Tony Ave Racing and Paul Fix Zero In on Trans Am TA Title as Series Gets Set for NOLA Debut
October 9, 2015
Tony Ave Racing Fields Four Ave Motorsports-Built Trans Am Entries at NOLA as Series Begins Three-Race Run to Close out the 2015 Season
AVONDALE, Louisiana (October 8, 2015) - Tony Ave Racing and championship-contending driver Paul Fix will lead the team's charge into NOLA Motorsports Park in the greater New Orleans area this weekend as the Trans Am Series kicks off a critical three-race stretch run to close out the season.
Fix drove his Tony Ave Racing No. 4 StopFlex.com/ TheCarCoach.com AR-1 Corvette to his third 2015 TA-class victory one race ago at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). The win moved Fix to within just 14 points of TA championship leader Amy Ruman, 238 - 252 points, as the duo has emerged as the top TA title contenders as the season winds down.
Opened recently in 2011, NOLA Motorsports Park is hosting its first Trans Am race weekend, a rare occurrence in a season full of familiar race circuits. Ave and his Tony Ave Racing and Ave Motorsports colleagues are among the large list of competitors who have never been to NOLA before arriving in New Orleans for this weekend's race.
Round 10 of 12 races on the 2015 schedule, Sunday's featured race on the 2.75-mile road course will be 101.75 miles, which is 37 laps on the 16-turn track.
The well-timed win at VIR was Fix's second in the last three TA races. The VIR victory followed Fix's Memorial Day weekend win at Lime Rock Park and a victory last month at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fix, who has not been this close to Ruman in the standings since the opening races of the year, and the No. 4 TAR team seem to be peaking at the right time.
"The No. 4 team is super-confident going into NOLA, as is the 87 team," Ave said. "We have a good record of figuring out new places quickly. It's a new track for the series and most of our competitors but we expect to up to speed and on pace throughout the weekend."
Doug Peterson, driver of the Tony Ave Racing No. 87 3Dimensional.com AR-1 Cadillac CTS-V, remains third in the TA championship standings. Although it would take an unlikely collapse by both Fix and Ruman for Peterson to move into title contention, he races with the motivation to score his first TA win of the year in the Cadillac, which debuted just three races ago.
Circumstances have also allowed Ave to put aside his own Trans Am TA2 program for the weekend to help his team expedite the NOLA learning process. He was scheduled to drive Peterson's spare No. 87 car, an Ave Motorsports chassis Corvette, for today's test day to give the team with a third TA program to learn the NOLA road course.
"I am going to hop in the spare No. 87 car on the test day to try and help with the gearing and the setup," Ave said. "I will also be sitting out the TA2 race at NOLA while the engine guys get caught up with our development stuff, so it all kind of worked out."
While not in action this weekend, Ave has won twice in TA2 this year at Lime Rock Park and two races ago at his home track Road America in the No. 70 Lamers Motor Racing Mustang. The Road America victory was earned with a development motor by DSS while another new engine was used by Ave one race ago at VIR.
The Ave Motorsports and TAR effort in TA2 at NOLA will be led by the family duo of Joe Napoleon and his son Justin Napoleon.
"We look forward to the Napoleons carrying the flag for us," Ave said. "They are both due for season-best results and a quick start to the weekend at NOLA could give both Joe and Justin a crack at a top-five finish."
The Napoleons race in identical TurnKey Industries/CommState Bank TA2-class Camaros, with Justin Napoleon in No. 90 and his father in the No. 91 Camaro.
Among the notable competitors at NOLA racing on Ave Motorsports chassis that are not in the Tony Ave Racing stable is Jim McAleese, who competes in the No. 03 McAleese & Associates/Jetco Engineering AR-1 Corvette. McAleese joins Fix and Ruman as the year's only TA-class race winners. He earned his victory at Road America and could lock down a top-five finish in the TA championship with more strong performances in the year's final three races.
Look for Ave Motorsports on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AveMotorsports. Fans can also keep up with the NOLA action throughout the weekend at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.