Repeat victory and championship for Amy Ruman; reversal of fortune for Paul Fix at Daytona finale
Per official press release (abbreviated): DAYTONA BEACH FL November 12, 2016 – “Amy Ruman, who in 2015 became the first female professional road racing champion in North America, made history again today at Daytona International Speedway by winning the 2016 Championship in this 50th Anniversary Season”.
The high speed Daytona road circuit is a big challenge for car and driver. It takes a low drag set up, a suspension to withstand loads on the high speed banking and brakes that last entering turn 1 and the bus stop at the end of long straights. The heavy g-forces and concentration from speedway to infield and back can drain the strength and stamina of drivers.
Paul Fix, leading by 9 points was on pole with Ruman alongside. Disaster struck with a flat left front tire 10 laps into the 29-lap race. The Tony Ave crew quickly changed it dropping Fix back to eighth. A fourth-place finish would still secure the title. But then just 3 laps later Fix struck tire debris that damaged his motor and put him out of the race. In a reversal of fortune, the day ended with Fix 9 points shy to Ruman’s 299. Per Ruman “When it boils down to one race, anything can happen. Even last year when all I had to do was take the start, I was still nervous about that. You have to believe.”
# 06 RJ Lopez retook second place from # 03 Jim McAleese with only two laps remaining.
# 7 Claudio Burtin recorded his best result of the season, 4th after hauling back from the SEMA show in Las Vegas where his car was featured by Pirelli that announced it won the bid to replace Hoosier as the official tire for the series.
# 33 Daniel Urrutia completed the top five.
Top 10 Corvette finishers in the TA class included # 55 Simon Gregg, # 44 AJ Henriksen and # 3 Henry Gilbert.
Ernie Francis, TA4 champ in a Camaro could be destined to race next year in TA3 in this
Corvette he recently acquired from Mel Shaw.
A huge thank you to Chris Clark for his photos and to Clark Trexler & crew at Trans Am for timely and flawless reporting and news.
Trans Am should be even better next year with the resources and imagination of Tony Parella (SVRA) on board. Reminder all TA Corvettes must run C7 bodywork.