POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (July 9, 2020) — In a series as competitive as the Trans Am, every factor counts. For CD Racing teammates Chris Dyson and Humaid Masaood, this weekend’s race at Brainerd International Raceway's one challenge will be coming to grips with a circuit that neither driver has seen before. And while many of their competitors have raced previously on Brainerd’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, Dyson and Masaood have taken steps to neutralize that advantage.
“Our team has never raced at Brainerd, but the Trans Am has been here several times over the last decade,” said Dyson, who is looking to improve on his third-place finish the weekend before last at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “But it’s always exciting to go to a new track. We’ve watched videos and gathered all the other information we can about the track. And we are fortunate to have working with us this weekend Mark Meissen, who not only built our cars, but has a good deal of experience running cars at Brainerd.”
Dyson said he is looking forward to getting his Plaid Mustang out on the circuit. “The configuration we are racing on this weekend looks to me to be an interesting combination of the traditional high-speed Donnybrooke circuit, where IMSA raced in the 1970s and 1980s, and a slower, highly technical new section. I expect it will be similar to other hybrid fast/slow circuits like Mid-Ohio and COTA (Circuit of the Americas.) – with a little taste of Road Atlanta."
Typically on Trans Am weekends, pre-race track time is limited. At Brainerd there is more time than usual, including on the Friday promoter’s test day. “I think by the end of Friday, Humaid and I will have completely mastered the track and overcome any advantage our competitors might have because of racing here previously,” Dyson said.
“The wild card in setting up our cars will be the grip level of the track,” Dyson said, noting the track’s reputation for having sand blow onto the racing surface. “The name of the game is to energize the tires enough to get grip but without degrading their performance at either end of the car.”
The race serves as a memorial to Jed Copham, who purchased Brainerd International Raceway in 2006 and oversaw a major upgrading of the facility. Copham perished in a swimming accident two years ago, but his family continues to operate the track.
“The Copham family has done a great deal to make all of us – participants and spectators – feel very welcome this weekend,” Dyson said. “I expect a very competitive race that will be an excellent tribute to Jed. We love bringing our Trans Am cars to appreciative audiences. And I am sure our #20 and #21 cars will be right up in the mix all week”
Fans can watch the live stream of the races, access live timing and scoring, keep up with the latest news and download the event program all from the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App (https://bit.ly/3dxc6Lg).
Livestreaming of the 100-mile feature Ryan Companies US/Jed Copham Tribute race, the third round of the revised schedule for the 2020 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, will begin with the green flag at approximately 1:35 p.m. (Central Time) on Sunday, July 12. (Dyson noted after watching a recording of the Mid-Ohio live stream that the quality of the race coverage was excellent.)
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