Loshak and Matos Top Trans Am Friday Practice
August 10, 2018
Boden and Dexter lead TA3, TA4 with qualifying looming
LEXINGTON, Ohio. [August 10, 2018] – The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli continued preparations for this weekend’s FirstEnergy races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a pair of practice sessions around the 2.258-mile circuit.
In the first of the two sessions it was once again Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 2 Pennzoil/ ETE/ GoShare Chevrolet Camaro, who paced the field, marking the second practice session this weekend in which the No. 2 has set the fast lap. In fact, the time of 1:22.654, while slower than his 1:21.944 set yesterday, marked the fifth consecutive TA class session Loshak has either led or set the fast lap from behind the wheel of the Burtin Racing machine, stretching back to the first practice last round at Pitt race.
Tomy Drissi made it a top two practice sweep for Burtin Racing, setting the second fastest time of the session with a 1:22.788, continuing a strong return to Trans Am competition after clinching the Trans Am West Coast Championship in Portland just weeks ago.
Defending TA class champion and points leader Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang, completed the TA class top three with a 1:22.790, just two-thousandths of a second off Drissi’s mark.
David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, and Paul Fix, in the No. 4 StopFlex/The Car Coach/ Ave Racing Ford Mustang, also featured in the session’s TA class top five with times of 1:23.086 and 1:23.296, respectively.
Also turning lap times within the class’ top ten were, in order, Chris Dyson, Boris Said, Kerry Hitt, Amy Ruman and Simon Gregg.
The TA3 and TA4 classes would turn laps alongside the TA class, also making preparations for the FirstEnergy 100: Trans Am’s multi-class offering for Saturday’s races.
Leading the way for TA3 was once again Mark Boden, showcasing the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup around the technical 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit to the tune of a 1:27.853 lap. Boden stands the defending TA3 race winner at Mid-Ohio, emerging last year after a race-long battle with teammate Tim Kezman for the win.
Today’s practice session saw another Fall-Line one-two in TA3, this time with 2017 TA3 Rookie of the Year Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, following Boden’s lead, turning a 1:28.368 lap as his own fast mark.
Third quick for TA3 was points leader and Pitt runner-up Alline Cipriani, in the No. 60 Ginetta USA Ginetta G55, with a time of 1:28.954, disrupting what would have otherwise been a Fall-Line top three sweep; as Trans Am debutant Joe Koenig, in the No. 70 Trim-Tex/ Fall-Line Motorsports BMW E46 M3, was fourth quick in the session with a time of 1:30.235.
Current TA3 points runner-up Dave Ricci, in the No. 71 Florida Roadway Signs/ Breathless Racing Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA3 top five with a 1:32.565, continuing his strong 2018 campaign.
In TA4, points leader Warren Dexter, in the No. 61 Joe’s Hand Cleaner/Dexter Racing Ginetta G55, led the way with a 1:28.888. Since joining Trans Am at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dexter has been dominant, rattling off two consecutive wins from behind the wheel of his Ginetta and taking the class points lead.
Second quick in TA4 was Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/SKF/ BSP Chevrolet Camaro, with a 1:31.385 lap of his own, while Steven Davison, in the No. 33 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Chevrolet Camaro, completed the top three with a time of 1:39.134.
Trans Am’s TA2 class would follow on track, holding their second practice session in preparation for the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge.
Rafa Matos, in the No. 88 Coleman Motorsports/ 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, once again set the fast lap; however, this time with a much improved 1:24.63— eclipsing his mark of 1:26.199 from yesterday’s session. The time, if replicated, will also stand as a new qualifying track record. Matos enters the weekend eager to bolster his 11-point lead atop the TA2 championship and already has three wins across six races this season.
Second fast in the session was Scott Lagasse, Jr., in the No. No. 95 SLR/ Fields Racing/ M1 Fastrack Chassis Chevrolet Camaro, with a 1:25.146, following up on a strong run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he led multiple laps and finished second, a TA2 career best.
Misha Goikhberg, in the No. 25 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro, was third quick in the session with a time of 1:25.709 as he makes his second appearance in the TA2 class. Goikhberg’s first appearance came at Road Atlanta earlier this season where he qualified third and finished 12th.
Last year’s Mid-Ohio victor Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, turned a 1:25.937 lap; strong enough for fourth quick in the session, while Matt Tifft, one of multiple NASCAR Xfinity drivers pulling double-duty in Trans Am this weekend, turned a 1:26.377 from behind the wheel of the No. 26 Mike Cope Ford Mustang to complete the TA2 top five.
The TA2 top five also featured, in order, Brandon Jones, Tom Sheehan, Christopher Bell, Chase Brisco and Jordan Bupp.
The Trans Am Series will return to the track at Mid-Ohio for qualifying sessions this afternoon in preparation for both the FirstEnergy 100 and FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge, which will each span 101.96 miles, 45 laps around the Mid-Ohio circuit.
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 as well as 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:
Friday August 10, 2018
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.