After nearly a decade away, on March 25-26, 2017 the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli made its return to the West Coast, at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in California. The event marks Trans Am’s first appearance in California since 2005. All the three participating classes were featured on iconic Willow Springs Big Willow circuit, 2.5-miles and nine corners of what has been called the “Fastest Track in the West.”
Los Angeles native Tomy Drissi won the Trans Am West Championship on March 26, 2017. Richard Wall came second and Adam Carolla came third.
Tomy Drissi in Car No.8
It was no surprise that Los Angeles Tomy Drissi won the Trans Am Championship on March 26, 2016; he started racing cars in the Mullholland Drive area of his native Hollywood at sixteen years of age! Those were naturally unofficial and not legitimate races but they paved the way for his future racing career. It was in 1993 that Tomy started legitimate vintage car racing at Willow Springs. But his style which some view as rather ‘aggressive’ led him to move on to standard and modern car racing. In 1999, he was Top Rook of the Year and in 2000 he had his first Trans Am win. His racing career has been long and varied. This year, he has so far come second in the season’s opener in Sebring to be followed by coming first in Willow Springs and the year is still young. Drissi has been recently named VARA’s first Hall of Fame inductee.
At this last race on March 26, 2017, his wife brought their two children to witness their first race. The Trans Am Champion & the driver of the No. 8 “Ghost in the Shell” Chevrolet Corvette said, “Racing out here at Willow Springs is always special … but winning, man … that’s just awesome”. Besides winning the TA Championship, Drissi also broke speed records and set a new fastest time for the week-end. In true sportsmanly manners, he praised his crew guys and the other competitors.
Richard Wall in Car No 7
Richard Wall’s was a last minute entry and fully by chance. Wall’s last appearance in TA races was in 1985 at Mid Ohio but if this race was Adam Carolla’s TransAm debut, for Wall it marks a return to what was home for him in the 1984 and 1985 seasons. This week-end, Wall, who is from Whittier CA, happened to come upon a potential rental of No. 7 in the GoShare Corvettes of Burtin Racing. This clinched his return to the TA class after a full 30 years away from it. Claudio Burtin, team owner at Burtin Racing, was understandably over the moon with the result. In fact Wall came from his sixth starting position on the grid finishing the race second. Wall was full of praise for everybody; “It was great working with him [C.Burtin] and his GoShare crew. They gave me an excellent car — it was well prepared and great to drive. I did everything I could to get good results. Adam and I got the job done!”
Adam Carolla in Car No. 33
The 2017 Trans Am West Championship was Carolla’s Trans Am debut and, for his performance during the race, he was given the COOLSHIRTS System “Cool Move of the Race” award. He said that “being asked to race in the modern Trans Am was a huge honor”. A.Corolla was driving the GoShare car No. 33 Corvette of Burtin Racing in this race.
Adam Carolla is a multi-talented American comedian who is also an actor and film-maker besides being a well-known tv personality and pioneer podcaster. In 2015, he co-authored and directed a beautiful documentary on Paul Newman’s car-racing career. Later he sold five vintage (Lamborghini) cars so as to purchase Paul Newman’s classic Porsche 935 for a hefty $4.4 million.
Cherrybuzz.com will post more photos of the champion. Please let us know if you can’t see your or your favorite race car and will search our archive. For more information, please see the following sources: svra.com, roadandtrack.com, racer.com, motorsports.nbcsports.com, tommydrissi.com, forbes.com, IMDb.com & gotransam.com.