Alton, VIRGINIA - September 29, 2020 - The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Championship for 2020 got back underway in Virginia when Rounds 5 and 6 were staged on consecutive days at the famous Virginia International Raceway, September 26 and 27. In the prestigious TA Class, Simon Gregg continued his fine season finishing just outside the podium places in both events and with the promise of more to come.
The weekend started well for Simon in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. He posted a 1:53:305 in first testing for P4 in class and then 1:59:468 in the second session for P3. The tail end of Hurricane Beta arrived at the circuit just as the teams were qualifying - meaning much slower times. The torrential rain caused difficult conditions for everyone and so it was to Simon's credit he was nevertheless still on the second row of the grid after posting a time of 2:14:355, the return to competition of Boris Said kept Simon from a top three starting position.
Saturday's race saw Gregg shuffled back into the pack in the early exchanges before he recovered well in the two lap shootout that followed the final appearance by the pace car for a finishing position of P5 and 21 Championship points.
"It went pretty well at the end," he said after the race. "I started fourth and succumbed to the pressure behind me but at the end I was able to make that up. During the race it was kind of a struggle with a few things but at the final restart I was able to move up. I managed to hold off one car that mattered and then Tomy Drissi ended up behind me." Of the famous old circuit Simon added, "It's one of the best tracks in the Southeast that's for sure. It's a real traditional track. I like the way it hasn't changed much over the years."
Sunday morning's race for the Heacock Gold Cup was spectacular - 42 cars consisting of all classes with the TA2 cars joining the TA, XGT, SGT and GT cars on the track. The start was staggered and there were inevitable interruptions with so many cars and drivers on the track at the same time but it made for a spectacular and exciting race and one where Simon put his experience to great use, navigating a crowded field to guide the Camaro home P4 in class.
He spoke to our reporter after the race, "We started fifth and it was a pretty exciting race. My favorite parts were at the end. I had to pit due to grass in the radiator and we fell back to fourth in class but it was behind nearly three quarters of the field, then I started moving up about ten positions before the finish."
He went on, "We got bunched up at the end for the restart. It was fun to see all the classes together mixing it up. Unfortunately, the undercarriage got a bit beat up during the race. I had a quick off at the top of the esses and that was during the last caution. Then we went green. The car ran a bit better yesterday than the race on Saturday, that was helpful and bodes well for the next races." Of his Immediate future plans Simon added, "I will be heading to the SCCA runoffs next and really looking forward to this event at Road America. This will be my third time out to this track this year and I am looking forward to it."
Our reporter was also able to check in with Trans Am President John Clagett who informed us that after COTA, we have double-headers at both Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. “Teams can look forward to Road Atlanta being very similar to VIR, with separate TA and TA2 races on Saturday and then a combined race on Sunday. It's not foreign to us doing combined races and we used to do it at Daytona every year. Being cognisant of surroundings is the key concern. By doing this at Atlanta and Laguna Seca we will end up with 11 races, which is what we started with."
This is a tremendous achievement by John and his team in what has surely been the most challenging year in Trans Am. With his huge appetite for racing, Simon will be competing at the front-end of the TA grid on at least five more occasions this year which is great news.
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Trans Am Series and team news about Simon Gregg can be found at gotransam.com. Keep up with Simon personally on his Facebook page. #GoTransAm