Strong Miami contingent controls Fast Five qualifying at Homestead Miami
April 10, 2015
Miami natives Lopez, Camus, Francis, Jr., take pole positions, Cameron Lawrence takes TA2
Provisional - HOMESTEAD, Fla. (April 10, 2015) – The Trans Am Series “Fast Five” qualifying format made its formal return today at Homestead Miami Speedway, Round 2 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship, and featured a strong showing from hometown drivers with Miami natives taking three of the four class pole positions while Windermere, Florida, native Cameron Lawrence took the TA2 lead position to keep all poles within the sunshine state.
In the TA class it was RJ Lopez, of Miami Beach, and the No. 16 Optica Lopez Chevrolet Corvette that led the way with a lap time of 1:17.380. Come Sunday’s race Lopez will lead the TA and TA3 class out on track for the second time in the past two years. Lopez captured the pole and the race victory at Homestead Miami in 2014 and will be eyeing a repeat performance on race day.
To accomplish his repeat act, Lopez will have to overcome strong challenges from Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, who will start alongside Lopez, courtesy of a 1:17.962 lap time. Amy Ruman, driver of the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, secured third position with a time of 1:17.974; as she looks to capture her third victory in a row, a streak that dates back to the 2014 finale at Daytona.
The “Fast Five” was rounded out by Doug Peterson, in the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, who timed in at 1:18.135 and John Baucom, in the No. 86 RoadRaceParts.com Ford Mustang, with a time of 1:18.530. The rest of the 18-car TA class field will have the option to re-qualify tomorrow at 10:25 a.m. eastern; however, the “Fast Five’s” positions are all secure and locked for Sunday’s show.
In TA2, Cameron Lawrence, driver of the No. 1 MOPAR Dodge Challenger, secured pole position once more within the TA2 class with a time of 1:21.732. A two-time defending Champion, Lawrence was also victorious here at Homestead in 2014 and is hot off a win at the season opener at Sebring and the 2014 finale at Daytona. Lawrence will lead a TA2 contingent of 29 cars out on track for the first ever Trans Am Muscle Car Challenger, a standalone TA2 race at 12:20 pm on Sunday featuring the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.
Starting alongside Lawrence will be Jupiter, Florida, native Shane Lewis, in the No. 72 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, who turned a 1:21.882—just off Lawrence’s time. Starting third will be Tony Buffomate, in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, after a 1:22.008, securing a top three position for every member of the Big Three.
Lawrence Loshak, driving the No. 5 Raybestos Powertrain/ Loshak Racing Ford Mustang, secured fourth position with a 1:22.077; while Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 74 Ranch Chevrolet Camaro, will start fifth after turning a 1:22.333.
TA3’s International Group was led by Miami Springs native Michael Camus, in the No. 08 Epic Motorsports/ Camus Racing BMW M3, who led all competitors in the subgroup with a 1.24.424. Likewise, Ernie Francis, Jr., also of Miami, led the American Muscle Group from behind the wheel of the No. 98 Breathless Racing Chevrolet Camaro with a time of 1:27.107.
Following Camus in the International Group was Russ Snow, driving the No. 20 Guardian Services/AiM Sports Chevrolet Corvette, whose time of 1:25.201 will see him start alongside Camus in TA3. Trans Am newcomer Steve Streimer, competing in his first ever Trans Am event, captured third with a time of 1:25.230 in the No. 42 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper. Jerry Greene, in the No. 93 Temp Air Porsche 996 GT3, and Lee Saunders, in the No. 84, V10PWR Dodge Viper, also saw their spots secured for Sunday with fourth and fifth place finishes.
Following Francis in the American Muscle Group was Christopher DeSalvo, in the No. 61 Baucom Motorsports Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:27.107 in second, and Thomas Ellis, driving the No. 00 Palm Express/ Averitt/ Steeda Ford Mustang, in third with a 1:27.459. Sebring victor Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/ Backstreet Performance Chevrolet Camaro, and Jason Fichter, in the No. 79 Turn 7 Motorsports Ford Mustang, both had their positions secured in the “Fast Five” with fourth and fifth place laps.
The rest of the 67 cars in attendance will have an opportunity to re-qualify tomorrow April 11 at 10:25 a.m.; however, the top five spots in each class are secured.
The Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge, featuring the TA2 class, will take place at 12:25 pm on Sunday, April 12, while the TA and TA3 class race will take place at 2:45 p.m. with both races constituting Round 2 of the 2015 Trans Am Championship.
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About The Trans Am Series:
The Trans Am Series, America’s Road Racing Series, began igniting the passion of motorsports fans across the world in 1966 and has been home to some of the greatest names in road racing. Today, Trans Am continues to honor its legacy, while challenging the status quo in racing, through meaningful racing platforms and a driver-oriented focus. The Trans Am Series is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC (TARC), through a five-year agreement in which TARC oversees the management and marketing of the Trans Am Series. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides operations services to the Series.
Defending Champions include: Doug Peterson (TA), Cameron Lawrence (TA2), Ernie Francis, Jr., (TA3 American Muscle) and Jason Berkeley (TA3 International).
For more on the Trans Am Series visit www.gotransam.com, “like” Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter at @gotransam.