Strong performances from MCRE built cars in 32-car TA2 field at Mid-Ohio

August 19, 2015

Strong performances from MCRE built cars in 32-car TA2 field at Mid-Ohio

 Machavern and Buffomante lead the way, “Arrive and Drive” sets attendance record, Heckert and Haley showcase Trans Am skills in K&N Series


CLEARWATER, Fla. [August 19, 2015] – The Mike Cope Racing Enterprises (MCRE) team had a strong showing in the 32-car FirstEnergy Muscle Car Challenge, presented by 3-Dimensional Services Group, as the team fielded its largest “arrive and drive” contingent in Trans Am to date. All Mike Cope vehicles performed well throughout different facets of the weekend including what became one of the most exciting and entertaining races in recent Trans Am history.

“These independent TA2 races continue to produce some of the best shows in North America,” said Mike Cope, Owner of Mike Cope Racing Enterprises. “We had several strong showings by MCRE built cars in both the race and qualifying. In the end it was a very entertaining and exciting race, with maybe a bit too much contact. I’m confident that if Tony (Buffomante) hadn’t been contacted relatively early in the race he would have been right there at the end. Dillon Machavern, who drives one of our cars, had a strong shot at not just the podium but the win at the end as well—but with 32 cars on track at Mid-Ohio things like this are going to happen. In all, the race proved why TA2 is one of the hottest places to be in motorsport.”

In total, five drivers participated in the MCRE “Arrive and Drive” program, a new record, with the stable of Tony Buffomante, Kevin Poitras and Keith Prociuk joined by Brian LaCroix and Matt Parent, who made his TA2 debut.

“Matt had an extremely solid debut in TA2,” said Cope. “While he didn’t quite have the qualifying he hoped for, finishing 18th out of 32 in your Series debut is an outstanding accomplishment. I’m confident he’ll find some real success in TA2, as he gets more familiar with the platform.”

Buffomante led the way for the MCRE program with a fifth place finish in the No. 34 Bestline Superior Lubricants Ford Mustang, a rather incredible results given the circumstances he faced during the race.

“Tony qualified fourth in an incredibly tight Fast Five session,” said Cope. “Unfortunately, he was pushed off track early on in the race and fell back to 28th position. He showed remarkable perseverance and really showcased both his ability and the car in working his way back up to a fifth place finish.”

Poitras started the race in seventh position and was in sixth position when his No. 72 MCRE built Ford Mustang hit oil on track and spun, falling back to 15th position. Poitras worked his way back up to ninth position before spinning in a last ditch effort to improve position in the final corner of the race.

Prociuk experienced a frustrating day in the No. 9 MCRE prepped Chevrolet Camaro in comparison to his own high standards, finishing 29th after suffering from a mechanical issue causing the car to accelerate erratically. Upon further inspection back at the shop MCRE discovered a clutch related issue. The incident marked the first, and hopefully the last, mechanical issue suffered by an MCRE entrant this season.

“We’re confident that the best is still to come from Keith,” said Cope. “He’s a talent driver who has faced a lot of adversity and some plain old bad luck. As Keith continues to learn the car and has a few things fall his way, we’re going to see some really strong showings from him.”

Two other drivers outside of the MCRE “Arrive and Drive” program entered MCRE built cars: Tony Ave, in the No. 70 Tony Ave Racing prepped Ford Mustang, and Dillon Machavern, in the NO. 24 Riggins Engineering prepped Ford Mustang.

While Ave had his day cut short by an overheated engine, the result of track debris covering his air intake, Machavern was ever present in the race and was challenging for the lead when he spun from contact in the final stretch of the race. Machavern managed to recover and finished fourth in the race.

“Dillon has showcased our MCRE platform all year,” said Cope. “He’s now firmly in the mix for the Championship, and I expect we’ll be seeing plenty of him throughout the remainder of the year in a Championship battle that looks like it will go down to the wire.”

Elsewhere, MCRE “Arrive and Drive” members JJ Haley and Scott Heckert enjoyed success in the K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 125 at Watkins Glen. Heckert, who joined MCRE at Lime Rock Park, finished first overall; while JJ Haley, who ran with MCRE for the first four events of the year, finished third.

“I’m extremely proud of both these guys,” said Cope. “They really put on a show and it’s great to see them find success at one of the great road courses out there. JJ joined us to help build his road racing experience; and he’s now earned two top-five finishes on road courses in this, his rookie year. We look forward to him rejoining us after his K&N commitments are over and seeing him back in the Trans Am paddock.”

MCRE will now prepare to once more head north, this time to Road America on August 29th for the Next Dimension 100. Heading into that event MCRE built cars control four of the top ten positions in the Chase for the Trigon Trophy TA2 Championship Standings and seven of the top 15.

 

Results for MCRE built cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course :

 

No

Name

Car

Finish

Best Time

Qualified

Q. Time

24

Dillon Machavern

Ford Mustang

4

01:28.111

11

01:28.309

34

Tony Buffomante*

Ford Mustang

5

01:28.116

4

01:27.383

73

Kevin Poitras*

Ford Mustang

10

01:28.610

7

01:22.543

 18

Matt Parent*

Ford Mustang

18

01:31.128

27

01:31.316

13

Brian LaCroix*

Chevrolet Camaro

24

01:29.746

12

01:28.571

9

Keith Prociuk*

Chevrolet Camaro

29

01:29.969

17

01:29.045

70

Tony Ave

Ford Mustang

30

01:28.758

10

01:28.298

 

*MCRE “Arrive and Drive” member.

About Mike Cope Racing Enterprises:

Perhaps no other team has worked so diligently to achieve success over the course of 30 years as MCRE. Over the years, they have successfully launched corporate sponsorships in national series, developed short track and SCCA Road race champions and mentored young upcoming drivers. Lead by Mike Cope, he brings the same enthusiasm, dedication and knowledge to his race team that made him victorious in his own racing career.

MCRE offers a variety of services for drivers interested in the Trans Am Series’ TA2 program, including custom builds, arrive and drive programs, maintenance programs, consulting, driver mentoring, set-up and shock dyno. Learn more at www.mikecoperacecars.com.

Mike Cope Racing Enterprises is based in Clearwater, Florida.

Mike Cope Racing Enterprises partners include: Quarter Master, Hawk Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, Wilwood, Port City Racecars, ButlerBuilt, Integra Shocks and Keyser Manufacturing.

MCRE Sponsors:

Bestline Superior Lubricants, www.bestlinelubricants.com

Since its incorporation, BestLine has developed a new line of full synthetic lubricants and lubricant additives that dramatically reduce friction, heat and mechanical wear to an extent never before seen or tested. BestLine refers to its proprietary technology as "Micro Lubrication Technology, (TM)" or "MLT."

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