Peterson, Halsmer open Trans-Am season with wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Trans-Am Series drivers Doug Peterson and Pete Halsmer showed on Sunday that racing for wins never gets old.

The pair of racing veterans, Peterson, 61, and Halsmer, 68, drove to victories at the season-opening Trans-Am Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday.

Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Fla., drove a Chevrolet Corvette to the Trans-Am race win, while former CART driver Halsmer, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., won the Trans-Am 2 race in a Chevrolet Camaro.

Ian Patterson finished second, 2.686 seconds behind Peterson.

Tony Ave, last year’s Trans-Am Series points champion and winner of six of the nine races in 2011, went out midway through the race with engine issues. He completed just 16 of the 34 laps and finished in 10th place in the 10-car Trans-Am field.

It was the first Trans-Am 2 race for Halsmer, who had 33 major open-wheel race starts between 1980 and 1985.

“We’re really pleased,” said Halsmer. “This is the first race for both of these cars and Mike Miller’s racing operation.”

Bob Stretch was runner-up in the Trans-Am 2 race.

“[The win] was really just a matter who managed their tires the best,” Halsmer said. “I could see [Stretch’s] tires were going off quicker than mine. I think that was always one of my strengths in Trans-Am in the past.”

Halsmer previously raced in the Trans-Am Series for Jack Roush in the late 1980s.

Results from the 34 lap, 83.606-mile Trans-Am Championship Trans-Am Championship Round One race, part of the Victoria Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).

1. TA, (3), Doug Peterson, Bonita Springs, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, :58:47.619.

2. TA, (9), Ian Patterson, Petersborough, Ontario, Chevrolet Corvette, -2.686 secs.

3. TA, (4), Simon Gregg, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, -4.841 secs.

4. TA, (7), Andrew Romocki, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ford Mustang, -6.518 secs.

5. TA, (8), David Jans, Mundelein, Ill., Ford Mustang, -14.949 secs.

6. TA, (5), Amy Ruman, Kent, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette, -1 lap.

7. TA, (10), Jonathan Brett, Mount Elgin, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, -2 laps.

8. TA, (6), Allan Lewis, New Dundee, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, -9 laps.

9. TA, (2), Blaise Csida, Ballantrae, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet Corvette, -14 laps.

10. TA, (1), Tony Ave, Maiden, N.C., Chevrolet Corvette, -18 laps, mechanical.

11. TA, (11), Cliff Ebben, Appleton, Wis., Ford Mustang, DNS.

12. TA2, (13), Pete Halsmer, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, -1 lap.

13. TA2, (12), Bob Stretch, Arlington, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, -1 lap.

14. TA2, (17), Michael Wilson, Blairstown, N.J., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, -2 laps.

15. TA2, (15), Kurt Roerhig, Greensboro, N.C., Chevrolet Camaro, -2 laps.

16. TA2, (18), Mel Shaw, Voorhees, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, -3 laps.

17. TA2, (16), Tom Sheehan, Bow, N.H., Chevrolet Camaro, -15 laps, mechanical.

18. TA2, (14), Mike Miller, Okemos, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, -32 laps, crash.

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