DRISSI VICTORIOUS IN NEW JERSEY TRANS-AM RACE; RAMOUTARSINGH FINISHES INSIDE TOP FIVE IN SEASON OPENER MILLVILLE, New Jersey (May 9, 2010) - Tomy Drissi earned his third Trans-Am victory today in the season opener of the 2010 SCCA Pro ...
DRISSI VICTORIOUS IN NEW JERSEY TRANS-AM RACE; RAMOUTARSINGH FINISHES INSIDE TOP FIVE IN SEASON OPENER
MILLVILLE, New Jersey (May 9, 2010) - Tomy Drissi earned his third Trans-Am victory today in the season opener of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series with his teammate Daniel Ramoutarsingh just missing out on the podium celebrations has he finished fourth.
It was a busy day for the RSR team and drivers with having to qualify and race today. Drissi had posted the fastest time at the New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway after the first practice day. Aiming for his third career pole, Drissi turned a lap at 1:18.482 (103.208 mph) in the #5 Marmaduke The "Duke" Arrives Jaguar XKR, missing pole sitter Tony Ave's top time by just .056 seconds, one of the slimmest margins in series history.
Drissi played it safe for the first 13 laps of the race before overtaking P1 from Ave on Lap 14. The Hollywood, California-native started to pull a big gap before there was a full-course yellow for debris on Lap 25. Drissi was able to pull away again right from the green flag and run consistent, fast laps to stay in the lead comfortably for the remainder of the 40-lap event.
"We won! It was a great race", said Drissi. "I really had to fight to get around Tony Ave, it took several laps to get around him at the start. The RSR team was just awesome and put together an amazing racecar for me this weekend. The car just got better and better and faster all weekend. So when we started the race, all I had to do was do my job and drive the car. But I did have to push, because when I got by Ave he came back after me. Then RJ Lopez got by Ave and came after me. Then a full-course yellow came out with 15 laps to go, so I could never let up and I had to keep pushing because the competition was always in my mirrors. I have to thank my team and my sponsors for helping me get here today. It is great to put the #5 Marmaduke: The "Duke" Arrives sponsored Jaguar XKR in victory lane, just before 20th Century Fox releases the movie in theaters on June 4."
Drissi led from Laps 14 - 40 and recorded the fastest race lap with a time of 1:20.467 (100.662 mph). His margin of victory was 4.652 seconds over RJ Lopez.
Ramoutarsingh qualified fourth on the grid (1:21.001/99.998 mph) in the #8 Trinrico Steel and Wire Products Jaguar XKR and made a really nice start. He got inside and was able to hold his position and fight off the traffic. The Trinidadian drove smooth, consistent laps and was able to bring it home fourth and was reminded that the last lap of the race today was the first lap of the championship. Earning his fourth top-five Trans-Am finish is not a bad way to start a new season.
"I had a good race, I can't complain about anything," Ramoutarsingh stated. "My car ran very well, very consistently. I can't thank my team enough - everyone at RSR - for the fantastic job they did over the weekend preparing the #8 Trinrico Steel and Wire Products Jaguar XKR. It was a fun and progressive weekend, and that was positive since it was my first time in the car since the end of last season. Once again it was a new track for me, but we worked our way through it and I was able to qualify fourth, which I was quite pleased. I really, really wanted to make the podium, so I am a little disappointed in the fact that I didn't. But at the same time, I recognize that the three guys that were up there are three of the faster guys in the series right now so it was just an honor to have them in my sight and to be chasing them down. We had a good clean race, when we had the full-course yellow I was in fourth and I had Tony Ave, RJ Lopez and Tomy in front of me. My intention was to get around Ave on the re-start, but I had Simon Gregg between us who was a lap down. I was held behind Simon for about 3 or 4 laps before he seemed to have a second wind and started to drive quickly again. At that point, we only had a few laps to go so we made the call not to try and get around him, rather just finish the race and go home with the points.
I am so happy for Tomy. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. He has been so good and we were working hard together this weekend. I was able to get all of the cob webs out and that is behind us now. We are back in Trans-Am and we are here to stay, I will be on that podium in Mosport!"
The RSR team did an excellent job preparing the cars. They were able to run trouble-free laps; several-hundred miles with zero incidents out of the cars. They came out of the box fast and only made a few small changes to have the results they did today. It is the start to a long season, with good results like this for both cars the team will keep pushing forward trying to be consistent and trying to be fast the rest of the season.
The series next travels to Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, May 21-23 as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest.