BRAINERD, Minn. [July 2, 2016] – Tony Buffomante and Cliff Ebben secured pole positions in Fast Five Qualifying for tomorrow’s two 100-mile Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic Trans Am races, Round 5 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship. Keith Anderson and Ernie Francis, Jr., also had successful qualifying sessions grabbing poles for the TA3 and TA4 classes at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR).
Tony Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang, captured his third pole of the season with a 1:31.192 lap—a new track record for TA2—around the 2.5-mile competition course at BIR. Buffomante, who is hot off a victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Round 4, is currently tied atop the points standings with defending champion Gar Robinson and leads all TA2 competitors in wins with two to his name so far this season.
The pole puts Buffomante in prime position to capture his third victory, and fourth podium, as his continues his pursuit of a TA2 championship. The pole position will see Buffomante lead the TA2 field to green in their independent TA2 100-mile race tomorrow, Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 p.m. CT.
Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 5 Pennzoil Platinum/MOMO/ETE Reman Chevrolet Camaro, qualified second, securing a front row sweep for the Mike Cope team with a 1:31.307 lap. Minnesota native Tommy Archer, in the No. 54 ECC/KolarChev.com Chevrolet Camaro, will start in third position with a 1:31.466 lap, a strong position to challenge for the home track victory he narrowly missed in 2015.
Defending champion Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, will start fourth after turning a 1:31.678 lap; while last year’s BIR victor Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, secured the final Fast Five position with a time of 1:31.750, completing the tight TA2 session.
Cliff Ebben, in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/ McMahon Group/ Lamers Ford Mustang, will start on pole for tomorrow’s TA, TA3 and TA4 multi-class race at 3:10 p.m. CT. Ebben captured the pole with a 1:28.272 lap, securing his third consecutive pole in the TA class. Now, Ebben will attempt to convert his qualifying speed into his first victory of the year.
Starting alongside Ebben will be the ever-present No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette of Amy Ruman, defending TA champion and current points leader. Ruman leads all TA competitors with two victories this year and will look to add to that tally with a second consecutive victory at Brainerd International Raceway.
Third place was secured by David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:29.075; while the remainder of the TA class Fast Five was completed by Vincent Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, and Jim McAleese, in the No. 03 McAleese and Associates Chevrolet Corvette, with times of 1:29.821 and 1:30.642, respectively.
TA3 was led by Keith Anderson, making his first appearance in the Series from behind the wheel of the No. 81 Archer Racing Dodge Viper ACRX, securing a pole for the production based class with a 1:34.107 lap— a new track record. He was followed in the session by Steve Streimer, in the No. 43 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACRX, and Cindi Lux, in the No. 45 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACRX, with times of 1:34.518 and 1:35.157, respectively.
In TA4, two-time defending champion Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 BetaTools/Liquid Performance, led the way for the TA4 class with a time of 1:36.175, beating out Trevor Janke, in the No. 31 Janke Auto/ Pender Racing Chevrolet Camaro, for the top spot. The pole is Francis’ third of the year as he prepares to purse his second consecutive win at BIR as well as his third consecutive championship.
Drivers will be given the opportunity to re-qualify later today at 5:45 PM CT to try and improve their starting positions; however, drivers in the “Fast Five” for each starting group have their starting positions locked.
Fans can keep up with the action through the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic online at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Remaining Event Schedule:
Saturday, July 2, 2016
5:00 PM – 5:20 PM – TA2 Practice 2
5:20 PM – 5:30 PM – TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
5:45 PM – 6:00 PM – 2nd Chance to Qualify
Sunday, July 3, 2016
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM – Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic Muscle Car Challenge featuring TA2, powered by AEM
3:10 PM –4:25 PM – Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic TA/TA3/TA4 Race
All times central
How to Watch on CBS Sports Network:
The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, featuring TA/TA3/TA4 will broadcast on Saturday July 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM ET.
The Ryan Companies Muscle Car Challenge, featuring TA2, will broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Sunday July 31, 2016 at 1:00 PM ET.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, OH