Road America: Randy Ruhlman qualifying report

Ruhlman fifth for the start of tomorrow's Road America 100 Trans-Am race. Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 23) Randy Ruhlman is poised to repeat his last race podium finish by qualifying fifth for tomorrow's Trans-Am race for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup.

Ruhlman fifth for the start of tomorrow's Road America 100 Trans-Am race.

Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 23) Randy Ruhlman is poised to repeat his last race podium finish by qualifying fifth for tomorrow's Trans-Am race for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup. Ruhlman, who finished third at the Trois-Rivieres Trans-Am race on August 2nd, will be starting on the inside of row three with a time of 2:09.657. Driving his familiar blue and white #49 Preformed Line Products/Coyote Closure Chevrolet Corvette, Ruhlman prevailed over his problems of yesterday, during which his two fast practice sessions were each cut short and followed by an engine change. Last year, Ruhlman finished sixth in the 100-mile race at Road America after qualifying eighth.

Ruhlman, originally scored sixth, but was moved up to fifth after the Jaguar of Jorge Diaz, who had been third in qualifying, was disqualified for illegal ride height.

Today, Ruhlman, the 2002 BBS Wheels "Most Improved Driver of the Year", overcame the uncertainty of an unfamiliar, borrowed motor to further improve his time in today's qualifying by over 0.8 seconds in a red flag shortened session.. Ruhlman is very optimistic about tomorrow's upcoming Trans-Am race. After qualifying, Ruhlman commented, "The car really was just getting good. We had about two more fast laps and we had been coming down in time fast. I messed up a corner on the lap just after my fast one, and then was perfect on the next lap, when they threw the red flag and stopped the session short. I know that I left some time out there, but I also know that it will be there for the race."

Ruhlman continued, "We didn't have to changed the car after practice, the setup was great. The crew did a fantastic and very professional job all day, changing my motor twice, and my teammate (for the week) Justin Bell's once. Both cars were flawless for qualifying. Tomorrow's race is a long one and it is important to have a car that can make the distance. This year, for the first time, we are on the 200 soft tires, so tire conservation will be a big factor at the end of the race. Our setup is good on tires and fast, so it looks good to get on the podium here. I have been so close too many times at this track, that I think Road America owes me one The 25 lap, 101.2-mile race on the 14 turn permanent road course will be run at 10:45AM CDT tomorrow, Sunday, August 24 and shown at 12:30 EDT on the Speed Channel.

Ruhlman will be making his 134th start in Trans-Am in a Chevrolet Corvette 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-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave , Justin Bell , Randy Ruhlman , Dorsey Schroeder , Darin Brassfield , Jorge Diaz