Road Atlanta: Tomy Drissi early out report

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 25, 2004) -- Tomy Drissi, and co-drivers Michael Lewis and Melanie Paterson, retired early from today's Petit Le Mans ALMS race at Road Atlanta due to a crash just 20 minutes into the event. Lewis, who started last on the...

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 25, 2004) -- Tomy Drissi, and co-drivers Michael Lewis and Melanie Paterson, retired early from today's Petit Le Mans ALMS race at Road Atlanta due to a crash just 20 minutes into the event. Lewis, who started last on the grid in the No. 12 Elektra -- Looks Can Kill Only in Theaters Jan. 14 Riley & Scott Mk. IIIc Elan LMP1 car due to a shunt in qualifying, was involved in an incident with a GT-class Porsche during the race's first restart. Lewis, who had charged to 14th, crashed hard, destroying the car and ending the day early.

Drissi said he was more concerned for Lewis to be disappointed for not being able to turn a wheel in anger.

"The most important thing is it looks as if Mike is going to be OK," said Drissi of his teammate. "The impact was really hard. They took him to the hospital to do some X-Rays and for observation, but his neck, his arms and his legs are all OK.

"That's a 130-mile-per-hour area where he hit," added Drissi. "These cars are so fast. He probably hit the wall doing 120. It's a testament to these cars and the safety measures the ALMS requires that Mike is OK.

"This was an unfortunate incident," continued Drissi. "It looked like the Porsche gave him room going up the hill then he got into the rear of Mike's car. I'm not going to place blame, but I will say that if you have a prototype around you, you need to move out of the way."

Tomy Drissi, who hails from Hollywood, Calif., is a longtime sports car racer and has competed in the American Le Mans Series, Trans-Am and vintage racing. Drissi owns award-winning motion picture advertising firm Drissi Advertising.

-dm-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomy Drissi , Michael Lewis , Melanie Paterson