Chris Dyson Looks to California Races to Extend Trans Am Series Point Lead
April 20, 2022
Following a trio of races in the southeast that opened the 2022 Trans Am by Pirelli season, Chris Dyson is looking forward to the pair of California races scheduled for this week and next at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway. After winning two of those first three races this season, the defending series titlist aims to widen his current narrow lead in the season-championship point standings.
“Over the years both of these Bay Area tracks have been good for me and for the family,” Dyson said. “And last season we had a great weekend at Laguna Seca right until a few laps from the finish of the race. And then it all went bad. We aim to have a better race result there this weekend.”
Dyson swept last season’s Sonoma race, which was part of the Trans Am West Coast Championship last year and so paid no national championship points. He looked to be on the way to another sweep at Laguna Seca the following weekend, starting on the pole with a track record-breaking qualifying effort and setting fastest race lap. But a late-race full-course with a few laps remaining, while Dyson maintained a comfortable lead, erased his advantage and bunched up the field behind him. Contact on the restart from the pursuing Boris Said knocked Dyson’s #20 ALTWELL Ford Mustang back to a sixth-place finish, his worst result in his championship-winning season.
“It feels like we have some unfinished business on the Monterey Peninsula,” Dyson said. “I hope at the end of the race Saturday afternoon I will have taken care of that business. But one thing for sure, Tomy Drissi and the rest of my competitors aren’t going to hand this to us; I’m going to have to work as hard as I can and earn it. Tomy has had some bad luck so far this year, but he was really strong at our last race, Road Atlanta. We were having a great race until the cockpit of his car filled up with smoke. And he still finished second.”
Dyson also noted that entertainer and rabid automobile enthusiast Adam Corolla will be joining top competitor Ken Thwaits on the Franklin Road Apparel Showtime Motorsports team. “I was on Adam’s show last month, which was a lot of fun. Now it's going to be great to have Adam on the track with us. He’s such a brilliant entertainer that I think a lot of people don’t appreciate that he’s a serious driver as well.”
Sonoma Next Weekend With A Longtime Friend
Dyson’s dominant win last year at Sonoma Raceway was just the most recent chapter in the Dyson family racing history in Northern California wine country. Winning at Sonoma is a long Dyson tradition. Chris’s father Rob drove his Porsche 962 into Sonoma’s winner’s circle in 1986, during the heyday of IMSA’s storied GTP era. The Dyson Racing Team scored two overall Sonoma IMSA WSC wins during the 1990s and in 2003 the team won again en route to Chris Dyson's first American Le Mans Series championship.
“What makes me extra happy about racing at Sonoma next weekend is that my great friend and partner Greg Pickett will be racing iagain in another ALTWELL Ford Mustang,” Dyson said. “The Dyson and Pickett families have been friends – and frequently on-track competitors – for literally as long as I can remember. Sonoma is the home race for Greg’s company ALTWELL, and I scored my first win in ALTWELL colors there with the ALTWELL folks looking on. It was great having Greg there in the winner’s circle as the first person to great me.
“I expect to see Greg there in the winner’s circle again this year,” Dyson continued. “The difference is that I’m going to have to race Greg on the track to get there!”
Dyson noted that Pickett is one of the legendary drivers in the nearly six decades of America’s longest-running road-racing series. In addition to most recently winning the West Coast Series title four years ago, the ageless veteran is the only driver to win Trans Am races in five different decades!
Masaood Looks For Another Successful Pair of West Coast Results
For Dyson’s UK-based teammate Humaid Masaood, second-place finishes in both of last year’s West Coast races marked the highlight of a season that was unfortunately curtailed by pandemic-related travel issues. Laguna Seca and Sonoma will mark Masaood’s second and third starts of the 2022 season.
“I’m definitely looking forward to these races,” Masaood said. “I was sorry to have missed two of the three races so far this season, but I’m excited to be racing at these two tracks. I know them well, and I know my CD Racing team will have my car in great shape. The competition will be very challenging, but my goal is to make that on step higher on the podium in one of these races. Or both.”
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Laguna Seca & Sonoma Race Schedules
Laguna Seca qualifying is Friday, April 22, 5:15 to 5:30 p.m. PT. The 45-lap (100-mile) race runs Saturday, April 23, with the green flag scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT (4:05 p.m. ET)
Sonoma qualifying is Friday, April 29, 3:55 to 4:10 p.m. PT. The 40-lap (100-mile) race runs Saturday, April 30, with the green flag scheduled for 1:15 p.m. PT (4:15 p.m. ET)
Video Coverage of Laguna Seca & Sonoma
The Laguna Seca & Sonoma TA races will be streamed live and free on the Trans Am Series by Pirelli YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/TheTransAmSeries).
The Laguna Seca live-stream coverage begins at 12:05 p.m. PT, 3:05 ET) on Saturday, April 23.
The Sonoma live-stream coverage begins at 12:45 p.m. PT, 3:45 ET) on Saturday, April 30.
Both events will be televised on a tape-delay basis on CBS Sports Network and also MavTV, dates TBA.
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