LAST LAP LETDOWN FOR RSR TRANS-AM DUO AT ROAD AMERICA; DRISSI 8TH AND RAMOUTARSINGH 9TH OVERALL Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (June 21, 2010) - Despite the fact that Tomy Drissi was running third and that Daniel Ramoutarsingh charged to obtain ten ...
LAST LAP LETDOWN FOR RSR TRANS-AM DUO AT ROAD AMERICA; DRISSI 8TH AND RAMOUTARSINGH 9TH OVERALL
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (June 21, 2010) - Despite the fact that Tomy Drissi was running third and that Daniel Ramoutarsingh charged to obtain ten positions during the race, ill-fated mechanical issues on the final lap led to double DNF's for RSR Racing at Road America during Round 4 of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series this past weekend.
Everything seemed to be in favor of Drissi returning to the podium this weekend before the start of the race on Sunday. During three practice sessions on Friday, the Hollywood, California native posted the fastest lap of the day in the second session. Road America had one of the largest Trans-Am fields to date this season, with a total of 19 cars trying to qualify for Sunday's event. Fighting traffic in Saturday's qualifying session caused some struggles but Drissi posted a best lap at 2:06.134 (115.534 mph), putting him third on the grid.
"The weekend started great," said Drissi, "but when the race started, the #5 Night and Day Jaguar XKR just didn't feel like the car I had all weekend. Despite this, I still was able to fight very hard. At the start, I obtained a position in Turn 1 and then I went after the leader. The engine was running great, but it was something in the electronics that was causing issues. That would cost me a second or two and I would have to fight back again. After fighting for 22 laps and hanging on to a top three position, my fate was determined on the last lap when I got to the exit of Turn 5 the car finally just quit. We would have had third place - it is such a shame, it cost us a lot."
Drissi entered the weekend second in the championship standings but slipped to third with an eighth-place performance. He now trails Tony Ave by 79 points and RJ Lopez by 27 markers.
Drissi added, "Tony Ave and RJ Lopez have been consistent and finished every lap, we have not. We can't afford another DNF if we are going to keep fighting for the championship - we have to be perfect the rest of the year. We have to come back; I am looking forward to that and going to Lime Rock."
In his second attempt at Road America in Trans-Am driving the #8 Trinrico Steel and Wire Products Jaguar XKR, Ramoutarsingh tried to get up to speed right out of the box. Improvements were made throughout the practice sessions seeing him make his way into the top six. Qualifying saw the same struggles for the Trinidadian as his teammate Drissi experienced, but Ramoutarsingh managed a 2:09.222 (112.773 mph), which put him ninth in the starting lineup.
"We came out for Friday's practice day and lost some time with minor issues during sessions one and two," commented Ramoutarsingh. "But by the third and final session I knew I had a great car and we were moving forward. In qualifying on my flyer lap we caught some traffic and I felt the car had a little more in it than the results showed, but I was content to start the race where I was. In the Warm-Up session on Sunday morning, we had made one more change and went out there to feel the car out and see what we had, but then we lost the motor. The team worked very hard to put another motor in to make the green flag in the afternoon."
Warm-Up ended at 8:30 a.m. local time, and the race was scheduled to take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. It was a tight timeframe for the crew to make an engine change, but they were successful. However, when the team got the #8 Trinrico Steel and Wire Products Jaguar XKR out to the starting grid in what they thought was enough time, the officials determined that it was late and made Ramoutarsingh start at the back of the field, 19th. With a new motor the challenges were on for the young driver.
Ramoutarsingh continued, "At the start of the race, I could tell something was a little off. Despite that we were very proud of the fact that by the fifth lap I was able to work my way up through the field and back into my original starting position of ninth. I was confident in the chassis that I had and I was pushing the car very hard, but the power I had continued to fade away. After a caution period, on the restart I just didn't have enough fight to keep some of the guys I had passed behind me. I drove the best I could just hoping to take it to the checkered. But that wasn't in the cards for us, when I took the white flag for the final lap it just didn't want to push any more."
Ramoutarsingh is now fifth in the championship following a ninth-place result.
Next up for the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series is a visit to the historic Lime Rock Park circuit in Lakeville, Conn. on July 3.