Loshak takes Pole in his first TransAm race!
DRISSI AND LOSHAK TAKE POLES IN TA, TA2 AT MID-OHIO
Ernie Francis, Jr., Jerry Greene lead TA3 – Trans Am Racing
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 15, 2014) – The Trans Am Series underwent qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today in preparation for the 3Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100, which will take place tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
In total 56 of the 59-car field participated in the split session, with the TA class qualifying first, followed by the TA2 and TA3 classes. After the dust settled, two very different pole sitters emerged for the TA and TA2 classes, Tomy Drissi, driving the No. 4 Tony Ave Racing Chevrolet Corvette, and Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 42 ETE Reman Transmisions/Archer Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
Tomy Drissi is a 12-year veteran and former Champion of the Series and is also set to participate in the NASCAR Nationwide race this weekend. He has a plethora of experience racing, and plenty of it in Trans Am. Widely know as a road course ringer throughout the world of motorsports, Drissi’s time of 1:22.244 came as no surprise to much of the paddock— he set the pole here last year and the current track record with a time of 1:24.241.
Drissi’s pole becomes the fourth for Tony Ave Motorsports this year and a one-two for the team atop the time sheet, as Doug Peterson, current points leader and driver of the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, had the second fastest time for the session, a 1:22.913— giving the team a commanding start for the race.
Amy Ruman represented her home state of Ohio well on what she considers her home track, powering the No. 23 McNichols Corvette to a time of 1:23.044. The time was strong enough for P3 tomorrow, as she continues her Championship battle with Peterson, who currently leads Ruman by 14 points.
Simon Gregg, in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, was fourth with a 1:23.083, just off Ruman’s time; while Cliff Ebben, in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang, logged a time of 1:23.656 to round out the top 5 in the TA class.
On the other hand in TA2, Lawrence Loshak’s pole came as a surprise to many, particularly himself. Loshak, current holder of the SCCA’s Mark Donohue Driver’s Award and a 4-time SCCA National Champion, powered the No. 42 ETE Reman Transmission/Archer Racing Chevrolet Camaro to pole position, logging a 1:28.185, in this, his first ever Trans Am appearance.
““In 2005 I almost won my first national championship here, and ever since I guess I’ve had something to prove to myself,” said Loshak. “When I was first told about this class, I was considering TA but these TA2 cars are such a blast to drive—the driver and car chemistry was there from the first practice. I couldn’t sleep last night; I was just excited to get in the car. Tommy (Archer) and John (Archer) were helping me out all day, making improvements, dialing it in.”
“I knew I was doing well, chasing, and everyone was going so fast. And then the time popped up, and to have the guys come over the radio yelling ‘P1!, P1!,’ man, I still can’t believe it. On pole, for Trans Am. Unbelievable.”
“I probably over prepared for the class, everyone was telling me, ‘oh the cars are terrible, the brakes are terrible,’ so I came in thinking this might be rough. But it’s been completely the opposite, the cars are a blast, there’s tons of grip and everyone is dealing with the same platform. It’s great to be driver versus driver and crew versus crew, with setup obviously being essential, but I came in wanting to try TA2 out, and to end up here, I already know what I’m doing next season.”
Loshak’s win marked the first pole for the Archer Racing team’s TA2 program since its entry to the class this year.
Following Loshak was a tight TA2 field, with the top five all within six tenths of each other, with Adam Andretti, current TA2 points runner-up and driver of the No. 44 Engineered Components Chevrolet Camaro, taking P2 for the class with a time of 1:28.270. In turn, Andretti was followed by the Mike Cope Racing duo of Kevin Poitras, with a 1:28:329 in the No. 73 Chevrolet Camaro, and Ron Keith, with a 1:28.591 in the No. 23 Ford Mustang. Rookie Harry Steenbakkers, in the No. 07 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro, came in fifth.
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