Friday, June 22, 2018

INTERVIEW: "Hollywood" Tomy Drissi looks to close the gap in Sonoma return

Drissi's StarCom Racing entry in inspection at Sonoma
PHOTO: Brock Beard
After speaking with StarCom Racing team owner Derrike Cope this morning, we caught up with the team's driver Tomy Drissi after the first two practice sessions. While he ranked last in both sessions, the driver said he was closing the gap in final practice, and is ready for the next step in his first Toyota / Save Mart 350 since 2014.

DRISSI: “You know, getting back in one of these cars after years like this, it’s a change, you know? We were in a Trans-Am car here a couple weeks ago here and Indy last weekend, and you know, we’re real fast, a 2nd and a 3rd, you know, now you come out here and it’s, you know, four, 500 pounds of weight, half the size of the tire, and you know, don’t have the brakes that those other cars have, so I thought I’d already be ready for that in my head and obviously, these guys are all amazing. Everyone – all [38] cars here won a championship in everything, in something, including me, but I did it in sports cars. These guys did it in these big cars. So, just trying to figure out what to do.”

“Also, I’m not the best communicator when it comes to these cars, so we may have come out of the trailer decent and I may have talked myself into a slower car, you know? But that’s the only way to learn is to make some changes. So, you know, Derrike (Cope), Alicia, and all the boys and girls on this team, they’re working their heart off, just working so hard, trying to get me a fast car. And I think I just told them, you know, I can find another second, but they need to find me a little bit more of a comfortable car. It seems a little loose on the high speed stuff and over here, man, those Esses and that last corner is pretty quick. That second-to-the-last corner is pretty quick. And it’s just a little unnerving when that back end steps out like that. So, I’m just honored to be here with the best drivers and best teams in the world.”

DRISSI: “I mean, when you talk about a Trans-Am car, it’s probably one of the best road course cars in the world without driver aid. So, what I mean by driver aid is like NASCAR – no traction control, no ABS brakes, not that much downforce. But those are silhouette-bodied pretty much prototypes, you know? And they’re some of the most amazing cars to drive. And so are these, you know, I mean these things you’ve gotta hang on to the wheel, you’ve gotta muscle it around, and you know, I think we maybe we might – we went on a couple, we went on a sticker run, and I think that, and me not knowing the cars very well, I may not be good for those first two, three laps. And that’s where you’re seeing these good times come. But they looked at the times after a lot of the drivers got to Lap 10 to 15 and I really closed-up the gap a lot there, so that might be my road course experience to be able to run with older tires better. And anybody who knows racing, you’re only on good tires for two laps, you’re on old tires for the rest of the stint, which is about another 28 laps.”

DRISSI: “Yeah, we almost had a big movie on here, but GoShare, they’ve been taking care of me in Trans-Am. The owner of the Trans-Am team I drive for, he’s a partner in GoShare, and it’s a great company – it’s Uber for trucks. You know, so trucks, moving, and all that stuff. When I heard about it – sometimes you take your little Mini Cooper to a Home Depot, or what’s Jimmie Johnson a plug here (looks over at 48 pit) Lowe’s, and you bring your little Camaro or Corvette to one of those places and you just buy too much – well, you can’t stuff everything in the car. So, you can call GoShare, they’ll come over right there like an Uber, pick up your stuff, and take you home.”

DRISSI: “I’m in negotiations with a couple of movies coming – coming soon. So, a couple big blockbusters coming, so I’ll have a few big movies on my cars this year. I can’t say which ones yet because I don’t want to jinx it, but thanks for remembering. You know, all the boys and girls in Hollywood, they’ve supported me in racing for a long time. I mean, we had Wolverine here, we’ve had the Ice Age car, that was great, we had Hercules. We’ve had a lot of great movies. We had Spongebob Squarepants. I think somebody called me and said they want me in the Guinness Book of Records because I think they said I marketed over 80 movies on race cars and they say that’s more than any other team, movies, combined since the history of racing (laughs). So, hey, you know what? Thanks to all the fans, you know, I got a lot of support here, a lot of guys saying hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You coming over here to say hello, I appreciate it.”

No comments: