Carlos de Quesada Makes Move to Trans-Am Series Racing
While Carlos de Quesada, of Miami, is considered a SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series rookie, this veteran racer is no rookie to sports car racing. This season, de Quesada made the move from the Grand-Am Series to the Trans-Am Series – a move that will likely land this veteran rookie on the podium very soon.
“Last year, I sat out [of racing],” de Quesada said. “This year, I wanted to something that was fun where I was doing a lot more driving myself, rather than having other pros driving. I’ve found it [the Trans-Am Series] to be absolutely amazing. I’m really enjoying these Trans-Am cars.”
De Quesada owns Alegra Motorsports and has had some success in other series. In fact, in 2007 he won the Rolex 24 At Daytona GT class in a Porsche GT3 Cup along with co-drivers Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Scooter Gabel and Porsche factory driver Marc Basseng.
This year, he hopes to see similar success in the Trans-Am Series. Early on, he has shown that he can run near the front and should be a consistent contender for the podium.
“I really look forward to this year,” he said. “These cars are a lot of fun. They have a tremendous amount of power. They handle great and they are very close together. I think the competition here is really good and I am really enjoying it.”
So why would a driver who has driven Daytona Prototypes and GT cars make the move to Trans-Am? The answer was simple – the cars.
“I think it was the cars,” he said of making the move to Trans-Am “These are what I call purpose-built race cars. Before I always ran Porsches and BMWs. The feedback on these cars is really good. You are able to make changes that you actually feel. The translation to the driver, because the feedback is really good, is that I am able to work on the setup and to be able to really feel the car. That’s the key thing.
“Driving these cars has been different. In the past, I’ve always had to use the clutch. Now I’m working not using the clutch. It’s a definitely a change to my driving style that I’m still trying to build up to. So far, it has been really conducive to my driving style and it is working.
“The last couple of races I’ve run, I’ve been running up front. At Sebring we had an o-ring problem and the engine let go on the last lap. I was in fourth place. But, it was already starting to let go.
Heading into Round 3 next week at Virginia International Raceway, look for de Quesada’s name near the top final results. At least that’s where he plans to be.
“I really plan on giving these guys a lot of competition and just having a lot of fun with this,” he says.
Image: Carlos de Quesada (No, 22) has embarked on a new style of racing for 2011 in Trans-Am. Credit: Mark Weber/SCCA (To use a web-resolution sized image, right click the image and "save as".)