Rafa Matos gets TA2 off to a fast start as Trans Am opens VIR weekend
September 21, 2017
ALTON, VA. [September 21, 2017] – Rafa Matos and the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro led the way in TA2 class practice as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli opened Round 10 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship at Virginia International Raceway. Matos’ fast lap stood as a 1:50.998 around the iconic 18-turn 3.27-mile “full course”, over a full second below the existing qualifying TA2 track record.
Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, and Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, joined Matos in the breakneck start, turning 1:51.55 and 1:51.769 laps of their own—both also under the qualifying track record set by Buffomante last year. While Matos, who joined Trans Am halfway through the season, is not in the championship hunt, Buffomante and Robinson very much are, with Robinson entering the weekend with a 16-point lead over Buffomante atop the standings.
Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 19 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro, was fourth quick with a time of 1:52.598. Lawrence enters the weekend with two VIR TA2 class wins to his name, coming in 2015 and 2013. Lawrence captured his first TA2 championship by result of the 2013 victory.
Lawrence and Buffomante, the 2016 TA2 winner, constitute the only members of the 15-car TA2 field to have previously secured a class victory at VIR.
Also turning a top-five lap was Tom Sheehan, in the 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Chevrolet Camaro, who logged a 1:53.528 lap of his own— keeping pace with his fifth place finish last round at Watkins Glen International.
The TA2 top ten also included, in order, Shane Lewis, Keith Prociuk, Doug Peterson, Elias Anderson and debutant Maurice Hull.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will return to the track tomorrow, Friday September 22, at 12:10 PM ET for the second TA2 Practice session of the weekend.
Trans Am Virginia International Raceway Schedule:
Friday September 22, 2017
12:10 PM – 12:40 PM TA2 Practice Session 2
5:10 PM – 5:40 PM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 1
5:40 PM – 6:00 PM TA2 Qualifying
Saturday September 23, 2017
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
1:00 PM – 1:20 PM TA Qualifying
1:20 PM – 1:40 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
5:10 PM – 6:20 PM VIR Muscle Car Challenge – TA2
Sunday September 24, 2017
3:25 PM – 4:00 PM VIR Trans Am 100 – TA, TA3 and TA4
*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.