RJ Lopez leads Trans Am Practice 2 at Daytona
November 9, 2017
Shane Lewis paces TA2, Boden and Kleeman top production
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. [November 9, 2017] – Florida’s own RJ Lopez would set the fast lap as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli held its second practice session of the day at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 2017 Trans Am Finale, slated for Saturday November 11. With all four Trans Am classes taking to the track in unison, Lopez was joined by Shane Lewis, Mark Boden and Brian Kleeman in pacing their respective classes.
Lopez, who will make his 31st TA class start this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 06 Republica Brewing/ Optica Lopez Chevrolet Corvette, turned a 1:45.868 to lead all 41 Trans Am session participants. Lopez, whose Trans Am career reaches back to the 2009 season, includes four wins and 11 podium finishes—his most recent victory coming at Homestead-Miami in 2016.
Lopez was followed in the TA class by Amy Ruman, the 2015 and 2016 champ and driver of the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:46.210. Ruman has won the past three TA class competitions at Daytona International Speedway, including her championship clinching efforts in 2015 and 2016.
The 2017 champ Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 FramelessShowerDoor.com Ford Mustang, was third quick with a time of 1:46.392 but saw his session cut short following a flat tire halfway through the session.
The TA class top five for the session was completed by David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, and Steve Kent, Jr., in the No. 15 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Corvette, who turned fast laps of 1:56.408 and 1:46.515, respectively.
In TA2, Shane Lewis, 2016 Daytona victor and winner of last round at Circuit of The Americas, set the fast lap with a 1:51.061 from behind the wheel of the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro. Lewis’ time stood just enough to edge out 2016 TA2 champ Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, who logged a 1:51.165 of his own.
Lewis’ Robinson Racing teammate Gar Robinson, the recently crowned TA2 champ and driver of the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, was third quick in the TA2 class with a time of 1:51.303.
The parade of past and present TA2 champions continued in the session top five with Cameron Lawrence, 2013 and 2014 champion in the No. 79 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro, turning 1:51.634. Lawrence also won the TA2 class at Daytona International Speedway in his championship years, setting pole in each as well.
The TA2 practice session top five was completed by Keith Prociuk, in the No. 9 HP Tuners Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:51.634. The TA2 top ten also included, in order, Josh Bilicki, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Curt Vogt, Louis-Philippe Montour and Tom Sheehan.
All of the TA2 top five turned times under the previous track record, a 1:52.203 set by Adam Andretti last year.
TA3 was led by championship contenders Mark Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, and Tim Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with the Fall-Line teammates turning times of 1:53.496 and 1:53.749, respectively. Boden enters the round with a 17 point advantage over Kezman, with the championship to be decided come the conclusion of Saturday’s race.
Conor Flynn, in the No. 94 Irish Mike’s Automotive Porsche 997, was third quick in TA3 in the session with a time of 1:54.215, while Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Craig Conway, in the No. 96 SeaPro Boats Porsche 997 Cup, rounded out the top five with times of 1:58.459 and 1:59.337.
In TA4, 2017 champ Brian Kleeman, in the No. 07 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, topped the charts with a time of 1:158.459, his strongest competition coming in the form of Ramin Abdolvahabi, in the No. 2 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage GT4, who logged a lap of 1:58.703.
Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ TREMEC Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA4 top three with a time of 1:59.887.
The practice session went under red flag conditions to retrieve the No. 03 of Jim McAleese and No. 5 of Jed Copham, following contact between the two cars.
Trans Am will return to the track at Daytona International Speedway for qualifying tomorrow, Friday November 10, with sessions commencing at 12:30 PM ET.
The weekend sees Trans Am join Historic Sportscar Racing at Daytona International Speedway, holding their Classic 24 Hour & Daytona Historics Races, pairing the past and present of motorsport on Trans Am’s year-end celebration.
Remaining Trans Am Daytona International Raceway Schedule:
Friday November 10, 2017
12:30 PM – 12:48 PM TA/TA2 Qualifying
12:50 PM – 1:08 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Saturday November 11, 2017
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Trans Am Race (All classes)
*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.