Thwaits and Pickett Duel in the Sun in Exciting Sonoma Showdown
May 2, 2022
Round 5 of the 2022 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship season was the second leg of the California doubleheader and as a spectacle, it didn't disappoint with a nip-and-tuck race that saw Ken Thwaits grab the final National podium spot. His P3 and valuable Championship points haul closes the gap in the Drivers Championship to Amy Ruman, who endured a luckless day and retired when her P6 was assured.
Only two of the TA field in Saturday's race competed at Sonoma Raceway the last time the National Championship visited the California track in 2004. The legendary Greg Pickett was one of those drivers and he and Franklin Road Apparel Showtime Motorsports Principal Ken Thwaits enjoyed an epic 'duel in the sun' with the veteran Pickett.
"We had a lot to prove here after Laguna Seca," said Ken in the pit lane after the race. "The goal was to run a nice clean race, run as hard as we can and save our tires until the end and boy did we put on a show there!"
The two TA1 drivers were racing very close together as the race entered the second half as Ken pointed out, “The last 25 laps was nip-and-tuck with one of the greatest in Trans Am history so I'm very humbled. I'm not going to be that guy that takes Greg Pickett out! He was faster in some areas and I'd catch him back up."
Ken continued, "Greg had spun in the carousel. I thought maybe this was my chance but I couldn't close it at that point. Then I thought maybe he'd run out of tire, and he did, but so did I, so in the end we were just slipping and sliding everywhere but it was fun."
Ken qualified in P3 in 1:34:343 and of the weekend as a whole he added, "We got the weather to cooperate. This track is a monster. It'll just bite you everywhere. You've got to really have your act together to go fast here so hats off to Chris Dyson and Tomy Drissi."
Ken added an interesting note with regard to Sunday’s TA2 race where Cameron Lawrence and Carl Rydquist will be flying the flag in the twin Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaros when he added, "We kind of have an opposite strategy in TA2. This weekend, we went out on slicks in the first session. We ran 4th and 5th and Cameron had never been here before and he's 5th. I think we learned more than the other guys."
We can confirm that highlights of the TA race will be screened on Saturday May 7 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports Network in a show billed as 2022 Trans Am presented by Franklin Road Apparel. Highlights of Sunday's TA2 race are on the same channel at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday May 8.
Next up for Ken is a trip to Lime Rock Connecticut when the iconic muscle car series reassembles for more high octane action.
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About Showtime Motorsports:
The Showtime Motorsports brand includes Ken Thwaits' racing team and racecars, and an outstanding classic Camaro collection. Showtime Motorsports brings together a dynamic staff who employ diverse talents and share a passion for cars, racing and caring for clients like they are our own family members.