The famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Corkscrew turn factored heavily in TA2 powered by AEM practice and qualifying for Sunday afternoon’s Trans Am Series powered by Pirelli race. With temperatures cooler than when teams first practiced on Saturday afternoon, all 27 drivers found that the diving, multi-turn corner was even more challenging than normal.
The short 15-minute qualifying session was cut five minutes shorter after the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro of Scott Lagasse Jr. crashed in Turn 8 entering the Corkscrew. Fortunately, Lagasse emerged unscathed, although his car was unable to continue.
Facing a difficult extraction and need for track clean-up, Trans Am series officials decided to call an early end to the session.
Marc Miller in the No. 40 Prefix Stevens-Miller Racing Dodge Challenger managed to stay clear of all the drama and set a fast lap of 1m 29.964s to take pole position.
“This track is very tricky on cold tires and quite sandy when drivers push too soon,” explained Miller. “I was fortunate to set a decent lap and my flyer two laps in a row. I still didn’t get all the lap, but it was like that for everyone considering the conditions and the shortened session.
“I’m super happy for Prefix and all the staff at home cheering us on,” Miller added. “I really wish my family could have been here to make it even more special. I am ecstatic to give Stevens-Miller Racing and Dodge their first pole in a couple of years.”
Sharing the front row with Miller will be Ethan Wilson in the No. 25 BC Race Cars/Western Grinding Service Chevrolet Camaro. The California native’s speed in Saturday practice (where he was also second fastest) carried over.
“The BC Race Cars Camaro powered by K-Tech had some good pace yesterday and I knew that the challenge would be the track today,” said Wilson. “We really kind of laid back so we wouldn’t catch up with the rest of the group to give me a gap to get in a clean lap. It paid off. I got in one good lap — I hit it just right, and it’s a good thing I did because cars started going off, kicking dirt up on the track. We are really happy with the P2 start.”
Thomas Merrill, one of the pace setters in yesterday’s practice, failed to get a time in the short qualifying session, mechanical issues forcing his team to push his Big Diehl Racing Ford Mustang back to the paddock.
“We had some issues at the beginning of qualifying,” said Merrill. “We used the time to sort out the problems since it’s such a fast turnaround from qualifying to race.”
A pair of Mustangs will line up in Row 2, with Dillon Machavern (fastest in practice on Saturday) in the Liqui-Molly/Prefix No. 77 and Lawless Alan in the AutoParkIT No. 52 qualifying third and forth.
Keith Prociuk in the HP Tuners Camaro and Elias Anderson in the AccioData/SampsonRace/TFB Performance Mustang round out the top-six.
The TA2 powered by AEM 100-mile (or 70 minutes whichever comes first) feature race starts today at 1:10 p.m. PT. Fans can follow the action with live timing and scoring on GoTransAm.com or on the Race Monitor app.