Tony Ave Racing and Ave Motorsports Bring Biggest Effort of 2015 Trans Am Season to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 14, 2015
3 Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100 presented by First Energy Sees Returning Drivers and a Possible New Race Car Debut
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 13, 2015) - Tony Ave Racing (TAR) and Ave Motorsports will roll out their biggest effort of the 2015 Trans Am season this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where six TAR "house cars" and several more competitors on Ave-built AR-1 chassis will compete in the 3 Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100 presented by FirstEnergy.
Sharing the weekend with the featured NASCAR Xfinity Series, Trans Am will likely race in front of its biggest crowd of the season with a record 74 entries in three classes. Tony Ave Racing and Ave Motorsports did their part to contribute to the nice turn out with an expanded lineup of three top-tier TA-class cars as well as its usual trio of TA2 division machines.
Top TAR regulars Paul Fix and Doug Peterson will be joined in the TA division at Mid-Ohio by returning former Trans Am Champion, Tomy Drissi, who will drive the No. 71 "Straight Outta Compton" Corvette.
Drissi is making his first Trans Am start of the season, Fix won at Lime Rock and is second in TA-class points, and Peterson is a two-time and reigning Trans Am Champion.
All three team drivers are scheduled to race Corvettes, including Fix in his No. 4 StopFlex.com/CarCoach.com Corvette, but Peterson could make a last minute switch from his No. 87 3-Dimensional.com Corvette. After a successful two-day Wind Tunnel test last week, Ave Motorsports debuted in today's testing at Mid-Ohio an all-new Cadillac TA entry that Peterson could end up racing this weekend.
"Doug ran the Cadillac today in testing and he may race it if all goes well," said Ave, who shook down the Cadillac himself early in the session to set it up. "Doug had decided to debut the Caddy this season given that he is a bit behind in points. He wanted to both get a head start on 2016 as well as use any potential advantage we might find to try and close the gap in points this year. 'Let's change it up!' he told me!"
Fix has moved into title contention after ripping off five-straight podium finishes to the open the season, highlighted by the Lime Rock win on Memorial Day Weekend.
Drissi, who will also join TAR at the Road America round that follows Mid-Ohio in two weeks, is competing in AR-1 chassis No. 001, the very first car Ave built for himself and drove to two Trans Am titles and an SCCA Runoffs Championship.
"Tomy drives for us every year at Mid-Ohio, and this year we added Road America to his schedule with us," Ave said. "As a past series champion, he brings a lot of experience to the team, and he's been on pole for the last two years here at Mid-Ohio, so we're looking forward to seeing how the 'Straight Outta Compton' Corvette runs."
In addition to the expanded TA-class lineup, Ave's TA2 class entries include a pair of identical Camaros for the father-and-son team of Joe Napoleon and his son, Justin Napoleon. Justin Napoleon drives No. 90 Turnkey Industries/CommState Bank Camaro while Joe Napoleon carries the same sponsorship on his No. 91 Camaro.
"The Napoleons have used the summer break to completely go through their cars," Ave said. "They're lighter, faster and ready to start realizing the results they have been working so hard for."
Ave drives the team's third TA2 entry, which is the No. 70 Lamers Motor Racing Mustang that he drove to victory at Lime Rock.
"We found a broken motor mount in my car after the last race at Brainerd, which hopefully explains why I went from comfortably fastest on the test day to a struggling fifth place in the race there," Ave said. "I'm definitely ready to hit the track for the race in my car, if for no other reason than its a lot less stressful than taking care of everybody else's cars back in the paddock!"
Round 7 of the 2015 Trans Am season, Mid-Ohio kicked-off today with afternoon practice sessions. "Fast Five" qualifying on Friday for the TA class begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT and will be followed by TA2 at 8:45 a.m. EDT.
This weekend's schedule includes both the First Energy Muscle Car Challenge, presented by 3-Dimensional Services, for the TA2 division, on Friday, August 14, at 4:45 p.m. EDT and the Next Dimension 100, presented by First Energy, for the TA class on Saturday, August 15, at 12:50 p.m. EDT.
In addition to the TAR "house cars," several TA competitors are racing at Mid-Ohio this weekend in AR-1 chassis race cars built by Ave Motorsports. The list includes Claudio Burtin (No. 7 Foametix Corvette), Cliff Ebben (No. 36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Mustang), Jim MacAleese (No. 03 McAleese & Associates/Jetco Engineering Corvette), David Pintaric (No. 57 Kryderacing/WRP Investments), Richard Grant (No. 30 Grant Racing) and Denny Lamers (No. 66 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Mustang).
The TA and TA2 events from Mid-Ohio will broadcast on CBS Sports Network in the upcoming weeks. The Next Dimension 100, presented by First Energy race airs Saturday, August 29 at 12:00 p.m. EDT while the First Energy Muscle Car Challenge, presented by 3-Dimensional Services airs a week later at 10:00 a.m. EDT, Saturday, September 5.
Follow Ave Motorsports on Twitter at @AveMotorsports and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AveMotorsports. You can also follow the action throughout the weekend at www.GoTransAm.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/GoTransAm and on Twitter at @GoTransAm. Live timing and scoring is available online at GoTransAm.com/live-timing and on the Race Monitor app.