Following a career-high second place finish at Saturday’s Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Tomy Drissi’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in Sunday’s round 3 World Challenge race. After qualifying 11th with a very competitive time and car, Tomy found his fate and that of the No. 5 X-Men: First Class Porsche GT3 left in the hands of the officials after being assessed a stop and go penalty for allegedly rolling prior to the green light for the standing start.
“First, I want to say it was a thrill running the No. 5 Porsche at Long Beach featuring our X-Men: First Class livery, said Tomy. “Without their support and the continued support of Muscle Milk none of this would be possible. Sponsorship is such an important part of what we do. I can’t thank them enough!”
“This was a frustrating day,” said Drissi. “First we had a tough qualifying session going slower than we did in practice the day before… who knows why… but fortunately we still had a competitive time and we started 11th. So on the grid I was not worried about who was in front of me. I knew where I had to go and I knew I could get there.”
“Unbelievably,” said a frustrated Drissi, “I was penalize for moving on the start. I honestly feel this was a bad call as I was at a complete stop when the lights went off. Furthermore, I didn’t gain any advantage or position(s). It was a non-infraction. I know the SCCA and it’s people work very hard and are genuinely good people but I sincerely believe they got this one wrong and it was a bad call. It took us out of the race completely.”
Officials called for a stop and go and Tomy pulled the car in on lap 7. When he left pit lane he returned in 15th place.
“I came out of the pits from a stop and go penalty but the top runners where gone,” noted Driss. “I manage to catch a few guys and make a few passes even get the car back up to 9th place. The team did a great job on the car and these Pirelli tires are really good as are the StopTech brakes. Unfortunately, time just ran out on us.”
The Pirelli World Challenge of Long Beach presented by StopTech will air on Versus on Saturday, April 30 at 2:30 p.m. EDT. For more information, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
Drissi will return to the Pirelli World Challenge for Round Four from Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah, April 29-30.
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.