Toronto - With a large crowd on hand to usher in the 2012 racing season, Amy Ruman opened the Trans Am championship with a run to sixth place at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the No. 23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld sponsored C6 Corvette. The race weekend marked the debut event for Ruman with the C6 Corvette as the Ohio-based racer looked to build on her 2011 Trans Am season-finale race win with a strong result to open the year.
The event, known as the Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend, saw Ruman take fifth on the starting grid as she and her Ruman Racing crew worked to get familiar with the Corvette. The group had over a decade's worth of set-ups and history with the previous Corvette, and the Victoria Day event marked the start of a new chapter with the new machine.
Ruman showed that the new C6 Corvette has promise as she posted the second quickest time in the morning warm-up, but the weekend was still a learning one for Ruman Racing.
"I have to admit that we were hoping for more than a run to sixth place, but we got a little behind with some 'new car issues' early in the weekend and were kind of playing catch-up from there," said Ruman. "We made a lot of progress with the set-up during the weekend and we are looking forward to continuing to unlock more speed with the new car."
After moving up into podium position early in Sunday's race, Ruman had her pace slowed when a mechanical issue developed during the 41-lap race. A quick pit visit to diagnose the issue during a full-course caution ultimately cost vital track position as Ruman rejoined the fray as the field took the green flag.
"When I got back out after the pit stop, we were way behind the pack but our lap times were pretty competitive," said Ruman. "It was good to have that kind of pace, but it wasn't enough to track the leaders down so we could have really used another yellow flag. When I saw the fire on the back stretch, I really thought that we were going to get one!"
Ruman did get the desired caution period, but to no avail as the race was ultimately called short of the full race distance after an off-track fire along the back stretch grew enough that it was deemed safer to halt the race and have the safety crews on hand address the issue. While Ruman had been looking for another shot of green flag action to move up late in the race,