SOPHOMORE SENSATION RJ LOPEZ EARNS SECOND CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISH, TAKES LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 25, 2010)- RJ Lopez brought his number six Lopesport Racing Disco 106/ Goodyear Tires /ECR Engines C6 ...
SOPHOMORE SENSATION RJ LOPEZ EARNS SECOND CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISH, TAKES LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 25, 2010)- RJ Lopez brought his number six Lopesport Racing Disco 106/ Goodyear Tires /ECR Engines C6 Corvette to Mosport International Raceway with a determination to solidly compete on the historic race track. What Lopez did was achieve his second straight podium finish of second spot in the race results as well take over the 2010 SCCA Trans-Am Series championship points. Lopez concluded another successful weekend of competition, once again proving to be a contender for the series' title.
"This was definitely one of the most fun and fulfilling weekends I've had for quite some time," said Lopez. "I must admit, I was a little hesitant about the whole thing because of all the stories you hear of Mosport. Everybody talks about what a challenge this track it is. Well I must say, it was actually a hell of a fun track!"
Learning the track layout and its nuances for a quick lap were part of the experience for Lopez and his initial trip to Mosport. "I found Mosport to be pretty different from most other tracks I've driven. Getting the acceleration points on the fast corners is the key to a fast lap and it took me a little longer than I had hoped to figure out when to accelerate," commented Lopez. "We were very quick right off the bat, but going for those extra tenths was the hard part. I really do believe I figured out the perfect line through turn 2, I just figured it out with two laps to go in the race."
The successful weekend was not without challenges. During practice on Saturday, Lopez over-revved the ECR power plant and the team played it safe and swapped engines. Said Lopez, "The weekend went well. We were very fast right off the trailer. We were actually running race lap times my first time on the track with old tires, for the second session we slapped four new Goodyears on and dropped into the mid 18s immediately. Unfortunately I had an over-rev and to be safe we decided to change the engine, so that kept me off the track until Saturday practice two."
Sunday's qualifying session found Lopez starting fourth on the grid. The race start saw the Trans-Am Series sophomore battle in the top five in his pursuit of the leader. "Qualifying could have gone better, we played a little too much with the balance of the car and made the car too loose for qualifying," Lopez said. "After starting fourth however, we got stuck behind Drissi when he suffered an engine problem and fell to fifth."
Lopez steered the number 6 Corvette through the field picking off competitors all the while maintaining the presence of mind of a veteran. "As the race went on I reeled in Blaise Csida then two laps later I got by Tony Ave in turn one. I kept pace with race leader Kenny Wilden, and I used my smarts and stayed put instead of trying to go after him. I kept the wheels under the car and finished second."
"The whole Lopesport Racing team is super excited and privileged to be leading the Trans-Am point's championship right now," Lopez stated. "Mark Meissen, Ken Kelly and Mariano Guzman did a stellar job of preparing the car as well as dealing with my nagging self waking them up at 5 am on Saturday to change the engine (after my birthday celebrations)," said a smiling Lopez.
"There are so many people who are behind our team and providing outstanding support," Lopez offered. "A special thanks to Danny Slack of ECR for all the help he gave us which far exceeded the duties of an engine supplier. Also I have to thank my dad Juan Lopez for keeping up his end of the deal, which was, if we leave Mosport first or second in points, then we keep going to Utah. And I'd like to make a special shout out and thank you to my uncle Carlos Lopez, who although rarely goes to my races is a major source of knowledge and support for us. I just cannot thank these people enough for supporting my efforts."
RJ Lopez and Lopesport Racing will head west in search of that initial win and their sights set firmly on keeping the points lead as their quest for a SCCA Trans-Am Championship continues. The series next stop will be at Miller Motorsports Park the weekend of June 4-6, 2010.
-source: lopesport racing