Lime Rock: Series qualifying report

Ave Scores Fourth Trans-Am Pole of 2010 Season at Lime Rock Park LIME ROCK, Conn. (July 3, 2010) -- In this morning's qualifying session for this afternoon's fifth round of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series at Lime Rock Park, series ...

Ave Scores Fourth Trans-Am Pole of 2010 Season at Lime Rock Park

LIME ROCK, Conn. (July 3, 2010) -- In this morning's qualifying session for this afternoon's fifth round of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series at Lime Rock Park, series officials elected to sample a new single-car qualifying format, with each driver getting three flying laps.

However, while the format may have changed, the end result was pretty much the same, as Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., took his third consecutive pole position and his fourth of the season overall. Driving the No. 4 Tony Ave Racing/Pro Motor Engines Chevrolet Corvette, Ave posted a best time of 49.163 seconds (112.035 mph) to take the pole away from Tomy Drissi. The lap obliterated the previous Trans-Am qualifying record of 50.169 seconds (109.745 mph) set by Ron Fellows back in 1995.

Ave heads into this afternoon's race looking for his third straight Trans-Am victory and to pad his lead in the championship standings.

"It was good," Ave said. "We put some new pads on the front, so I had to kind of go a little easy initially. The tires were really good and the track is good. I think we should always qualify like that. That was fun."

Ave will be joined on the front row by Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif. Drissi piloted his No. 5 Knight and Day Jaguar XKR to a best lap of 49.462 seconds (111.358 mph), far and away his quickest lap of the weekend. The defending series champion looks for his second victory of the season this afternoon.

"I don't think I got the most out of the car," Drissi said. "I think whether we would have had all the laps I the world to do it, you've got to do it in the second lap or third lap. The third lap was my best lap, but I should have been a little bit faster on the lap before so the rhythm comes in. I just left a little bit out there. I wasn't conservative, by any means, but I never scared myself the whole lap. It was a pretty comfortable lap, so that means it's a good racecar."

Starting third will be RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. Lopez turned a best lap at 50.664 seconds (108.716 mph) and was pleased to discover that difficulties he encountered in Friday's practice sessions were alleviated by new tires this morning. He looks for his fifth straight podium result and first career Trans-Am victory this afternoon.

"It was a lot better than yesterday," Lopez said. "It's a small field, so it's not super important where you qualify. For points it is, but the most important thing is the car felt really, really good. Now, I have confidence in the car. I feel I can do the full 90 miles easily. The crew just gave me a great car. I was super worried yesterday. We were throwing everything at the car, a bunch of setup changes and nothing was working. We just went over to Goodyear and got some tires and it made the difference, so I'm happy."

Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., will start fourth in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Gregg turned in a best lap at 51.770 seconds (106.393 mph). He starts one spot ahead of his fellow Floridian, Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla. Jung, who is making his first Trans-Am start of the season this afternoon, turned in a best lap at 53.533 seconds (102.889 mph) in the No. 77 MAZDASPEED/Goodyear Mazda RX-7.

The green flag is scheduled to drop on this afternoon's 59-lap race shortly after 4:30 p.m. ET.

-source: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Ron Fellows , Tony Ave , Simon Gregg , Glen Jung