With the first round of the 2017 Trans Am West Championship presented by Pirelli scheduled to kick off at Willow Springs on March 26, Tomy Drissi will campaign the No. 8 Ghost in the Shell, Tony Ave Racing prepared Corvette. The southern California road course will feature an exciting weekend of Trans Am racing and vintage SVRA cars in high powered mix of vintage and modern motor racing.
After a nearly decade long absence, the iconic rumble of Trans Am engines makes its long-awaited return to the West Coast. A stand-alone competition, the Trans Am West Coast Championship will have its own points championship and will be independent of the Trans Am Championship—which is held primarily on tracks throughout the East Coast, Midwest and South. With the addition of a West Coast Championship, Trans Am aims to regenerate a historically vibrant competitor community on both professional and SCCA Club levels.
Fresh off his second place finish at the series season opener in Sebring, Tomy is excited to continue the great start to his season. As far as taking TransAm back out west, well that’s just a bonus.
“I’m excited to be racing TransAm again,” said Tomy. “But coming out west… driving TransAm out west… that’s just too cool. Our weekend in Sebring reminded me of how much fun TransAm cars are, and when they told me about the TransAm West Championship, it was a no-brainer. It was like the black jack dealer dealing 11, you double down.”
“I love Willow Springs,” added Tomy. “I was racing here back in the 90’s …some great vintage races with great cars, great friends… just so many memories. Bill Huth and his family always treated me so well… they are huge supporters of mine, so this place is pretty special.”
Trans Am will partner in the endeavor with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), as it does for many of its events in the Trans Am Championship. The Series will continue with the format of 100-mile sprint races and will enforce a modified version of the 2016 Trans Am rulebook while staffing the events with core members of the Trans Am Series staff, including the Series’ Technical Director and Chief Steward.
No stranger to vintage racing, Tomy was recently named VARA’s fist Hall of Fame inductee.
“I’m really looking forward to catching up with the SVRA and VARA folks,” added Tomy. “There are a lot of good people involved and a lot of really cool cars. VARA recently honored me as their first inductee to the VARA Hall of Fame… that completely blew me away. This is going to be a fun weekend.”
Tomy was also honored by TransAm at Sebring International Raceway in recognition of a milestone in his career, his 100th TransAm career start. Tomy ran his first TransAm race at Long Beach in 1999, driving a Ford Mustang Cobra. Drissi was the Top Rookie of the race. Exactly one year later, Tomy tore up the streets of Long Beach taking his first TransAm win, again in a Ford Mustang. He has since gone on to take three wins, 29 top-5s and 60 top-10s… an amazing tribute to Tomy’s consistency. In 2009, Tomy was crowned TransAm Champion.
Tomy’s No. 8 Ave Racing Corvette will feature the livery of Ghost in the Shell, an upcoming American science fiction action film directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Jamie Moss and Ehren Kruger, based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. Sanders dedicated the film to Buried director Rodrigo Cortés. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche. It will be released on March 31, 2017, in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.
Located about an hour north of Los Angeles, Willow Springs International Raceway is a super-fast 2.5-mile / nine-turn road racing circuit, patterned after the great courses and road racing traditions of Europe. The course is unchanged from its original 1953 configuration. With its substantial elevation changes and high average speeds, Willow Springs is one of the fastest and most challenging tracks in the country. Also known as the Fastest Road in the West, this track is one of the safest road courses in the world, despite its high velocities. Cornering speeds on this track range from about 70 mph to over 170 mph, with straightaway speeds nearing 200 mph possible with fastest cars and motorcycles.
“The West Coast has always been core to the spirit of Trans Am,” said John Clagett, President of The Trans Am Race Company. “Some of the greatest races in Trans Am history took place on the West Coast, and some of our greatest talents called it home. From 1996 to 2005 nearly a quarter of all Trans Am events were held in the West, so many of our competitors and race shops were based there—the region is engrained in our history. The Trans Am West Coast Championship is the first of many steps towards rebuilding that core competitor base and making Trans Am a national brand for our stakeholders, drivers and fans.”
“The timing is just right for Trans Am,” said Clagett. “The Trans Am Championship is stable and continuing to grow as we bring in additional marketing partners for 2017. Our relationship with SVRA has presented us with the opportunity to expand westward with minimal risk while providing the vital components for success, quality venues and competition platforms, while we work to rebuild Trans Am’s presence in a region it has historically called home.”
Fans of the Trans Am Series by Pirelli can follow along throughout the weekend at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam. Live Timing and Scoring can be found throughout all sessions on gotransam.com and on RaceMonitor.
Keep up with Tomy at http://www.tomydrissi.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tomydrissi/ – Catch Tomy’s Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/tomydrissi
Tomy Drissi is an American driver and Trans Am Champion.
His driver experience includes ALMS, Trans-Am, NASCAR and Speed World Challengea
Born December 9 in Hollywood, California, Tomy owns an advertising firm that produces upcoming film displays for cinemas.
Drissi’s first racing experience in motorsports was street racing on Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Tomy’s professional racing career highlights include:
• 1999 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year,
• 2000 Trans-Am BBS Most Improved Driver,
• 2000 Trans-Am Crew of the Year
• 2000 Trans-Am Long Beach Champion
• 2009 Trans-Am Champion.
• 2010 ALMS (one off race) Prototype LMP1 3rd. at Mid Ohio
• 2011 saw Tomy’s return to the American Le Mans LMPC division. He scored a 2nd at Long Beach, 3rd at Lime Rock, 1st at Mid Ohio,1st at Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix and second at Road Atlanta -Petit Le Mans.
• 2012, Drissi teamed with Bruno Junqiera for finishing 2nd at Laguna Seca, a win at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), 2nd at Baltimore and second at the season finale, Petit Lemans.
• 2013 NASCAR CUP/Nationwide. Best result at Mid Ohio starting 38th and finishing 19th.
• 2014 IMSA LMPC at Daytona 3rd.
• 2014 NASCAR CUP/Nationwide. Finished 19th at The Glen
• 2015 TUDOR Series. 2nd Place Rolex 24 at Daytona
• 2016 WeatherTech Series. 2nd Place Rolex 24 at Daytona
The Trans Am Series is America’s Road Racing Series and dates back to 1966. Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans Am Series. Names like Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Peter Gregg, Bob Tullius and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. have all won multiple championships under the Trans Am name.
While Trans Am will always be dedicated to honoring its history and legacy, it is far from simply living in the past. Since the addition of the Trans Am Race Company, LLC in late 2011, Trans Am has experienced unprecedented growth as a new class based model has been implemented. Now, three distinct classes take center stage; TA, TA2 and TA3, Trans Am is positioned to power into the future, not live in the past.
The iconic Trans Am Series – America’s Road Racing Series – is operated by the Trans Am Race Company, LLC. Through a five-year agreement, the Trans Am Race Company manages the marketing rights to the series and is responsible for Trans Am Series public relations and promotions. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides event operations services to the series.
For more on the Series visit www.gotransam.com, “like” Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter at @gotransam.