Simon Gregg looks for third straight victory as Trans Am returns to New Jersey
June 27, 2012
[Millville, NJ., June 27, 2012] - As Trans Am enters its fourth race of the year, the series is beginning to take shape. Trans Am points leader Simon Gregg, driver of the number 59 Corvette, has been the most consistent driver of the year, the only one to make the podium for all three races—taking first place the last two races at Mid-Ohio and Lime Rock Park.
Gregg will be looking to continue his success. However, he’s sure to face stiff competition from season opener victor Doug Peterson, who is second in the points standing. Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Florida and driver of the number 87 Corvette, has been Gregg’s closest challenger this year and remains only seven points back despite having to drop out of the last race at Mid-Ohio due to mechanical failure.
Tony Ave, Peterson’s teammate and driver of the number 4 Corvette, and Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio and driver of the #23 Corvette, are sure to be in the conversation as well.
Ruman has been working her way up the podium throughout the year and was the only driver to truly challenge Gregg at Mid-Ohio, where she took second.
Ave has been an enigma throughout the season. He’s taken pole at every race this year but has been the victim of mechanical issues at every race as well, and has yet to finish. If he’s able to remedy these issues, he may be ready to mount a mid-season surge in search of his third consecutive Championship.
In the TA2 division, Bob Stretch and his number 98 Camaro have a commanding points lead and are coming off a dominating performance at Mid-Ohio. He’ll be looking for his third win of the season, however the return of Trans Am veteran Pete Halsmer may be his biggest obstacle to victory.
Halsmer, driver of the number 12 Camaro, was forced to withdraw from Mid-Ohio due to back problem. Prior to the paint, Halsmer had been Strech’s biggest rival this year. Even as Stretch took the podium at Mid-Ohio, he was the first to point out Halsmer’s absence:
“I miss Pete Halsmer. Sometimes when he’s in my mirrors I would say I don’t, but I missed having that battle. And it’s my goal to make sure we have a good battle and good racing out there. It’s good to have a little bit of a cushion in the points lead but I know Pete’s going to be back and it’s going to be a battle for the rest of the season.”
New Jersey's own Mel Shaw and Michael Wilson will be taking part in the TA2 race. Wilson, of Blairstown and driver of the number 8 Monte Carlo, is currently second in the TA2 points standing, however he trails Stretch by 25 points.
The only other appearance by the Trans Am Series at New Jersey Motorsports Park was in 2010 which was won by Tony Drissi of Hollywood, California in his number 5 Jaguar XKR. Tony Ave placed third. This will be the first appearance of the TA2 division at New Jersey.
Trans Am will take the track on Friday June 29, at 3:10 pm and again on June 30, at 9:30 am for practice. Qualifying will take place on June 30, at 4:00 pm.
The race will be held at 10:05 am on Sunday June 1 following the Vintage Trans Am race.
The series will also hold an autograph session at the Tans Am trailer Saturday June 30 at 12:00 pm, which will be open to the public.
To keep up with the action over the weekend, follow Trans Am at @gotransam on Twitter, check in on the GoTransAm Facebook page, or at www.gotransam.com.
GoRacingTV will be providing video vignettes over the course of the weekend, which will be accessible through their website, www.goracingtv.com, or on their YouTube channel.
Following the conclusion of the race, a summary show, produced by GoRacingTV, of the race will air on MAVTV. The show will play on three separate occasions: premiering the following Sunday at 5:00 pm EDT with encores on Thursdays at 9:00 pm EDT and Fridays at 12:00 am EDT.