 at Auto Club Speedway.
The event marks Trans Am’s first appearance at Auto Club and a continuation of the debut season of the West Coast Championship, an independent, four-round points contest from the Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli that primarily tours the East, Midwest and South.
Trans Am’s return to California was good for Tomy Drissi, with the 2009 Trans Am Champion leading every single session and capturing his fourth career Trans Am victory during the Willow Springs event. Now the Los Angeles native heads to Auto Club, back behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet Corvette now sporting a fresh Arthritis Foundation livery, with the TA class points lead in hand.
Joining Drissi at Auto Club is another previous Trans Am champion, the iconic Greg Pickett, in the No. 66 Pickett Racing Ford Mustang, in the TA class. Pickett’s history of success in Trans Am dates back to his first career victory at the then entitled Sears Point Raceway in 1978, from that time forward Pickett has accumulated 17 wins in 181 starts and a victory in each decade leading up to the 2010s. If Pickett can secure a win at Auto Club, or at any Trans Am stop in 2017, he will become the first driver to win a Trans Am race in each of five decades, consecutive or otherwise.
Also entered in the TA class are the talents of Richard Wall, in the No. 7 Welded Fixtures LLC Chevrolet Corvette, who finished second at Willow Springs; Kyle Kelley, in the No. 3 Biologic Infusion Pharmacy Chevrolet Corvette and Ken Davis, in the No. 64 Davis Stone Chevrolet Corvette.
Willow Springs TA2 victor Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 Portland Implant Dentistry.com Ford Mustang, will attempt to replicate that success on the Auto Club track. The win came in McAllister’s Trans Am debut, setting the bar high for any follow up act.
Standing in his way will be the three-car Napoleon Motorsport team of Justin Napoleon, Joe Napoleon and Shane Lewis, in the No. 90, 91, and 92 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaros. Lewis finished second at Willow Springs, while Justin Napoleon rounded out the podium with a third place finish. Now the Napoleon team will aim for a sweep of the TA2 podium, ultimately setting the team up for a strong push for the TA2 West Coast Championship over the last half of the season.
In TA3, Tyler McQuarrie, in the No. 14 Safecraft/ CLP Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo, returns and, like Drissi, is coming off a dominant display at Willow Springs—where he led every official session for the class and emerged with the TA3 victory in his Series debut.
However, while Willow Springs runner up Oli Thordarson, in the No. 23 Alvaka Networks/ Trackspec Chevrolet Corvette, returns, McQuarrie will be faced with a fresh set of challengers—coming in the form of William Brinkop, in the No. 78 TZDesign/ Synergy Chevrolet Corvette, and Stephanie Cemo, in the No. 43 CBM Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette.
Both Brinkop and Cemo are newcomers to Trans Am, a common trend so far in the West Coast Championship— six of the 14 entrants are newcomers; while some drivers, like Richard Wall and Guy Dreier are newcomers to the modern Trans Am format—having been away from the Series in excess of a decade.
Dreier, in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Designs Maserati Gran Tourismo, stands as sole entrant in the TA4 class.
Joining Trans Am at Auto Club will be the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), holding their 2017 Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival including the addition of the Mazda Miata Heritage Cup.
The event will feature one 100.8-mile, 36-lap, multi-class Trans Am race on the 2.8-mile Auto Club Speedway sports car course at 4:10 PM PDT on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
The remaining 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship schedule is as follows: Auto Club Speedway April 29-30, Portland International Raceway July 29-30 and Circuit of The Americas November 3-4.
Fans can keep up with the event and all of The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
General admission tickets may be purchased for $20 online at www.autoclubspeedway.com under the ACS SVRA Sunday event or at the gate.
Trans Am Event Schedule in Full:
Friday April 28, 2017
4:35 PM – 5:05 PM Trans Am Practice 1
Saturday April 29, 2017
11:20 AM – 12:00 PM Trans Am Practice 2
4:25 PM – 4:40 PM TA2 Qualifying
4:45 PM – 5:05 PM TA Qualifying
5:05 PM – 5:25 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Sunday April 30, 2017
4:10 PM – 5:40 PM Trans Am Feature Race
All times Pacific Daylight Time
Live Timing: All on-track sessions can be followed at www.gotransam.com and on the Race Monitor app available on Windows, Android, iOS and OSX.
Text Commentary: Updates provided throughout sessions on Twitter at @gotransam.
About Trans Am:
The Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli, began igniting the passion of motorsports fans across the world in 1966 and has been home to some of the greatest names in road racing. Today, Trans Am continues to honor its legacy, while challenging the status quo in racing, through meaningful racing platforms and a driver-oriented focus. The Trans Am Series is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC (TARC), and oversees the management and marketing of the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides operations services to the Series.
Defending Champions include: Amy Ruman (TA), Tony Buffomante (TA2), Randy Mueller (TA3) and Ernie Francis, Jr. (TA4).
For more on the Series visit www.gotransam.com, “like” Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter at @gotransam