Drissi and Merrill lead Opening Trans Am West Practice of 2018
April 28, 2018
West Coast Championship Underway at Auto Club Speedway
FONTANA, Calif. [April 28, 2018] – As the 2018 Trans Am West Coast Championship officially commenced with an opening practice session at Auto Club Speedway, it was Tomy Drissi and Thomas Merrill who set the initial tone for the opening round with fast laps.
Drissi, in the No. 8 GoShare Chevrolet Camaro, would set the fast lap for the TA class with a 1:36.714 in his debut for Burtin Racing— a lap if replicated in this afternoon’s qualifying will stand as a new track record. Drissi, a native of Los Angeles, stands as the defending victor at Auto Club, outlasting Kyle Kelley in a heated TA class battle last year.
This year, Tim Adolphson, in the No. 88 Cybersight Chevrolet Corvette, will hope to challenge Drissi for TA class honors— a venture well underway after logging a fast lap of 1:37.563 in his first-ever Trans Am session.
In TA2, Thomas Merrill, in the No. 81 Dig Diehl Racing Ford Mustang, easily topped the TA2 class with a time of 1:39.361— over two seconds quicker than the rest of the TA2 field. The event marks Merrill’s second Trans Am appearance, following a strong showing at Circuit of The Americas to close out 2017, where he finished third in the West Coast field and fourth overall in a combined TA2 field that totaled 29 entries.
2017 TA2 West championship runner-up Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang, was second quick in the TA2 class with a time of 1:42.047. David Smith, in the No. 11 Shockwave Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, was third quick with a time of 1:42.360, while debutants Michael Mihld, in the No. 55 Mihld Racing Chevrolet Camaro, and Tom Klauer, in the No. 25 Steve Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 class top five.
Dane Jorgenson-Smith, in the No. 28 Bob Smith Motors Ford Mustang, made his debut in the TA4 class to the tune of a 1:46.600 lap.
The Trans Am West Coast Championship will return to the track at Auto Club Speedway later this afternoon with qualifying sessions commencing at 4:10 PM PDT to determine the starting order for tomorrow’s 100.8-mile multi-class competition.
All sessions will take place on Auto Club Speedway’s 2.8-mile sports car course; and the race will follow Trans Am’s standard 100-mile format, in this case 36 laps around the 21-turn circuit. However, all classes will compete in a single race rather than Trans Am’s usual independent TA2 competition.
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.
Remaining Event Schedule:
Saturday April 28, 2018
11:10 AM – 11:50 AM Practice
4:10 PM – 4:27 PM TA2 Qualifying
4:30 PM – 4:47 PM TA Qualifying
4:50 PM – 5:07 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Sunday April 29, 2018
12:50 PM – 2:00 PM Trans Am Feature Race
All times PDT
Live Timing: All on-track sessions can be followed through live timing and scoring at www.gotransam.com and on the Race Monitor app available on Windows, Android, iOS and OSX.
Text Commentary: Updates provided throughout races on Twitter at @gotransam
General admission tickets may be purchased online at https://svra.com/gtb/?lib=product&pid=502&cat=16 or at the gate.