Mr. Ave went to Washington. INDIANAPOLIS, IND. Â You might have a hard time finding someone who truly enjoys driving in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. But after last weekend's inaugural Capitol Trans Am 100, you'll find a few drivers ...
Mr. Ave went to Washington.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. You might have a hard time finding someone who truly enjoys driving in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. But after last weekend's inaugural Capitol Trans Am 100, you'll find a few drivers in the Trans Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup praising their ride last Saturday. One of them is Tony Ave, driver of #53 LAC Motorsports Trilithic Panoz Esperante, who finished the race fifth after qualifying third. His finish helps him maintain a hold on fifth place in the series championship points race.
"We had a really good car. I know I had a car good enough to qualify on the pole, but I got held up on my fastest lap during qualifying. So, heading into the race I was feeling very confident. I really felt like it was our race to win," reflects Ave. Soon after the confident Ave took the green flag, another car turned into the left front corner of the red white and blue Esperante, damaging a winglet added to the front of the car earlier this season to improve aerodynamics. "That wasn't much of an issue because it was a slow track. It created a little bit of understeer, but not too much to cause a real problem," says Ave.
However, another problem did crop up. "After the start, I was simply staying in line, waiting for the pit stop, but then I lost one of the brakes. So basically, we salvaged the best finish we could from the situation," he says, adding, "We had a really good handling car, but the brakes just let us down."
Ave fell as far back as sixth place before getting around Johnny Miller on the last lap to finish fifth. "Miller spun on the last lap. That's when I got around him, but there just wasn't enough time to get to Stu Hayner before the checkered flag. It certainly was an exciting last lap."
The LAC Motorsports team, led by owner Kerry Alexander and crew chief Nick Short have their work cut out before round seven of the series in two weeks. "We're going to be focusing on the car's brake system now," Ave promises.
As for the brand new racing facility, Ave, who generally prefers fast courses with high speed corners, joined a chorus of drivers praising the course. "I was a little concerned when I first saw the hairpins, but the track was so wide and smooth, it really didn't matter. I really think that was the best surface I've ever raced on," he says.
Ave, Alexander, Short and the rest of the LAC Motorsports team travel to Quebec for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on Aug. 4 - round seven of the 12 race series. For more information about LAC Motorsports, visit www.lacmotorsports.com. For more information about the Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup, visit www.trans-amseries.com