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May 18, 2014 - 07:52 AM
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Ron Fellows Wins On 100th Trans Am Start On Home Track
Posted by: newsla on May 18, 2014 - 07:45 AM
Sports Cars
Ron Fellows Wins On 100th Trans Am Start On Home Track


Ron Fellows began Round 4 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship on pole, in the #6 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, making his 100th Trans Am appearance and his first appearance since 2004, at home at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Through all 100 miles, three full course cautions, and multiple challenges from Amy Ruman he prevailed for his 20th Trans Am win, leading every lap.

 

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“It’s great to get a win here in a Series that means a lot to me,” said Fellows. “Hopefully, we’ll see Trans Am return to similar form as it was in the past. It’s got a lot of history, just like this track; and it was all great fun today. I got win number 20 here and got win number one here in 1989, so it’s a very cool experience.”

Fellows began the day on pole with teammate Simon Gregg, in the #59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, in second position and the #23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette of Amy Ruman in third.

Likewise in TA2, Adam Andretti, in the #44 ECC Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, started in first, with the #73 Mike Cope Racing Chevrolet Camaro of Ontario native Kevin Poitras in second position and defending TA2 Champion Cameron Lawrence, in the #1 Trick Titanium Chevrolet Camaro, in third.

After two pace laps to warm up tires, the consequence of extremely cool conditions, the Trans Am field went green. The TA class saw a change in the top three immediately with Ruman passing Gregg during the first lap, immediately pressuring Fellows. Defending TA Champion Doug Peterson, in the #87 3Dimensional Chevrolet Corvette, also charged forward, passing Gregg as well, and quickly caught up to Ruman.

However, Peterson’s stint in the top three would only last two laps; as the #87 car was forced to pull off track with a mechanical failure. Gregg quickly resumed and solidified his standing in the top three.

In TA2, Bob Stretch, in the #98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro, pushed ahead of Lawrence for third place during the second lap, but the defending Champion quickly responded during the seventh lap, returning to third, then overcoming Poitras for second place during lap number 13.

The track then went under a full course yellow as the #29 Rocanada Ford Mustang of Andrew Romocki came to a halt on the front straight.

Racing resumed, albeit briefly, as a three car incident between the #97 Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro of Tom Sheehan, the #48 Ottawa Solar Power BC Racer Cars Chevrolet Camaro of Mike McGahern and #10 Bay Investments Chevrolet Camaro of Mel Shaw occurred only two laps later. The course once again went under yellow to retrieve the #97 and #48 cars while the #10 of Shaw was able to continue.

On a return to green, the TA2 class became the site of a nose-to-tail line of Andretti, Lawrence, Poitras, Stretch and the #25 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang of Ron Keith. In TA, Amy Ruman continued to push Fellows, following him closely through every step of the way.

During the 25th lap, Lawrence made his move, overtaking Andretti and powering the #1 Camaro into the lead for the first time in the race. However, during the 26th lap of the race, the #98 of Bob Stretch blew an engine going into turn one, causing multiple cars to take action—all of which were able to continue, with the exception of Stretch.

The course immediately went under yellow to retrieve the #98 car and clear the turn of oil.

The race restarted with only six laps remaining. Ruman resumed her pursuit of Fellows with the #6 car beginning to slow, but Fellows continued to fend off Ruman, keeping a respectable distance between himself and the #23 Corvette. In TA2, Lawrence and Andretti battled back and forth, often side-by-side and while changing position multiple times over the last few four laps.

As the checkered flag flew, Ron Fellows crossed the finish line for his 20th Trans Am win on his 100th Trans Am start, ten years after his last Trans Am appearance.

“This was a little more work than I remembered; it was great fun though. This is a great track to drive in. The car got a little loose towards the end; and as I crested the hill, I got a lot of compression in the rear and could smell the tire. When we came inc the right rear was completely flat; it’s a pretty tough tire too, but you could see the shoulder completely rolled over. On the restarts, Amy was on it. The last one I didn’t have any choice but to be careful, because of the tire, but Amy… I watched her on Thursday during testing, she’s brave—at the end I was just hanging on.”

Ruman followed with a second place finish, her second podium this year; and Simon Gregg finished third to give Derhaag Motorsports its second podium of the race. David Pintaric, in the #59 Kryderacing/CarboTech/WRP Investments Chevrolet Corvette, was fourth while Kurt Roehing, in the #04 Roehrig Enders Suspension Chevrolet Corvette, was fifth.

In TA2, Cameron Lawrence proved why he’s the defending Champion of the TA2 class, fending off Andretti’s challenges and finishing a little over a tenth ahead of the #44 car, securing his third Trans Am victory of the year after being as far back as fourth position.

“We have a really good car, as always,” said Lawrence. “This is my third year now, and it wasn’t always the case where we ran in front; but it’s still fun to make your way up through the field. We didn’t have the greatest start but were able to come back up and it ended up being a really close race with Andretti, but we always have a really good racecar from Miller Racing.”

In a surprise charge, the #73 of Kevin Poitras made a last minute push coming through turn ten, powering forward and taking the second place from Andretti by just a nose, as the two cars crossed the line, side-by-side. The second place finish was Poitras’ first podium appearance in this, his rookie year.

Ron Keith would take fourth in TA2, only the first time he has missed the podium all year; while Tom West, in the #56 Limerick Machine Company/ Treelaine Consulting Chevrolet Camaro, came in fifth.

TA3 American Muscle was also featured in the Trans Am race and showed off Trans Am’s production racing platform with four lead changes. The group began with Ernie Francis, Jr., in the #9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro, in first position with Todd Napieralski, in the #39 Tremec/SKF/Backstreet Performance/ Chevrolet Performance Chevrolet Camaro, alongside him and the #08 Paragon Competition Chevrolet Camaro of Ontario native Joe Chan in third.

Napieralski would quickly overtake Francis for first place, but the two would battle back and forth for position up until the sixth lap when Napieralski entered the pits, where he would eventually retire due to mechanical failure. Francis would continue to lead the race until lap 29, setting a new track record for TA3 with a time of 1:28.684 in the process, but had to venture into the pits to make repairs to a muffler that was dragging on the track—leaving the #08 of Joe Chan in the lead, a position he would retain for the remainder of the race.

“It was a great weekend,” said Chan. “I really enjoyed being here. This is my home track of course, and we were very comfortable. We’re going to try and do as many races as we can this year, and this was a good way to finish the day. We didn’t have the fastest car today, but we had a good strategy. We were just going to run our pace and push at the end. I didn’t have much left at the end. If we would have had a few more laps than we did, it might have been a very close race.”
Defending TA3 American Muscle Champion Chuck Cassaro finished second, enough to power him back atop the group’s point standings, with 98 points to runner-up Napieralski’s 91.

Ernie Francis, Jr., would come back from a lap down to edge Rob Bodle during the last lap of the race for third position, and push himself ahead to third in the points. Also featured in TA3 was Norm Betts, in the #82 Hoosier/VP Fuels Chevrolet Corvette, who represented the TA3 International Group.


In the TA class standings, Doug Peterson remains in the lead with 103 points, but Simon Gregg and Amy Ruman are both just slightly behind with 98 and 95, respectively, in what is shaping up to be an interesting Championship race going into the middle of the season.

Cameron Lawrence built on his TA2 points lead as he continues his title defense, he now has 123 to runner-up Ron Keith’s 103; while Adam Andretti and Kevin Poitras stand third and fourth with 94 and 93.

Trans Am will now head to New Jersey Motorsports Park for Round 5 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship on June 1, 2014.

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