No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes Finishes Third
With their second podium in as many races, Tomy Drissi and Kyle Marcelli finessed their way to a third place finish Saturday driving the Intersport Racing No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes / Muscle Milk LMPC car in the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
While they might call it Lime Rock Park, Saturday’s race was anything but a walk in the park. In what turned out to be a contest of true survival of the fittest, Drissi and his Canadian co-driver used wits and determination to survive the 32 car melee. Turning in laps just a blink over 50 seconds while fighting heat and exhaustion, the race was a true test of endurance from flag-to-flag.
“This turned into a total street fight,” said Drissi. “In the first part of my stint, traffic was so bunched up you literally had to fight for every inch of track. Bumper-to-bumper doesn’t even describe it. In the braking zones, on the front straight… it didn’t matter, you literally had cars on all four sides. I got hit and spun early on… you just have to shake it off, put your head back down and go to work.”
Later, trouble reared its ugly head again.
“At some point in the middle of my run,” continued Tomy, “I came upon three cars tangled up in the chicane. In an attempt to avoid them, I spun. Luckily, I missed them and the retaining wall… only by inches though.”
Tomy stayed at it and made sure the No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes car was in great shape when he turned it over to Kyle.
“As a driver in endurance racing, you have to be a role player,” added Tomy. “I knew one of my key responsibilities was to run a good hard stint and bring back the car ready for my co-driver to take to the finish. I did my part and Kyle did his. He drove a beautiful second half and got us back on the podium. That’s two in a row and we couldn’t be happier.”
While the team’s sister car, No. 37 Lenco Mobile LMPC suffered a DNF from a failed starter motor, it should be noted driver Jon Field set the LMPC class fastest lap of the race with a 49.110.
“This is a great team,” said Tomy in closing. “I’ve got a great co-driver in Kyle and Jon Field is fantastic. Everyone at Intersport is there to win and have fun. As a driver, you couldn’t ask for a better environment. I’m having a blast.”
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will air on ESPN2 starting at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 10. The race will then be available for on-demand viewing at ESPN3.com for three weeks and at americanlemans.com indefinitely. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón next heads north of the border for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on July 22-24.
Tomy Drissi is an American driver and Trans Am Champion. His driver experience includes ALMS, Trans-Am, NASCAR and Speed World Challenge. 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. His 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 and Trans-Am Champion. In 2010 Tomy competed in Trans-Am competing in 7 rounds and taking 1 win, 1 pole, 3 podiums, 4 Top Fives, 7 Top Tens; He also competed in the American Le Mans Series LMP1 class at Mid-Ohio finishing 3rd. Tomy is married to Lacy Livingston Drissi.
Find out more about Tomy Drissi at http://www.tomydrissi.com or on Facebook. You can follow Tomy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/tomydrissi.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes in theaters August 5, 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in a contemporary San Francisco and follows a young scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes. Franco has been testing his Alzheimer cure on apes, but one of them, named Caesar, starts to evolve rapidly, so he takes him home to live with him and protect him from the cruel doctors, thus starting the inevitable ape revolution. James Franco stars, along with Andy Serkis providing motion capture for Caesar and Weta doing CGI; Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, with Tom Felton. Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters on August 5th late summer. Trailer: http://www.apeswillrise.com/
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the world`s leading sports car championship and is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. In the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, multiple classes of cars – purpose-built prototypes and production-based Grand Touring automobiles – race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. All cars in the Series compete using one of five approved alternative fuels or energy sources: clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85 or E10, Isobutanol and electric hybrid technologies. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. The ALMS competes at North America`s premier road racing tracks and selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets.