Testing begins for 2004 Motorock Trans-am Series, as top driver Randy Ruhlman rejoins Derhaag Motorsports. GREENSBORO, NC (March 4, 2004) - Testing got underway for the 2004 Motorock Trans-Am Series at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC ...
Testing begins for 2004 Motorock Trans-am Series, as top driver Randy Ruhlman rejoins Derhaag Motorsports.
GREENSBORO, NC (March 4, 2004) - Testing got underway for the 2004 Motorock Trans-Am Series at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC yesterday, as top series driver Randy Ruhlman prepares to return for a full season in Trans-Am with the front running Derhaag Motorsports team. The team spent two full days testing in preparation for the April 18th Trans-Am season opener at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Randy Ruhlman will return to the series with the familiar #49 blue and white Chevrolet Corvette sponsored by Cleveland based Preformed Line Products. Ruhlman finished sixth in the series in 2003 with a podium at Trois Rivieres.
The Motorock Trans-Am Series is expected to run a 10-race schedule in 2004, highlighted by the Long Beach opener with Champ Car and a race with the NASCAR Nextel Cup at Infineon Speedway (June 27). Other announced venues included further races with Champ Car at Portland (June 20), Road America (Aug 8), and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept 12) and a feature date at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (Aug 2). The other venues are still in negotiations and are likely to be announced within days.
"Derhaag Motorsports has developed the reputation of putting together fast, reliable cars that give their drivers every chance of winning. I saw that first hand last year," said Ruhlman. "I am excited once again to be part of this team and to be working with Jim and his crew in 2004. We are out here to win races and be on the podium each and every race. The fact that we have the same people working together again and that I have Mike Dreith back as my crew chief, I believe is the winning combination in Trans-Am this year. The car was great in testing here at Kershaw. We made a lot of progress on shocks and springs and I am really pleased with our development."
"I am delighted to have Randy returning this year," says team owner Jim Derhaag. "Last year, we all worked well together. Randy is the rare professional driver, who knows car dynamics and setup and can then take the car and run it up front. He has gotten to work with some of the best engineers in the business and he is able to apply what he has learned to the car. He has great feel for setup and our cars have gotten even faster with Randy driving for the team. We expect to be on the podium consistently this year and win some races."
Ruhlman has also driven for other several notable teams in Trans-Am, most recently with Tom Gloy Racing in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup, where Ruhlman scored a second at Trois Rivieres and a third at Miami and finished seventh overall in the Driver's Championship. Ruhlman was also awarded the 2002 BBS Wheels "Most Improved Driver of the Year".
Running his rookie season in Trans-Am in 1990, Randy Ruhlman became a series regular, scoring a seventh in the 1993 Driver's Championship and eighths in 1991 and1992, before taking a hiatus into NASCAR and American Speed Association (ASA) short track racing. Ruhlman returned full-time to Trans-Am with his own team in 1998, closing his race shop to run for Tom Gloy Racing in 2002.
Derhaag Motorsports has fielded many successful drivers in the past, including top Trans-Am drivers Kenny Wilden, Tony Ave, Dorsey Schroeder, Chris Neville, Justin Bell and Darin Brassfield. Jim Derhaag himself made 150 starts as a driver in the Trans-Am Series before his successful move to full time ownership in 1998. Randy Ruhlman and Jim Derhaag competed against each other in the Trans-am Series from 1990 until 1996.
Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include the COYOTE® Closure and GUY-GRIP® Dead-End used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Japan.