Toronto: Randy Ruhlman first practice notes

RUHLMAN THIRD QUICKEST IN FIRST PRACTICE AT MOLSON INDY TORONTO TORONTO (July 8, 2005)--Randy Ruhlman, the current Trans-Am points leader, once again showed his speed in a Trans-Am car by running third in the first Trans-Am practice session at...


TORONTO (July 8, 2005)--Randy Ruhlman, the current Trans-Am points leader, once again showed his speed in a Trans-Am car by running third in the first Trans-Am practice session at the Moslon Indy Toronto. Ruhlman posted a time of 1:15.228, just 0.002 seconds behind the Jaguar of Klaus Graf, on the very green track. The Trans-Am cars were the first on track session of the weekend. It is expected that when the Champ Cars and other series get on track later this morning, the track should improve as it gets more rubber built up on it, and laps times should improve dramatically.

Ruhlman says, "This track flows and is such a fun place to drive. I think we have a good setup for the race. Unfortunately, we were the first group of cars on track for the weekend, so the track was unbelievably green and dusty. During the first few laps, there were rooster tails of dust flying behind the cars, so it made it a bit hard to drive. After this session, it should start to settle down. I'm looking forward to getting out there this afternoon and having some fun. I love this track and really like coming to Toronto. The fans up here are some of the most supportive and knowledgeable in the sport."

After scoring his second win of the season in a dramatic come from the back finish at the Cleveland Grand Prix, Randy Ruhlman is looking forward to the Molson Indy Toronto this weekend, Round 4 of the Trans-Am Series. Ruhlman scored a second place finish here last year, where along with teammate Canadian driver Ron Fellows, they made it a two-three podium finish for the Corvettes. The current Driver's Championship points leader, Ruhlman is making his 150th start in Trans-Am, having scored two wins and a second in the first three Rounds of 2005 competition.

Not only will Ruhlman be fighting the Jaguars again, but he will also have an additional 25 pounds of "WINS weight" added to his Corvette. This weight (a 25-pound penalty for each win), plus that for the Long Beach win, puts the #49 car at a 150-pound weight disadvantage against the AJ V8's of Gentilozzi and Klaus Graf. Though Graf won the Portland race, his "off the podium" finish at Cleveland allowed him to remove his WINS weight.

Braking, acceleration and tire wear are the major issues with weight and are especially critical at a fast and hard braking track like Toronto. With a significantly heavier car, Ruhlman will be forced once again to call on his ability to drive a fast, steady pace and his skill at keeping the car and tires in good shape for the final dash to the checkered flag. Ruhlman in the Corvette has been fast all year. He set a new track record at Portland with the fastest race lap. And at Cleveland, while just missing the fast lap of Klaus Graf by thousandths, Ruhlman set an incredible pace, clicking off fast laps throughout the race, and driving to a 16 second winning margin.

Ruhlman drives the #49 blue and white PLP Corvette, sponsored in Canada by Toronto area, Preformed Line Products Canada. This year, Ruhlman is joined on the Derhaag Motorsports team by Calgary native and rookie contender Hima Maher.

The Toronto Trans-Am race will be held on Saturday, July 9th at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. The 100-mile race of 57 laps will be run at 3 PM EDT. Television coverage will be Sunday, July 17th at 12:30 EDT. The Toronto race is one of three Canadian races for Trans-Am in the 2005 season. The series travels to Edmonton, Alberta next week, and ends the season at the Molson Indy at Montreal.

Randy Ruhlman won the prestigious Trans-Am season opener at Long Beach Grand Prix in April and followed that up with a second place finish at Portland International Raceway. The win at the Cleveland Grand Prix was his third consecutive podium and tenth consecutive top five finish.

Randy Ruhlman finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Driver's Championship, in the closest points battle ever in Trans-Am history. Last year, Ruhlman scored seven straight top five finishes, including three podiums: a second at Road America, another second at Toronto, and a third at Infineon. Last year, he was the pole sitter for the Road America race and sat on the front row for the Cleveland Grand Prix. Randy Ruhlman is fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history.

Randy Ruhlman recently spent time between races working with the Buckle Up America program to promote seat belt use. Ruhlman was the keynote speaker at the Cleveland House of Blues Kick-off of the Northeast Ohio "Click It or Ticket" campaign. The program was spearheaded by UHHS Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital's Outreach Program. Ruhlman also continues to work closely with the Lance Armstrong Foundation Peleton Project, especially in helping to promote the Tour de Road America, coming up on August 20th, to raise money for cancer survivorship.

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Klaus Graf , Ron Fellows , Randy Ruhlman , Hima Maher