Rafa Matos Dominant in TA2 Qualifying
August 10, 2018
Rain stays away as TA2 drivers make preparations for FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge
LEXINGTON, Ohio. [August 10, 2018] – Rafa Matos captured his third TA2 class pole of the year in Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for tomorrow’s FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge.
With what started as a slightly damp 2.258-mile circuit the, the 19 TA2 competitors that elected to qualify were faced with the prospect of changing track conditions and the potential for more rain that never came to fruition. However, as the session progressed and the surfaced dried, lap times began to dwindle and Rafa Matos and the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Chevrolet Camaro came into their own.
Midway through the session Matos and the No. 88 were in the pit lane holding the then fast lap, only to see Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang take the top spot. Matos would return to the course and several laps later produce a new qualifying record 1:24.748, nearly a half second ahead of the eventual 1:25.187 turned by Scott Lagasse, in the No. 95 SLR/Fields Racing/ M1 Fastrack Chassis Chevrolet Camaro, for second quick in session.
“It ended up a fantastic session for us,” said Matos. “As the track was drying out they [the team] called me in at the wrong time as the track was getting faster and faster, and Tony [Buffomante] got me. I wanted to go out immediately and not lose any more time in the pits. We were able to go out and put a couple laps together; it was one of the toughest qualifying sessions all year. I’m just really proud of the whole team, really proud of my teammate Doug Peterson for qualifying in sixth place. I’m happy over all; and, hopefully, the car will stay consistent tomorrow for another win.”
Buffomante will start in third position come tomorrow, his lap a 1:25.287. Qualifying fourth was NASCAR Xfinity driver Chase Briscoe, in the No. 00 Newman Wachs Racing Ford Mustang, as he made his Trans Am debut to the tune of a 1:25.410. Briscoe was followed by his fellow NASCAR competitors with Brandon Jones, in the No. 24 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, and Christopher Bell, in the No. 28 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, qualifying fifth and sixth with times of 1:25.563 and 1:25.621, respectively.
Doug Peterson would set his best qualifying mark of the year in the No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Chevrolet Camaro with a 1:26.138, while Jordan Bupp, in the No. 80 Marshall Goldman Motorsales Ford Mustang, will start eighth after a 1:26.378 mark. Tom Sheehan, in the No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Chevrolet Camaro, and Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 44 ECC Anchor Bolt and Screw Chevrolet Camaro, completed the class’ top five with times of 1:26.395 and 1:26.424, respectively.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will hold two races tomorrow at Mid-Ohio: the FirstEnergy Trans Am 100, featuring the TA, TA3 and TA4 classes at 9:00 AM ET, and the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge at 12:40 PM ET.
Both races will be streamed live on Motor Trend On Demand and showcased in a one-hour highlight show on CBS Sports Network on August 26th at 2:00 PM ET.
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
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.