Machavern takes home TA2 Classic Tube 100 victory at The Glen
May 15, 2016
Louis-Philippe Montour and Gar Robinson secure podium positions
PROVISIONAL - WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. [May 15, 2016] – As snow flurries began to fall at Watkins Glen International (WGI), Dillon Machavern powered the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang across the finish line, capturing a victory in the TA2, powered by AEM, Classic Tube 100, Round 3 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship.
For Machavern, who led all but one lap of the race, and all green, the win marked his second consecutive podium of the year and second victory of his Trans Am career—this time over a 27 car TA2 class field. The win also breaks what, previously to his podium trip last round at Road Atlanta, had been a streak of poor luck for Machavern and the No. 24. A streak almost continued by a test day incident that left the No. 24 in poor shape and Machavern’s hopes dimmed.
“It’s great to get the monkey off my back,” said Machavern. “It seems like we’ve had just terrible luck since mid-season last year. To come out here on our home turf and lead every green lap was pretty awesome. This crew worked incredibly hard; we had a little issue in testing at the start of the weekend, blew a tire, took the nose off the car—they were able to get the car back out for the second test session which proved pivotal for us. From then on, the car just ran so well; so thanks to the guys at Mike Cope and Flowtech for giving me an incredible car—great equipment makes my job easy.”
Machavern began the day in second position alongside pole sitter and teammate Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, as a part of the Mike Cope team top four qualifying sweep. However, as the field began the race under frigid conditions and an additional pace lap, the No. 34 slowed due to engine failure that what would end his race two laps later, and left Machavern to take the lead—one he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race, despite early challenges from teammates Justin Haley and Lawrence Loshak, defending TA2 champ Gar Robinson and, on the final laps, rookie Louis-Philippe (LP) Montour.
The final laps proved to be the fastest of the race not just for Machavern, who set a new track record 1:52.828, but the entire final top four as drivers made a last gasp at securing or stealing podium positions.
“LP was charging those last few laps,” said Machavern. “TA2 is probably one of the most competitive classes in America right now, and it keeps growing and going strong. The way the class is set up makes for really competitive racing, and it brings talent and the preparation of the car to the forefront of racing.”
Montour would finish second, securing the first podium of his rookie year after starting the race in fifth position behind the wheel of the No. 77 Montour Limited Dodge Challenger. Joining Machavern and Montour on the podium was Robinson, in the No. 74 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, who completed his charge up through the field with a third place finish after starting the race in 10th position and running as high as second.
The TA2 top five was completed by Loshak, in the No. 5 Pennzoil Platinum/MOMO/ ETE Reman Chevrolet Camaro, and Jordan Bernloehr, in the No. 07 BCR/Millers Oil/Prokart/AirJax Chevrolet Camaro. The fifth place finish tied for the best finish of Bernloehr’s TA2 career.
The 102-mile, 30 lap race around the 3.40 mile Grand Prix Course saw a top five that, outside of Machavern, seemed to be in a state of continual flux, despite two full course cautions. Justin Haley would move as high as second before having to make a pit stop for repairs; and Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 ECC/ Anchor Bolt and Screw Dodge Challenger, also entered the top five before suffering a mechanical failure.
The remainder of the race saw a definitive pack of leaders battling for podium contention, with Robinson overtaking Loshak for third with five laps remaining and Bernloehr passing veteran Tony Ave, in the No. 04 Roehrig Engineering Chevrolet Camaro, for the top five on the 15th lap.
Provisionally, while Machavern leaves Watkins Glen with 63 points to his name, moving up to fourth in the TA2 Championship, defending champ Gar Robinson resumes the top spot in the points courtesy of this third place finish with 77 Tony Buffomante remains second with 70 points, while Montour enters the top five with 68. Robinson’s teammate, Shane Lewis, who finished sixth, now holds fifth with 60 points.
For the efforts restoring Machavern’s car this weekend, the Mike Cope Racing Enterprises team was award the PitBoxes.com Crew of the Race.
“Everyone at Mike Cope helped make this win happen,” said Machavern. “They’re all really professional and always know exactly what they’re doing; and with a little luck on our side, I think together we’ll have a good shot at getting that championship this year.”
TA2 will return to the track in The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in the Motor City 100, presented by The 3-Dimensional Services Group, on June 3-5.
Trans Am will hold another 102-mile race today at Watkins Glen, featuring TA, TA3, TA4 and TA5 in the Classic Tube 100, a continuation of Round 3 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, at 3:40 PM ET.
All results provisional unitl posted final.
About Classic Tube:
Classic Tube is a manufacturer of preformed tubing products for the automotive OE, aftermarket and restoration markets. In addition, they produce tubing for fleet, heavy equipment, marine, mining and aerospace industries. Classic Tube also manufactures a complete line of replacement brake, fuel, transmission and carburetor tubing applications for Cars and Trucks both Domestic and Foreign, from the 1930's to present. www.classictube.com