Road Atlanta: Series practice one report

Ave Quickest in Opening Trans-Am Practice for Season Finale at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2010) -- Switching to a different car than the one he's been driving throughout the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series season didn't...

Ave Quickest in Opening Trans-Am Practice for Season Finale at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2010) -- Switching to a different car than the one he's been driving throughout the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series season didn't slow points leader Tony Ave down any as he took his familiar place atop the time charts in this morning's opening practice session for the season finale at Road Atlanta on Friday afternoon.

Ave, of Maiden, N.C., posted a best lap at 1:20.160 (114.072 mph) in a yellow No. 4 Boden Masonry/Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME. He was more than two seconds quicker than his next closest competitor and appears to be well positioned to clinch the title, which he will do if he scores just four points.

On his final lap of the practice session, Bobby Sak, of Kalamazoo, Mich., took the second spot on the time chart at 1:20.160 (114.071 mph) in the No. 17 The Pita Pit/The Grotto at Capone's Chevrolet Corvette. Sak is making his third consecutive Trans-Am Series start this weekend.

Taking third in opening practice was Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio. Ruman logged a best lap at 1:22.568 (110.745 mph) in the No. 23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette. She owns three podium results this season in Trans-Am competition and earned the first podium of her Trans-Am career in last year's race at Road Atlanta.

Reigning Trans-Am champion Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., was fourth in the session at 1:22.818 (110.410 mph) in the No. 5 Unstoppable Jaguar XKR. Drissi is looking for his second victory of the season this week. Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., rounded out the top five in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Gregg's best lap was a 1:22.915 (110.281 mph).

RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, did not complete a lap in opening practice as his No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette encountered an electrical problem on Lopez's out lap at the beginning of the session. The team has repaired the problem and Lopez expects to return to practice this afternoon. He trails Ave by 135 points, 1,146-1,011, in the championship standings and is the only driver still mathematically eligible to win the title.

This week's race at Road Atlanta also features the debut of the Trans-Am 2 and Trans-Am 3 classes, which are running on an exhibition basis. Bob Stretch, of Arlington, Texas, was the quickest of eight TA2 entries with a lap at 1:28.958 (102.790 mph) in the No. 98 NewWheel.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Jeff Dernehl, of Woodstock, Ga. was the lone TA3 competitor and posted a best lap at 1:34.379 (96.886 mph) in the No. 03 Mazda RX-7.

-source: scca pro racing

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Series TRANSAM