Three classes, three track records for Trans Am at CTMP qualifying
May 18, 2013
When the dust settled after a rampant qualifying session, defending Champion Simon Gregg finished at the top of the field and will start in pole position for the Trans Am race tomorrow afternoon. Gregg and the #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette put in the fast lap, and track record, time of 1:15.614 minutes and topped out at 117.073 miles per hour. The previous track record was 1:15.952. Following Gregg was Tony Ave in the #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette with a time of 1:16.056 and Ave’s teammate Doug Peterson in the 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette. Needless to say, Gregg was thrilled with the result.
“It was an exciting session, I really gave it all I had,” said Gregg. “The car was running great, and I’ve really come to love this track after racing here since ’96 almost every year. This track can be very fast, adrenalin pumping and can actually be frightening at times and doesn’t have a lot of runoff area—and that makes it very unique and one of my personal favorites.”
When asked, Gregg revealed that being the defending Champion does contribute some added pressure to his racing routine, but does not serve as his greatest motivation.
“I do feel some pressure as defending champ; it can be tough to maintain my edge and keep on racing at a high level— nothing is easy. But this is what racers do” commented Gregg. “I’m always motivated to do my best, to drive the car to its maximum potential, to make the team proud, to make my family proud and follow in my father’s (Peter Gregg’s) footsteps.”
Gregg was quick to establish that tomorrow’s race will be a challenge, and the field is more than just competitive.
“It’s going to be a tough race, it’s a full field,” said Gregg. “The cars behind me were going fast and the competition is going to be tough. It’s going to be a long hard race and I acknowledge that; you can’t let your guard down in racing and you always have to give it your all. But at the same time Derrhag Motorsports prepared the car perfectly. We have the fastest car out there, and I’m lucky to be behind the wheel of it.”
Rounding out the top five for the TA class were Allan Lewis in the #15 Gateway Racing Chevrolet Corvette, Amy Ruman in the #23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette and David Pinatric in the #57 Kryderacing/WRP Investments Chevrolet Corvette.
In TA2, rookie Tony Buffomante not only took pole position but also set the track record for the class with a time of 1:22.854. Buffomante, a recent addition to the Wheels America team, and the #99 Securevansolutions/Fix Rim Chevrolet Camaro are making their first appearance ever in the Trans Am Series this weekend and are off to an amazing start.
“It feels great to be in this position,” said Buffomante. “I’m so happy to be working with Wheels America Racing. Bob gave me a great car, and the guys did a great job tuning it. We knew we were fast yesterday when we were on old tires and running fast times. This was actually the first time I got to run stickers, and I really did not know how they were going to react. I took a few laps to just get used to it; then after that I was able to lay a couple down and I was fortunate enough to get a pole—and we set a track record so I like to see that.”
Buffomante beat out Sebring victor Cameron Lawrence and the #11 Ctek/Motorstate/Northstar Battery Chevrolet Camaro who put in a time of 1.23.189 and fellow rookie Robert Huffmaster and the #27 Kryderacing/Virsec Chevrolet Camaro whose time of 1:23.397 was impressive as well.
Rounding out the top five for TA2 were two-time defending champion Bob Stretch and the #98 Wheels America/Fix Rim Mobile Chevrolet Camaro with a time of 1:23.445, barely missing the top three, and rookie Mike McGahern in the #48 Gateway Racing Chevrolet Camaro which logged a time of 1:23.579.
Finally, in TA3, Trans Am’s production class, Chuck Cassaro and the #76 StackData/Aeromotive/Metallica Ford Mustang led the way with a time of 1:36.234. Cassaro, the defending class champion, was pleased with his result.
“Everything feels awesome,” said Cassaro. “Thank goodness for Ford power; even though the car is completely stock, it did great. The Pirelli tires held up wonderfully, and the car felt good. I was really worried about the track coming into this, but honestly it is a phenomenal track. Once you get out there and you know what’s going on, it is a lot of fun to run. I just went out and ran hard, I wasn’t keeping track of times, I just drove hard and got a good result.”
All three classes and record holders take on the track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. EST. Keep up with the action at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter @gotransam.