Tony Ave Racing Heads to Circuit of the Americas
November 2, 2017
The 2017 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli will host the season’s penultimate round when the Series makes their return to Circuit of the Americas in Austin this weekend. Showcasing what is arguably the very best in American road racing, 62 entries will compete under the Trans Am banner. Trans Am’s history and record books are filled with names of racing legends. Tony Ave and Tony Ave Racing stand tall among them.
The 2017 Trans Am Circuit of the Americas’ grid will feature Ave Motorsports AR-1 Trans Am race cars in full force. Tomy Drissi returns in the No. 8 'Murder on the Orient Express' Corvette, while defending COTA 2016 Champion, Paul Fix, is back in the No. 4 Stop Flex Mustang. In addition, Ave will be providing customer support for Vinnie Allegretta in the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette.
Greg Pickett and Richard Grant, will both be driving Ave Racing built Trans Am cars. Pickett currently leads the championship for the West Coast Trans Am Series.
“We’ll be at COTA supporting Tomy Drissi, Paul Fix, Vinnie Allegretta, Greg Pickett and helping Richard Grant with his AR1 Trans Am Corvette,” said Tony. “While we provide trackside support for all of our customer cars, Vinnie is winding up a great season. Currently, he’s sitting in second place in points and he’s been in the mix all year. Amy [Ruman] and Simon [Gregg] are back there battling for third and fourth, but Vinnie needs to keep his car up front and protect his position. We’re here to make sure he has what he needs to maximize his potential.”
“With Drissi, Fix and Pickett, it’s a completely different story,” said Tony, laughing. “These guys aren’t worried about championships points. They’re in it to win. Pickett only needs to finish the race in order to wrap up the West Coast Championship. But you can pretty much count on these three guys going at each other for the full 100 miles. Our job is to make sure they’ve all got the tools to go to work… it’ll be up to them to see who gets to the finish line first. In Trans Am, the driver is still an integral part of the formula. We can give a driver the car and build in plenty of horsepower, but he or she better be ready to get up on the wheel and drive it. So, once the green flag drops, it’ll be up to these guys to sort out the finishing order.”
“A weekend like COTA is a lot of fun for us,” added Tony. “The race weekend embodies everything we do and why we do it. It’s healthy competition among professionals and at the same time, we’re a family. It’s work you put your heart and soul into and hope you come out on the other side feeling accomplished and respected by your peers. It’s very satisfying.”
Ave’s history with the Trans Am Series goes back to 2002. In 2010 and 2011, Ave drove to back-to-back Trans-Am Series Championships. He ranks sixth in all-time wins with 18. In 2012, Tony captured his fourth consecutive pole position of the season. Even more remarkable, it was his twelfth consecutive pole — a streak that dating back to 2011. With that, he surpassed Tommy Kendall’s Trans Am Series fast qualifier streak record of ten consecutive poles.
The Circuit of the Americas’ weekend will feature two 102.81-mile, 30-lap races around the 3.427-mile course, the TA, TA3 and TA4 Trans American, and the TA2 exclusive Trans American Muscle Car Challenge. Fans will get to witness the first coming together of both Trans Am’s primary and West Coast championships since the latter’s inception earlier this year. Drissi is the only TA competitor to have competed in both Championships. He is currently 6th in the primary TransAm Series and 2nd in the West Coast Championships.
For competitors in the Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli, the back-to-back races mark the close out for the season, with COTA representing the last chance to grab vital points before heading back east to Daytona International Speedway, November 11.
For drivers in the Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli, COTA stands as the season finale with three class champions to be crowned—the culmination of Trans Am’s first year back on the West Coast since 2005.
Fans of music and motorsport alike can join Trans Am for a special performance by Austin’s own Eric Tessmer Friday, November 3, at 7 PM CT in Paddock A. The concert is free to all credentialed and ticketed attendees and presented by AquaStar, Fast Five Racing and Lux Performance.
Trans Am Circuit of the Americas Schedule:
Friday November 3, 2017
11:20 AM – 11:58 AM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice
12:00 PM – 12:40 PM TA2 Practice
5:00 PM – 5:18 PM TA Qualifying
5:20 PM – 5:38 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
5:40 PM – 5:58 PM TA2 Qualifying
7:00 PM Eric Tessmer Concert
Saturday November 4, 2017
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Trans American – TA, TA3 TA4
4:35 PM – 5:50 PM Trans American Muscle Car Challenge – TA2
*all times central
Tony Ave Racing:
Known for it’s AR-1 Trans Am race cars and its AR-2 LM P3 prototype coup, Ave Motorsports Inc is a privately held company in Maiden, NC. Ave Racing’s AR-1 has won four of the last five Trans Am championships. The company has produced 17 customer cars in recent years. The AR-2 is a competitive solution for several North American series, including National Auto Sports Association (NASA) Super Unlimited and SCCA SPO (Super Production Open) classes.
Ave Motorsports Inc
4486 Providence Mill Road
Maiden, NC 28650
Trans Am Series:
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is America’s Road Racing Series and dates back to 1966. Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans Am Series. Names like Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Peter Gregg, Bob Tullius and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. have all won multiple championships under the Trans Am name.
The iconic Trans Am Series – America’s Road Racing Series – is operated by the Trans Am Race Company, LLC. Through a 25-year agreement, the Trans Am Race Company manages the marketing rights to the series and is responsible for Trans Am Series public relations and promotions. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides event operations services to the series.