Wilden Dominates Trans-Am Weekend at Mosport
Approaching the Trans Am series’ second event, at Mosport International Raceway, one could hardly be blamed for wondering whether Tommi Drisi would continue his winning ways. Drissi convincingly won the season opener at New Jersey Motorsports Park, earlier this month.
There were signs, however, that this might not be the case. Driving the #99 Drivewise Canada Chevrolet Corvette, Canadian driver, Kenny Wilden, posted several very fast laps during the promoter test and practice days, including a 1:17.410 on Saturday. Drissi’s Jaguar XKR was off by a second and a half during the cool and somewhat windy session.
The signs became a torrent on Sunday, when Wilden posted a record 1:15.72 lap time during qualifying – a full two seconds ahead of the previous Trans Am record. With Wilden firmly on the pole position to start, Tony Ave, of Maiden, NC, earned P2 with a 1:17.178 lap time. Never far out of contention, Drissi would take P3 with a 1:17.272 best lap.
When the green flag fell, the group thundered off into the rolling hills of Mosport. When they returned to complete the first lap, much had changed. Ave’s Corvette had taken the lead from Wilden and Drissi was nowhere to be seen. Ave had managed to pass Wilden in Mosport’s infamous Moss Corner, when Wilden’s Corvette had filled with smoke. Soon enough, Drissi showed up, taking the pit entrance road instead of Mosport’s turn 10 to start another lap. The Jag pulled into its pit spot and stayed there for the balance of the 37-lap race.
Daniel Ramoutarsingh, driving the second Jaguar XKR, was never really competitive, so the event turned quickly into a Corvette race. Wilden managed to claw back the lead at the end of lap 7, passing Ave in Turn 10. At the end, Wilden would take the checkers, by 19.324 seconds over RJ Lopez. Hailing from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Lopez now sits second in the series driver standing, five points ahead of Drisi.
Third place went to another local – Blaise Csida of Stouffville, ON, who sincerely appreciated the results. “I’ve been working towards this for 10 years. As an amateur, we have such limited resources and to be standing beside somebody like Kenny Wilden and RJ, for me as an amateur club racer, it’s unbelievable.”
From here, the Trans Am series moves on to Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele, Utah, for the first time ever, on June 6, 2010.