Justin Haley tops the TA2 charts in Road Atlanta Practice
March 30, 2018
TA and TA3 see practice session cut short following duo of red flags
Braselton, Ga. [March 30, 2018] – The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli officially opened the Georgia Speedfest, Round 2 of the 2018 Championship, at Road Atlanta with two practice sessions today, March 30, 2018.
The Trans Am Series will hold two races on Saturday, a TA2 class exclusive Muscle Car Challenge and a TA, TA3 multi-class competition; both will run for 40 laps around the 12-turn 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. Qualifying for those races will be held this afternoon with sessions commencing at 4:10 PM EDT.
TA2: Justin Haley edges Rafa Matos for top spot in practice
Justin Haley, in the No. 99 Fraternal Order of Eagles Ford Mustang, captured the fast lap in the TA2 class’ independent practice session; as teams and drivers made their preparations for the Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge, a TA2 class exclusive race slated to run 101.6-miles, 40 laps around Road Atlanta.
Haley turned a 1:24.997 lap from behind the Mike Cope machine, just edging the 1:25.056 lap turned by Sebring pole sitter Rafa Matos, in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro.
Haley, the 2017 K&N Pro Series East Champion and current NASCAR Camping World Trucks competitor, will make his 21st career Trans Am start this weekend in pursuit of his first career Trans Am win following five podium appearances and nine top ten finishes.
Keith Prociuk, in the No. 9 HP Tuners Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 top three with a 1:25.323; while Tony Buffomante, victor of the past two TA2 competitions at Road Atlanta and driver of the No. 34 Mike Cope Ford Mustang, was fourth quick with a time of 1:25.336.
Paul Tracy, making his return to pro racing and his Trans Am debut, was fifth quick in the No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:25.434. Tracy is filling in the seat for owner/driver Doug Peterson, giving the Coleman Motorsports team a potent pairing with Matos.
The TA2 class top ten also included, in order, Louis-Philippe Montour, Shane Lewis, Misha Goikhberg, Marc Miller and Scott Lagasse, Jr.
TA and TA3: Series of Red Flags Hampers Practice Session
The single practice session of the weekend for the TA and TA3 classes was cut short by a duo of red flags, with competitors only managing a handful of laps before qualifying, and none approaching qualifying pace.
David Pintaric turned the fast lap for the TA class, a 1:23.842, from behind the wheel of the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V; while Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, and defending champ Ernie Francis, Jr., completed the top three with times of 1:24.00 and 1:24.133, respectively.
The TA3 class was led by Tim Kezman, in the No. 44 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, with a 1:29.701; but the Fall-Line driver, like all TA3 competitors, only managed two laps.
The course went under red flag conditions first to retrieve the No. 02 LSI/ Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette of Larry Bailey after an impact with the tire wall in turn seven. Bailey was released from medical shortly after arrival.
After a moment of green flag conditions, the track went back under red following a blown engine on the No. 9 Technical Realty of Texas Dodge Challenger of Jeff Hinkle, oiling the Road Atlanta surface and sending the No. 60 of Alline Cipriani wide and off course.
Officials then determined cleanup would exceed the allotted time for the session and ordered the checkered flag.
Fans can keep up with the event and all of The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Remaining Event Schedule
Friday March 30, 2018
5:00 PM — 5:18 PM TA2 Qualifying
5:20 PM — 5:38 PM TA Qualifying
5:40 PM — 5:58 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Saturday March 31, 2018
11:10 AM — 12:25 PM TA2 Race powered by AEM
2:55 PM — 4:10 PM TA/TA3/TA4 Race
All times are EDT
40 laps/101.6-miles or 75 minutes, whichever is completed first.
About The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli:
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli began igniting the passion of motorsports fans across the world in 1966 and has been home to some of the greatest names in road racing. Today, Trans Am continues to honor its legacy, while challenging the status quo in racing, through meaningful racing platforms and a driver-oriented focus. The Trans Am Series is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC (TARC), and oversees the management and marketing of the Trans Am Series, presented by Pirelli. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides operations services to the Series.
2017 Champions include: Ernie Francis, Jr. (TA), Gar Robinson (TA2), Mark Boden (TA3) and Brian Kleeman (TA4).
For more on the Series visit www.gotransam.com, “like” Trans Am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam, or follow Trans Am on Twitter @gotransam