LAKEVILLE, Conn. — Simon Gregg got his first Trans-Am win after sixty-some tries, taking the 66-lap event at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. Gregg trailed in third place for much of the race, but things fell his way in the final third of the race.
Polesitter Tony Ave looked to have the field covered, but pulled off track after leading the first 41 laps around the 1.50-mile, seven-turn track. “We broke a clutch” Ave told Speed Sport after the race. “We were trying some lightweight parts, but they didn’t last.”
When Ave had his problems, he handed the lead to Doug Peterson, who led from Lap 42 to Lap 54. An off-course excursion at Big Bend handed the lead to Gregg, who survived a couple of late-race restarts to get his first win.
There were only 5 Trans-Am-class cars, four of which were Chevrolet Corvettes, with the Ford Mustang of David Jans in fourth place.
A second class of cars, labeled TA2, competed concurrently, with a great battle between eventual winner Bob Stretch and the ageless Pete Halsmer. Class pole-sitter Halsmer didn’t get the best of starts — or Stretch got a great one — and Stretch held the class lead the entire way.
“He got a pretty good start,” said Halsmer, “I didn’t think you were supposed to pass before Start/Finish: but he (Stretch) ran well in the race. I’m not going to make a big deal out of it.”
At the end, Stretch was just 0.842 seconds ahead of Halsmer, who won an IMSA GTO race here in 1987. Both Stretch and Halsmer drove Chevrolet Camaros, as did four others in the field. Third in class field of nine went to Michael Wilson in Chevrolet Monte