Ragginger and Lagasse lead opening Trans Am practice at Mid-Ohio
August 10, 2017
Boden and Napieralski set fast laps for TA3, TA4 as FirstEnergy weekend begins
LEXINGTON, Ohio. [August 10, 2017] – Martin Ragginger and Scott Lagasse led their respective sessions as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli opened the weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with practice in preparation for their respective 101.96-mile races, the FirstEnergy Trans Am 100 and FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge. Mark Boden and Todd Napieralski also turned fast laps for their classes, pacing the TA3 and TA4 classes, respectively.
The session marked Ragginger’s TA class debut and second appearance in the Trans Am Series, his first a TA3 victory at Daytona in 2015. Ragginger, debuting the new Chevrolet Camaro bodywork on the No. 50 GoShare/Axalta machine, was quick to get to work, turning a 1:22.089 lap in his first official TA class session around the 2.258-mile course. While a rookie to Trans Am, is a veteran of global motorsport and currently completes 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, GT3Cup and China GT.
Ragginger was followed in the TA class by Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 Kingsman The Golden Circle Chevrolet Corvette, who turned a 1:22.855-lap— Drissi holds the current track qualifying record, a 01:21.241. Third quick in the practice session was Ohio native and two-time defending TA class champion Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:22.939; as she pursues what would be a career-first victory on her home track in front of friends and family alike.
Completing the TA class top five for the session were current points leader Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Buoniconti Fund Ford Mustang, and points-runner-up Vinnie Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, with times of 1:22.993 and 1:23.332, respectively.
Also turning laps within the TA class top ten were Jim McAleese, Simon Gregg, David Pintaric, Blaise Csida and Kerry Hitt.
Lagasse, in the No 17 Screen Your Machine Chevrolet Camaro, set a blistering 1:24.878 lap around the Mid-Ohio circuit, a pace that, if replicated in qualifying tomorrow, would be well beneath the existing track record of 1:25.843 set by Lawrence Loshak in qualifying last year. Lagasse is a relative newcomer to TA2; the FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge stands as Lagasse’s fifth appearance in Trans Am and fourth of the 2017 season. In his last TA2 appearance Lagasse finished a career best fifth place at Road Atlanta.
Lagasse was not the only TA2 competitor to log a practice time underneath the qualifying track record; in fact the entire top four eclipsed the mark. Second quick in the session was Dillon Machavern, currently second in the TA2 points and driver of the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, with a 1:25.286 lap. Machavern was followed by his Mike Cope Racing Enterprises teammate and defending TA2 champion Tony Buffomante who logged a 1:25.535 lap in the No. 34 BestLine Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang.
Current TA2 points leader Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and his Robinson Racing teammate Shane Lewis, in the No. 72 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, completed the TA2 top five with times of 1:25.603 and 1:25.877, respectively.
The TA2 top ten also included, in order, Rafa Matos, Cameron Lawrence, Doug Peterson, Keith Prociuk and Matt Tifft.
The TA3 class fast lap, a 1:27.099, was set by points leader Mark Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, while teammate Tim Kezman, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, was second quick with a 1:27.144. Conor Flynn, in the No. 95 Irish Mike’s Automotive Porsche 997, completed the Porsche sweep of the top three with a 1:28.254.
In TA4, Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ TREMRC Chevrolet Camaro, led the way with a 1:36.267 lap, just edging JR Pesek, in the No. 10 Rennsport KC Ford Mustang, who turned a 1:36.559. Steven Davison, in the No. 2 DaVinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage GT4, was third quick with a 1:37.817 lap.
Trans Am will return to the track for qualifying tomorrow for qualifying sessions comencing at 3:00 PM ET.
Trans Am joins the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the F4 US Championship for the track’s Mid-Ohio Challenge weekend.
Fans can keep up with the event and all of The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Trans Am FirstEnergy Event Schedule:
Friday August 11, 2017
10:35 AM – 11:05 AM TA2 Practice 2
11:05 AM – 11:35 AM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
3:00 PM – 3:20 PM TA2 Qualifying
3:20 PM – 3:40 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
3:40 PM – 4:00 PM TA Qualifying
Saturday August 12, 2017
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge
12:35 AM – 12:55 PM FristEnergy Trans Am 100
*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.
This weekend's event will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network.
FirstEnergy Trans Am 100- TA, TA3, TA4 - Aug 30, 10:00pm ET
FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge - TA2 - Sep 06, 10:30pm ET