Dyson wins the Trans Am in Mid-Ohio
With high heat, multiple restarts, a back-and-back charge on the field that failed, and a recovery run to a championship contender’s podium, the Trans Am tour presented by Pirelli to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Race had a bit of everything on Sunday.
Chris Dyson took the lead shortly after halfway and broke away to register his third victory of the season in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at Mid-Ohio.
The New Yorker was visibly upset after qualifying third on Saturday at the wheel of the # 20 Ford Mustang ALTWELL CBD. On Sunday he chased pole winner Tomy Drissi from the start while fending off starter Ernie Francis Jr. But on lap 25 Francis crossed the grass and had to make it to the pit, with Dyson passing Drissi at the start / at the arrival. to take the lead. And that’s all she wrote, with Dyson leading the way for the ninth Trans Am victory of her career, further strengthening her lead in the standings.
âI couldn’t be happier, we were a real game-changer after yesterday,â Dyson said. âI knew we had a pole car, and we just couldn’t show it yesterday. We have shown it today. I had some great battles there. Excellent and clean races with Ernie from the start, and it’s still an absolute battle to face Drissi. It was hot; it was physical; and we had beasts to tame here. But that’s the raison d’Ãªtre of the Trans Am race.
Drissi finished second after appearing to be driving a time bomb throughout the race. The fire came from behind the # 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro on lap three; the fire went out, but nine laps later it reported a mushy gearbox; shortly thereafter, he reportedly lost his taillights.
This is the third podium of the season for Drissi, winner at Laguna Seca.
âFirst my rear deck cover caught fire, and I was about to pull over for the team to put it out, but it went out,â Drissi explained. âThen the traffic caught me in the carousel. I couldn’t go far or else I would hit (Chris) Dyson. It put me about three or four seconds behind so after that it was just a matter of keeping up the pace so we could secure the second.
However, Drissi lost in the drama department to Francis Jr. The 23-year-old saw his seven-year winning streak in Mid-Ohio come to an end, but not for lack of trying. Missing qualifying due to his SRX commitment to Eldora, Francis Jr. started at the back of the 20-car grid of the # 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang. Until seventh in the first lap, Francis only needed three more home runs to catch up with Drissi and Dyson. On lap 23, Drissi came out wide in the Carousel, Dyson and Francis starting briefly; Francis walked through the grass, requiring a pit stop to clean his grill.
Back on track, Francis is seventh 40 seconds behind Dyson – who has just taken the lead ahead of Drissi. He returned to challenge Simon Gregg for third place. Suddenly, six minutes from time, Francis lost his speed and pulled out, throwing up an end-of-race warning flag. He finished ninth in TA.
âWe had a really strong vibration in the car,â said Ernie Francis Sr, owner of the Breathless Racing team. “And we’ve lost all gears before. We’re going to keep pushing hard. This team never gives up. We’re always doing our best and we’re going to come back strong for Road America.”
Gregg placed third in the No.59 Peter Gregg Foundation Camaro, finishing a solid weekend that saw him advance to second – almost winning pole. It was the 34th podium in a career dating back to 1997, and the first since Brainerd last season.
âThe race was fun but very hot with all the restarts,â said Gregg. âHappy to be back on the podium representing Burtin Racing. “
Gregg was followed by Ohio favorite Amy Ruman in Corvette No. 23 McNichols Company / Corner Tech CNC Solutions.
âI couldn’t be happier with our arrival today,â said Ruman, who resides in Stow. âI would have liked to have had a chance to raise at the end, but we got off to a very good start. I passed three cars at the start, I fell into them and I was with the leading pack. Unfortunately our grip fell off a bit so we faded. We came a long way back and came back to fourth place. I’m just happy we had a good solid finish. This is exactly what we needed in front of our hometown audience.
The first of the two warnings was waved on lap 8 when Ken Thwaits lost his brakes on Turn 4 and drove through the gravel of China Beach, hitting the wall with the front of his No.5 Camaro Franklin Road Apparel.
Erich Joiner led all the way for his third straight XGT victory, the sixth of his career. Driving the # 10 Porsche 991 GT3 R. Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster, he found himself battling the TA class drivers throughout the event, starting and finishing fifth overall.
âAt the green flag, every one of the TA cars I have over-qualified has passed through me,â Joiner said. âI felt like I was swimming with sharks. It seemed to me that I had to start preparing a pass in turn 4 to the Carrousel. They have so much power, and these things are going to bite you. Scary, but it was really fun. I had a great race with Amy. She is a world class driver and she made no mistakes.
Kerry Hitt finished seventh overall, first in the Masters Class, driving the # 19 Cadillac CTS-V AdvancedCompositeProductsInc.
Justin Oakes won his third race of the season in SGT and the fourth of his career, leading all the way in the # 11 Corvette Droneworks.
âThe race was great and the car ran flawlessly,â Joiner said. ” I enjoyed it. We made a pretty big gap on second place and then went into preservation mode to save the car for next week. It was my first time in Mid-Ohio, and it was like a big roller coaster. I liked it!”
Billy Griffin finished second in the # 14 Ford Mustang GT4 Griffin Auto Care / Sheehans Towing, followed by Trans Am rookie Seth Lucas, a 15-year-old Columbus resident driving the # 04 Audi R8 for Tony Ave.
âI was a little intimidated today, it was my first Trans Am race, and honestly I got a little anxious,â Lucas admitted. âMy whole family was there to support me. My goal is to race in Trans Am full time because it’s the perfect place for American Road Racing. “
As Lucas completed his first Trans Am race today, on the other end of the spectrum, SGT Masters Class winner Milton Grant marked a milestone in his Trans Am career today with his 500th start to motorsport career, 47th start for Trans Am.
Next weekend, the Trans Am series with Pirelli continues at Road America to support the NASCAR Cup series. For more information on the event, visit www.GoTransAm.com.