Trois-Rivieres: Tony Ave race summary

Ave ready to shake off disappointing Trois Rivieres finish. TROIS RIVIERES, QUE. -- For Tony Ave, driver of the ...

Ave ready to shake off disappointing Trois Rivieres finish.

TROIS RIVIERES, QUE. -- For Tony Ave, driver of the #53 LAC Motorsports Panoz Esperante, two opposing forces - stopping and going - became one in the same on the demanding Trois Rivieres street circuit during Round seven of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Cup.

Ave, who finished 16th in the race after starting seventh and running as high as third, was confident his brakes could stand the heat and pressure of ten turns in 60 laps on a mile and a half circuit. And while many others struggled with fading and fiery brakes, the brakes on the Esperante were never a problem, according to Ave. But another mechanical demon thrust the Panoz into the tire wall on lap 37.

"The brakes were good all weekend. We were just back to having some engine dramas again, and we certainly didn't have a car that would win the race," notes Ave. "The brake temperatures were really low all weekend, but then at the beginning of the race the brakes just weren't what they'd been."

After a successful pit stop strategy and attrition helped Ave work into third place, a brake component failure resulted in a race-ending crash into the tire barrier. "The brake pedal went to the floor and took the throttle with it, " explains Ave, who was uninjured. He was able to back the car out of the impact zone and drive it to a run-off area, but his race was over.

"It was a real shame to lose ground during a weekend when we could have made up some ground in the championship points race, but I have to stop thinking about the points," he says, noting the problems encountered by many of the other top five drivers.

"There are five more races left this season, and I'm really looking forward to Road America on Aug. 17," he adds. Ave, who was born and raised in northern Wisconsin, holds the GT-1 record at Road America. But his experience on the scenic road course may mean nothing if he and the LAC Motorsports team aren't able to squeeze more horsepower out of the Esperante in the 11 days leading up to round eight of the 2002 Trans-Am season. "But no matter what, I'm really ready to get back there and race in the Trans-Am," he says.

If the Trois Rivieres provisional results become official, Ave will head to Road America in seventh place in the 2002 Championship Points race. For more information about Ave or LAC Motorsports, visit For more information about the Trans-Am Series, visit


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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tony Ave