Loshak and Matos Lead Practice Sessions as Mid-Ohio Weekend Commences
August 9, 2018
Mark Boden and Todd Napieralski set Pace in TA3, TA4
LEXINGTON, Ohio. [August 9, 2018] – The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli officially commenced its FirstEnergy weekend today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in support of the Rock N Roll Tequila 170. The 47-car Trans Am field was divided across two practice sessions, with the TA, TA3 and TA4 class preparing for the FirstEnergy 100 while the TA2 class made its own preparations for the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge.
In the TA class, Lawrence Loshak, hot off a victory at Pittsburgh International Race Complex last week, once more put the No. 2 Pennzoil/ ETE/ GoShare Chevrolet Camaro atop the charts. Loshak, who already has a Mid-Ohio victory to his name in 2016, turned a 1:21.944 lap to lead the 13-car TA class entry.
Loshak enters the weekend tied for third in the TA championship points with David Pintaric and has secured two podium finishes over the past three races. Mid-Ohio presents an opportunity for Loshak to continue his hot streak before heading up to his home track of Road America, next round.
Just behind Loshak in the session was Paul Fix, in the No. 4 Stop Flex/ Car Coach/ Ave Racing Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:22.215 lap for second quick. Fix, like Loshak, has a history of success at Mid-Ohio, including a 2015 victory. Ohio’s own David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, was third quick with a time of 1:22.383, while Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang, and Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 GoShare Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA class top five with times of 1:22.670 and 1:23.062, respectively.
In the TA2 class, holding an independent practice session in preparation for the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge, points leader Rafa Matos led the way—but only just.
Matos, driver of the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, enters the weekend with an 11 point lead on Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang. In this practice session Matos’ lead over Buffomante was a slim .033 seconds, 1:26.119 to 1:26.152. While the weekend is still young, the battle between the two championship contenders will be one to watch throughout the event— and likely the remainder of the year.
Third and fourth quick in the session were Christopher Bell, in the No. 28 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, and Brandon Jones, in the No. 24 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, with both making their official Trans Am debut as they join the TA2 class in search of more road course experience with the Mike Cope team.
Misha Goikhberg, in the No. 25 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 top five with a 1:26.484, while Scott Lagasse, Jr., Tom Sheehan, Doug Peterson, Jordan Bupp and Ethan Wilson all turned laps in the class top five.
Bill Elliott, making his TA2 class debut in the No. 9 ECC Anchor Bolt & Screw Chevrolet Camaro, was 13th quick in the session with a 1:28.701.
In TA3, defending class champion Mark Boden wasted little time getting back up to speed following his absence last round at Pitt, turning a 1:27.054 lap in his No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup to easily lead the TA3 class. Boden also stands the defending TA3 victor at Mid-Ohio and enters the weekend third in TA3 championship points.
Following Boden on the charts was Fall-Line Motorsports teammate Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, second quick with a time of 1:28.617, to edge out points leader Alline Cipriani, in the No. 60 Ginetta USA Ginetta G55, who turned a 1:29.203 lap.
Not far behind was another member of the Fall-Line team with debutant Joe Koenig, in the No. 70 Trim-Tex/ Fall-Line Motorsports BMW 46 M3, posting a 1:29.345; while Dave Ricci, second in the championship points, completed the TA3 top five with a 1:31.346 from behind the wheel of his No. 71 Florida Roadway Signs/ Breathless Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
In TA4, Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ SKF/ BSP Chevrolet Camaro, was the only member of the class who elected to participate in the session, turning a 1:31.724 lap.
All classes utilized the 2.273-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio course and will return to action tomorrow morning for a second pair of practice sessions commencing at 9:30 AM ET.
Both the FirstEnergy 100 and FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge will be live streamed on Motor Trend On Demand, while the weekend will be showcased in a one-hour highlights show on CBS Sports Network on tape-delay.
Trans Am is joined on the weekend by NASCAR Xfinity holding the Rock N Roll Tequila 170 and the Formula 3 Championship Powered by Honda.
Fans can keep up with the Trans AM Series presented by Pirelli throughout the event at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Trans Am First Energy Event Weekend Schedule:
Thursday August 9, 2018
2:50 PM — 3:20 PM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 1
3:20 PM — 3:50 PM TA2 Practice 1
Friday August 10, 2018
9:30 AM — 10:00 AM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
11:05 AM — 11:35 AM TA2 Practice 2
12:35 PM — 12:55 PM TA Qualifying
1:00 PM — 1:20 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
5:05 PM — 5:25 PM TA2 Qualifying
Saturday August 11, 2018
9:00 AM — 10:15 AM FirstEnergy 100 - TA/TA3/TA4
12:40 PM — 1:55 PM FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge - TA2
All times eastern
Live Streaming on Motor Trend On Demand:
First Energy Trans Am 100 – Saturday August 11, 9:00 AM ET
FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge – Saturday August 11, 12:40 PM ET
Trans Am’s races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network.
FirstEnergy Trans Am Weekend Recap – August 26, 2:00 PM ET
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.