|PORTLAND, Ore. (June 18, 2005) — Randy Ruhlman took advantage of starting in the pole position at Portland International Raceway to finish second in Round 2 of the Trans-Am Series in the Rose City 100. Ruhlman set a new track record for the fastest race lap with a time of 1:14.591. Ruhlman in the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette finished behind the Rocketsports Jaguar of Klaus Graf. Ruhlman, the winner of the first Trans-Am race of 2005 at the Long Beach Grand Prix, remains solidly in the point’s lead for the 2005 Driver’s Championship after two rounds of competition.
A 2005 Trans-Am rule change, which inverts the top five starting positions, put Ruhlman on the pole with the fifth fastest time in qualifying. He used that early track position to his advantage and finished on the podium by running a smart and fast race. Ruhlman set the race lap record on Lap 19 of the 51-lap race. He kept up the fast pace and close contact, as front four cars broke off from the field. Greg Pickett and Paul Gentilozzi did battle with each other, using up their cars early. As Ruhlman pushed on Pickett, Graf came up to join the front fight. Traffic played heavily into track position throughout the day, but by the final lap, it was just Graf and Ruhlman in contention for the win.
Ruhlman said in the post race interview, “This was a good day. The car performed well in the race. We had been chasing the car and track yesterday, but we put on our race set up, and figured, if it stayed dry we would have a fast race car. I had Paul [Gentilozzi] on the first start, but that got waved off, and he got me on the next one. We were able to stay with him, and I knew we were in good shape and had a good car. I had a great battle going with Greg Pickett. I felt like we were going back and forth again, just like Long Beach.”
“After awhile, I saw a green and silver car in my mirror, and knew it was Klaus [Graf] coming. He got me when I bobbled in the Festival, and eventually he got Paul, too. Traffic was tough out there. It could really cost you a lot of track position, if you caught these guys at the wrong time. I just couldn’t get to Klaus at the end,” continued Ruhlman. “It is wonderful to go into our home track at Cleveland next weekend in the points lead. We have a strong program at Derhaag Motorsports. This is a great way to start the year.”
Ruhlman retains the Driver’s Championship points lead with 59 points, followed closely by Greg Pickett with 51 points and Graf with 50 points, respectively. Ruhlman scored his second consecutive podium finish today and his ninth consecutive top five finishes in Trans-Am.
The Rose City 100 Trans-Am race was held at 4PM PDT today, Saturday, June 18th. The race was 51 laps of the 1.952 mile 10 turn flat road course at Portland International Raceway for a distance of 100.164 miles. Television coverage will be on SPEED at 1PM EDT next Sunday, June 26th. The Trans-Am Series travels to Cleveland next weekend for Round 3 of the Trans-Am Series on Saturday June 25th.
Randy Ruhlman finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Driver’s Championship, in the closest points battle ever in Trans-Am history. Last year, Ruhlman scored seven straight top five finishes, including three podiums: a second at Road America, another second at Toronto, and a third at Infineon. He was the pole sitter for the Road America race and sat on the front row for the Cleveland Grand Prix. Randy Ruhlman is fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history.
Randy Ruhlman recently spent time between races working with the Buckle Up America program to promote seat belt use. Ruhlman was the keynote speaker at the Cleveland House of Blues Kick-off of the Northeast Ohio "Click It or Ticket" campaign. The program was spearheaded by UHHS Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Outreach Program. Ruhlman also continues to work closely with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, especially in helping to promote the Tour de Road America, coming up on August 20th, to raise money for cancer survivorship.
Founded in 1947, Preformed Line Products (NASDAQ: PLPC) is an international designer and manufacturer of products and systems employed in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground networks for energy, communications and broadband network companies.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Company operates three domestic manufacturing centers, located in Rogers, Arkansas, Albemarle, North Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. Preformed serves worldwide markets through international operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.