The postponement of the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta second round of the 2020 Trans Am presented by Pirelli series was especially disappointing for former two-time champion Amy Ruman, who has enjoyed much success at the Georgia circuit through the years.
Indeed, the Ohio-based driver of the No. 23 McNichols Co. Corvette found a second home at the 2.54-mile circuit carved out of the red Georgia clay, becoming the first female driver to win in a Trans Am Series race with a victory there in the 2011 season finale.
Following that breakthrough, Ruman has gone on to win 16 races, including eight in 2015 that led to her taking the first of two consecutive championships.
“Road Atlanta is a very special track for us, because it’s the place where I won my first Trans Am race,” said the 46-year-old driver. “I was breaking barriers because I was a woman in the Trans Am Series, so there have been a lot of firsts.”
Ruman won again at Road Atlanta in 2015, her fourth consecutive victory in a streak that began at the 2014 season finale at Daytona. She also won there from the pole in 2016, and has finished second, third on three occasions, and fourth twice.
“Road Atlanta is a tough track,” she said. “You have to be consistent there, for sure. There are a lot of challenges, especially the downhill Esses and the downhill coming down to the front straight.”
Trans Am racing is a family affair for the Ruman clan. Amy’s dad, Bob, competed in 95 career races, posting 30 top-10 finishes. Daughter Amy made her series debut with a seventh-place finish at Cleveland in 2005 and she became the first woman to capture a Trans Am pole in only her third start – at Topeka, Kansas, during the abbreviated 2006 season.
“I’ve found a home in Trans Am,” she said. “We love it. We’re part of the Trans Am family, and I’m proud to be part of the Trans Am legacy. We know the cars – and these are cars that we like to run. There’s so much horsepower. They’re fast and fun to drive, and we love the format — 100-mile races with no pit stops, re-fueling (or) a lot of crew members.”
Ruman opened her 2020 campaign with a third-place finish at Sebring.
“Our competition is getting pretty deep,” she said. “Trans Am is where it’s at. A lot of people are coming (into) our series, and we’re matching up against a lot of top drivers, a lot of top teams. It’s very competitive, but that’s what makes it fun.”
For now, Ruman – along with everyone in the Trans Am family – can only wait for the “all clear” to resume action, including another visit to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.