RANDY RUHLMAN LOOKS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT ROAD AMERICA TRANS-AM RACE --ON THE TRACK AND FOR THE LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 17, 2005) -- Randy Ruhlman is going to Road America this weekend to do two things: one is to...
RANDY RUHLMAN LOOKS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT ROAD AMERICA TRANS-AM RACE --ON THE TRACK AND FOR THE LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 17, 2005) -- Randy Ruhlman is going to Road America this weekend to do two things: one is to try to extend his points lead in the Trans-Am Series Driver's Championship, and the other is to try to help raise money for charity. The first he will do by trying to win the pole for the Trans-Am race and finish on the podium, just as he did last year. And the second will be to ride in the Tour de Road America charity bike ride Saturday evening to help to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer survivorship.
With the current points battle for the 2005 Driver's Championship heating up and just two races left, a single point separates the two leaders. Ruhlman in the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette has a good shot at increasing his lead over chief rival Klaus Graf in the factory-sponsored Rocketsports Jaguar. Though both drivers have two wins this year, Ruhlman has had recent success at Road America. Last year, Ruhlman won the pole, lead the most laps, and finished second to the Jaguar of four-time Driver's Champion Tommy Kendall at Road America.
After Saturday's qualifying and practice, Randy Ruhlman will trade in the need for speed in his car--for his bike. Ruhlman will jump out of his race car and onto his bike for the second annual Lance Armstrong charity ride around Road America--The Tour de Road America. Fans and drivers will ride on the 4-mile course together to raise money for cancer survivorship through the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Peleton Project. Last year after the long hot Trans-Am race, Ruhlman went straight from the podium to the bike to join fellow ChampCar and Trans-Am drivers help raise over $18,000 for the LAF in the charity ride. This year, drivers from Trans-Am and the American LeMans Series will join fans in an effort to raise even more for the cause.
"I am really looking forward to this weekend at Road America. It's a great track for us; we were really strong here last year. We've been fast all this year too. I think we have a real shot at another win here. And that's what I am going for--the win. The points are really close and I want to win this Championship, but I am not going to back off and try to play a points game. It's crunch time," says Ruhlman.
While Ruhlman himself is looking for the win and not playing a points game, he holds the slim advantage of 177 points to Graf's 176 with 72 points still available to be won. The Trans-Am series points system was modified for 2005 and places more emphasis on qualifying than it has in the past. Last year's system (in place since the late 1980's) gave just one point for the pole and allowed the pole winner to start on the front of the grid. This new system gives three points for the pole, and one for second, and then inverts the top five with the pole winner starting fifth.
Additional bonus points are also given for leading a lap, leading the most laps, running the fastest lap of the race, and moving up the most places. A potential 36 points are available, if one can capture the pole and take the win and available bonuses. With 30 points for a win and 27 for second, it is currently possible for the second place finisher to secure more points than the winner of the race through qualifying and bonus points.
This weekend at historic Road America, Round Eight of the 2005 Trans-Am series, is scheduled to get under way on Sunday, August 21st at 10:20 AM CDT for 25 laps of the 4.048-mile track at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Live timing and scoring will be on the Internet at www.trans-amseries.com/. Television coverage will be on SPEED TV at 3 PM EDT on Sunday, August 28th.