Ayers Takes Home Track Pro SRF Victory Sunday Afternoon In Atlanta
Nov. 6, 2011 - BRASELTON, Ga. - Tray Ayres, from nearby Woodstock, Ga., earned a victory in the SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford season finale on Sunday afternoon at Road Atlanta. Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio, finished in the runner-up position to clinch his second-consecutive series title, with John Greene, of Gainesville, Ga., completing the podium.
Tray Ayres won race 2 in Atlanta
Tray Ayres, from nearby Woodstock, Ga., earned a victory in the SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford season finale on Sunday afternoon at Road Atlanta. Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio, finished in the runner-up position to clinch his second-consecutive series title, with John Greene, of Gainesville, Ga., completing the podium.
Ayres started on pole in the No. 7 Ayers Racing Spec Racer Ford and led 17 of 20 laps in the race on his way to a 0.241-second victory over Rettich, averaging 90.080 mph in the 50.8-mile race. Ayres also turned the fastest lap of the race on the 2.54-mile circuit in 1:40.583 (90.910 mph).
The top two finishers survived heavy attrition and were left alone to battle for the win on the last several laps, with Ayres holding off a challenge from Rettich’s No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer for the victory.
Rettich, who held the point lead by 65 points entering the finale, was essentially handed the title when championship runner-up Richard Spicer’s No. 65 Spicer Race Engines/Hagerman Engineering Spec Racer pulled off track on the front straight after four laps with suspension damage. Spicer’s early exit came just one lap after the third title contender, Brian Schofield, pulled his No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer off course, also with suspension damage. Schofield was hit on the start from his eighth starting position, breaking his rear suspension.
“When Richard dropped out and it was just the two of us, it was just a question of clicking off some good laps and trying to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes,” Ayres said. “I ended up doing that and I was able to get out of seven a little bit better than he could on the last lap and he couldn’t get a run on me. That was the race.
“I wasn’t quick enough to get completely away with the draft on the back straight away and the wind, so I just made sure I stayed in front and saved a little bit for the second-to-last and last lap.”
With those two top contenders out of the race, Ayres, Rettich, and Frank Futrelle’s No. 97 Meco Inc. of Augusta/Comprent Spec Racer ran in the lead group, pulling away from the rest of the field.
Futrelle ran off course and eventually pulled into pit lane on lap 15, leaving Ayres and Rettich to battle for the win. Rettich got in front of Ayres to lead lap 10 and 17, but had no way around Ayres in the final lap for the win.
“I had a really good car early in the race, but we had the car just a little too loose,” Rettich said. “It was a dirty track, and that contributed, but my car was falling off a little more and a little more. I took the lead with a few laps to go, but I wasn’t fast enough to pull away. Coming into the last lap, my car wasn’t very good coming through seven. Tray was a lot stronger than me, and he was able to be just far enough ahead of me that I drafted up to him. I could have maybe made a bonsai move, but it wasn’t worth it.”
Third-finishing Greene’s No. 29 Jacky Jones Auto Group/PM Racing Spec Racer led a pack of four drivers across the white flag for the final podium spot. That battle, with Greene followed by Derek Schofield’s No. 61 PM Racing machine, Bruce Meyers’ No. 28 Seacoast Physiatry car, and Jean-Luc Liverato’s No. 8 ExpandeTech/8-Ball Racing/PM Racing Spec Racer, ended when Schofield spun and collected Liverato, leaving Greene to finish third.
Myers followed Greene across the stripe for a fourth-place finish.
Cliff White, of Vail, Colo., finished fifth in the No. 58 Spec Racer Ford machine.