ROCKETSPORTS RACING TRANS-AM RACE REPORT: VIRGINIA EAST LANSING, Michigan (April 20, 2009) - A crazy Trans-Am race in Virginia this weekend leaves Rocketsports Racing drivers Tomy Drissi satisfied with a top-five finish and Daniel Ramoutarsingh...
ROCKETSPORTS RACING TRANS-AM RACE REPORT: VIRGINIA
EAST LANSING, Michigan (April 20, 2009) - A crazy Trans-Am race in Virginia this weekend leaves Rocketsports Racing drivers Tomy Drissi satisfied with a top-five finish and Daniel Ramoutarsingh disappointed after earning his first Trans-Am DNF.
It was an action filled race for the 22-car Trans-Am field at VIRginia International Raceway this weekend. Several on-track incidents left only eight cars to finish on the lead lap.
Drissi, driver of the #5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Jaguar XKR, started sixth on the grid after recording a qualifying time of 1:49.295 (107.708 mph). So close to earning his first podium finish this season, the Hollywood-native tried to put up a fight on the final lap which cost him two positions as he ended up finishing fifth overall.
"It was a really tough race," said Drissi. "We got a good start, but the #5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Jaguar XKR just took a while to come in. I was doing the best I could to catch up to the leaders, but then I got caught up with a bunch of other guys. I got hit four different times really hard, causing damage to both doors, rear fender rim, and I had a cut tire. I am just really lucky to finish the race after all that contact. But we got through it and we almost had a podium, but we just didn't have enough grip.
On the last lap I was in third place but I gave it away. There was only about ¾ of a lap to go and I saw first and second place slow their pace. I thought I could catch them and challenge for the win, but I should have just been satisfied with third and finished. I probably just pushed a little too hard with the car I had. That is when I went off and lost two positions. It was just a tough weekend for everyone, and we still managed a fifth-place finish. We are looking forward to going to tracks we know. Our next event is at Mosport and we have been there several times, so it should be a good event for us."
Drissi's fifth-place result rewarded him 21 championships points, which after two races gives him a total of 50. He currently sits second in the Drivers' Championship standings, trailing leader Tony Ave by eight.
Ramoutarsingh knew this wasn't going to be an easy outing as he continues to fight the learning curve that comes along with being a rookie in the series. Just as the first race demonstrated, the Trinidadian showed improvement throughout the weekend. Feeling confident with himself, the #8 Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR, and the 3.27-mile Full Course VIR track, he was able to get in a solid qualifying run that put him 12th on the grid after he recorded a time of 1:53.064 (104.118 mph).
"The practices went well, I was positive and the team was feeling confident," commented Ramoutarsingh. "We were advancing in every session and things were really coming into place. During the race I was experiencing brake issues, to the point of where I was pumping up the brakes before each turn. At one point, I ran off into the grass. Nothing happened to the #8 Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR and I was able to get back onto the track. I had dropped a few positions, but regained them just before the header broke. I tried to work with the car's damage, but it got progressively worse. I had to come in, and that is where we finished - with a DNF."
While he may not have been a winner on the track, he was a winner within. Ramoutarsingh added, "Apart from the race, it was the journey to the race that made it all worthwhile; it was a great experience. I am pleased that I got as far as I did in the time that I had and again that is because of the great company I keep - the team members, Tomy Drissi, and some of the other drivers in the series. Tomy and I are really looking forward to Mosport. The important part is that we progress as a team and we did; that is what we are here for and now we have to move forward."
Drissi added, "It is a real pleasure to have Daniel as my teammate. He has such a strong desire to do well for not only himself, but for the entire team. It is great to work with drivers that are team players. I know he has what it takes and it is only a matter of time before he gets his first Trans-Am win."
Ramoutarsingh competed 15 of the race's 28 laps and finished 15th overall. He earned 11 championships points, giving him a total of 31.
The Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series heads north of the border for Round Three at Mosport International Raceway May 16-17. For more information, please visit www.rocketsportsracing.com or www.sccatrans-am.com.