Champions lead first official practice of 2014
February 28, 2014
The Trans Am Series took to the track in full force at Sebring International Raceway to kick off The Earwood Classic, the first event of 2014 Trans Am Championship.
There were new faces and cars in the first practice session of the weekend, but it was the old guard of Trans Am, the Champions in particular, who set the pace for the Trans Am field as Cameron Lawrence and Doug Peterson picked up where they left off in 2013—at the front of the pack.
Peterson, the 2013 TA Champion, powered the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette to the fast lap of the session, a 2:00.988. Peterson led all competitors in the TA class with six victories in 2013, including a win here at Sebring International Raceway, a course he considers his home track. While other teams were testing setups with the new, and well received, Hoosier Racing Tires, Peterson showed little rust—his fast time from last year’s qualifying session was a 2:00.429, a number he’s quickly approaching.
Following Peterson were 2012 TA Champion and 2013 Runner-Up Simon Gregg in the #59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and Cliff Ebben in the #36 Stumpf Ford, McMahon Group Ford Mustang.
2013 TA2 Champion Cameron Lawrence, in the #1 Miller Racing Chevrolet Camaro, led the way in the TA2 class with a time of 2:11.649. In 2013 he won eight races in total, rivaling Tommy Kendall for one of the best seasons in Trans Am history.
Following Lawrence was the #98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro of 2013 Runner Up, and 2011 and 2012 TA2 Champion, Bob Stretch with a time of 2:12.021. In third was 2013 TA2 Rookie of the Year Tom West in the #56 Limrick Machine/Treelaine Consulting Chevrolet Camaro with a time of 2:12.053.
Trans Am Rookie Dean Martin, in the #52 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang, led the TA3 American Muscle Group with a time of 2:15.977, beating out Steve Kent, Jr. and Todd Napieralski for the top spot of the session.
Russ Snow, in the #20 Carbotech Chevrolet Corvette, led the TA3 International Group with a time of 2:19.232. Snow, like Martin, is also making his first ever Trans Am appearance. Snow was followed in the session by Mark Klenin and Tim Gray.
Trans Am will take to the track at Sebring once again at 4:35 p.m. EST for the second practice session of the day in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying session at 11:50 a.m.. Finally, Trans Am will launch the 2014 Championship Season with the 100.98 mile Trans Am race at 2:35 p.m. on Sunday, March 2.