Tomy Drissi Finishes 2nd at Sonoma in Trans Am West

Second place is never really satisfying…. unless it means finishing behind a good friend like Greg Pickett. That was the finishing order for Sunday’s main event for the Trans Am West series at Sonoma. It was a mere three tenths of a second between Tomy and Greg at the checkered flag and both drivers emerged from their cars congratulating each other for the awesome race.

“Obviously, I would have liked to be on the top step of the podium,” said Tomy. “But to take second to Greg… especially racing the way we raced, I couldn’t be happier for him. We did turn the fastest lap of the race… so that’s some consolation, but Greg was too tough today.”

Drissi’s race was almost finished before it started, when his team discovering a leak in a transmission line just 30 minutes before the green flag. In an amazing show of how a team can work under pressure, a new line was constructed and fitted to the car, and Drissi made the grid with seconds to spare.

In a show of respect, Pickett told Drissi’s team that he would not start the race until they made it to the grid.

Pickett started the race on pole, and began to build a lead on second place finisher Tomy Drissi in the No. 8 Goshare Chevrolet Camaro. By lap 12, the gap between them was over 4 seconds. Drissi was not about to give up, clawing back, reducing the gap to 1.5 seconds by lap 17.

Over the next 17 laps, the lap times see-sawed back and forth between the two veterans, until lap 34, when Drissi put his car down the inside into Turn 12 to take the lead. However, the top spot was not his for long, as Pickett passed him under braking into Turn 7 on next lap. Ultimately, it was the decisive move of the race. Despite Tomy putting on the pressure in remaining laps, Pickett held on and took the checkered flag on lap 40, winning by three tenths of a second, 40 years and 8 days after winning his first Trans Am series race at Sears Point, now known as Sonoma Raceway.

“I didn’t take it easy on him at all” said Drissi. “He was just so perfect for the first half hour.”

Sunday’s race was the second round in the Trans Am West Championship presented by Pirelli, and went caution free for the entire race distance. The race ran for a full 40 laps, 100.8-miles, and was completed in 1 hour and 7 minutes.

The next race in Trans Am West Championship is June 15th to 17th at the hallowed Brickyard, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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