Road America: RJ Lopez race report

THE STREAK CONTINUES FOR RJ LOPEZ, SECOND AT ROAD AMERICA, LOPEZ MOVES UP IN THE POINTS Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin(June 24, 2010)- Arriving at Road America for round four of the 2010 SCCA Pro Trans-Am championship, RJ Lopez had one thing on his...

THE STREAK CONTINUES FOR RJ LOPEZ, SECOND AT ROAD AMERICA, LOPEZ MOVES UP IN THE POINTS

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin(June 24, 2010)- Arriving at Road America for round four of the 2010 SCCA Pro Trans-Am championship, RJ Lopez had one thing on his mind for the number 6 Lopesport Racing/ Disco 106/Goodyear/ECR Engines Chevrolet Corvette, conclude the weekend with yet another podium finish and move forward in the overall points standings. Lopez achieved both this past weekend, earning yet another top three finish, posting a third second spot race result. This achievement makes Lopez the only driver in Trans-Am to place on the podium at each of the first four races during 2010.

"This weekend was fantastic for our team," said Lopez. "For the race I was simply 'in the zone'. Nothing else mattered, I was completely dedicated to driving the car as fast as I could and getting to the front. Battling with Tomy(Drissi) and chasing down Ave was incredible."

Prior to the Road America weekend the Lopesport team led by Mark Messien made some suspension changes to the car. The result was a fast race car under Lopez from beginning to end of the 90 mile battle. "The changes we made to the car before the race definitely paid off. I had a car like I have never had for the second half of the race. And I drove like I never have in the closing laps," commented Lopez. "Usually, the car is pretty used up and I'll be about out of tires and brakes towards the end. But Sunday the car was as strong on lap 23 as it was on lap one which allowed me to throw it around and beat on it pretty hard."

In the final stages of the race, Lopez seized the opportunity to chase down race leader Tony Ave. This effort allowed Lopez to narrow the margin of victory for Ave from nearly eight seconds to slightly over one second. "We were catching Ave two to three seconds a lap. That ECR engine was screaming mad in the pursuit," said Lopez. "All we needed was one more lap. We are happy to have finished second again for our fourth straight podium," said a smiling Lopez.

While pleased with the overall results off the weekend, Lopez thirst to end a race at the front drives him to the next round of racing. "The race left me with a few 'what ifs?'," said Lopez. "What if we had gotten by Drissi earlier, all I needed was another half lap to catch up to Ave. What if we had never even gotten the yellow? Maybe we could have reached Ave without it... well he did have a pretty big lead, but who knows? All in all, Road America was very positive, we made a huge step forward in the suspension design of the chassis and it paid off big time. Now I'm really looking forward for what's to come."

Lopez now trails overall points leader Tony Ave by 52 points, 496-444. Lopez and the rest of the Trans-Am series will next compete at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. on July 3.

-source: rj lopez PR/tb

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave