Points leader Simon Gregg claims fast lap in morning practice
September 1, 2012
The Trans Am Series just completed its first event of the 25th Coca-Cola Muscle Car Shootout at Brainerd International, an 8:00 a.m. practice. All seventeen of the race’s entrants participated, getting a feel for one of Trans Am’s historic homes and tracks.
Simon Gregg proved why he’s the current points leader in the TA class. He set the fast lap for the session with a time of 1:31:835—toping out at 98.001 miles per hour. The #59 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette performed as it has all year, up to this point the car has gone a massive 70 races without a mechanical failure. That reliability may prove key in this two-race weekend, on a track known for being somewhat brutal on cars.
Tony Ave was right on Gregg’s heels though. The new #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette set a time of 1:31.990. Ave has won the last three Trans Am races at Brainerd—a course he fondly calls a “survivor’s track.” Ave is coming off a win at Road America and will want to continue building momentum as he chases what would be a third consecutive championship.
Following Ave and Gregg was Amy Ruman and Trans Am newcomer Matt Crandall. Crandall, a native of Portland, Oregon, is making his debut in the #3 Speedsports.net Ford Mustang and put in a time of 1:33.927. Ruman,in her #23 McNichols/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette, will be trying to make a championship push of her own this weekend in an attempt to recover from a lackluster performance at Road America, courtesy of being caught in the aftermath of a collision between two other competitors.
TA2 was led by Pete Halsmer in his #12 Ctek Battery Chargers/Motorstate Chevrolet Camaro, the veteran put in a lap time of 1:28.875 and set the pace for the class and Miller Racing.
Defending TA2 champion Bob Stretch was not far behind. The Road America race winner set a time of 1:38.929 in the #06 Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro. Stretch is the current TA2 points leader and can extend his lead even further with a strong showing this weekend.
The action will continue throughout the weekend, with races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying will take place today at 11:30 a.m. cst, followed by the first race at 4:00 p.m.
On Sunday, a 10:30 a.m. practice will kick off the day with the final race of the weekend at 3:45 p.m.