Drissi and Cook pace first practice as Trans Am West takes on Willow Springs
March 25, 2017
Tyler McQuarrie leads TA3 as Trans Am holds first California session since 2005
ROSAMOND, Cali. [March 25, 2017] – As the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli held the inaugural practice session of the Trans Am West Championship, Tomy Drissi paced the field at Willow Springs International Raceway. In doing so, Drissi, a Los Angeles native, helped usher in a new era of Trans Am competition in his home state, the Series’ first appearance on the West Coast since 2009 and first on California soil since 2005. The session also marked the first official appearance of the Trans Am Series at Willow Springs, bringing together two of the longest standing entities of North American road racing.
Drissi, a previous Trans Am Champion and driver of the No. 8 Ghost in The Shell Chevrolet Corvette, led the session around the 2.5-mile “Big Willow” course with a time of 1:17.860, showcasing the potential of the 875 horsepower TA class on the “Fastest Track in the West.” Drissi was followed in the session by another prior Trans Am champ, road-racing icon Greg Pickett, in the No. 66 Pickett Racing Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:19.117 of his own.
Trans Am veteran Richard Wall, in the No. 7 Welded Fixtures LLC Chevrolet Corvette, was third quick in the TA class with a time of 1:21.193, making his first Trans Am appearance since 1985. Trans Am rookie Ken Davis, in the No. 65 Davis Stone Chevrolet Corvette, was fourth quick with a time of 1:22.234. TA class entrants Kyle Kelley and Adam Carolla did not participate in the session.
In TA2, Chris Cook, in the No. 21 Shockwave Suspension Seating Chevrolet Camaro, led the way with a time of 1:21.246, marking the first appearance of the TA2 class West of the Rocky Mountains—introducing the vastly popular modern iteration of pony wars to the Willow Springs circuit. Cook was followed in practice by fellow Trans Am rookie Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:23.197 lap of his own.
Veterans of the primary Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli, Justin Napoleon, in the No. 90 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, and Shane Lewis, in the No. 92 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, were third and fourth in the session with times of 1:23.797 and 1:23.864, respectively. Their teammate, Joe Napoleon, opted not to participate in the session.
Tyler McQuarrie, in the No. 14 Safecraft/ CLP Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo, led the TA3 class in his first career Trans Am session with a time of 1:24.246— while also turning the first ever laps by the exotic make and model in Trans Am’s production-based class.
McQaurrie was followed in the session by Oli Thordarson, in the No. 22 Alvaka Networks/ Trackspec Chevrolet Corvette, and Guy Dreier, in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Designs Maserati Gran Turismo GT4, with times of 1:26.531 and 1:26.753, respectively.
The Trans Am Series will return to the track at Willow Springs at 1:00 PM PDT for a second practice session as teams and drivers alike make final preparations for qualifying and the ensuing 100-mile, multi-class race tomorrow, Sunday March 26, 2017, 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.
Trans Am Schedule:
Saturday March 25, 2017
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM Practice 2
Sunday March 26, 2017
9:20 AM – 9:35 AM TA2 Qualifying
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM TA Qualifying
10:20 AM – 10:40 AM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
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: Updates provided throughout sessions on Twitter at @gotransam.