Series awards ceremony reports

Ave Crowned 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Champion Following Dream Season TOPEKA, Kan. (October 6, 2010) -- Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., was honored as champion of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series last Friday night at the Season ...

Ave Crowned 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Champion Following Dream Season

TOPEKA, Kan. (October 6, 2010) -- Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., was honored as champion of the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series last Friday night at the Season Celebration and Awards Ceremony held at Winfield Hall in Duluth, Ga. just a few hours after the checkered flag fell on the 2010 season at nearby Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

Driving the No. 4 Boden Masonry/Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette, Ave earned his sixth victory of the year in the season finale at Road Atlanta. Ave claimed the first Trans-Am victory of his career in Round 3 of the 10-race season at Miller Motorsports Park in early June and took a lead in the championship standings that he wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of the season.

Ave also won Rounds 4 and 5, at Road America and Lime Rock Park, and scored another pair of victories in Round 7 at Autobahn Country Club and Round 8 at Brainerd International Raceway. In addition, Ave led the series by qualifying on the pole position six times -- giving him a total of 12 career pole positions and moving him to 10th on the all-time Trans-Am fast qualifiers list -- and also started from the pole for Round 9 at Virginia International Raceway where the grid was set based on championship points due to a rainout of qualifying.

In total, Ave finished on the podium in all but one race in 2010, never started worse than third and closed out the year with a total of 1,280 points. His margin of victory in the championship was 201 points over second-place finisher RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Lopez was also honored at the banquet for his many accomplishments throughout the season in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. Lopez picked up his first career Trans-Am victory in Round 6 on the streets surrounding Toronto's Exhibition Place and added a second dramatic victory on the last lap of Round 9 at VIR to push the championship battle to the season-ending week at Road Atlanta.

Lopez earned seven podium results from the season's 12 races and also scored his first two front-row starting spots in Trans-Am competition with second-place starting spots at Toronto and VIR. He finished the season with a total of 1,079 championship points.

Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., followed up his 2009 Trans-Am Series championship with third in the 2010 championship standings in the No. 5 RSR Jaguar XKR. Highlights of the season for Drissi included a victory in the 2010 season opener at New Jersey Motorsports Park, a pole position at Toronto and a total of four podium finishers. Drissi wound up with 984 total points.

Joining the top-three finishers in the championship standings was Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., who won the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Award. Skeen was a front-row qualifier for all three of his series starts and took the first pole position of his Trans-Am career in the No. 81 ECR Chevrolet Corvette for the season finale at Road Atlanta.

Skeen led 21 of the 36 laps in the Road Atlanta season finale en route to a Trans-Am career-best second-place result. He finished eighth in the overall 2010 championship standings.

The drivers who finished in positions four through 10 were also recognized at the banquet. Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., parlayed a pair of third-place results and a total of seven top-five results into fourth in the championship in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, while Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, took fifth in points with three podiums and five top fives from her six starts in 2010.

Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla., finished sixth in the championship and scored a season-best result of fourth in the No. 77 Rotary X-treme/MAZDASPEED/Goodyear Mazda RX-7 at Toronto, while Trinidad's Daniel Ramoutarsingh wound up seventh in the season standings with best run of fourth in the No. 8 TRINRICO Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR in the New Jersey season opener.

As mentioned earlier, Skeen finished eighth in points and was followed by Bobby Sak, of Kalamazoo, Mich. Sak drove the No. 17 The Pita Pit/The Grotto at Capone's Chevrolet Corvette in the final three rounds of the 2010 season and scored a best result of fourth at VIR. Rookie Doug Harrington, of Kemah, Texas, completed the top 10. His season was bolstered by back-to-back third-place finishes in Round 9 at VIR and Round 10 at Road Atlanta from his three starts in the No. 00 PinnacleAutosport.com Chevrolet Corvette.

Plans for the 2011 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series are well underway and a number of exciting announcements, including the season schedule, are expected in the near future.

-source: scca pro racing

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