Lime Rock: Series Friday practice report

Ave Leads SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Practice Day at Lime Rock Park LIME ROCK, Conn. -SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series point leader Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., continued his momentum today in a pair of practice sessions at Lime Rock Park in...

Ave Leads SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Practice Day at Lime Rock Park

LIME ROCK, Conn. -SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series point leader Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., continued his momentum today in a pair of practice sessions at Lime Rock Park in advance of tomorrow's fifth round of the 10-race 2010 championship.

Driving the No. 4 Tony Ave Racing/Pro Motor Engines Chevrolet Corvette, Ave topped the time charts in both sessions, leading the day on the strength of a best lap at 49.936 seconds (110.301 mph) in the morning session. Ave also managed to take the top time away from defending series champion Tomy Drissi late in the afternoon session with a lap at 50.045 seconds (110.061 mph).

"We were on pretty old tires and stuff, but I think we're okay," Ave said. "We tried a couple things with the car. Some worked better, some worked not as good, so we'll find a happy medium for tomorrow. You can't be afraid of the fences. It's just a real good, high-speed place. There's a lot of bravery to going fast. The three fastest corners, there's no runoff area, so you just have to be committed, I guess."

Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., wound up second quickest on the day in the No. 5 Knight and Day Jaguar XKR. His best time of 50.065 seconds (110.017 mph) came in afternoon practice and placed him atop the time charts for much of 30-minute session before Ave pipped him late. Nevertheless, Drissi likes his chances heading into Saturday's race, which will be the first Trans-Am event at Lime Rock since 2003.

"You don't know who has what tire and how many miles, but we did do a long run on an old set of tires," Drissi said. We kind of got sucked into trying to be two laps quick, and we didn't do that last year. I think we got sucked into that, so we made a decision as a team. 'Let's build a racecar and where we qualify, we qualify.' Maybe we'll make a couple changes for qualifying, but we decided, 'Let's build a racecar like we always have in the past instead of doing two laps or three laps quick.'

"We had a lot of miles on the tires that we went out with. We made a couple changes, the track got slower, the tires had more miles on them, and we went four tenths quicker. Ave did a good job. He's fast and he likes it here. I haven't been here since 2003, so it's taking me a little bit more time to wind up, but I think we're getting close. "

RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, wound up third in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. Lopez's best lap of the day was 51.447 seconds (107.061 mph), and he admitted that he and the team have had their hands full trying to find more speed.

"The car is all over the place," Lopez explained. "It's really scary going up that hill when you're kind of sideways. I don't know. It's not fun, but hopefully we'll put new tires on it and it all comes together. We were able to get a decent lap, not a very good lap, at the beginning, and then I just kept chasing it. We tried to do some setup changes and I wasn't getting any quicker. I wasn't getting back down to the lap time I did at the beginning, so I'm guessing and hoping it's just tires. We're not going quick."

Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., wound up fourth in combined practice times with a best lap at 50.509 seconds (106.932 mph). Gregg is piloting the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla. was fifth in Friday practice as he prepares for his first Trans-Am start of the season. He posted a best lap at 52.641 seconds (104.633 mph) in the No. 77 MAZDASPEED/Goodyear Mazda RX-7.

Saturday's schedule at Lime Rock will see the Trans-Am machines on course for qualifying beginning at 9:15 a.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled to drop on the 59-lap race at 4:25 p.m. ET.

-source: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave , Tomy Drissi , Simon Gregg , Glen Jung