Mike Cope Racing Enterprises announces 2016 Trans Am Roster
February 29, 2016
Buffomante, Loshak, Machavern, Haley, Prociuk and Lucas create all-star team in TA2 class
CLEARWATER, Fla. [February 29, 2016] – Mike Cope Racing Enterprises (MCRE) has announced their TA2 roster for the 2016 Trans Am Championship, bringing together some of the TA2 class’ best talent together to form a premier team for the 2016 Season.
MCRE will see Tony Buffomante, Keith Prociuk, and Justin Haley return to the team from 2015 along with the addition of proven TA2 commodities Lawrence Loshak and Dillon Machavern, as well as relative newcomers George Lutich and Chris Lucas—together they make the MCRE “Arrive and Drive” team a force with which to be reckoned
“We’re incredibly excited to unveil our roster for 2016,” said Mike Cope, Owner of Mike Cope Racing Enterprises. “What we’ve assembled is a group of world class road racers—drivers who have proven themselves time and time again in the increasingly competitive TA2 class. While not all of them will be running the entirety of the 2016 season, those that are have their eyes set on the Championship—something that we at MCRE are eager to deliver.”
Buffomante, Loshak, Machavern, Prociuk and Haley will be competing for the entirety of the 2016 Championship and are expected by Cope to be frontrunners for much of the year.
“When you look at those five guys, you see an incredible amount of talent,” said Cope. “Tony (Buffomante), Lawrence (Loshak) and Dillon (Machavern) are incredible road racers; they’re here to win a Championship and we’re proud that they’ve chosen MCRE to help them in that pursuit. Keith (Prociuk) made incredible strides last year, and we fully expect him to compete at the front of the pack in 2016. Keith’s just beginning to show what he’s capable of. These four drivers are going to define the MCRE season, and we’re all ready to see them showcase their skill on the track.”
Machavern, Buffomante, and Loshak finished in the top ten of the 2015 TA2 Championship, while Prociuk was not far behind at fourteenth—an impressive showing given the 65 cars that participated in the TA2 class last season.
“These guys had a huge amount of success last year given the high level of competition,” continued Cope. “But none of them were satisfied with the result; they’re competitors and professionals— together we’ve all worked hard to come back faster this year. The shop has been working day and night to have the best possible equipment at their disposal. We’ve been busy with new customer builds, installing the new Five Star RaceCar Camaro and Mustang bodies and we’ve worked to expand our on-track operations with an additional tractor trailer and hospitality tent. At the same time we know each of our drivers has been preparing to give it his all in 2016—it’s going to be a great year.”
Young talent Justin Haley will also return to the TA2 paddock, with the hotshot driver competing in multiple NASCAR Series throughout 2016 in addition to running the full Trans Am Championship.
“Justin came to us last year to improve his road racing as he continues to move up the NASCAR ladder,” said Cope. “I think he surprised us all with the level he performed at in 2015 in TA2. The platform was an easy transition; it’s nearly identical to his K&N car. Justin proved to be a natural rain racer at Virginia International Raceway and proved he could be just as fast in the dry at Circuit of the Americas where he set a track record and finished second. Personally, I think JJ will be a household name in a few years, and we’re excited to play a role in his development in a series and class that he’s come to love.”
Chris Lucas will also be joining the MCRE team throughout the year, as he makes his debut in the TA2 class.
“Chris will be running races with us as time allows,” said Cope. “He’s very excited to take to the track in TA2 and test himself against some world class competition. He has some incredible teammates and resources to draw on as he makes the transition to TA2 and we expect a lot from him in the future.”
George Lutich will also be joining MCRE throughout the year as he continues to adapt to the competitive environment that is TA2.
“George was only able to join us three times last year,” said Cope. “Still, he was consistent in every race he entered, moving up through the field and improving upon his starting position in each event while never finishing outside of the top 15. He’s a professional and dedicated to improving behind the wheel of these cars, and we expect him to continue to move through the field and push for some strong finishes in 2016.”
The MCRE team will commence the 2016 Trans Am Championship at Sebring International Raceway for Round 1 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, with Buffomante, Loshak, Prociuk, Machavern, Haley and Lutich all in attendance.
“We’re all ready to get 2016 started in style,” said Cope. “We’ve all put in a lot of hard work over this off season, but fortunately it’s time to go racing and put all of that work on the line once more. We absolutely love the TA2 class, the competition that it brings and that iconic battle between these famous pony cars. Sebring can’t come soon enough!”
The MCRE team will take to the track in several TA2 only sessions throughout the weekend, all times Eastern:
Friday March 4, 2016
11:25 AM – 11:55 AM - TA2 Practice
4:55 PM – 5:15 PM - TA2 “One Shot” Qualifying
Saturday March 5, 2016
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM - TA2 Race (100.98, 27 laps or 65 minutes)
Fans can keep up with MCRE throughout the weekend on Twitter at @MikeCopeRacing and keep track of each session at www.gotransam.com/live-timing or on Race Monitor.
About Mike Cope Racing Enterprises:
Perhaps no other team has worked so diligently to achieve success over the course of 30 years as MCRE. Over the years, they have successfully launched corporate sponsorships in national series, developed short track and SCCA Road race champions and mentored young upcoming drivers. Lead by Mike Cope, he brings the same enthusiasm, dedication and knowledge to his race team that made him victorious in his own racing career.
MCRE offers a variety of services for drivers interested in the Trans Am Series’ TA2 program, including custom builds, arrive and drive programs, maintenance programs, consulting, driver mentoring, set-up and shock dyno. Learn more at www.mikecoperacecars.com.
Mike Cope Racing Enterprises is based in Clearwater, Florida.
Mike Cope Racing Enterprises partners include: Quarter Master, Hawk Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, Wilwood, Port City Racecars, ButlerBuilt, Integra Shocks and Keyser Manufacturing.
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