Drissi Stays Atop Time Chart in Toronto Following Back-and-Forth Practice Session TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (July 16, 2010) -- Defending SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series champion Tomy Drissi put his experience on the street circuit at Toronto's ...
Drissi Stays Atop Time Chart in Toronto Following Back-and-Forth Practice Session
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (July 16, 2010) -- Defending SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series champion Tomy Drissi put his experience on the street circuit at Toronto's Exhibition Place to good use on Friday and topped the speed chart in both of the day's practice sessions.
Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., logged a best lap at 1:12.428 (87.231 mph) on his final practice lap of the day in the No. 5 Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps Jaguar XKR to retake the top time of the day from series point leader Tony Ave. The two drivers traded the top spot a few times throughout the 25-minute session. Drissi is making his third Trans-Am appearance in Toronto, having previously competed at the venue in 2004 and 2005, with a best result of third in '05.
"I love Toronto and to be invited to be a support race with the Indy guys is like the old days," Drissi said. "It's great for them to have us here. This is just a really great track. The fans are great. They've been coming over to say, 'Hello.' I miss them. I haven't seen them since 2005. They remembered me and I remembered them. It's really great.
"Whether it's this track or any track, Ave has been on a string and we've got to stop him. I'm going to put it out there. I've got nothing to lose and he does. We just have to be faster than him every session, every race for the rest of the season. We'll take it one race at a time. We're here. I still think I can get the car to go faster. It's pretty scary because we're going pretty fast."
Drissi's last-lap flyer relegated Ave, of Maiden, N.C. to second in the final Friday rundown. Ave's best lap in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette was a 1:13.051 (86.487 mph). Ave's quickest lap also came on his final lap of the day, and knocked Drissi to second before Drissi returned the favor.
"I'm not paying attention to the times," Ave said. "We're just working on the car for the bumps. We're sneaking up on it. We haven't put any tires on it yet or anything, so we'll be all right tomorrow. We've got a steering rack leaking, so we've got to fix that. Otherwise, we'll be good. I've raced Atlantic cars here before. It's bumpy and stuff, but it's good. There will be a lot of people here, so that's good. It's a good race to come to."
Third quickest in both of the day's sessions was RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Lopez, who opened the year with four straight podium results before missing out on a top-three performance last time out at Lime Rock Park, clocked a best lap at 1:13.507 (85.951 mph) in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. Unlike the two drivers ahead of him on Friday, Lopez is making his Toronto debut this weekend.
"It's pretty cool," Lopez said. "It's my first time on a street track, so I'm getting to grips with it. We were third quick in the first session and then we made a gear change. I think we went in the right direction, but I think we went a little too far in the right direction. Now the transmission is going to come back out of the car, but all in all, we're happy. The only problem -- and I don't know if it's like this for everybody -- but there are no brake markers. You can't see where you're braking. There are IndyCar brake markers, but if you get to one of those, you've gone way too far. It's all about depth perception and where you think you can brake. Maybe somebody else has found references, but we haven't. The gearbox is coming back out, but I think we'll be good."
Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, wound up fourth in both sessions, posting her best lap of the day in the afternoon session at 1:14.577 (84.717 mph) in the No. 23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette. Blaise Csida, of Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, was fifth in the No. 07 Canadian Primedia/Signal Technologies Assoc./Gateway Racing Chevrolet Corvette. Csida's best lap was a 1:14.857 (84.401 mph).
-source: scca pro racing