Ave leads the way in unofficial practice
August 16, 2012
Just as it was at Watkins Glen, a storm left the track at Road America unsuitable for a qualifying session. Instead the time slot was used for an unofficial practice, with no bearing on starting position come race day.
The news did not discourage a portion of the field from feeling out the track. Leading the group was two-time defending champion Tony Ave in his brand new #4 Lamers/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette. While his time of 2:20.89 was well off the track record, he was well ahead of the nearest competitor. Ave was anxious to give the car a run but will have to wait till tomorrow for a real test:
“We ran yesterday, the car’s really fast, we ran qualifying speeds on race distance tires, so I was hoping to go out and quality, but it was a bit too wet today. We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see how it runs. The car owner, Larry Beebe, wanted a new one (car), we’ve been updating everything as we’ve gone, so we thought let’s just build a purpose built one with all the updates as standard. It’s a bit lighter and we went with a Derhaag style body, we think that’s going to be a bit better, and we have some other little refinements in with the suspension. So far everything seems to be affective and we’re ready to give it a run.”
While the championship may seem out of reach for Ave he’ll remain competitive with the hope that a end of the year podium placement may be in his future:
“We’re going to try and win all the races, and points will fall where they may. We’ll need some people to have some bad luck, but we’ve had our share. I’m confident in the car, so we should be good.”
Due to a lack of any official practice over the course of this race weekend starting position will be determined by the current championship point standings, that’ll leave Simon Gregg up front. The current points leader will be trying to build on the consistency he’s set throughout the series this season. Gregg is yet to miss a podium placement and has two wins under his belt. Amy Ruman, Doug Peterson and Tony Ave will be right behind him though.
In TA2 Bob Stretch will be in front in his 06 Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro followed by Pete Halsmer and Michael Wilson.