Ave leads practice with time of 1:17.258, edges out defending champ Simon Gregg
May 18, 2013
Robert Huffmaster paves the way for ultra-competitive TA2 class with Stretch close behind
Tony Ave showed the Trans Am field exactly why he’s won the Trans Am Series twice in the past by beating out current Champion Simon Gregg by the slimmest of margins in the last few minutes of today’s practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Ave and the #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX/Chevrolet Corvette clocked in a lap of 1.17.258 on the 2.459-mile track, edging out Gregg and the #1 Gregg Motorsports/Chevrolet Corvette’s time of 1:17.261.
Following Gregg and Ave were Canada’s own Blaise Csida and Allan Lewis in Gateway Racing Chevrolet Corvettes. The teammates put in times of 1:18.688 and 1:18.942, respectively, showing that they will not be quick to relinquish their home track and bragging rights north of the border.
After the session, Ave was unaware of just how close his time was to Gregg’s.
“I really had no idea what Simon had run.” Said Ave. “This car has been sitting and we still have some work to do on it. We were off a fair bit and we changed a lot last night, and I feel like we’re still a second or so off from where I’d like to be. To be honest, I wasn’t even looking at the times."
While Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has made a plethora of changes on site and has laid down some additional pavement, Ave does not feel that the changes have made any major impact on to the way he drives the course.
“The changes here haven’t really seemed to effect me.” Said Ave. “I lost a few landmarks, but where they’ve added a lot of pavement is where we really don’t run. I think it may make things easier for people who don’t have their line buttoned down yet, but it hasn’t really changed the fast line.”
While his time led the session, Ave expects a tough test from the growing field and the additional competition he now faces.
“The car counts in both classes we have are great!” continued Ave. “The teams that are showing up and the quality of the teams are simply outstanding; it really couldn’t be going any better. To be honest, we’re the only thing road racing wise that’s growing these days.”
In TA2, Trans Am rookie Robert Huffmaster and the Kryderracing/ VircSec Chevrolet Camaro led the 16 TA2 cars that chose to participate in the session. His time of 1:23.647 beat out two-time defending champion Bob Stretch’s time of 1:23.776 and the rest of the incredibly competitive field, with five cars within half a second of each other. Cameron Lawrence in the #11 Ctek/Motorstate/NorthStar Battery came in third with a time of 1:23.946.
Huffmaster was obviously pleased with the session but insists that he is still adjusting to the Trans Am Series, the TA2 class and the power of his new car.
“It’s been a blast driving a car with a whole lot of power, previously I’d been driving cars with around 120 horsepower, so this has been a bit of an adjustment. The real challenge has been learning all the different ways to adjust the cars, which is nice but can also hurt you when you have a bad set up. So you really have to focus on what you can control and sometimes you have to keep things simple.”
The 28 car Trans Am field will take to the course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park at 5:00 p.m. EST for qualifying, and is scheduled to race at 4:15 p.m. EST on Sunday for the 100 mile race.
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