Toronto: Randy Rulman qualifying notes

RUHLMAN TO START ON FRONT ROW AT MOLSON INDY TORONTO TRANS-AM TORONTO (July 8, 2005)--Randy Ruhlman will once again start on the front row in his Preformed Line Products Corvette. Ruhlman, the current Driver's Championship points leader, will...


TORONTO (July 8, 2005)--Randy Ruhlman will once again start on the front row in his Preformed Line Products Corvette. Ruhlman, the current Driver's Championship points leader, will start his 150th Trans-Am race on outside of the front row, next to last year's Champion Paul Gentilozzi, for tomorrow's Round 4 of the Trans-Am Series at the Molson Indy Toronto.

In an amazingly close race for the second through fourth positions in qualifying, Ruhlman, Greg Pickett, and Tomy Drissi were separated by less than 0.05 of a second. Ruhlman's posting of the fourth fastest time of 1:12.882, puts him next to fifth qualifier Gentilozzi, on the outside of the front row for the start of tomorrow's race. Klaus Graf in a Rocketsports Jaguar won the pole and will start fifth in the inverted starting grid.

Ruhlman says, "The car is working great. The whole package is there now. We thought we had a good car in the morning when it was dirty. When we got out on a good track, we found out that we didn't have the car we thought we did. So we made a bunch of changes for qualifying, and we've got a race car now."

"We've got a car that will work over the long haul of the race. We've also got good speed, so I feel comfortable with that qualifying pace. This year, it is a 100-mile race, as opposed last year's shorter 85-mile race. I think tire wear will absolutely be a factor tomorrow, and so will brake wear. People are going to have to take care of their tires, and their brakes. It is going to take both. I think it is going to be a brutal race. It's going to be tough," concludes Ruhlman.

Ruhlman scored a second place finish at Toronto last year, where along with teammate Canadian driver Ron Fellows, they made it a two-three podium finish for the Corvettes. Randy Ruhlman scored his second win of the season last weekend at the Cleveland Grand Prix in a dramatic come from the back finish. He has scored two wins and a second in the first three Rounds of 2005 competition.

As a result of his two wins this season, Ruhlman's Corvette is currently at a 150-pound weight disadvantage to the AJ V8's of Gentilozzi and Klaus Graf. The carbureted 311 V8 Corvette is dictated to be 100 pounds heavier than the fuel injected AJ V8 Jaguar.

This added Corvette weight, plus the 25-pound penalties for each win, will force Ruhlman 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. Though Graf won the Portland race, his "off the podium" finish at Cleveland allowed him to remove his WINS weight.

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 , Tomy Drissi , Randy Ruhlman , Greg Pickett , Hima Maher