Doug Peterson tops 28-car field at CTMP for third straight win
May 19, 2013
As the Trans Am Series returned to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend, the 28-car field made a mad dash through the 41-lap sprint; and, at the end of the day, Doug Peterson won his third straight race.
Peterson and the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette began the session in P3, behind pole setter Simon Gregg and the #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and teammate Tony Ave in the #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette. Peterson overtook Gregg, who had fallen to second after a charge from Ave right after the green flag, during the 11th lap of the session.
Peterson followed teammate Ave throughout much of the session, and through the full course yellow that lasted from lap 23 to 28. However he he pressured Ave going through much of lap 32 and overtook the #4 car during the 33rd lap. Peterson managed to hold Ave off till the checkered flag, finishing just .489 ahead of his teammate and former champion.
“It feels awesome to have another win,” said Peterson. “I love this track. It’ll chew your tires up if you let it. I started out very conservative, for the first 10, 12 laps. Then I just had to make the call, it’s time to get Simon, and I was able to overtake him. I didn’t know where Tony was, and I figured we’d get a yellow sooner or later. I think it really paid off to save the tires, but the car was really just spot on. It’s great to have the three race streak, and I want to keep it going.”
The victory increases Peterson’s points total to 42, ten more than Ave, currently in second, with 32.
Ave and the #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chervolet Corvette may have finished second, but they also cemented a new track record for the TA class: timing in the fast lap at 1:17:354.
Pole setter Simon Greg and the #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette finished third. Gregg fell back to fourth during the 30th lap after being passed by Amy Ruman and the #23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette. Gregg and Ruman raced back and fourth for the next three laps, making contact multiple times. However, during the 33rd lap of the race, Gregg managed to get around Ruman and the #23 to regain third, a position he didn’t relinquish for the rest of the race.
Ruman would later make contact with the #07 Gateway Racing Chevrolet Corvette forcing her to go off course and shredding her left rear tire—leaving her to finish eighth in the TA class.
Rounding out the top five was the #57 Kryderacing/WRP Investments Chevrolet Corvette of David Pintaric and Cliff Ebben in the #36 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford Ford Mustang.
In the record entry 16-car TA2 class, rookie Tony Buffomante won—despite participating in his first ever Trans Am race. Buffomante and the #99 Securevansolutions/Fix Rim Chevrolet Camaro, who set a qualifying lap record on Saturday, started in first position for TA2 and was forced to fend off a series of furious challenges from Cameron Lawrence and the #11 Ctek/Motorstate/Northstar Battery Chevrolet Camaro, often running side-by-side with the 20-year-old victor from the season opener at Sebring.
“Cameron and I just had a great race,” said Buffomante. “He was faster in some corners, and I was faster in a couple as well. Then we had that full course caution and the car wasn’t quite as good and then he was just all over me, that right rear started to go down and he keep catching me and catching me and then we were side by side and then I just tried to put my car in a good spot where it was tough to get around at the end. I felt the car go towards the end and, sure enough, we had a right rear flat at the end of the race, but she had enough in her to win. But Cameron raced me super clean and I just couldn’t be happier for the guys: the Wheels America Team, Mike, Blake, my dad, Bob Stretch gave me an awesome car. It was a great experience.”
Buffomante walked away from his first ever Trans Am competition with a qualifying record and a TA2 victory, but also a newfound passion for the series and its competitors.
“Cameron is a super fast driver, a super clean driver; I really enjoyed racing with him. Obviously, I’d never run with him before. After the race there was nothing but thumbs up and shaking hands. It was a good points day for him. I’m not running for points and I know every driver wants to win, but he put himself in a good spot going forward. I’d love to race him again. I don’t know if I’ll be back; but if I can get a ride, I’ll be back. I’d love to keep this going, because that’s one hell of a driver and this is one hell of a series.”
Lawrence would finish second, just .573 second behind Buffomante despite the race ending under a full course yellow. He also walked away with a track record lap time of 1:23.187 and 39 points moving forward, a nine point lead over runner up Robert Huffmaster.
“I’m excited I’m still the points leader, don’t get me wrong, but I really wanted to win the race and we were catching up before that last caution,” said Lawrence. “I’m happy with second and to have the point lead, and we’ll take it into Lime Rock next weekend. You couldn’t have asked for a better race in TA2 and a better guy to race against. Tony is a great driver and a great competitor. It was just clean and 100% the entire race. We were both just driving the wheels off the cars. He ended with a flat right rear, so I guess he was literally driving the wheels off the car. I feel like this was one of the best races Trans Am has had in years, and I was just happy to be part of it.“
Robert Huffmaster and the #27 Kryderacing/Virsec Chevrolet Camaro would finish in third after trailing Bob Stretch and the #98 Wheels America/Fix Rim Mobile Chervolet Camaro since the 19th lap. Huffmaster and Stretch made contact coming through turn seven during the 40th lap of the race, and Stretch ended up colliding with the wall—an unfortunate finish after the two-time defending champion had made a furious rally after being in pit lane during the green flag at the start of the race.
Rounding out the top five for the TA2 class were Pete Halsmer in the #12 Ctek/Motorstate/NorthStar Battery Chevrolet Camaro in fourth and Mike McGahern in the #48 Gateway Racing Chevrolet Camaro in fifth.
In TA3 defending champion Chuck Cassaro and the #76 Stack Data/Aeromotive/Metallica Ford Mustang was able to outlast Mickey Mills and the #43 Mills Racing BMW M3. Mills led the first 12 laps but was passed by Cassaro during the 12th lap of the race as the #43 car began to experience power steering issues. Cassaro held that lead for the remainder of the race.
“The car felt pretty good out there, we actually had some problems.” said Cassaro. “The front end seemed a little off in some of the corners, and I’ve got a front suspension rattle now so we’re going to have to take a look at it as we prep it for Lime Rock. But all-in-all, it was pretty consistent out there and was there at the end when it needed to be.”
The 28-car field was the largest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park since 2001; and the 16-car TA2 entry is the class’s highest to date, with the previous record being 14 cars at Sebring, just one race ago.
The Trans Am Series leaves directly for Lime Rock Park where it will bring another 28-car field for the competition, with the race-taking place at 1:30 p.m. EST on Saturday May 25.
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