Posted on 07-10-2012

Click to see the official results. We posted the new track record with a time of 1.49.925

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  Posted on 07-10-2012


Photo by Chris Clark

Ave and Stretch fall short after incredible comebacks

Out of the 22 car field at Watkins Glen, Pete Halsmer and Jorge Diaz, Jr. made their way through the pack and onto the podium.  Besides winning their respective divisions, they both had to fight off furious rallies from defending TA and TA2 champions Tony Ave and Bob Stretch.

This was Jorge Diaz, Jr.’s first race back in Trans Am this year.   Diaz started in first position with his #8 Diaz Racing Jaguar XKR and never relinquished his position.  The feat was not a particularly easy one, as Tony Ave provided constant pressure on the eventual race winner.

The two-time defending champion started with a vengeance, passing five cars in the first lap.  Ave was forced to start last on the TA grid due to not practicing in his #4 Lamers/PME Engines Corvette.  Ave had planned on qualifying in the car; but due to storms on Saturday resulting in the session turning into an unofficial practice, he was unable to put in a time that would contribute to starting position.

Still, Ave was quick to catch up to the leaders and passed Amy Ruman for second place during a restart on the 14th lap.  He held the position, consistently challenging Diaz until loosing power steering midway through the 25th lap.  Ave related the race in a statement:

“We had the fastest car for sure, we got up to fourth in a lap, and then passed a couple more cars.  Then I was pretty set on just riding along and got by Amy on a restart, but we had a lot of time left in the car. Then I lost the power steering, so I ran with him for a while after that, but it was getting to the point that to keep up the pace I would be risking the car.  So since we’re so far behind in points I was going to just try and keep second—then the power steering line actually burst and covered the window with oil.  Then I had to come into the pits and get my windshield cleaned to be able to see anything.”

Unfortunately, due to that pit stop, Ave’s surge only resulted in a fourth place finish, but Diaz was well aware of Ave’s presence on the track:

“My crew kept telling me about the time difference, we kept pace with him, and every time he got close I just pushed a little harder and we were able to hold the lead.”

The #8 car led all 29 laps, and Diaz credited the work that his crew put in to tune it specifically for Watkins Glen.

“Watkins Glen is a very technical track, and we had to do a lot of work preparing the car.  We worked very hard last night to get the suspension just right and it worked perfectly.  The car was just hooked; we just knew we had it.”

Last weekend’s winner at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Amy Ruman, came in second, marking her fourth consecutive podium placement.  She and the #23 McNichols Chevrolet Corvette are currently second in the points standing with 131 points, surpassing Doug Peterson, who was unable to attend.  Ruman insists that she is in for the long haul and has her sights firmly set on the championship:

“We had a really tough weekend, my crew has worked day in and day out on this car, I couldn’t be happier with their work.  The McNichols Corvette was fast today, but Jorge had a real strong showing.  But we’re happy, we’ve been consistent and we’re going for the championship.  That’s what it’s going to take, consistency.”

TA points leader, with 140 points, Simon Gregg came in third after a hard fought race with John Baucom, driver of the #86 Ford Mustang.  However, the eventual victor was Gregg in the #59 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette.

“I just had a consistent race.  My lap times weren’t what I wanted them to be, I got a little distracted by traffic and I ended up where I ended up.  If I can improve a bit at Road America and take that momentum into the end of the year, I should have a good chance at taking home a championship.”

Gregg is still riding an incredible streak of reliability; this marked the 68th race that the car has finished without a mechanical failure, a streak he doesn’t expect to end soon:

“It’s a great job the crew has been doing, I’m so proud of the team and the work they do.  They keep me in race, day in and day out.  We’ll keep the streak going.”….

The Trans Am series now travels to Road America on August 19th for the sixth race of the season.

For more details on the race and upcoming events follow @gotransam on twitter, check in at, and keep up on Facebook at

MAVTV will also air the half-hour Trans Am Series weekend recap show produced and directed by the week following this weekend’s event. The first of three airings will be Sunday at 5:00 pm EDT (2:00 pm PDT). The first encore airing follows on Thursday at 9:00 pm EDT (6:00 pm PDT), followed by a second encore airing on Friday at 12:00 am EDT (Thursday, 9:00 pm PDT).


The Trans Am Series dates back to 1966.  Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans Am Series. Backdating the Driver’s Championship to the inaugural season, 30 different drivers took titles, with multiple Championships being won by Pual Gentilozzi, Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Scott Pruett, Wally Dallenback Jr, George Follmer, Peter Gregg, Horst Kwech, Scott Sharp, Bob Tullius and Tony Ave.

The iconic Trans Am Series – America’s Road Racing Series – is operated by the Trans Am Race Company, LLC.  Through a five-year agreement, the Trans Am Race Company manages the marketing rights to the series and is responsible for Trans Am Series public relations and promotions.  SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides event operations services to the series.

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  Posted on 07-10-2012


*Picture by Chris Clark

This is the second straight weekend the Trans Am Series has been a victim of storms, and this time the qualifying session was the victim of the bad weather. The storm, while it passed quickly, left the track thoroughly drenched and, as a result, unsuitable for qualifying.  The session became an unofficial practice instead, with the results not having any weight on placement for the race.

The grid for tomorrows race at Watkins Glen will be determined by combined practice standings.  That leaves Cameron Lawrence at pole for the TA2 class.   This weekend Lawrence assumed Mike Miller’s place in the #11 Ctek Battery Chargers/Motorstate Chevrolet Camaro under the banner of Miller Racing.  Lawrence and Pete Halsmer, driver of the #12 Ctek Battery Chargers/Motorstate Chevrolet Camaro, will have the first and second starting positions for the TA2 division.

Lawrence, the 19-year-old driver, had not had the opportunity to drive the car before this weekend and was not one to gloat.  When asked if he’d thought about his placement for the start of the upcoming race he was his usual humble self:

“This weekend so far has been getting used to the car, it really hasn’t set in yet.  Pete and I will be one-two, but everyone is close in times. Still, there’s a decent chance for us to finish well.”

Lawrence was also quick to credit the Miller Racing crew:

“It’s definitely good stuff, the crew works so hard on the cars to get them ready and as fast as possible. The crew is a bunch or great smart guys.  They’re on top of everything, they can answer anything and are some of the friendliest guys I’ve ever gotten to work with.  It’s a great group.”

Kurt Roerhig will round out the top three for the TA2 divison in his Roerhig Enders Suspension Chevrolet Camaro.

In the TA class Jorge Diaz, Jr. will start in front in his #8 Diaz Racing Jaguar XKR, courtesy of a strong showing in the first practice on Friday.  Diaz was enthusiastic about the race and the track:

“Watkins Glen is a very difficult track to learn, so on testing we had to do a lot of adjustments, we changed the transmission twice, we adjust the gearings, and everything here is so much different from on paper.  It was a lot of fun getting to know the track. Tomorrow is going to be a very close race, all the times are close.  We’re going to have a lot of fun.  It’s a fun track anyways, but when you ad the number of cars we have on the grid, it’s going to be outstanding.”

Following Diaz will be Simon Gregg and Amy Ruman.  The duo have been two of the most competitive and consistent drivers throughout the season.  Gregg, in his #59 Gregg Motorsports Corvette, is currently the series points leader.  Ruman is also coming off a win last weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and is third in points standing.

The Trans Am race will kick off Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST, for updates on the race follow @gotransam on twitter, check in at, and keep up on Facebook at will provide coverage of the event through vignettes throughout the duration of the race and MAVTV will air the half-hour Trans Am Series weekend recap shows produced and directed by the week following each Trans Am event. The first of three airings will be Sundays at 5:00 pm EDT (2:00 pm PDT). The first encore airing follows on Thursdays at 9:00 pm EDT (6:00 pm PDT), followed by a second encore airing on Fridays at 12:00 am EDT (Thursday, 9:00 pm PDT).

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  Posted on 05-31-2009


LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 31, 2009) – Jorge Diaz Jr., of San Juan, Puerto Rico, led the second half of Sunday’s Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series Round Four race to capture his third-career series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, part of the Ohio Valley Region SCCA Race of Champions weekend. Tomy Drissi, of Los Angeles, finished a close second, followed by Simon Gregg, of Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.

Diaz Jr. leads Drissi at Mid-Ohio (Weber Image)
Driving the No. 2 JD Racing Jaguar XKR, Diaz Jr. tucked in behind polesitter Tony Ave at the start and the trio of Ave, Diaz Jr. and Drissi started a three-car breakaway from the rest of the field. On lap 10, Drissi moved to second in the Keyhole and began to work on the back of Ave’s No. 10 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford Mustang.

Drissi worked on Ave for the next 10 laps, with the top three cars separated by less than a second the entire way, but with the scent of burning gear oil becoming evident. On lap 21, Diaz Jr. got a run on Drissi exiting the Keyhole to take second, and as the trio entered the Carousel, Diaz Jr. got to the inside of Ave’s Mustang to take the lead.

Drissi quickly moved his No. 5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Jaguar XKR past Ave, who began to fall off the pace with a broken rear differential, identifying the source of the oil smell.

Diaz Jr. pulled out to a lead of as much as 3.7 seconds, but, with the ebb and flow of traffic, Drissi was right back in the hunt in the closing laps. The two were nose-to-tail coming off the final corner with two laps to go, but Drissi could never quite make his move, finishing just 0.390-second behind.

Diaz Jr. averaged a record 95.905 mph in the race that went green the entire way and set a new race lap record of 1:23.515 (97.333 mph) around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit en route to victory.

“We played it smart at the beginning,” Diaz Jr. said. “Tomy Drissi was extremely fast at the beginning. I was trying to get Tony Ave and then I said ‘wait a minute, let them fight’ and I sat back and watched them for a while. Once they did all the fighting they were going to do, I said ‘okay, now it’s my turn, it’s my turn to go.’”

In holding off Drissi’s late-race charge, Diaz Jr. was also awarded the Flowmaster Star of the Race award.

“I was trying to be a little bit conservative at the end and play it safe,” Diaz Jr. added. “I figured this was not the time to spin out. I could see him in my mirrors and I knew the lap times he was turning. If it was a longer race, we would have had another battle. But it was a perfect race in the end for us.”

Drissi’s second-straight runner-up finish, coupled with Ave’s eventual DNF, put him solely atop the Drivers’ Championship standings. In the closing laps, with Diaz Jr. within striking distance, the new point leader received some sage advice over his radio.

“When we had five laps to go and I was definitely catching [Diaz Jr.], I started taking some big chances to go a half a second faster,” Drissi said. “With two or three laps to go, my team said ‘Tomy, you’re in the lead for the Championship. Try to pass him, but don’t do anything stupid.’ And now we have a decent points lead.”

Gregg scored his first podium finish in his 74th start, running in the top five for the majority of the day in his No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. The son of two-time Trans-Am Champion Peter Gregg was excited with his result.

“I’m glad to finally get onto the podium after so many years of trying,” Gregg said. “The crew and the team have really done a good job and today, everything lined up for me. Mid-Ohio is one of the most challenging tracks. It’s got a lot of history. I’ve been coming here a long time and it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s one of the toughest. I think if you can run good here, you can run good anywhere.”

Rookie Daniel Ramoutarsingh, of Trinidad, recovered from an early spin in his No. 8 Trinico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR to finish fourth. Jon “Chevy” Leavy, of Tamarac, Fla., finished a career-best fifth in his No. 18 Ind. Chevrolet Camaro after starting 16th, and last, after a qualifying mechanical issue. The run earned Leavy the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions throughout the race.

Pete Mohrhauser (Chevrolet Corvette), Edison Lluch Sr. (Chevrolet Corvette), R.J. Lopez (Chevrolet Corvette), Glen Jung (Mazda RX-7) and Jerry Kinn (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10.

Ave entered the race in the point lead after earning his third pole of the season, but he once again felt the sting of bad luck during the race.

“Once they went by, I was just trying to finish with it,” Ave said. “I was going as fast as I could but it was bad in the slow bits because the car wouldn’t turn and then it just broke.

“I can’t remember a streak of races like this and I don’t want to remember this one when it’s over. That’s just the way it goes, I guess. It sucks.”

Drissi’s consistency has him atop the standings at the season’s halfway point, with 106. Ave’s laps led and qualifying points have helped him remain second, with 98, followed by top rookie Ramoutarsingh (71), Klaus Graf (68) and Gregg and Jung (each with 67).

Jaguar’s fourth-straight win extended its Manufacturers’ Championship lead to 17—37 to 20 over Chevrolet. Ford is third, with 10 points.

The Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series next travels to Portland International Raceway for Round Five—the Fluge Global Adventures Rose Cup Classic, in two weeks time. For more series information, please visit


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  Posted on 05-30-2009

Qualified 2nd with a 1.23.091 and working on the transmition. Two lower gears were not up to par. The race is at 3pm.

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  Posted on 05-29-2009

The Mid-Ohio track has to be one of the hardest tracks I have ran yet. It offers so many off camber turns that getting the right setup is hard. We were able to be the 2nd fastest car in practice with the wrong gearing and we hope to get better times on Saturday. Practice is at 9 and the qualifing is at 3pm.

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  Posted on 05-28-2009

Just got in to Mid-Ohio after 3 hours and 30 minutes of flight time. Since the trailer enters the track Friday morning, it’s a 5am start for the team and a 7am start for me. Can’t wait to test this track with the first practice at 9:45am friday.

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  Posted on 05-26-2009

The JD Racing Crew landed in Mid-Ohio on Monday and are working hard to update the car before taking the trailer up to the track. The Trailer will be driven a total of 485 miles from Hi-Tech Trailers to Mid-Ohio Race Track on Thursday.

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  Posted on 05-22-2009

Getting ready for Mid-Ohio the car is getting a tune up. As a joint effort from Chris Billings @ Shock-Shop and JD Racing we are going to be testing and developing a more efficient suspension platform. Thanks to our friends from Ohlins Shocks  and Shock-Shop for there time and effort to make us faster.

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  Posted on 05-21-2009


CANADA (May 17, 2009) – Jorge Diaz Jr., of San Juan, Puerto Rico, captured his second-career Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am pole today at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest. Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., and Tomy Drissi, Los Angeles, will start second and third, respectively.


Diaz captures second-career Trans-Am pole at Mosport (Weber image)

Diaz captures second-career Trans-Am pole at Mosport (Weber image)

Piloting the No. 2 JD Racing Jaguar KXR, Diaz nearly set a new Mosport Trans-Am qualifying record in just his fifth trip around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit with a 1:17.775 (113.820 mph). Unfortunately, Diaz just missed Butch Leitzinger’s record by a narrow 0.031-second. After setting his quick lap, Diaz got out of the car halfway through the 30-minute session. He figured his time would hold and it did.


“We’ve struggle this weekend during the first few practices,” Diaz said. “We were about a second off the times we wanted to [be]. They took the suspension out. We did a completely experimental set up today and I guess it was just dialed in correctly. It was a superb job – the car, the grip. It just worked perfectly.

Ave will start on the outside of the front row in the No. 10 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford Ford Mustang after turning a qualifying lap time of 1:17.908 (113.626 mph). This is the Trans-Am point leader’s third-career start at Mosport and is looking to capture his first-career win. His previous best start was sixth and his best finish was 11th.

Drissi will start third thanks to a fast qualifying time of 1:18.923 (112.165 mph) in his No. 5 Night at the Museum Two Jaguar XKR. Drissi will make his sixth-career Trans-Am start at Mosport. His best finish was third in 2000.

Rookie Jim Goughary Jr., who had not turned a lap all weekend before qualifying, turned in a solid fourth-place qualifying effort with a time of 1:19.855 (110.856 mph). The Jupiter, Fla. resident will drive the No. 72 Luna Sueno Tequila Chevrolet Corvette in his first-career Trans-Am start at Mosport.

Michael Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., will start from inside of row three in the No. 70 Atlantic Autosport Chevrolet Corvette after turning the fifth fastest qualifying lap of 1:19.903 (110.789 mph).

Blaise Csida (Chevrolet Corvette), Simon Gregg (Chevrolet Corvette), Edison Lluch Sr. (Chevrolet Corvette), and Daniel Ramoutarsingh (Jaguar XKR) complete the top 10 on the grid.

The green flag is set to drop on Round Three of the Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series at 3:20 p.m. (EDT) today. 

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Attached image: Jorge Diaz Jr.’s No. 2 JD Racing Jaguar KXR

Credit: Mark Weber/SCCA

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Results from Sunday’s Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Round Three qualifying, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest at Mosport International Raceway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.

1, (2), Jorge Diaz Jr, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jaguar XKR, 1:17.775, 113.820.

2, (10), Tony Ave, Maiden, N.C., Ford Mustang, 1:17.908, 113.626.

3, (5), Tomy Drissi, Los Angeles, Calif., Jaguar XKR, 1:18.923, 112.165.

4, (72), Jim Goughary Jr, Jupiter, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:19.855, 110.856.

5, (70), Michael Skeen(R), Charlotte, N.C., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:19.903, 110.789.

6, (07), Blaise Csida(R), Stouffville, Ontario, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:20.762, 109.611.

7, (59), Simon Gregg, Ponte Verda Beach, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:21.160, 109.073.

8, (73), Edison Lluch Sr, Lajas, Puerto Rico, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:21.538, 108.567.

9, (8), Daniel Ramoutarsingh(R), LaRomain Trinidad, Jaguar XKR, 1:23.561, 105.939.

10, (0), Elmer Shannon(R), San Francisco, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:24.123, 105.231.

11, (7), Jerry Kinn, Anchorage, Alaska, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:24.963, 104.191.

12, (77), Glen Jung(R), Osteen, Fla., Mazda RX-7, 1:27.318, 101.381.

13, (6), Klaus Graf, Dornhen, Germany, Jaguar XKR, no time.

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