Ragginger and Buffomante pace final Trans Am practice at Road America
August 26, 2017
Debutant Daskalos and Napieralski lead TA3 and TA4 classes
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. [August 26, 2017] – Martin Ragginger and Tony Buffomante led their respective practice sessions at Road America as drivers and teams alike made their final preparations in advance of this afternoon’s qualifying sessions for the Trans Am Road America Classic and Road America Muscle Car Challenge. Jason Daskalos and Todd Napieralski also led the TA3 and TA4 classes with fast laps around the 4-mile Road America course.
In the TA class, Martin Ragginger, behind the wheel of the No. 50 GoShare/ Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, once again topped the charts turning a 2:07.300 lap. Road America marks the second of two Trans America appearances in which Ragginger has piloted the No. 50, following a commanding performance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where he charged from the back of the TA field to the second step on the podium. If Ragginger can continue the form he displayed there and here at Road America in practice, he may complete his ascent yet this weekend.
Ragginger was followed in the practice session by Dave Ruehlow, in the No. 31 Ruehlow Racing Chevrolet Corvette, turning a 2:08.714 lap of his own. The Road America appearance stands as a one-off appearance for the Harland, Wisconsin, native who is off to a fast start on this, his home track.
Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 Murder on the Orient Express Chevrolet Corvette, was third quick in the session with a time of 2:08.867 while current points runner up Vinnie Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights & Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, and two-time defending TA champ Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, completed the TA class top five with times of 2:09.020 and 2:09.172, respectively.
In TA2, defending race winner and class champion Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants, topped the charts with a 2:13.086, over eight-tenths faster than the qualifying track record set by Justin Haley, a 2:13.897, last year. Buffomante enters the Road America round looking for his third consecutive TA2 class win, still in pursuit of current points leader Gar Robinson despite recent success.
Buffomante was followed in the class by rookie Rafa Matos, in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, making his third career Trans Am start following a stellar debut at the Detroit Grand Prix in June where he finished second. Matos turned a 2:13.255 lap in the No. 88, a recently added second car for the 3-Dimensional team of Doug Peterson.
Justin Haley, in the No. 99 Justin Haley Motorsports Ford Mustang, was third quick in the session with a 2:13.410 lap, while past TA2 champs Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ Robinson Racing Chevrolet Camaro, and Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 19 Class Auto Centers Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 top five with times of 2:13.774 and 2:14.713, respectively.
The TA2 class top ten also included, in order, Lawrence Loshak, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Shane Lewis, Adam Andretti and Tom Sheehan, showcasing the depth of the TA2 field.
In TA3, Jason Daskalos, in the No. 7 Daskalos Racing Dodge Viper Comp Coupe, once again topped the production class’ charts with a time of 2:15.899, continuing his strong showing in this, his Trans Am debut, with a lap well underneath the qualifying track record of 2:18.230 set last year. Daskalos was followed in the session by points leader Mark Boden, in the No. 56 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with a time of 2:16.644, while Boden’s teammate Tim Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, was just behind with a 2:17.347.
The TA3 class top five also included veteran sports car racer Cindi Lux, in the No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRX, and Conor Flynn, in the No. 95 Irish Mike’s Automotive Porsche 997, who turned 2:17.764 and 2:19.678 laps, respectively.
In TA4, Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ TREMEC Chevrolet Camaro, topped the class with a time of 2:24.744 as the TPR team continues to progress its new development and validation program with Chevrolet Performance that debuts alongside the No. 39 this weekend.
Napieralski was followed in the session by Joe Begetich, in the No. 65 Westover Controls Chevrolet Camaro, and JR Pesek, in the No. 10 Rennsport KC Ford Mustang, with times of 2:28.290 and 2:32.170, respectively. Yesterday’s practice leader, Brian Kleeman, did not participate in the session.
Trans Am will return to the track later this afternoon for a series of qualifying sessions, commencing at 4:00 PM CT, to determine the starting orders for the Trans Am Road America Classic and Road America Muscle Car Challenge.
Session Results in Full:
Trans Am Road America Event Schedule:
Saturday August 26, 2017
4:00 PM — 4:20 PM TA Qualifying
4:20 PM — 4:40 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
4:40 PM — 5:00 PM TA2 Qualifying
Sunday August 27, 2017
8:05 AM — 9:15 AM Trans Am Road America Classic - TA, TA3, TA4
9:20 AM — 10:30 AM Road America Muscle Car Challenge - TA2
*all times central
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.
Trans Am Road America Classic - TA, TA3, TA4 - Sept 20, 2017, 10:00 PM ET
Road America Muscle Car Challenge - TA2 - Sept 27, 2017, 7:00 PM ET