Hometown drivers set the pace in first practice at Homestead
April 10, 2015
RJ Lopez, Shane Lewis, Ernie Francis, Jr., showcase Florida talent, Lee Saunders takes TA3i
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (April 10, 2015) – As the Trans Am Series took to the track at Homestead Miami Speedway for two separate practice sessions it was the hometown talent that stole the show, showcasing south Florida talent on their home track.
The TA2 class took to the track first for an independent session in which 30 cars participated in preparation for the Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge, the first standalone TA2 race of the 2015 Trans Am Championship. The contingent was lead by Shane Lewis, driver of the No. 72 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro. Lewis, a native of Jupiter, Florida, turned a 1:21.656—the quickest of the session and a strong start to the weekend’s events in what is only his second Trans Am race.
Lewis was followed closely by Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 BestLine Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, with a 1:21.851, barely two tenths of a second off Lewis’ time. Two-time defending TA2 Champion Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 1 MOPAR Dodge Challenger, was third fastest with a 1:22.544; while Gar Robinsion, in the No. 74 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, was fourth with a 1:22.651; and Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 ECC Components Chevrolet Camaro, was fifth with a 1:22.782.
The top ten in TA2 was rounded out by Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Unifirst/PPG Ford Mustang; Tony Ave, driving the No. 70 Lamers Motor Racing Ford Mustang; Jordan Bupp, in the No. 81 American Speed Factory Ford Mustang; Joey McColm, in the No. 83 Bulk Nation/ CBRT Ford Mustang; and JJ Haley, in the No. 99 BraunAbility Chevrolet Camaro.
The TA class was led by Miami native and last year’s victor at Homestead Miami, RJ Lopez, driver of the No. 16 Optica Lopez Chevrolet Corvette, who led all participants with a 1:17.981. Lopez was followed by Simon Gregg, driving the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, who turned a 1:18.459 lap, strong enough for second in the TA class. Round 1 victor Amy Ruman, driver of the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, was third fastest in the session with a 1:18.712. David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Chevrolet Corvette, and two-time defending Champion Doug Peterson, in the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, were fourth and fifth fastest with times of 1:19:269 and 1:19:402.
Mario Barcenas, in the no. 35 REM Racing Chevrolet Corvette; Kerry Hitt, in the No. 19 Advanced Composite Products Inc. Chevrolet Corvette; John Baucom, in the No. 86 Roadraceparts.com/Baucom Motorsports Ford Mustang; Paul Fix, in the No. 4 StopFlex.com/TheCarCoach.com Chevrolet Corvette; and Kenny Bupp, in the No. 3 American Speed Factory Chevrolet Camaro; rounded up the top 10 for the TA class.
In TA3 American Muscle, Miami native, and defending Champion, Ernie Francis, Jr., set the pace from behind the wheel of the No. 98 Breathless Racing Chevrolet Camaro with a 1:27.195. Francis was followed by Todd Naperiaski, Sebring victor and driver of the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/Back Street Performance Chevrolet Camaro, who turned a 1:28.168 and Chris DeSalvo, in the No. 61 Baucom Motorsports Ford Mustang, with a 1:28.370.
TA3 International was led by Sebring victor Lee Saunders, in the No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper, who turned a 1:25.997. He was followed by Russ Snow, in the No. 20 Guardian Services/ AiM Sports Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:26.197, and Trans Am newcomer Steve Streimer, in the No. 42 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper, with a 1:27.308, as they finished second and third in the class.
The Trans Am Series will take to the track at Homestead Miami once more today for “Fast Five Qualifying” at 3:30 pm ET with each class having a separate session. The TA class will take to the course immediately for a 15-minute session; the TA2 class will follow at 3:45 and TA3 at 4:05.
On Saturday Trans Am will have two early morning practice sessions at 9:45 am for TA2 and 10:00 am for TA and TA3. The sessions will immediately be followed by the second chance to qualify at 10:25 am.
The two Trans Am races for Round 2 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship will take place Sunday, April 12. The TA2 class will participate in the Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge at 12:25 pm, and the TA and TA3 classes will take to the track for their race at 2:35 pm. Both races will by 102.15 miles, the equivalent of 45 laps around the course at Homestead Miami.
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