Drissi and Cook claim inaugural West Coast poles at Willow Springs
March 26, 2017
McQuarrie paces TA3 as Trans Am prepares for afternoon race
ROSAMOND, Calif. [March 26, 2017] – Tomy Drissi continued his show of fine form on the weekend in the inaugural qualifying session of the 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli at Willow Springs International Raceway, capturing his 8th career Trans Am pole. Joining Drissi atop the charts of their respective classes where Chris Cook and Tyler McQuarrie, in the TA2 and TA3 classes.
Drissi powered the No. 8 Ghost in The Shell Chevrolet Corvette around the 2.50-mile “Big Willow” course to the tune of a 1:17.453-lap completing a nearly eight-year-old circle dating back to Trans Am’s last race on the West Coast at Portland International Raceway in 2009, a race Drissi also began on pole. Come this afternoon’s race, Drissi will try and once more duplicate Portland’s results where he emerged victorious, eventually on his way to the 2009 Trans Am Championship.
Drissi was followed in the session by another previous Trans Am champion, Greg Pickett, in the No. 66 Pickett Racing Ford Mustang, with a time of 1:17.829. Pickett has been a constant presence throughout the weekend, following Drissi closely throughout every session and setting up an intriguing battle between the two talents as they start side-by-side this afternoon.
Third in the session was Kyle Kelley, in the No. 3 Biologic Infusion Pharmacy Chevrolet Camaro, turning a 1:18.142 of his own; while Richard Wall, in the No. 7 Welded Fixtures Chevrolet Corvette, and Ken Davis, in the No. 64 Davis Stone Chevrolet Corvette, were fourth and fifth fast in the qualifying session with times of 1:20.193 and 1:20.581, respectively.
The event marks Richard Wall’s first Trans Am appearance since Mid-Ohio in 1985, in what will be his 18th career Trans Am start. Wall ran throughout the 1984 and 1985 seasons— years that saw him in direct competition with none other than Greg Pickett, who will start one position in advance of Wall this afternoon.
Starting 6th on the TA grid will be Trans Am newcomer Adam Carolla, in the No. 7 GoShare Chevrolet Corvette. Carolla turend a 1:22.778 lap during qualifying, his best of the weekend.
In TA2, Chris Cook, making his first career Trans Am appearance, captured pole with a time of 1:20.742 from behind the wheel of the No. 21 Shockwave Seating Suspension Chevrolet Camaro, securing the debut pole of the TA2 class on the West Coast.
Cook was followed in the qualifying session by fellow Trans Am debutant Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang, with a time of 1:20.987, second quick in the TA2 qualifying session. McAllister was followed in the session by Shane Lewis, in the No. 91 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:21.237 and Justin Napoleon, in the No. 90 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:21.801. Joe Napoleon, in the No. 92 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, elected not to qualify and will start fifth.
In TA3, Tyler McQuarrie, behind the wheel of the No. 14 Safecraft/CLP Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo, captured pole for the production-based class in his first Trans Am appearance. The occasion also marks the first entry of Lamborghini in the Trans Am Series, seeing the exotic make join Trans Am’s global competition in the TA3 class.
Joining McQuarrie in TA3 on the qualifying session were the talents of Oli Thordarson, in the No. 22 AlvakaNetworks/TrackspecMtrspts Chevrolet Corvette, and Guy Dreier, in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Designs Maserati Gran Turismo GT4, who turned 1:24.210 and 1:25.472 lap times, respectively.
The Trans Am Series will return to the track at Willow Springs later today, Sunday, March 26, 2017, for the 100-mile, multi-class race commencing at 3:00 PM PDT.
The entirety of the 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship schedule is as follows: Willow Springs International Raceway March 25-26, 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.
Remaining Trans Am Event Schedule:
Sunday March 26, 2017
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM Trans Am Feature Race
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: Dependent on connectivity, updates provided throughout sessions on Twitter at @gotransam.