Driving the No. 8 Ghost in the Shell, Tony Ave Racing prepared Corvette, Tomy Drissi lit up the course at the legendary Willow Springs International Raceway for the inaugural 2017 Trans Am West Championship presented by Pirelli. The 2009 TransAm Champion cracked open the record books setting the fastest time of the weekend and winning the 100 mile event.
This was Tomy’s second trip to a TransAm podium this season, having just finished second place finish at the series season opener in Sebring. The win here at Willow Springs holds a special meaning for Tomy, given his history here and the proximity his hometown of Hollywood.
“What a great weekend,” said Tomy following the race. “Lacy, my wife, brought our two children, Jagger and Elin to their very first race. That was a lot of fun. Racing out here at Willow Springs is always special… but winning, man… that’s just awesome. I had a great car all weekend. Tony (Ave) promised me a fast a car… and he delivered. My crew guys were spot on with this thing from the minute we rolled it off the transporter.”
“The racing was really good,” Tomy continued. “Greg Pickett was giving me some heat early on, and then Kyle Kelley and I were swapping the lead back and forth. All the TA cars were pretty quick and putting on a really good show. I’ll tell you, I have to give huge props to Adam Carolla…he came out here and did a great job. I’m not sure he’s driven with this much horsepower under him before, but man, he did great!”
“Again, these Pirelli tires were great,” added Tomy. “It makes for great racing when the Series commits to a good tire… we can really go racing on the Pirellis. Also want to thank the people at Piloti, Racing Radios and RPMx for the help this weekend.”
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.
Trans Am partnered the weekend 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.
Recently named VARA’s fist Hall of Fame inductee, Tomy brought along his famed 1970 Factory Chaparral Camaro.
“I’ve really been looking forward to catching up with the SVRA and VARA folks,” said Tomy. “There are a lot of good people involved and a lot of really cool cars. So I thought I’d bring out the Chaparral Camaro just for kicks. It was great playing around and having a little fun with it.”
Tomy’s No. 8 Ave Racing Corvette features 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. The film opens 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.
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.