Fix and Machavern lead first practice session at NJMP
June 11, 2016
Aquilante and Francis set pace in TA3 and TA4
MILLVILLE, NJ. [June 11, 2016] – Paul Fix and Dillon Machavern led the way as the Trans Am Series opened Round 4 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship with the first practice session of the weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), in the Hank Sauce Weekend of Thunder, presented by MTP Industries. They were joined atop the respective class charts by Andrew Aquilante and Ernie Francis, Jr., as they led the TA3 and TA4 classes.
Fix, who set the pole at NJMP in 2015, set the fast lap for the TA class, a 1:17.307, from behind the wheel of the No. 50 StopFlex.com/TheCarCoach.com/Techron Chevron Chevrolet Corvette—a strong opening statement on the weekend, just shy of his pole time of 1:16.679 from last year.
Fix was followed closely in the TA class by defending Champion Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:17.869. Ruman has won the TA class in the last three races at NJMP, an undefeated streak she will be eager to defend throughout this weekend.
Cliff Ebben, in the No. 36 StumpfFord/McMahon Group/Lamers Racing Ford Mustang, was third quickest in the TA class with a time of 1:17.984, while Jim McAleese, in the No. 03 McAleese & Associates Chevrolet Corvette, and Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, completed the TA top five with times of 1:19.572 and 1:19.910.
In TA2, Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, set the fast lap of the session with a time of 1:21.202 leading the way for both the TA2 class and the Mike Cope Racing team—which captured four of the top five positions in the practice session.
Machavern was followed by teammate Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:21.482 to secure second position, and Justin Haley, in the No. 99 Justin Haley Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, who turned a 1:21.604.
The TA2 top five was completed by Shane Lewis, in the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and Lawrence Loshak, driver of the No. 5 Pennzoil Platinum/MOMO/ETEReman Chevrolet Camaro, with times of 1:21.816 and 1:21.952.
TA3 was led by Andrew Aquilante, 2015 NJMP TA3 race winner and driver of the No. 32 Phoenix/Hawk/ Penske Chevrolet Corvette, who turned a 1:24.614—picking up where he left off in 2015 in his first Trans Am appearance of the year.
Aquilante was followed in the TA3 class by current points leader Randy Mueller, in the No. 0 Bizbloom.com BMW M3, who turned a 1:25.946 lap and Jason Berkeley, in the No. 67 BMG Management Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:26.552 lap of his own to complete the TA3 top three.
In TA4, two-time defending champion and current points leader Ernie Francis, Jr., driver of the No. 98 BetaTools/Liquid Performance Ford Mustang, continued his dominance atop the TA4 charts with a 1:25.276 to lead the production-based class. Francis was victorious at NJMP in 2015 and 2014; he’ll look to continue that streak as the weekend continues.
Francis was followed in TA4 by Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/Backstreet Chevrolet Camaro, who turned a 1:27.617 lap, the second quickest of the practice session. Chris Outzen, in the No. 97 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, was third in the class with a time of 1:29.288.
TA5 was led by Tim Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line/Calypso Porsche 997, with a time of 1:28.125.
The Trans Am Series will return to the track at NJMP 1:15 PM EST for TA2 “Fast Five” qualifying, followed shortly by TA “Fast Five” qualifying at 1:40 PM and TA3/TA4/TA5 “Fast Five” qualifying at 2:05 PM.
Remaining Schedule for Round 4 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship:
Saturday, June 11, 2016
1:15 PM - 1:35 PM TA2 “Fast Five” Qualifying
1:40 PM - 2:00 PM TA “Fast Five” Qualifying
2:05 PM - 2:25 PM TA3/TA4/TA5 “Fast Five” Qualifying
4:00 PM - 4:20 PM TA2 Practice 2
4:20 PM - 4:40 PM TA/TA3/TA4/TA5 Practice 2
4:45 PM - 5:00 PM 2nd Chance to Qualify
Sunday, June 12, 2016
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Fan Walk
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM TA2, powered by AEM, Race – 101.25 miles
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM TA/TA3/TA4/TA5 Race – 101.25 miles