Portland, Oregon - Tomy Drissi, voted "Most Improved Driver" in 2000, is looking for a strong finish when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Portland for the Tommy Bahama 125 on August 3-4. Drissi, who pilots the No.15...
Portland, Oregon - Tomy Drissi, voted "Most Improved Driver" in 2000, is looking for a strong finish when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Portland for the Tommy Bahama 125 on August 3-4. Drissi, who pilots the No.15 TDM Motorsports Jaguar XKR, drove to a solid fourth place finish in Detroit. At Cleveland, Drissi backed up his Detroit showing by finishing seventh after experiencing a mechanical problem in qualifying and starting 23rd. Most recently at Sears Point, Drissi finished 10th despite receiving a stop-and-go penalty.
Drissi's strong drives have moved him into ninth place in the championship standings. "We've got to keep building this momentum," said Drissi who finished sixth in the points standings last year. "It's not just about the track anymore. We've got to push harder. We've had four top-ten finishes this season. But we're fast enough to be in the top-five every time."
But it could well be about the track at Portland. The Trans-Am Series last toured the track in 1995 so it's unfamiliar territory to many of the current Trans-Am drivers. However, both Drissi and his teammate, Vancouver resident Dan Miller, recently ran in the Pro Spec Racer Series to get some valuable track time.
"It's a very smooth and fluid track," said Drissi who was the 1999 "Rookie of the Year".
"You've got to be prepared to take advantage of where it's fast and accept the fact in some places it will force you to be slower, like the chicane.
"Watching videos has taken on a whole new meaning for me now," quipped Drissi who's been watching videos of previous CART races to help him further learn the Portland circuit. Miller, who ranks second in the "Rookie of the Year" points, thinks his stint in the Spec Racer event will help. "This is the first track all season that won't be completely new to me and that should be a definite advantage," said Miller, an oval short track racer with more than 50 feature wins. "Because it's my home track, I'll have the added pressure to perform well here.
"I'll stay focused, try hard, and just do my best," said Miller who finished 12th at Cleveland, his best Trans-Am showing. "We've been knocking on the door to a top-ten finish now for a while. This would be a great time to drive through that door."