2000 marked the 35th season for the Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am Series.
The rights to the series was acquired by Ralph Sanchez and Don Panoz. BFGoodrich tires was the title sponsor.
The twelve race season opened at Sebring, Florida in March and ended in November at San Diego, California.
There were a number of technical changes for 2000. The most obvious was the introduction of a spec rear wing. The spec wing was introduced as a means of equalizing the downforce of the cars while maintaining a more production-based appearance. It was felt that the use of a rear spoiler distorted the car’s original lines.
Along with the new look, there was a return to multi-valve cylinder heads and fuel injection – the first time since 1990. The multi-valve configuration (4-valves per cylinder only) was permitted on 275-cubic inch V8 engines and fuel injection was only allowed on 311-cubic inch V8 and the 275-cubic inch motors.
There was also new eligibility for a broad range of auto manufacturers and models. As a result the grids which were traditionally filled with Ford and Chevrolet products now included the Jaguar XKR, Qvale Mangusta and the Oldsmobile Aurora.
California’s Laguna Seca Raceway hosted Round-10 of the 2000 Trans Am Series. It had been 1982 since the series visited this track and none of the drivers entered had ever competed at Laguna Seca in a Trans Am car. The 34-car field would race for 45-laps which was just over 100-miles.
|The field heads into Laguna Seca’s tight turn two. On the inside in No. 40 is pole-sitter Kenny Wilden in the Jim Derhaag prepared Chevrolet Camaro. To his right is Brian Simo in the No. 88 Qvale Mangusta. Behind them and barely visible is third place qualifier Boris Said in the Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang.|
|Stu Hayner was part of Team Victoria, which also included Willy T. Ribbs. The team was coming off a strong second-place finish at Houston after a season with many “ups and downs”. At Laguna Seca, he qualified the No. 98 Chevrolet Camaro ninth and held off a hard charging Johnny Miller for a fourth place finish.|
|This is how Brian Simo’s Qvale Mangusta looked after his on track skirmish with Paul Gentilozzi. Simo and Gentilozzi made contact on the nineteenth lap, which sent Simo into the gravel trap at turn three. With substantial damage to the right side of the car, he was no longer a factor in the race. He finished twenty-ninth – completing only 36-laps.|
|Randy Ruhlman spent a lot of the 2000 season sideways – sometimes through no fault of his own. After getting sideways in Laguna Seca’s turn two, he stalled the car and as the photo would indicate there was plenty of gas in the exhaust system when it re-fired. He is passed by No. 16 Willy T. Ribbs and Tomy Drissi.|
|Kenny Wilden picked up his first career victory, in only his fifth Trans Am start. Wilden had to fight it out with Brian Simo and Boris Said to capture the win. He also picked up the Simple Green Clean Sweep Award for leading the most laps, having the fastest race lap and winning the pole and race. He earned $58,500 which was the largest purse in Trans Am history.|
|Canadian Marybeth Harrison was a member of the all-female PPG Pace Car Driving team that paced the field at all CART races. She made four Trans Am starts during the 2000 season – Mosport, Cleveland, Elkhart Lake and Laguna Seca. At Laguna Seca she scored her best results in the Glacier Bear Racing Chevrolet Camaro - qualifying twenty-fifth and finishing thirteenth.|
|During practice Applied Computer Systems team owner, Mike Davis, tested the Alex Zanardi line through the corkscrew. The Ford Mustang Cobra driver would start eighteenth and finish in fifteenth place.|
|Boris Said in a brand new Ford Mustang delivered a week before the event, qualified third. He took the new car to the front and led laps nineteen to thirty-seven before finishing in second place. Just prior to the Trans Am event Said shared the driving duties in the American Lemans GT class winning BMW M3 with Hans Stuck.|
|For the second race in a row, the series point’s leaders, Paul Gentilozzi and Brian Simo had on-track contact. Simo and his Qvale Mangusta was the loser in the skirmish - he was forced to pit for a new tire and body repairs. Gentilozzi in the No. 1 Jaguar XKR was able to continue and took home the final podium spot.|
|Michael Lewis, a multi-time SCCA National Champion, was also a regular on the Trans Am circuit. Throughout the season, Lewis put together many good qualifying efforts but the team had difficulty producing good finishing results. At Laguna he qualified eighth and finished thirty-third. As an aside, Lewis was the first competitor to experiment with the new 2000 fuel-injection rules.|
|Trans Am regular Don Sak finished twenty-fourth – 3-laps behind the leaders - at Laguna Seca after a twenty-second place start.|
|1||1||Kenny Wilden||Chevrolet Camaro||45||-|
|2||3||Boris Said III||Ford Mustang Cobra||45||-|
|3||5||Paul Gentilozzi||Jaguar XKR||45||-|
|4||9||Stu Hayner||Chevrolet Camaro||45||-|
|5||6||Johnny Miller||Chevrolet Corvette||45||-|
|6||11||Lou Gigliotti||Chevrolet Corvette||45||-|
|7||12||Willy T. Ribbs||Chevrolet Camaro||45||-|
|8||7||Jeff Altenburg||Jaguar XKR||45||-|
|9||15||Randy Ruhlman||Oldsmobile Aurora||45||-|
|10||10||Leighton Reese||Pontiac Grand Prix||45||-|
|11||13||Simon Gregg||Chevrolet Camaro||45||-|
|12||16||Peter Shea||Ford Mustang Cobra||45||-|
|13||25||Marybeth Harrison||Chevrolet Camaro||45||-|
|14||14||Chris Neville||Ford Mustang Cobra||45||-|
|15||18||Mike Davis||Ford Mustang Cobra||44||-|
|16||19||Steve Pelke||Ford Mustang Cobra||44||-|
|17||30||Alan Ferguson||Chevrolet Camaro||44||-|
|18||28||Tom Miller||Ford Mustang Cobra||44||-|
|19||24||Jerry Kinn||Chevrolet Corvette||44||-|
|20||29||Don Soenen||Ford Mustang Cobra||44||-|
|21||26||Claudio Burtin||Ford Mustang Cobra||44||-|
|22||34||Jim Briody||Chevrolet Camaro||43||-|
|23||27||Grant Sylvester||Ford Mustang Cobra||42||-|
|24||22||Don Sak||Chevrolet Camaro||41||-|
|25||4||Tomy Drissi||Ford Mustang Cobra||40||-|
|26||33||Monica Kolvyn||Chevrolet Camaro||40||-|
|27||31||Dick Greer||Chevrolet Corvette||39||-|
|28||17||Kerry Alexander||Chevrolet Camaro||36||Suspension|
|29||2||Brian Simo||Qvale Mangusta||36||-|
|30||21||Ken Murillo||Chevrolet Camaro||23||Mechanical|
|31||20||Bob Ruman||Chevolet Corvette||22||Transmission|
|32||23||Mike Rockett||Chevrolet Camaro||22||Engine|
|33||8||Michael Lewis||Ford Mustang Cobra||13||Mechanical|
|34||32||Kevin Neilson||Ford Mustang Cobra||0||Mechanical|
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