Road Atlanta: Rocketsports Racing race report

Rocketsports Racing earns two top-six finishes in 2009 Trans-Am Series season opener EAST LANSING, Michigan (March 23, 2009) - Tomy Drissi and Daniel Ramoutarsingh rounded out the top six for Rocketsports Racing in the 2009 Muscle Milk SCCA ...

Rocketsports Racing earns two top-six finishes in 2009 Trans-Am Series season opener

EAST LANSING, Michigan (March 23, 2009) - Tomy Drissi and Daniel Ramoutarsingh rounded out the top six for Rocketsports Racing in the 2009 Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series season opener this past weekend at Road Atlanta.

Driving the #5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Jaguar XKR, Trans-Am veteran Drissi made his 72nd series start from the outside of row one. The Hollywood resident recorded a time of 1:21.391 (112.391 mph) during Saturday’s qualifying round on the 2.54-mile course in Braselton, Georgia. The time he posted was better than the existing track record. Drissi was just shy of being awarded the pole position, which went to Tony Ave (1:20.950, 112.959 mph).

For most of the 36-lap race, Drissi was running solidly in the top three. When an incident occurred on Lap 32 and brought out a yellow flag, it appeared that Drissi had locked a second place finish. However, on the final lap, Drissi’s Jaguar XKR came to a stop with a fuel pickup problem but he still managed to finish fifth overall. Running 35 out of 36 laps possible, Drissi’s posted the fourth fastest race lap with a time of 1:23.218 (109.880 mph). Drissi currently sits second in points with 29, trailing leader and race winner Greg Pickett by 5.

"It was really exciting when we got to the track," Drissi commented. "You could just feel the excitement of Trans-Am, the enthusiasm was there within the RSR team, myself, and all those involved. Being the first time back after a two year period, both myself and the team had a few kinks to work out, but we ironed them out quickly. I think that we definitely had a pole car, and we showed that just being off by a few tenths of a second. At the race start some of the guys took off immediately and I struggled a bit to keep up, but had a very fast car at the end of the race. Obviously, I am a little upset over what happened because we definitely had a podium-finishing car. With three laps to go I was catching (Greg) Pickett and I think we could have won that race, or at least finished second. But then we got that fuel problem and a yellow came out, and that just hurt us. We got lucky finishing fifth, as it is important to score championships points if not the win. So now we move forward and prepare for our next race at VIR (VIRginia International Raceway). I think we have a great chance to do well this year. I am really happy to be back with the team and back in Trans-Am."

Ramoutarsingh also made an impressive debut this weekend in Braselton, Georgia. It was a whole new experience for him, being not only a rookie to the series, but also a rookie to American road courses. He had to adjust to longer, more demanding race courses in terms of higher speeds and cornering forces. He made vast improvements in each on-track session by working on his driving and car setup with the RSR engineers. Driving the #8 Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR, the Trinidad native recorded a qualifying time of 1:26.039 (106.277 mph) placing him 11th on the grid.

Making his first Trans-Am Series start, Ramoutarsingh was able to drive a clean race and gain five spots to finish 6th overall. Completing 35 laps, he posted his quickest race lap of 1:25.772 (106.608 mph) and earned his first top-ten series’ finish. He also earned 20 championship points and sits seventh in the Trans-Am Series standings after Round One.

"The weekend went very well, it was a real learning process trying to figure out the track in the time that we had," said Ramoutarsingh. "I am so grateful for the team I have, they did an excellent job and it was a pleasure working with them and with engineer John Mills. Tomy Drissi was a great teammate; he helped me out a lot. We were able to cut down the lap times gradually; again I wish I had more time on track. But I am very happy that I was able to contribute and finish the race. I had no issues during the race. It was very unfortunate what happen to Tomy - he deserved to be up in front and drove a great race. I was very impressed with the level of competition and the organizers; it was a really great event."

The series next travels to VIRginia International Raceway April 17-19 as part of the North Carolina Region Double National weekend.

-credit: rsr

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave , Tomy Drissi , John Mills , Greg Pickett