FILLING IN FOR CHRIS DYSON, MATTHEW BRABHAM TAKES 2021 TRANS AM FINALE AT COTA WITH LAST LAP PASS
November 9, 2021
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (November 8, 2021) – Matthew Brabham did everything Chris Dyson asked of him at the 2021 Trans Am by Pirelli Series season finale at the Circuit of the Americas Sunday afternoon. When a family matter meant 2021 Trans Am champion Dyson would be unable to compete, he nominated Brabham to take his place. Brabham, making his first-ever Trans Am appearance, qualified Dyson’s #20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang on the front row of the grid, hounded race leader Ernie Francis, Jr. for the first 29 circuits and then pulled off a last lap pass of the defending series champion to score CD Racing’s eighth win in the 11-race season.
“That was awesome,” Brabham said after climbing from the car following the dramatic finish. “I’m sorry Chris wasn’t able to finish his championship season behind the wheel, but I’m honored to be there for him when he needed me. I can't thank Chris and CD Racing enough for the opportunity.”
“Big thanks to Matt for the amazing job he did on such short notice,” Dyson said from his home in New York. “And congratulations on winning against really strong competition. Right up to Friday morning I was hoping I’d be able to drive, but it was great to have Matt standing by. People think of him as an open-wheel driver, but a racer is a racer and I was confident he’d have no problem. Still, Trans Am weekends don’t provide a lot of track time, and I was impressed with how quickly Matt mastered a car that’s heavy and powerful and requires astute tire management. What a drive.”
Francis nipped Brabham for the pole, and then took the lead as the race started. Brabham drove a canny race for the first 28 laps, going to school on Francis while saving his tires and never falling more than a second or two behind the leader. A late race, full-course caution set up a two-lap dash to the checker. Brabham made his move on the final circuit.
“I had made some in-car adjustments and I managed to be fastest in the Esses at the end,” Brabham said. “I got a run down the back straight. I was surprised he gave me a car length, so I stuck it down in the inside and we ran side by side.”
In open-wheel racing drivers avoid the gentle bump and run tactics that are standard in sedan racing, but Brabham was prepared when Francis tried in the last corner (to no avail) to loosen up the ALTWELL CBD Mustang. “That was so much fun, racing like that, door to door, leaning on each other and coming to the checkered,” Brabham said.
Masaood Ends Season On High Note
For Humaid Masaood, driver of the CD Racing #21 Amamos La Vida Tequila Ford Mustang, a competitive run and a fifth-place finish provided some balm for a season in which travel restrictions cost the London residence multiple race starts.
“It was great to get back in the car again,” Masaood said. “COTA is a challenging track and being able to run well here was really satisfying. I'm eager to get back in the car for some testing in the off-season so we can hit the ground running in 2022”
Dyson Makes Video Appearance At Season Awards Banquet
Though unable to attend Sunday evening’s Trans Am awards ceremonies, Dyson was able to accept his championship honors via a video link.
"The championship was so meaningful to me and the team," Dyson said. "I am very proud of what we accomplished together this year."
Double-Win Weekend for CD Racing as Macri Triumphs at Bridgeport
For the second time this season, Chris Dyson's entries triumphed on two different surfaces as Anthony Macri drove CD Racing's Sean Michael-prepared Maxim-Chevy to a superb, flag-to-flag victory in the URC Sprint Car race at Bridgeport Speedway. This was a repeat of the team's double-success from June, when Tyler Courtney won the Eldora USAC Silver Crown event the same weekend that Chris Dyson claimed top honors at the Mid-Ohio Trans Am event.
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