Saturday, 13 February 2016

Amy Ruman


Amy with the Corvette in 2015

Amy Ruman races in Trans-Am in the United States. In 2015, she made history by becoming the first woman to win the Trans-Am championship.

Before Trans-Am, Amy was a multiple SCCA Regional champion, and has been active on circuits since 1995, after a couple of seasons of autocross and Solo. She is from a motorsport family, who race as a team: Ruman Racing. Her father, Bob, is a stalwart of the Trans-Am championship. Amy’s elder sister, Niki, also raced on and off.

Among the series Amy raced in was the SCCA Spec Racer Ford championship, sharing the car with Niki and their father for the endurance races. Her performances in SRF in 1998 were enough to catch the attention of Lyn St. James, and both sisters were invited to join the Women’s Global GT Series for 1999. That year, Niki was the faster of the two, and Amy found the races rather hard going. She was thirteenth in the championship.

Her second season of the WGGTS was somewhat more successful. She had a best finish of sixth, at Sebring, and was tenth in the championship. However, the series was cancelled at the end of the season, so there were no more chances for Amy to carry on improving.

After another season in Spec Racer Ford, Amy branched out into GT-1 racing in 2002, driving the family GT-1 Corvette. She finished third in an SCCA race at Sebring, one of her best tracks.

Her second season in GT-1 racing proved that she had found her niche. She was in the top five for every race, and scored her first win, at Beverun.

After managing runner-up spots in previous years, she won her divisional GT-1 championship in 2006 and retained it in 2007. During the 2007 season, she scored five wins in seven races.

In 2005, she had begun doing some Trans-Am racing, after substituting for her father in a race he was scheduled to drive. The race was at Cleveland, and she was tenth. Her second Trans-Am race, at Topeka in 2006, gave her a fifth place.

The Trans-Am championship itself did not run for a few seasons, and when it did reappear in 2009, Amy was part of it. Her best finish was third, at Road Atlanta, in her first race of five. Another part-season in 2010 saw her consolidate her top-three credentials, with three thirds from six races

In 2011, she committed fully to Trans-Am, and won her first race, the last round of the season at Road Atlanta. This was the first win in the series for a female driver. Three further third places were enough for third in the championship.

In 2012, she won in Trans-Am twice, at New Jersey and Brainerd. Five more races ended in podium finishes; she was only out of the top three for three of her seven races. She was second overall in the championship, and was now one of the leading drivers of the series.

She ran in Trans-Am again in 2013, but could not manage a win, although she put together enough of a challenge to finish fourth in the championship. Her best finishes were two third places, at Brainerd and Sebring.

Amy was very successful in 2014, notching up another two wins, and coming third in the 2014 championship. The first victory came from her first pole position, at New Jersey, and her second, at Daytona, was the first win for an individual female driver in a professional race at the circuit.

She made even more history in 2015, by winning the championship outright, with eight race victories from twelve starts. This was a completely dominant performance, and she was 34 points (and five wins) ahead of her nearest rival.

Amy still drives the Ruman Racing Corvette. She defended her title in 2016, after winning three races and scoring three more podium finishes. 

(Image from http://americancarsamericangirls.com/)

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