Tony Ave leads the way during first practice at Sebring
March 1, 2013
The first official event of the 2013 Trans Am season began with a sense of familiarity as Tony Ave put in the fastest lap during the first practice of the year with a time of 2:00.822, making him the fastest man on the track at Sebring International Raceway. Ave’s #4 Lamers Motor Racing/PMEngines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled last year at Road America and has since earned him three victories in five races, a total he'll be looking to improve upon this weekend.
Following Ave was Cliff Ebben and his #36 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford Ford Mustang with a time of 2:01.881. Ebben most recently raced at Road America in 2012 coming in second behind Tony Ave. Now, fully recovered from an on track injury at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park earlier that year, Ebben looks to be in contention for multiple podium placements in 2013.
In third was Ave’s teammate Doug Peterson in the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette with a time of 2:02.554. Peterson won the season opener last year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and has the potential to go two-for-two in season openers.
In TA2 Cameron Lawrence of Miller Racing took to his home track in the #11 Ctek/ Motorstate/ North Star Battery Chevrolet Camaro and set the pace for his class. With a time of 2:11.345 he edged teammate, and second fastest TA2 driver, Pete Halsmer’s time of 2:12.691. Lawrence contributed some of his success to his time logged at Sebring.
“This is the track I have the most seat time on and the most laps, so I feel that familiarity did play a part.” Said Lawrence. “I actually got my license here, so I’ve put in a lot of time a Sebring and that plays into my advantage.”
Following the Miller Racing duo was 2012 TA2 Rookie of the Year Kurt Roehrig with a time of 2:13.084. Roehrig and the #04 Roehrig Enders Suspensions Chevrolet Camaro had several solid showings in 2013, including a victory at Road Atlanta that helped propel him into third overall in TA2 for the year.
Trans Am returns to the track at 2:55 p.m. est for the second practice of the day. Saturday qualifying will take place at 11:10 a.m. and the 100-mile race will start at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.