Trans Am opens Indy debut with practice
June 15, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. [June 15, 2017] – The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA, TA3 and TA4 classes took to the 2.439-mile Grand Prix course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for a late afternoon practice and officially opened Round 5 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship. Incredibly, the session stands as the first ever on the fabled bricks for Trans Am in its 51-year existence and brings together two long-standing icons of American motorsport.
Leading the way were Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Breathless Pro Racing/ Beta Tools Ford Mustang, in the TA class, Tim Kezman, in the No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports/ Calypso Porsche 911 GT3, in TA3 and Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Chevrolet Performance/ TREMEC Chevrolet Camaro, in TA4; as 38 members of the 65 car field opened the festivities in force.
Francis, the current TA class points leader, set the pace for the entirety of the field with a 1:28.525 lap, showcasing the speed that has seen him win three in four races thus far this season— an Indy victory would mark Francis’ fourth consecutive win.
Following Francis was Vinnie Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights & Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:28.835 lap of his own. Like Franics, Allegretta comes into the weekend with momentum in hand, tying a career best second place finish last round at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix that boosted him to second in the TA class points.
Completing the TA class top three was Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, with a time of 1:29.428; as the Ruman Racing team looks to rebound from a start to the 2017 season plagued in large part by mechanical mishaps. Completing the TA class top five were David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, and Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 War for the Planet of the Apes Chevrolet Corvette with times of 1:29.594 and 1:29.693, respectively.
Tim Kezman set the pace for the TA3 class from behind the wheel of the No. 4 Fall-Line / Calypso Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with a 1:31.984 lap. Kezman was followed by his Fall-Line teammate, Mark Boden, behind the wheel of the No. 46 Fall-Line / Calypso Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with a near identical 1:31.997.
The Fall-Line sweep of the top-three was completed by Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line/ Calypso Porsche 911 GT3, with a time of 1:36.449. The TA3 top five was completed by Randy Kinsland, current points leader and driver of the No. 11 Kinsland Racing Chevrolet Corvette, and Cindi Lux, in the No. 45 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACRX, with times of 1:33.604 and 1:33.908, respectively.
Todd Napieralski would edge TA4 points leader Brian Kleeman, in the No. 07 DWW Motorsports Inc Ford Mustang, for the class’ fast lap with a time of 1:37.212 to Kleeman’s 1:37.415. Guy Dreier, in the No. 13 Guy Dreier Designs Maserati Gran Tourismo GT4, was third quick with a time of 1:37.925, joining the primary championship after running several West Coast events.
Fourth and fifth quick were Chris Outzen, in the No. 97 DWW Motorsports Ford Mustang, and Andrew Entwistle, in the No. 78 Phoenix Performance/ Hawk/ Penske Ford Mustang, with times of 1:38.472 and 1:38.628, respectively.
The TA2 class will open their competition with a practice at 3:25 PM ET tomorrow, June 16th, while TA, TA3 and TA4 will hold a second practice session at 11:45 AM earlier in the day.
The Trans Am Series is joined on the weekend by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association holding their Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, including the Indy Legends Pro-Am as well as the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup series.
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.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, children 15 and under are free with a paid adult.
Round 5 of the 2017 Trans Am Championship Schedule:
Friday, June 16, 2017
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
3:25 PM – 3:50 PM TA2 Practice 1
5:25 PM – 5:40 PM TA Qualifying
5:40 PM – 5:55 PM TA3/TA4 Qualifying
Saturday June 17, 2017
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM TA2 Practice 2
2:40 PM – 4:00 PM Trans Am Speedway Showdown - TA/TA3/TA4
4:30 PM – 4:50 PM TA2 Qualifying
Sunday June 18, 2017
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Indianapolis Muscle Car Challenge – TA2
*all times Eastern Daylight
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.
Broadcast: This weekend's event will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network.
Trans Am Speedway Showdown (TA, TA3, TA4) – Jul 08, 12:00p.m. ET
Indianapolis Muscle Car Challenge (TA2) – Jul 15, 12:00p.m. ET