Trans-Am Makes Inaugural Visit to Autobahn Country Club This Weekend for Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix JOLIET, Ill. -The SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series makes its first visit to Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. this weekend for Round 7 of ...
Trans-Am Makes Inaugural Visit to Autobahn Country Club This Weekend for Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix
JOLIET, Ill. -The SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series makes its first visit to Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. this weekend for Round 7 of the 10-race 2010 championship at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix on Sunday, August 1 at 3:00 p.m. CT.
Leading the way in the championship -- as he has done since earning his first career Trans-Am victory at Utah's Miller Motorsports Park in early June -- is Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C. Ave will once again drive the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette this weekend and will be looking for his fourth victory of the season.
Thanks in large part to three consecutive victories, at Miller and Road America last month and Lime Rock Park on July 3, Ave owns a healthy, 75-point lead over second-place RJ Lopez in the championship standings, 752-677. Ave has also started from the pole position in four of this season's first six races.
Lopez, meanwhile, heads to the Chicagoland area carrying the momentum of his first career Trans-Am victory, which came two weeks ago on the streets surrounding Toronto's Exhibition Place. Hailing from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and driving the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette, Lopez has finished on the podium in all but one race this season.
Defending Trans-Am Series champion Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., will also be in action this weekend at Autobahn and will be looking to get his title defense back on track after a tough outing in Toronto. Drissi, who pilots the No. 5 Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps Jaguar XKR for the perennial Trans-Am powerhouse RSR team, opened the year with a victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park and has finished inside the top three in three of the year's first six races.
He earned his first pole position of the season at Toronto, but an early-race brush with the wall left him with a flat tire and eliminated his chances of competing for the race victory. However, if his pattern through the first six races holds true with a podium result in every other race, look for Drissi to finish in the top three again this weekend.
Another driver carrying some good momentum into the weekend with her is Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio. Ruman, who is the only woman in this weekend's Trans-Am field, has finished third in each of her past two Trans-Am appearances, at Toronto on July 18 and at Road America last month. Ruman looks to continue her podium streak this weekend in the No. 23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette.
Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., heads to Autobahn looking for his fourth top-five result of the season in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Gregg's best run of the season was a third-place performance at Lime Rock and he also owns a pair of fifth-place results. He is currently fourth in the driver championship standings.
With Mazda as a presenting sponsor of this weekend's activities at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix, look for Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla., to have strong support this weekend. Jung will be making his third consecutive Trans-Am start in the No. 77 Rotary X-treme/MAZDASPEED/Goodyear Mazda RX-7. He earned the best result of his Trans-Am career to date at Toronto with a fourth-place ride.
Those looking for a local driver to support this weekend need look no further than Rick Dittman, of Evanston, Ill., who will be making his second Trans-Am start of the season this weekend. Dittman, who has made a total of 93 Trans-Am starts, finished fourth in his lone previous run this season at Road America last month. He will drive the No. 24 RDE Chevrolet Corvette.
Dittman is one of a handful of drivers who are returning to Trans-A this weekend for the first time since Road America. Teammates Denny Lamers and Cliff Ebben, both of Appleton, Wis., are also back for more.
Ebben will pilot the No. 36 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford/Lamers Racing Ford Mustang and will be looking for his second career Trans-Am victory. He earned his first series win in the 2009 season finale at Road America but saw his chances of a repeat victory at the facility last month come to a premature end due to a mechanical problem.
Lamers will drive the No. 66 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford/Lamers Racing Ford Mustang this weekend. He finished seventh at Road America last month, one spot shy of his career best Trans-Am result of sixth, which also came at Road America last year.
Buddy Cisar, of Bellevue, Neb., is also making his second start of the season after his 2010 debut at Road America last month in the No. 75 Mike's Classic Cars/Quaker Steak & Lube/NAPA/Speedway Graphics Chevrolet Camaro. It will be Cisar's third career Trans-Am start and his first at a facility other than Road America, where he finished 13th last month and 21st in 2009.
-source: scca pro racing