Trans Am ready for 45th appearance at Road America

August 25, 2016
Trans Am ready for 45th appearance at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc.  [August 25, 2016] –  The Trans Am Series is set to continue its 50th Anniversary Season with Round 7 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship at Road America, featuring two independent 101.2 mile, 25 lap, Trans Am races on Saturday, August 27, 2016: The Trans Am 100, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4, and the ETE Reman Transmissions Muscle Car 100 Presented by Pura Vida Tequila, featuring TA2.   

Road America stands unequaled on the Trans Am event schedule.  It is by far the most visited circuit in the 50-year history of Trans Am, with the upcoming ETE Reman Transmissions Muscle Car 100 Presented by Pura Vida Tequila and Trans Am 100 races marking the Series' 45th appearance on the fabled road course.

The annual pilgrimage to Elkhart Lake and the hallowed 4.048 miles of pavement ushers back memories of Trans Am legends.  Now, today’s challengers will lay it all on the line as they attempt to join the ranks of Road America Trans Am victors such as Mark Donohue, Peter Gregg, Greg Pickett, Willy T. Ribbs, Pete Halsmer, Scott Pruett, Scott Sharp, Ron Fellows, Tommy Kendall and, more recently, Tony Ave and Cameron Lawrence.  

With the Trans Am Championship officially halfway over and the Championship races starting to take shape, Road America also seems poised to resume its time tested role as a launching point for Trans Am Championships.  In the past, 28 eventual champions found victory beforehand at Road America, including many of the aforementioned race winners.  

The ETE Reman Transmissions Muscle Car 100 will feature the ongoing pony wars, fresh off another strong showing at Mid-Ohio and a championship battle that shows no sign of abating.  Defending Champion Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, still remains atop the point standings with 151, but the top five continue to push the champ with less than 30 points separating them.   

Joining Robinson in that top five, and on the track this weekend, are Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Ford Mustang, Justin Haley, in the No. 99 Braun Foundation Ford Mustang, and Louis-Phillippe Montour, in the No. 77 Speedlogix Dodge Challenger.   

The TA2 class will also feature three Wisconsin natives, including Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 5 Pennzoil Platinum/ MOMO/ ETE Reman Chevrolet Camaro, who will be rolling into his home track hot off his first career TA2 victory in a dominant showing at Mid-Ohio last round where he qualified on pole, led every lap and set a new track record to boot.  Now, Loshak, who currently sits sixth in the championship, will attempt to replicate his showing on his home track at Road America.  

Last year's TA2 victor, and two-time TA class champ, Tony Ave, in the No. 07 Roehrig Engineering Chevrolet Camaro, will also be in attendance and representing his home state of Wisconsin.  Ave has three wins at Road America—the most of any Trans Am driver in attendance, including the aforementioned TA2 win in 2015 and two TA class victories in 2010 and 2012.  

Also hailing from Wisconsin, and making his Trans Am debut, is Tyler Thielmann, driver of the No. 6 So Bright Natural Pet Products/ Phoebe Ford Mustang.   The other debutants in the TA2 class this weekend are Matt Tifft, driver of the No. 18 Mike Cope Racing Chevrolet Camaro, a member of Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Ray Neveau, in the No. 29 Class Auto Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, and Chris Pederson, in the No. 67 C&P Installations Chevrolet Camaro.  

In total the ETE Reman Transmissions Muscle Car 100 will feature 21 competitors from the TA2 class.

The Trans Am 100 will feature a multiclass format with TA, TA3, and TA4 classes taking to the track together in a 33 car battle where strategy, timing and traffic management are paramount.  

In TA, defending champion Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, will attempt to shake off a streak of bad luck.  While Ruman remains atop the class points standings, she has finished outside the top five in the past two races allowing title rivals the opportunity to close the gap on the reigning champion.  A victory at Road America would go a long ways toward helping her campaign; however, Ruman has only finished in the top three at the Wisconsin based track once in seven attempts.  

Joining Ruman in the TA class will be 16 additional drivers, including David Pintaric, driver of the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, who now holds second position in the TA championship points after securing two consecutive podiums at Mid-Ohio and Brainerd International Raceway.  

Joining Pintaric in the pursuit of Ruman will be Cliff Ebben, driver of the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang, a native of nearby Appleton, Wisconsin, and a two-time victor in Trans Am at Road America.   Ebben currently resides third in the TA class point standings, but Road America provides ample opportunity to move up on his home track where he has five, top-three finishes in ten appearances.  2016 has been close call after close call for Ebben, having held first position in multiple races so far this year, maybe his vast experience at home will help him break a his streak of poor luck.

Also featuring at Road America will be Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, hot off a victory at Mid-Ohio and Kerry Hitt, in the No. 19 Advanced Composite Products Cadillac CTS-V, with the two drivers currently holding fourth and fifth in the points.  

Last year's victor Jim McAleese, in the No. 03 McAleese & Associates Chevrolet Corvette, currently residing sixth in the championship will also be in attendance looking to repeat on what stands as his sole Trans Am victory.  Wisconsin native Denny Lamers, in the No. 66 Stumpf Ford/ McMahon Group Ford Mustang, will also lend his talents to the hometown contingent as he prepares to make his 7th career Trans Am start at Road America.  

The TA class will consist of 17 entries in total, including Claudio Burtin, Vincent Allegretta, AJ Henriksen, Paul Fix, John Baucom and RJ Lopez.  

In TA3, the ongoing production battle between American muscle and European exotics will once more take to the track as Porsches, BMWs and Aston Martins face off against Vipers and Corvettes.  

Randy Mueller, in the No. 0 Epic Motorsports/ BMW M3, comes into the weekend with momentum in his favor after securing a win at Mid-Ohio just two weeks prior, but his more agile and nimble BMW will be faced with the unenviable challenge of facing the larger Vipers and Corvettes on the massive Road America surface.  

Making their Trans Am return will be the Lux Performance duo of Cindi Lux and Steve Streimer, in the No. 45 and 42 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRXs, with Streimer ready to defend his class victory at Road America in 2015.  

Also competing in the class will be Tim Kezman, Milton Grant, Randy Kinsland, Mel Shaw, Fernando Seferlis, Mark Boden, Larry Funk and Conor Flynn.  

TA4 will be the site of Ernie Francis, Jr.'s ongoing pursuit of perfection, with the driver of the No. 98 Beta Tools/Liquid Performance Ford Mustang yet to miss out on the top step of the TA3 podium this year.  The two-time defending champion is aiming for a third consecutive championship before making a potential transition to the TA class.  In addition, Road America has been good to Francis as he has secured two victories in his two career starts on the Wisconsin track.  

Joining Francis in the class will be Mark Luna, Rich Jones, Todd Napieralski, and Chris Outzen.  

Trans Am will once more feature alongside the NASCAR XFINITY Series and their Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on one of the track’s marquee weekends.  

How to watch on CBS Sports Network

The Trans Am 100 at Road America, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4 – Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM ET

The ETE Reman Transmissions Muscle Car 100 Presented by Pura Vida Tequila, featuring TA2 – Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM ET

Trans Am Weekend Schedule:

Friday, August 26, 2016
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM     TA2 Practice 1
10:25 AM – 10:45 AM    TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 1
1:00 PM – 1:20 PM         TA2 "Fast Five" Qualifying
1:25 PM – 1:45 PM        TA "Fast Five" Qualifying
1:50 PM – 2:10 PM         TA3/TA4 "Fast Five" Qualifying
4:00 PM – 4:20 PM        TA2 Practice 2
4:25 PM – 4:45 PM         TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
4:50 PM – 5:10 PM         "2nd Chance to Qualify" – all classes

Saturday, August 27, 2016
8:50 AM – 10:00 AM         Trans Am 100
10:20 – 11:30 AM    ETE Transmissions Muscle Car 100 Presented by Pura Vida Tequila

all schedule times are central

Additional Upcoming Broadcasts:

The First Energy Trans Am 100, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4 - Saturday, August 27 at 12:00 PM ET

The Pura Vida Tequila Muscle Car 100 Presented by ETE Reman - Saturday, September 17 at 10:30 am ET