Road Atlanta: Amy Ruman weekend summary

AMY RUMAN TAKES 3RD IN THE MUSCLE MILK SCCA TRANS-AM SERIES OPENING RACE AT ROAD ATLANTA Munroe Falls, OH - In only her fourth SCCA Trans-Am event, Amy Ruman found herself standing in 3rd on the podium next to Trans-Am veteran Greg Pickett (1st)...

AMY RUMAN TAKES 3RD IN THE MUSCLE MILK SCCA TRANS-AM SERIES OPENING RACE AT ROAD ATLANTA

Munroe Falls, OH - In only her fourth SCCA Trans-Am event, Amy Ruman found herself standing in 3rd on the podium next to Trans-Am veteran Greg Pickett (1st) and GT-1 driver Michael Skeen (2nd).

Ruman Racing entered driver Amy Ruman in the first round of the comeback season of the Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series this past weekend at Road Atlanta Raceway in Georgia. In her first time at this track in a GT-1/Trans-Am car, Ruman qualified the #23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld Corvette 6th in the 18 car field. Ruman was sitting 5th when she pulled off the track during the last few minutes of the qualifying round. On the last lap, she got bumped to 6th position by only two-tenths of a second by the #67 car driven by Cliff Ebben.

Race day weather couldn't have been more picture perfect at 77 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. As the field came down the front straight and took the green flag, Ruman got passed going into turn two by car #15 Jeff Emery. Ruman settled in and was glued to Emery for 12 laps. The battle was close, with Ruman trying to pass every chance she could get. Ruman passed Emery as he slid his car out of turn 10 on the back straight and she pulled away.

Meanwhile, Michael Skeen was on a mission heading for the front (he starting in 18th). He got past Ruman on the same lap dropping her to 7th position. The front of the field was about 15 seconds ahead of Ruman, as she clicked off fast lap after fast lap trying to chip away at the gap. She had Ebben in her sights at 3 seconds down when he pulled over on the front straight with a car problem sliding Ruman into 6th. With 6 laps to go, Ruman was 12 seconds down when she entered turn 2 and saw that front runner Tony Ave had crashed, putting Ruman in 5th. In the same lap, race leader RJ Lopez blew his motor on the back straightaway, which lead to a much-needed full course yellow for Ruman. At this point the top 5 cars shaped up with Pickett leading, Drissi in second, Skeen in third, Ruman in fourth, and Schaller in fifth. As the laps clicked off under the full course yellow with not much hope of going back to green, it looked like this would be the top five. The field took the final tour of the track when all of the sudden Drissi's #5 Jaguar came to a stop on the hill of turn 2. The line moved passed Drissi and came to the checkered flag of the 91.44-mile - 36 lap race as Skeen and Ruman found themselves in the 2nd and 3rd positions.

"I just couldn't believe it," exclaimed Ruman. "This is the true definition of it aint over till the checkered flag flies! Unfortunately I missed a shift on the start of the race and Jeff Emery got by me. I was tied up in that battle trying to get back around him, which allowed the front five to slip away from me. I was just praying for a yellow so I could close the gap, because I was running the same lap times as the leaders at the end of the race. Plus, we were the only team running a smaller engine (310ci) while everyone else was running big motors, making it even harder for me to catch them. Suddenly everything fell my way just when I needed it to! I am so happy for this McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld team, they deserved this podium finish."

-credit: rumanracing.com

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave , Cliff Ebben , Jeff Emery , Amy Ruman