Greg Pickett captures Trans Am West pole at Auto Club Speedway
April 29, 2017
Shane Lewis to lead TA2, Brinkop and Dreier fast in production classes
FONTANA, Calif. [April 29, 2017] – Greg Pickett captured his 21st career Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli pole in qualifying today at Auto Club Speedway, Round 2 of the 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship. Pickett will start in first position come tomorrow’s 100.8-mile, 36-lap, multi-class Trans Am race on the 2.8-mile sports car course, as he attempts to secure his 18th career victory in his 182nd career start.
Pickett, the 1978 Trans Am champion and driver the No. 66 Picket Racing Ford Mustang, edged a fellow series champ Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:37.471-lap over Drissi’s 1:37.813. Drissi, the victor from Round 1 of the West Coast Championship, will start second tomorrow, creating an intriguing matchup between the two former titleholders.
Pickett’s last Trans Am win came in 2009 at Road Atlanta, and a victory tomorrow would make him the first-ever Trans Am competitor to win a race in each of five decades, consecutive or otherwise. A potential victory would also move Pickett out of a three-way tie with Willy T. Ribbs and Dorsey Schroeder and into sole possession of 6th place on the TA class all-time winner list.
Qualifying third was Kyle Kelley, in the No. 3 Biologic Infusion Pharmacy/ Torco Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:38.645. Richard Wall, in the No. 7 Welded Fixtures Chevrolet Corvette, and Ken Davis, in the No. No. 64 Davis Stone Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, completed the TA class top five with times of 1:40.225 and 1:40.950, respectively.
In TA2, Shane Lewis, in the No. 92 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, secured his third career Trans Am pole with a time of 1:42.011, putting him upfront for what will be his 28th start in the TA2 class. Lewis, a full-time competitor in the primary championship with Robinson Racing, is plying his trade out west as well, this time alongside the father-son duo of Justin and Joe Napoleon, under the Napoleon Motorsports banner.
Lewis had a strong outing at Willow Springs to open the West Coast Championship, finishing second—if he can hold first starting position for the duration of tomorrow’s race the result will be a third career Trans Am victory in TA2.
Lewis was followed in the TA2 class by Justin Napoleon, in the No. 90 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, who was second quick with a 1:42.961 lap time, while Joe Napoleon, in the No. 91 Turnkey Industries Chevrolet Camaro, was third quick with a 1:43.701 lap time. Willow Springs victor, Brad McAllister in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang, only turned a single lap and will start fourth on the TA2 grid tomorrow.
In TA3, William Brinkop, making his Trans Am debut behind the wheel of the No. 78 TZDesign/ Synergy Chevrolet Corvette, led the way with a 1:43.498 lap time, which will see him start first in Trans Am’s production classes. Oli Thordarson, in the No. 22 Alvaka Networks/TrackSpec Chevrolet Corvette, was second in TA3 with a 1:49.092 lap of his own.
Guy Dreier, the sole TA4 participant in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Racing Maserati Gran Turismo GT4, turned a 1:47.544 lap.
The 100.8-mile, 36-lap, multi-class Trans Am race for Round 2 of the 2017 Trans Am West Coast Championship will be held tomorrow, Sunday, April 30, at 4:10 PM PDT.
The Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli is an independent four race points championship from the Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli which primarily tours the East, Midwest and South of the United States.
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.
all results provisional until posted final
General admission tickets may be purchased for $20 online at www.autoclubspeedway.com under the ACS SVRA Sunday event or at the gate.
Remaining Trans Am Event Schedule:
Sunday April 30, 2017
4:10 PM – 5:40 PM Trans Am Feature Race
All times Pacific Daylight Time
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.
About Trans Am:
The Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli, began igniting the passion of motorsports fans across the world in 1966 and has been home to some of the greatest names in road racing. Today, Trans Am continues to honor its legacy, while challenging the status quo in racing, through meaningful racing platforms and a driver-oriented focus. The Trans Am Series is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC (TARC), and oversees the management and marketing of the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides operations services to the Series.
Defending Champions include: Amy Ruman (TA), Tony Buffomante (TA2), Randy Mueller (TA3) and Ernie Francis, Jr. (TA4).
For more on the Series visit www.gotransam.com, “like” Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter at @gotransam