The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) introduced the Trans Am series in 1966.
The championship was created during the introduction of Detroit’s ‘American Pony Car’ period.
The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro proved to be very popular with consumers and the best way for
manufacturers to demonstrate their potential was ‘To race on Sunday and sell on Monday.’
In 1966, vehicle classification and rules were based on the SCCA’s A and B Sedan amateur classes. A Sedan was called the Over 2.0-Liter category. The cars competing in the group were limited to a 5.0-liter engine and provided a platform to showcase the new ‘Pony Cars.’ The Under 2.0-Liter category included vehicles from BMW, Alfa Romero, British Leyland and Porsche.
The Trans Am series and its regulations have evolved over time. The championship has undergone changes to the race formats, vehicle eligibility and rules governing the cars.
Trans Am rules require that vehicles be constructed with a purpose-built tube frame chassis. The top chassis builders include Riley & Scott, Roush, Weaver, Selix-Weaver, Hoerr, Rocketsports and Pratt & Miller Engineering. The bodies are made of composites, such as carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass. The rules stipulate that the cars should maintain the recognizable external features of the manufacturer's model while providing flares necessary to keep the tires inside the bodywork. SCCA Pro Racing uses body templates to ensure the shape of cars is within designated tolerances. Cars are required to use the stock windshield or an approved alternative, which has to be mounted in the original location and at the original angle. The rules also dictate the use of the stock taillights, which are often the only production parts on the vehicles. The popular models are the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang; however, other vehicles eligible for the series include the Chevrolet Corvette, Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Cutlass. Car styles cannot be more than five years old. All cars are required to use an American-based engine. The rules allow a 358 cubic inch 9:1 V8 engine with a car weight of 2700-lbs or a 355 cubic inch tipping the scales at 2775-lbs. Another option is a V6 with a 275 cubic inch engine weighing 2500-lbs. But the most popular choice is a 311 cubic inch motor. All options must be fitted with a 4150 Holley carburetor.
The championship had a partnership with BFGoodrich and used the manufacturer's g-Force T/A spec tire.
The thirteen race season began on April 18 at Long Beach, California and ended on October 17 at Sebring International Raceway.
Mosport International Raceway hosted round two of the 1999 BF Goodrich Tires Trans-Am championship, which was the weekend's feature event. The race was 40-laps around the 2.459-mile, ten-turn road course.
|The first lap through Mosport International Raceway’s Moss Corner for round two of the 1999 BF Goodrich Tires Trans Am championship. Leading the field of twenty-five starters is the pole-sitter, Brian Simo, in the No. 2 Valvoline Ford Mustang Cobra. Behind Simo is his new teammate and the other front-row qualifier, Dorsey Schroeder, driving the No. 7 Ford Mustang Cobra and Paul Gentilozzi in a similar model.|
|In 1997 and 1998, Brian Simo finished as the runner-up in the BF Goodrich Tires Trans Am championship. Simo’s aspirations for this year’s title took a blow at Long Beach when he finished twenty-third. Round two would provide Simo with an opportunity to redeem himself and he did. Simo put the No. 2 Valvoline sponsored Ford Mustang Cobra on the pole and led the race flag-to-flag.|
|Arrangements were made for the 1989 Trans Am Champion, Dorsey Schroeder, to drive the No. 7 Synpower Ford Mustang Cobra. On Friday, Brian Simo was joined by his new teammate. Schroeder qualified on the outside of the front and followed Simo until a late-race caution. On the restart, Schroeder was passed by Paul Gentilozzi, but he used a move he learned from Ron Fellows to regain the position and finish second.|
|The reigning BF Goodrich Tires Tran Am Champion, Paul Gentilozzi, replaced his Chevrolet Corvette with the No. 1 Ford Mustang Cobra. In defense of his title, Gentilozzi won the opening round of the series at Long Beach. He qualified third fastest at Mosport and moved into second place during a late-race restart. However, a miscue in corner one caused Gentilozzi to lose the position and capture the final podium position.|
|This season Johnny Miller was campaigning the No. 64 Automationdirect.com Chevrolet Camaro. The 1996 Rookie of the Year was awarded Most Improved Driver of the Year by his peers last year. Miller lived up to this honour by finishing second in the first race of 1999 at Long Beach. At Mosport International Raceway, he qualified sixth fastest but finished eighth. However, Miller was still second in the title chase.|
|Michael Lewis not only competed in the SCCA’s Pro Racing BF Goodrich Tire Trans Am series, but he was also an active participant in the club’s amateur program. Lewis had four National titles, one of which was the GT1 championship in 1995. He opened the 1999 season with a third-place finish at Long Beach. Lewis qualified tenth fastest at Mosport International Raceway and finished in the seventh position.|
|There were just two Pontiac Grand Prix entered for round two at Mosport International Raceway. The quicker of the two was the No. 66 Banner Engineering model piloted by Leighton Reese. Last year at Detroit, Reese captured his best series result with a second-place finish. He qualified eighth fastest at Mosport; however, contact with local driver, Jerry Simmons resulted in a thirteenth place result.|
|The faster and better-financed teams in the 1999 BF Goodrich Tires Trans Am series were racing the new Ford Mustang Cobra. The top four finishers in round two at Mosport International Raceway drove this Ford product. The best of the rest was Max Lagod. Lagod, the 1996 and 1997 SCCA National GT1 champion, drove the No. 83 Hypermax Chevrolet Camaro to a fifth-place finish.|
|1999 was Pennsylvania’s, Craig Shafer’s nineteenth season in the Trans Am series. His first event was in 1981 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As a privateer, he ran a limited schedule, but Mosport was always on his calendar. Missing the qualifying session at round two meant that Shafer was gridded twenty-fourth for the forty-lap contest. However, he advanced fifteen positions in the race to finish ninth.|
|1||1||Brian Simo||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|2||2||Dorsey Schroeder||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|3||3||Paul Gentilozzi||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|4||4||Chris Neville||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|5||5||Max Lagod||Chevrolet Camaro||40||-|
|6||7||Randy Ruhlman||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|7||10||Mike Lewis||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|8||6||Johnny Miller||Chevrolet Camaro||40||-|
|9||24||Craig Shafer||Chevrolet Camaro||39||-|
|10||17||Simon Gregg||Chevrolet Camaro||39||-|
|11||20||Steve Pelke||Chevrolet Camaro||40||-|
|12||18||Tom Coleman||Chevrolet Camaro||39||-|
|13||8||Leighton Reese||Pontiac Grand Prix||39||-|
|14||20||James Briody||Chevrolet Camaro||38||-|
|15||23||Glenn Andrew||Pontiac Grand Prix||37||-|
|16||19||Frank Ciopettini||Chevrolet Camaro||37||-|
|17||13||Bob Ruman||Chevrolet Camaro||36||Accident|
|18||12||Don Sak||Oldsmobile Cutlass||36||Accident|
|20||14||Jerry Simmons||Chevrolet Camaro||32||Accident|
|21||25||Stu Hayner||Ford Mustang Cobra||25||Accident|
|22||16||Tomy Drissi||Ford Mustang Cobra||23||Mechanical|
|23||22||Charlie Webster||Chevrolet Camaro||15||Mechanical|
|24||9||Lou Gigliotti||Chevrolet Corvette||14||Mechanical|
|25||11||G.J. Mennen||Ford Mustang Cobra||12||Mechanical|
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