Fix Edges Lally in TA Class Practice at Watkins Glen
September 8, 2017
Kezman and Kleeman lead production ranks in shortened session
WATKINS GLEN, NY. [September 8, 2017] – Paul Fix topped the TA class charts as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA, TA3 and TA4 class competitors took to the 3.4-mile course at Watkins Glen International (WGI) for their first, and only, practice session of the weekend. Fix was followed in the TA class by Andy Lally, making his Trans Am debut, with two hundredths of a second separating the two drivers; while Tim Kezman and Brian Kleeman set fast laps for the TA3 and TA4 classes, respectively.
Making his first Trans Am appearance since the 2016 Trans Am finale at Daytona International Speedway, Paul Fix, in the No. 4 StopFlex/Classic Tube/Car Coach Chevrolet Corvette, would set a 1:50.096 lap— well below his own qualifying track record set last year, a 1:51.725. Fix finished second in both the 2016 and 2015 Trans Am championships and has 11 career Trans Am wins and 13 poles in 62 starts.
Lally, driving for Burtin Raciing in the No. 50 GoShare/ Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, was just behind Fix with a 1:50.116 lap of his own in his first official Trans Am action.
Lally was followed by current points runner-up Vinnie Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights & Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:50.512; however, the No. 41 would suffer a brake failure forcing Allegretta to roll to avoid a head-on collision—putting the session under red flag conditions. Allegretta left the car under his own power and was released by medical shortly thereafter.
The TA class top five also included Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, and current points leader Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Breathless Pro Racing/ Beta Tools Ford Mustang, with times of 1:51.126 and 1:51.510, respectively. Rounding out the TA class top ten were, in order, Chris Dyson, Amy Ruman, Jim McAleese, Kerry Hitt and Blaise Csida.
In TA3, the Fall-Line Motorsports team swept the top three with Tim Kezman, in the No. 15 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, leading the way with a time of 1:56.969—just lower than the 1:56.991 of current points leader Mark Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Boden currently leads all TA3 competitors with three victories this year.
Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3, completed the Fall-Line trifecta with a time of 1:59.904.
The TA3 top five was completed by rookie Don McMillon, in the No. 51 Salasko Racing Chevrolet, and veteran Cindi Lux, in the No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRX, with times of 2:00.634 and 2:00.858, respectively.
In TA4, Brian Kleeman, in the No. 07 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, continued his dominance atop the class charts, easily turning the fast lap, a 2:01.056. Kleeman currently sits atop the class point standings with a 32-point lead after winning five of seven TA4 contests so far this year.
Following Kleeman in the session was Andrew Entwistle, Indianapolis victor and driver of the No. 78 Phoenix Performance/ Hawk/ Penske Ford Mustang, with a time of 2:06.010; while Steven Davison, in the No. 2 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage GT4, was third quick with a time of 2:06.72.
TA4 points runner-up Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ Tremec Chevrolet Camaro, was fourth quick with a time of 2:07.766, while Chris Outzen, in the No. 97 DWW Motorsports Inc. Ford Mustang, completed the top five with a 2:12.189 lap.
While the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA2 class will return to the track today at 5:00 PM ET for qualifying, the TA, TA3 and TA4 classes will next feature with qualifying sessions commencing at 5:15 PM ET tomorrow, Saturday September 9.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli weekend at Watkins Glen is being held in conjunction with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association and its US Vintage Grand Prix weekend.
Remaining Trans Am Watkins Glen Event Schedule:
Friday September 8, 2017
5:00 – 5:20 PM TA2 Qualifying
Saturday September 9, 2017
10:55 AM – 12:10 PM Watkins Glen Muscle Car Challenge – TA2
5:15 PM – 5:35 PM TA Qualifying
5:40 PM – 6:00 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Sunday September 10, 2017
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Watkins Glen 100 – TA, TA3, TA4
*all times eastern
Live Timing: All on-track sessions can be followed at www.gotransam.com and on the Race Monitor app available on Windows, Android, iOS and OSX.
Text Commentary: Updates provided throughout sessions on Twitter at @gotransam.