Pickett and Merrill on pole in Sonoma
June 3, 2018
Pickett breaks lap record on the way to pole
SONOMA, Calif. [June 3, 2018] – Greg Pickett broke the 17-year-old Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli lap record and qualified in pole position for today’s race here in Sonoma Raceway. With a lap time of 1:35.199, Pickett, racing here today on the 40th anniversary of his first Trans Am win, said “It’s lovely to get the lap record here…does it get any better than that for a 70 year old racer? I don’t think so!”.
Pickett said that he was a bit surprised by the speed of his No. 6 Flavor Insights Ford Mustang, and that their focus had mainly been on race set up.
In TA2, Thomas Merrill posted a lap time of 1:35.387 to secure pole position. A lap time also faster than the previous TA record, and only 2 tenths shy of the TA pole time. “We are really happy with the time that we did. The Big Diehl Racing TFP guys continue to surprise me with how good the car is every time I get in it and I really owed it to them to do a good job.”. Merrill, in the No. 81 Big Diehl Racing Ford Mustang, set his pole time on his second flying lap of the session.
Tomy Drissi, starting in second position in TA with a time of 1:36.037, was very gracious about being beaten to pole position, saying “[Pickett is] a champion, and he deserves this pole today. He really laid one down.”
Drissi thinks that they have more to come from his No. 8 Goshare Chevrolet Camaro, and after being fastest in the hotter and slicker practice session yesterday, believes that he has a good shot at the race later on today.
The TA class is rounded out by Tim Adolphson, in the No. 88 Cybersight Craig Raudman Racing Chevrolet Corvette, setting a lap time of 1:39.673.
Starting second in TA2 in this afternoons race, is Chris Cook, a late entry for Shockwave Racing. Qualifying was Cook’s first track session of the weekend, and after a late night for his team getting his car prepared for today, set a best time of 1:38.259 on only his third lap of the weekend. Cook is running in the No. 22 Shockwave Marine Suspension Chevrolet Corvette, and will be team mate to David Smith in the No. 11, who qualified sixth.
Brad McAllister set the third fastest time in TA2, with a 1:39.843, in the No. 24 Portlandimplantdentistry.com Ford Mustang, followed by Kent Stacy in the No. 66 Qubole Chevrolet Camaro with a time of 1:41.561. Completing the top 5 is Michael Mihld in his No. 55 Track Fanatic Chevrolet Camaro, with a lap of 1:42.192.
In the TA3 class, Oli Thordarson in his No. 23 Alvaka Networks Trackspec Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, laid down a fastest lap time of 1:48.742. This qualifying session was Thordarson’s first on track session of the weekend after not taking part in yesterday’s practice session.
The action continues later today at Sonoma, with Round 2 of the Trans Am West Championship Presented by Pirelli. The 70-minute/100.8 mile race starts at 4:10pm PDT.