AVONDALE, La. – Paul Fix and Tony Buffomante captured pole positions in qualifying sessions for their respective Trans-Am races Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Likewise, Steve Streimer and Ernie Francis Jr. captured pole positions in the TA3 and TA4 classes with fast laps of their own around the 16-turn, 2.75-mile course.
In the TA class, Fix barely edged out Cliff Ebben for the pole with a time of 1:37.446 to Ebben’s 1:37.467.
The result sees Fix gain the coveted pole position for the second consecutive year at NOLA, along with the added benefit of the three points earned in his razor-thin championship battle with Ebben and defending champion Amy Ruman. Ebben, in turn, received two points for his qualifying effort.
Ruman qualified third with a time of 1:38.019 and receives a single point. Last year, Ruman qualified second and finished first at NOLA, edging out Fix for the top spot.
The TA class top five also featured Jim McAleese and John Baucom, with times of 1:38.670 and 1:39.040, respectively.
In TA2, Tony Buffomante secured his fourth pole position of the year with a fast lap of 1:41.817, a new TA2 track record.
Buffomante currently sits atop the TA2 point standings after a mid-season surge that’s seen him move into a commanding position as Trans-Am’s season comes to a close. A strong finish at NOLA would help solidify that position even further going into the final rounds at Circuit of the Americas and Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Buffomante was followed in the session by Mike Cope Racing teammate and title-rival Justin Haley, who turned a 1:42.606.
Hot off a victory last round at Homestead-Miami, Shane Lewis prevented a Mike Cope sweep of the qualifying top five with a time of 1:42.662 to secure third position on the grid.
Also running out of the Mike Cope stables are Dillon Machavern and Keith Procuik, who completed the TA2 qualifying top five with times of 1:42.819 and 1:43.233, respectively.
In TA3, defending NOLA victor Streimer repeated his pole setting performance from 2015 with a 1:44.982 lap to lead the production based class from behind the wheel of the No. 42 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACR-X.
Come race time, he will be joined on the TA3 front row by teammate Cindi Lux, who turned a lap of 1:45.935.
Current points leader Randy Mueller qualified third with a time of 1:46.794. A fifth place finish or higher in the race guarantees him the class championship.
In TA4, Francis captured the class pole by nearly three seconds in the No. 98 BetaTools/Liquid Performance Chevrolet Camaro, with a time of 1:48.541.
A lap of 1:51.201 by Spencer Caudle, in the No. 53 Rotor Source Inc. Dodge Challenger, places him second on the TA4 grid for Saturday’s race.
CREDIT: Trans Am Communications