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Ave Scores 15th Career Trans-Am Pole Position at Mosport

Tony Ave Photo by Mark Weber/SCCATony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., moved into a tie with Brian Simo for eighth place on the all-time SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series fast qualifiers list by taking the 15th pole position of his career in the series in qualifying for this afternoon’s race at Mosport International Raceway.

Ave narrowly missed breaking Kenny Wilden’s year-old Trans-Am track record at the 2.49-mile Canadian road circuit of 1:15.719 (116.911 mph), turning a best lap at 1:15.952 (116.553 mph) in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/Beebe Racing/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette. Nevertheless, the defending series champion remains in the catbird seat heading into the fourth round of the 2011 Trans-Am Series this afternoon.

“It was good,” Ave said. “I only put enough gas in for three laps, but we also made a mistake. We left a rev chip in for a different gearbox, so during those three laps, a couple things happened. One, I was late to the grid, so I had to pass everybody on the first lap to get a clear track and when the tires should have been at their best, I didn’t have them hot enough. I was sliding all over and it was in the rev chip in a few spots, so I had to come in. We let the tires down a bit, took the rev chip out and I went back out. I had a faster car, but I ran out of gas.

“On my fast lap, the 15.90 it ran out of gas coming around. It burbled quite a bit at the end of the straightaway. I tried to do one more and we were quicker the first half of it, but down the whole back straightaway I had no fuel pressure. We would have got the record, I think, but that’s just the way it goes. We were close and hopefully we’ll have a good race this afternoon.”

Joining Ave on the front row is local favorite Blaise Csida, of Stouffville, Ontario, in the No. 07 Gateway Racing Inc. Chevrolet Corvette. Csida turned his fastest lap of the weekend in the qualifying session at 1:18.077 (113.380 mph) and will look to parlay the starting spot into a career-best Trans-Am result later today. He scored a third-place trophy last year in last year’s race at Mosport.

Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., starts third in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette on the strength of a best qualifying lap at 1:19.625 (111.176 mph). Gregg enters the race riding a two-race streak of podium results and would undoubtedly love to make it three in a row today.

Daniel Ramoutarsingh, of La Romain, Trinidad, starts fourth in the No. 18 Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR with a lap at 1:19.816 (110.910 mph) as he looks for his second straight podium following a runner-up result last weekend at Virginia International Raceway. Ian Patterson, of Petersburg, Ontario, Canada, completed the top five in the No. 74 Gateway Racing Inc. Chevrolet Corvette for his Trans-Am Series debut. Patterson’s best lap was a 1:19.891 (110.806 mph).

Bob Stretch, of Arlington, Texas, took the pole for the Trans-Am 2 (TA2) class. His best lap was a 1:26.342 (102.527 mph) in the No. 98 Wheels America Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Starting lineup for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Round 4 race at Mosport International Raceway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.

1. (4) Tony Ave, Maiden, N.C., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:15.952, 116.552.
2. (07) Blaise Csida (R), Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:18.077, 113.380.
3. (59) Simon Gregg, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:19.625, 111.176.
4. (18) Daniel Ramoutarsingh, La Romain, Trinidad, Jaguar XKR, 1:19.816, 110.910.
5. (74) Ian Patterson (R), Petersburg, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:19.891, 110.806.
6. (23) Amy Ruman, Kent, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:19.912, 110.776.
7. (86) John Baucom, Charlotte, N.C., Ford Mustang, 1:20.415, 110.084.
8. (27) Elmer Shannon (R), San Francisco, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:21.552, 108.549.
9. (70) David Jans (R), Mundelein, Ill., Ford Mustang, 1:22.901, 106.782.
10. (88) Jonathan Brett (R), Mt. Elgin, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:26.143, 102.764.
11. (98) Bob Stretch (R), Arlington, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:26.342, 102.527.
12. (56) Greg Clifton (R), Toronto, Ontario, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:27.225, 101.489.
13. (32) Bill Prietzel (R), Hubertus, Wis., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1:33.631, 94.545.

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