Ruman persevered through a rigorous double-header weekend for Ruman Racing at Brainerd International Raceway driving the No. 23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld Corvette to a dominating victory in Sunday’s Race 2.
The result backed up a run to fourth in Saturday’s Race 1 after tire issues prevented her podium tally from growing. Ruman’s breakthrough win in the final race of the 2011 Trans Am season has seen her now develop into a strong contender week in and week out. Sunday’s race saw Ruman leading 19 laps on her way to scoring her fifth podium finish of the season.
Sitting second in the championship standings heading into Rounds 7 & 8 of the Trans Am Championship, Ruman knew she needed to score two good results in the Labor Day event in an effort to score maximum championship points.
The weekend got off to a great start for the Ruman Racing squad when Ruman qualified the No. 23 Corvette second to start from the outside of the first row for Race 1 after posting a quick time of 1:31.284-seconds.
Ruman comfortably ran in the second position for the first half of the 40-lap, 100-mile race until tire issues saw the Corvette lose speed and ultimately take fourth at the finish.
With Saturday’s race results setting the grid for Sunday’s event, Ruman would start from outside the second row ready to make a charge forward. And that she did as she quickly maneuvered into the second position by the end of the first lap where she remained within a half second of the leading car of Tony Ave throughout the first half of the race. As she relentlessly hounded Ave for the lead, she continued to improve the gap over the third place car of Simon Gregg – developing over a 20-second advantage just 15 laps in.
As Ruman closed the gap to leader, she capitalized when Ave flat spotted a tire to take over the lead just past the halfway point of the race and put a 4.5-second lead over the field. As the second and third place cars of Ave and Gregg battled for the second spot, Ruman grew her lead to a 16-second advantage and looked poised to sail to victory lane.
But with the memory of Saturday’s tire troubles fresh in her mind, Ruman eased her pace, making sure she had all the Goodyear Tire underneath her at the finish. The closing laps saw Ruman shadowed by Gregg as they worked through lapped traffic, but Ruman held off all chargers on her way to the big win with a .673-second advantage over the field at the checkered flag.
“I owe this one to the guys and my dad for getting the car together today,” said Ruman following victory lane celebrations. “Tony (Ave) seemed to be having the same problem I was having yesterday, so we were content staying behind him for a while. My plan was to get up front and just try and maintain position and luckily my tires held up and we got the victory today. We almost pulled it off last year and it feels great to bring home one of the wins this weekend. While it hurt us yesterday that we didn’t land on the podium in terms of the championship hunt, we were just focused on the tires today. And luckily it worked out and we were number one!”
The Brainerd results see Ruman remain second in the championship just 15 points out of the top spot as the series heads into the final event weekend.
The Ruman Racing team has a two-month break before the final double-header weekend of the year as Trans Am stages the final rounds at Road Atlanta November 4. The Atlanta track is the site of Ruman’s breakthrough victory last year in which she became the first woman in history to win a Trans Am race.
Next up, Ruman will head to Road America for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs to compete in the GT-1 category September 18-21.
For quick news and updates during race weekends, please follow Ruman Racing and the Trans-Am Series on Twitter @rumanracing and @gotransam. Be sure to “Like” our official pages on Facebook: Ruman Racing, Amy Ruman (Official Fan Page), McNichols Company, and Go Trans Am.
SCCA National Championship Runoffs – Ruman in GT-1 at Road America, WI – September 18-21
Rounds 9 & 10: Double at Road Atlanta, GA – November 4
Ruman Racing, Inc., is based in Munroe Falls, Ohio.