VIR: Series round nine preview

Ave Looks To Clinch 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Title at VIR ALTON, Va, -The SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series makes its third visit to Virginia International Raceway this weekend for the penultimate round of the 10-race 2010 championship. The...

Ave Looks To Clinch 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Title at VIR

ALTON, Va, -The SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series makes its third visit to Virginia International Raceway this weekend for the penultimate round of the 10-race 2010 championship. The 28-lap (91.56-mile) race around the 3.27-mile circuit is scheduled to start at 3:40 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 12.

Tony Ave (No. 4) earlier this season in Toronto. Credit: Shaun Lumley/SCCA

Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., looks to clinch his first Trans-Am Series championship in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Pro-Motor Chevrolet Corvette at the track nearest his adopted hometown. Ave leads the series with five victories from the first eight races, including wins in each of the last two races at Autobahn Country Club last month and at Brainerd International Raceway last weekend.

Ave also scored his series-leading sixth pole position of the season last weekend at Brainerd. It was the 12th pole of his Trans-Am Series career and moved him into a tie for 10th on the all-time Trans-Am Fast Qualifiers list with Peter Gregg and Parnelli Jones.

Ave will clinch the title if his championship lead is greater than 139 points at the end of the weekend. He currently leads RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, by 137 points, 1,030-893.

While Ave looks to wrap up the title this weekend, Lopez has had an outstanding season in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. He picked up his first career Trans-Am victory in July at Toronto and has finished on the podium in six of the season's eight races. He missed the top three last weekend at Brainerd for just the second time this year with a fourth-place result.

Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., heads to VIR looking for his second victory of the season in the No. 5 Unstoppable Jaguar XKR. The 2009 Trans-Am champion opened the 2010 season with a victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in May and picked up his lone pole position of the season to date at Toronto. His second-place run last week at Brainerd was his fourth podium result of the season. Drissi ranks third in championship points.

Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., is carrying the momentum of his second podium result of the season with him to VIR. Gregg finished third last weekend in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and also claimed third at Lime Rock Park in July. Gregg has competed in both previous Trans-Am events at Virginia International Raceway, scoring a best result of fourth last year. Gregg is currently fourth in the 2010 Trans-Am driver standings.

Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, returns to Trans-Am action this weekend looking for her fourth consecutive podium result in the No. 23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette. Ruman has finished third in each of her last three Trans-Am starts, at Autobahn, Toronto and Road America.

Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla., is back this weekend in the No. 77 Rotary X-treme/MAZDASPEED/Goodyear Mazda RX-7 after a one-race absence. Jung's best result from three Trans-Am starts this season was a fourth-place performance in Toronto.

After making his first Trans-Am start since 2003 last weekend at Brainerd, Bobby Sak, of Kalamazoo, Mich., is entered again this week in the No. 17 The Pita Pit/The Grotto at Capone's Chevrolet Corvette. Sak finished sixth last Sunday in Minnesota.

Doug Harrington, of Kemah, Texas, is also entered once again this weekend in the No. 00 Chevrolet Corvette. Harrington's lone previous Trans-Am appearance this season came in June at Road America, where he finished 14th.

Also entered this weekend for the first time this season is rookie Bob Monette, of Milton, Ga. Monette is scheduled to drive the No. 35 Optech Monette/Roush Yates Engines Ford Mustang.

-source: scca pro racing

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Series TRANSAM