Tony Ave Returns to Home Turf at Road America with Tony Ave Racing and Ave Motorsports
August 27, 2015
Ave Organizations Racing for Trans Am TA Championship Points for Paul Fix and More in Saturday's Next Dimension 100
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 26, 2015) - Ave Motorsports and Tony Ave Racing (TAR) will be looking to take another step toward the 2015 Trans Am TA-class Championship with team driver, Paul Fix, and an even bigger jump on some 2016 "R&D" this weekend in the Next Dimension 100 at Road America.
Fix drove his TAR-prepared No. 4 StopFlex.com/CarCoach.com Corvette to his second 2015 Trans Am victory of the season two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The victory closed some critical ground on Trans Am TA-class championship points leader, Amy Ruman, and Fix and the TAR team want to do it again at Road America.
"Paul did a great job as usual at Mid-Ohio," Ave said. "As a team, we need to keep improving on the setups for him to remain the car to beat as we go after the title."
Fix has 187 points to Ruman's 209 leading into Road America, which kicks off the 2015 season's final stretch of five races.
The Mid-Ohio race also saw two-time and reigning Trans Am TA Champion Doug Peterson debut an all-new No. 87 3-Dimensional.com Cadillac CTS-V entered by TAR and built on an AR-1 chassis from Ave Motorsports. The car was competitive right off the trailer and Peterson can't be ruled out for the Road America win. The Cadillac was originally slated for a 2016 debut, but Peterson and the team moved the launch to this year as the No. 87 team looks for its first win of the season.
"Doug's Cadillac could very easily win in just its second outing," Ave said. "This being a high-speed course, we will have to start from scratch setup wise, so we'll have our work cut out for us."
Personal experience at Road America should help on all fronts this weekend. The 4-mile road course is a longtime favorite of Ave's, a native of Hurley, Wisconsin.
"Road America remains my favorite place to race," Ave said. "It's as much for the memories I have of watching Can-Am and Trans Am races there in the late 1970s as my introduction to road racing as it is for the many wins and great races I've had there. Of course, I had my 'big one' there in 1996, which nearly ended my career and certainly kept me out of CART, but my enthusiasm for the place has never wavered."
Ave rebounded from serious lower leg and foot injuries sustained in the 'big one," a 1996 Formula Atlantic crash, but came back to win at Road America in Trans Am TA and take an SCCA National Championship with a dominating GT-1 victory in 2007.
Another victory could be in the cards in Saturday's race, if not a double-win weekend, as the team did at Lime Rock Park in May when Fix won in TA and Ave himself took top honors in the TA2 class.
In addition to the team's TA entries for Fix and Peterson at Road America, TAR fields three TA2-class cars, including Ave's No. 70 Lamers Motor Racing Mustang. The team is changing it up on the technical side this weekend.
"We will be venturing into a little research and development by running a different engine this weekend," Ave said. "This a fuel-injected Ford built by engine company DSS. We have been working with them for some time on their engine and have decided to race it here given that the company is based relatively close to Road America. We are behind enough in points that starting to try things in preparation for 2016 seems to be the right thing to do."
Tony Ave Racing's other TA2 entries also include Joe Napoleon and his son, Justin Napoleon, who race identical TurnKey Industries/CommState Bank Camaros. Both Napoleons have been competitive in an otherwise challenging season, and a top-five showing for one or both of them is a realistic possibility this weekend.
In addition to Tony Ave Racing's "house cars," several TA competitors are running at Road America this weekend in race cars built on AR-1 chassis constructed by Ave Motorsports.
The list includes Mid-Ohio runner-up Jim McAleese, who drives the No. 03 McAleese & Associates/Jetco Engineering Corvette. Three other AR-1 chassis Corvettes will also be in action with Claudio Burtin (No. 7 Foametix Corvette), David Pintaric (No. 57 Kryderacing Corvette) and Richard Grant (No. 30 Grant Racing Corvette).
Two AR-1 chassis Mustangs are also entered for frequent podium-challenger, Cliff Ebben, and his teammate, Denny Lamers. Ebben, No. 36, and Lamers, No. 66, both race Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Mustangs.
On track Trans Am activity at Road America begins tomorrow, Thursday, August 27, with afternoon practice on the 4-mile road course. The Next Dimension 100 starts Saturday, August 29, at 10:30 a.m. EDT (9:30 a.m. CDT) for 25 laps or 75 minutes.
The Next Dimension 100 will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, September 12, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
- Tomy Drissi was scheduled to compete with TAR for the second race in a row this weekend at Road America after winning the pole for the third-straight year two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio in the team's No. 71 Corvette. "We appreciate the job Tomy did for us at Mid-Ohio with his third-consecutive pole there and we look forward to his next race with us," Ave said. "We will not be running the third car at Road America but will be making an announcement regarding that car in the coming weeks."
Follow Ave Motorsports on Twitter at @AveMotorsports and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AveMotorsports. You can also follow the action throughout race weekends at www.GoTransAm.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/GoTransAm and on Twitter at @GoTransAm. Live timing and scoring for races is available online at GoTransAm.com/live-timing and on the Race Monitor app.