Ruman Gains Ground in Trans Am Championship with Watkins Glen Podium
July 11, 2012
Watkins Glen, NY (9 July 2012) – Amy Ruman scored her fourth consecutive Trans Am podium of the year on Sunday with a runner-up finish at Watkins Glen International in Round 5 of the 2012 Trans Am Championship on Sunday. Following her win at New Jersey Motorsports Park last weekend, the result moves Ruman to second in the championship standings with 131 points as she gains momentum through the summer months and looks to position herself for a run to the championship this fall.
The grid was set by combined practice times after qualifying was canceled due to a brief storm that moved through the Watkins Glen area just ahead of Saturday’s 30-minute session, which would put the No. 23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld Corvette third for the start of the race.
Ruman immediately slotted into the second position at the drop of the green flag as she chased Jorge Diaz, Jr. who paced the field around the 3.4-mile New York road course. The two quickly developed a 10-second gap over third place as the pair ran very close lap times with Diaz posting a fast lap of 1:49.925-seconds and Ruman a 1:50.071-second fast race lap. Unfortunately that lead was eliminated when an early-race full course caution saw the field bunched back up.
At the restart, Ruman again put down consistently strong laps as she defended against the charging No. 87 of Tony Ave who ran third. The No. 87 eventually got by the No. 23 Corvette for second with Ruman holding the third position as the top-three cars developed a substantial lead over the rest of the field with the gap growing larger and larger each lap.
As Ruman continued to run strongly in third throughout the 29-lap event, Ave spun off course with three laps to go which allowed Ruman to regain and hold the second position to the checkered flag.
“We had a really quick car this weekend and it is great to be back on the Trans Am podium,” said Ruman, who was also on hand to cheer her sister Niki Ruman Skinner on in SRF race action. “The McNichols Corvette was fast, but we just didn't catch Jorge today. My crew was working nonstop for me this weekend and gave me a good car for the race. We have been consistently scoring points and that is key for us in this championship race, so I’m really happy with this weekend.”
The weekend also saw Ruman return to SCCA GT-1 victory lane in an incredible drive from the rear of the field to take the win. Following a mechanical issue during GT-1 qualifying, Ruman started from 19th on the grid but she made it look easy as she wheeled the No. 23 Corvette to the front. It was her third GT-1 victory of the year after having claimed two wins, one at Summit Point and one at the Mid-Ohio SCCA Double National in June.
“Going from the Trans Am specs to the SCCA GT-1 specs for the Corvette adds some work for the crew, so it’s good to be able to repay their effort with a big result,” smiled Ruman. “We had an issue earlier in the weekend and everyone did a great job to get it sorted out for the race. It's never fun to start from the back of the pack, but anytime you can race your way forward like that, it is incredibly satisfying!”
Ruman will next travel to historic Road America on August 19 for Round 6 of the Trams Am Championship as she looks to gain maximum points toward the championship.