Machavern and Ragginger top dampened practice sessions at Mid-Ohio
August 11, 2017
Kezman and Napieralski lead TA3, TA4 as rain descends on track
LEXINGTON, Ohio. [August 11, 2017] – Intermittent rain dampened the second, and final, practice session for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in advance of this afternoon’s qualifying for the FirstEnergy 100, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4, and the First Energy Muscle Car Challenge, featuring TA2, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Martin Ragginger and Dillon Machavern made the most of their respective sessions, setting the fast laps for the TA and TA2 classes, while Tim Kezman and Todd Napieralski also paced the TA3 and TA4 contingents.
The TA2 class would hold their session first, dealing with slight rain during the initial moments leaving competitors to manage changing track conditions. Drivers would pick up speed throughout the session but never quite reach the speeds of yesterday’s sessions.
Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, would turn the fast lap for the TA2 class, a 1:26.383 around the 2.258-mile course. Machavern enters the weekend second in the TA2 championship points despite a frustrating outing at Brainerd International Raceway last round that saw the No. 24’s day ended early with mechanical issues after driving from the back of the field to the top five. Mid-Ohio provides the perfect opportunity for Machavern to rebound on a track at which he has historically performed well— constantly running upfront and never finishing outside the top five.
Following Machavern, and also out of the Mike Cope stables, was Matt Tifft, in the No. 26 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, turning a 1:26.460 as he makes his first Trans Am appearance. Tifft is also competing in NASCAR Xfinity competition at Mid-Ohio this weekend.
The Robinson Racing duo of Shane Lewis, in the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, were third and fourth quick in the session with times of 1:26.663 and 1:26.998, respectively.
Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 19 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro, who was consistently among the fast laps throughout the session, rain or otherwise, was fifth quick with a 1:26.998.
For TA, TA3 and TA4, competitors would be faced with rainy conditions towards the end of their sessions, leaving most drivers to return to the paddock with nearly half the session remaining.
Martin Ragginger, debuting in the TA class in the No. 50 Goshare/Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, led his second consecutive practice session, this time with a 1:22.642. Like Ragginger, the No. 50 had a debut of its own this weekend, sporting the brand new Chevrolet Camaro TA class bodywork in its first-ever Trans Am appearance.
Ragginger was followed in the TA class by Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 Kingsman The Golden Circle Chevrolet Corvette, who turned a 1:23.080 lap of his own, with Vincent Allegretta, currently second in the TA class championship points and driver of the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, just behind with a 1:23.428.
The TA class top five was completed by a duo of Ohio natives, David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, and two-time defending champion Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with times of 1:23.796 and 1:24.179, respectively.
In TA3, Tim Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, turned the fast lap of 1:27.827, out-pacing the No. 95 Irish Mike’s Automotive Porsche 997 of Conor Flynn who was second quick with a time of 1:28.354. Kezman enters Mid-Ohio coming off his first victory of the year, last round, at Brainerd International Raceway.
Mark Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, was third quick in TA3 with a time of 1:29.704; while Randy Kinsland, in the No. 11 Kinsland Racing Chevrolet Corvette, and Ramin Abdolvahabi, in the No. 94 Irish Mike’s Automotive Porsche 977, completed the top five with times of 1:29.734 and 1:31.426, respectively.
Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ TREMEC Chevrolet Camaro, led the way for the TA4 class with a time of 1:32.298 and was followed by teammate Bill Baten, in the No. 38 Priority/ Hendrickson Chevrolet Camaro, who turned a 1:37.625 lap. Napieralski enters the weekend second in the TA4 points, trailing Brian Kleeman, who is yet to turn a lap this weekend.
Steven Davison, in the No. 2 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage GT4, and JR Pesek, in the No. 10 Rennsport KC Ford Mustang, completed the TA4 field with times of 1:37.658 and 1:38.887 respectively.
The Trans Am field will return to the track and Mid-Ohio later this afternoon for qualifying sessions.
Trans Am joins the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the F4 US Championship for the track’s Mid-Ohio Challenge weekend.
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.
Trans Am FirstEnergy Event Schedule:
Friday August 11, 2017
3:00 PM – 3:20 PM TA2 Qualifying
3:20 PM – 3:40 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
3:40 PM – 4:00 PM TA Qualifying
Saturday August 12, 2017
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge
12:35 AM – 12:55 PM FirstEnergy Trans Am 100
*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.
This weekend's event will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network.
FirstEnergy Trans Am 100- TA, TA3, TA4 - Aug 30, 10:00pm ET
FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge - TA2 - Sep 06, 10:30pm ET