On This Day in Trans Am History: Nov. 12, 2016
November 12, 2020
November 12, 2016
Amy Ruman entered the 2016 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli season finale at Daytona International Speedway running second in the championship, trailing Paul Fix by nine points. She left Florida with her second-consecutive title, coming from behind by scoring her 16th career victory to climax the Golden Anniversary of Trans Am competition.
The two title rivals shared the front row. Fix won the pole with a lap of 1:44.541-seconds in the No. 50 StopFlex Corvette, edging Ruman in her familiar red No. 23 McNichols Company Corvette by .253-seconds.
The top two pulled away after the waving of the green flag. Fix led the opening 10 laps but cut his left-front tire and was forced to pit. The Tony Ave Racing crew quickly changed it, dropping Fix to eighth. At that point, a fourth-place finish would be good enough to secure the title. Only three laps later, though, Fix struck tire debris that damaged his engine and put him out of the race – and the championship.
By that point, Ruman was long gone. She took over the lead when Fix pitted and led the remainder of the 29-lap race, beating R.J. Lopez to the checkered flag by 7.657-seconds to win her third-consecutive race at Daytona. She captured the 3-Dimensional Trigon Trophy for the second-straight year, beating Fix by nine points.
“When it boils down to one race, anything can happen,” Ruman said following the race. “Last year we were pretty dominant with eight wins. This year was a completely different, a season of ups and downs. The main thing, though, is we backed it up. We’re still the team to beat. Nobody can say last year was a fluke – this team is for real.”
Looking back, Ruman feels the 2016 victory – coupled with her Daytona triumphs in 2014 and 2015 – were among the biggest achievements of her career.
“I think [the win in 2016] was definitely monumental, for sure,” she said. “Winning for the first time at Daytona was amazing, but three in a row was pretty awesome. Also, getting the championship by winning made it extra special.”
Lopez placed second in the No. 06 ACP Motorsports/Republica Brewing Corvette, followed by the Corvettes of Jim McAleese, Claudio Burtin, rookie Daniel Urrutia, Simon Gregg and A.J, Hendriksen. Floridian Lee Saunders won TA3 in a Dodge Viper ACRX, beating out champion Ernie Francis Jr.’s Corvette. Cameron Maugeri won TA4 in a Ford Mustang.
In the separate TA2® powered by AEM race, Shane Lewis won over Adam Andretti, Dillon Machavern and Tony Buffomante.