Road America: Randy Ruhlman Friday practice report

Ruhlman's Corvette fast at Road America practice day despite two engines changes. Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 22) Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup began today with two rounds of practice at the 4.05-mile Road America...

Ruhlman's Corvette fast at Road America practice day despite two engines changes.

Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 22) Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup began today with two rounds of practice at the 4.05-mile Road America road course. Randy Ruhlman in the #49 Performed Line Products/Coyote Closure Chevrolet Corvette used his setup from yesterday's test day to give the Jaguars a run for their money early in the first session, running third with a 2:10.804, just behind the Jaguars of Scott Pruett and John Miller.

With just three laps remaining in the session, Ruhlman suddenly lost engine power and pulled into the pits with a burned valve. Unable to defend the time, Ruhlman fell to sixth in the session. The team set about working to replace the Chevrolet 310 c.i.d. short-deck engine for the afternoon session.

Ruhlman made the start of the second session, running a brand new engine, and immediately clicked off another half second off his morning time. This put him fourth in the session with a 2:10.497. "The track was definitely improving and the new engine was great," said Ruhlman. "I know we have a lot more time left in the car, but all of a sudden on lap 6, I was coming up the front straight felt the power go away completely. I coasted into the pits and that was the end for our session. Apparently, the crankshaft on the new engine had failed. There wasn't anything we could do, except headed back to the paddock and change the motor again for qualifying."

"We have a strong car and a great setup, so I know that we will do well in the race," continued Ruhlman. "For qualifying, we will just have to go out there and get going right away. We are in the fast group for qualifying, so we should have a good idea of how we stand. I do think we have something for these guys."

Qualifying begins at 12 noon CDT with 20 minutes per group. The fastest cars qualify first, followed by the second group. There will be a late day practice following qualifying to help the teams get ready for the 101.2-mile race scheduled for Sunday August 24th at 10:45 AM CDT. Sunday's Trans-Am race will be shown on SPEED Channel on a tape delay. Coverage begins at 12:30 EDT.

Ruhlman's Chevrolet Corvette is fielded this year by the Minneapolis-based, Derhaag Motorsports team, led by former Trans-Am driver Jim Derhaag. Jim Derhaag himself made 150 starts as a driver in the Trans-Am Series before his successful move to full time ownership in 1998. The team has fielded many successful drivers, including top Trans-Am drivers Justin Bell, Kenny Wilden, Tony Ave, Dorsey Schroeder, Chris Neville and Darin Brassfield.

-rm-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave , Justin Bell , Randy Ruhlman , Dorsey Schroeder , Darin Brassfield