After being forced to cancel its West Coast tour in 2020 due to the pandemic, Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is finally able to return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, bringing a huge field of American horsepower to the rolling Salinas hills this weekend (April 30-May 2) for the Trans Am SpeedFest.
The weekend will feature two races, one on Saturday (TA2 at 1:10pm PT) and the weekend finale on Sunday (TA/XGT/SGT/GT at 1:30pm PT) that will include the Trans Am National Series, West Coast Championship and the Trans Am ProAm Challenge on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course on California’s central coast. (click here to watch a Trans Am at Laguna video)
Sunday Race Preview
A dozen TA cars will be fielded by the national series’ top drivers, including Boris Said, Justin Marks (No. 99 Ave Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette), Ernie Francis Jr., Chris Dyson, Amy Ruman (No. 23 McNicholsCo/CornertechCNCSolut Chevrolet Corvette), Simon Gregg (No. 59 The Peter Gregg Foundation Chevrolet Camaro) and Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro).
After 17 years, Said returns to Laguna Seca with his sights only set on winning. Said has three starts with Trans Am at Laguna. In 2000 he started third and finished second behind Tommy Kendall in the Davis Ford Mustang, and in 2001 started third and finished 21st in the Davis Panoz Eperante. Qualifying off pole to Kendall, Said was outpaced by the four-time champion, finishing 2.088s behind Kendall.
Now in 2021, Said has built momentum leading into Round 3 with a victory in the rain in the last event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. But on his quest for his first victory at Laguna in No. 2 WeaverRacingTechnique/SRI Dodge Challenger, Said will be hunted down by seven-time champion and reigning TA Laguna Seca (2019) winner Francis Jr. Driving the newly outfitted No. 98 Breathless Pro Racing Future Star Ford Mustang, Francis Jr. has two consecutive second-place finishes, and is hungry for a win.
“We are set to defend our 2019 win at Laguna,” said Francis Jr. “Laguna is a very tight and technical track, and we have high hopes to extend our championship lead this weekend.”
With the brewing battle between Said and Francis Jr., Dyson will insert himself into fight. Dyson is hot off a dominant victory last weekend at Sonoma with the Trans Am West Coast Championship and is looking to complete his west coast swing going undefeated in his new yellow and white livery on the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang.
“I couldn’t be happier with the finish at Sonoma,” Dyson said. “The car ran flawlessly and we are in a good position heading into Monterey for next event weekend.”
In the production class, two winners from two coasts will go head-to-head in battle of the championships to settle which SGT driver is fastest in the nation. Justin Oakes started his rookie national SGT campaign with a victory at Sebring, but the Texas resident missed Round 2 in Atlanta for the delivery of his first child. The new father is back for Round 3 in the No. 11 Droneworks Chevrolet Corvette.
“We started off the season strong, but I will miss Atlanta to be with my wife for the birth of our baby,” Oakes said following his Sebring win. “We will return to Laguna to continue our bid for the championship. It’s going to be fun.”
Series and class newcomer in the West Coast Championship Rob Crocker (No. 77 KRYPTAURI Cybersecurity Porsche Cayman) made his season debut last weekend at Sonoma finishing first in class to take the points lead in the SGT class.
“This win is good momentum for us going into next weekend at Laguna,” said Crocker in Sonoma. “We had a lot of fun today and really look forward to another round on a classic track.”
Longtime Trans Am participant Lou Gigliotti will return to Laguna for the first time in nearly 20 years, driving the No. 28 G2 Motorsports Park Chevrolet Corvette. Tied at 50 points with Lee Saunders as class leader (and first overall in the Masters class), Gigliotti will make the trip to Laguna Seca with the goal to take over the championship lead as Saunders will not make the journey west.
A Porsche and Corvette will be pitted against each other in the XGT class piloted by West Coast Drivers Erich Joiner in the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R and Mike Weathers in the No. 42 GSpeed Chevrolet Corvette.
The Trans Am SpeedFest weekend will kick off on Friday with practice and qualifying for TA2. On Saturday, the TA/XGT/SGT/GT classes will host a combined practice and qualifying with the TA2 100-mile race slated for 1:10 p.m. Pacific. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with another 100-mile race this time from the TA/XGT/SGT/GT classes at 1:30 p.m. Pacific. (click here for full schedule)
The Trans Am SpeedFest is not open to fans but will be live streamed exclusively on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. Download and subscribe here: https://nagrasports.app.link/lIQjdAuxq7.