DRISSI STILL IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT; RETURNS TO THE TRANS-AM PODIUM AT BRAINERD
EAST LANSING, Michigan (September 6, 2010) - It may have been Labor Day Weekend - a time for a little R&R, but there was no holiday for Tomy Drissi and the RSR team as they worked hard to return to the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series podium at Brainerd International Raceway.
Driving the #5 Unstoppable Jaguar XKR, Drissi topped the charts during the morning practice session ahead of qualifying. Looking for his second pole of the season, the 2009 Trans-Am champion recorded a best qualifying lap at 1:28.198 (102.043 mph) around BIR's 2.5-mile circuit, but fell just short of the pole. Tony Ave was the polesitter and Drissi started on the outside of row one. "I believe our chances of success were hampered by traffic," commented Drissi. "Ave got two clean laps and his second lap was the fastest lap. My first lap was faster than his first lap, so I think we could have had the pole here and that is just upsetting."
Round 8 took the green flag on Sunday afternoon. Drissi had a good start, but it was Ave who took the lead. Ave and Drissi raced closely through the early stages of the 36-lap race before Ave managed to pull away and take the checkered flag to win by one minute and five seconds over Drissi.
"Second place is ok; it is just frustrating to lose to Tony Ave again," said Drissi. "But at the end, he had the better car and deserved it. We never had the opportunity to run next to Ave during the weekend before the race to be able to compare our cars on-track. Times were close, but I thought that we had the winning combination this weekend. I think that it turned out that the #5 Unstoppable Jaguar XKR was better in handling and braking, but Ave had more speed on the straightaway. I tried to make up for that in braking and cornering, but I used up my tires. Overall, it was a good day for the team; we finished the race and returned to the podium."
Drissi earned his fourth podium result of the year. He remains third in the Trans-Am driver standings with 834 points, trailing RJ Lopez (in second) by only 55 points. With two races remaining, it is still possible for him to defend his 2009 title.
The RSR team will have a quick turnaround for Round 9 of the 10-race season, which will be next weekend at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA, September 11 - 12.