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 Corvette, Panoz Esperante and Jaguar XKR; however, other vehicles eligible for the series include the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Car styles cannot be more than five years old. All cars are required to use an American-based engine. Eight combinations of body/year, cubic inch, and induction types are approved for the series. The grouping selected by the team will determine the vehicle’s minimum weight. A 2001 body style with a carbureted 311-cu.in. must at least tip the scales at least at 2,600-pounds. The fuel injected version is required to add an additional 50-pounds. At the other end of the spectrum are cars prepared to SCCA GT1 rules with 1998-99 body style and a carbureted 335 or 358-cu.in. They must weigh a minimum of 2,750-pounds.
As the primary sponsor, all competitors must use the designated BF Goodrich Tires racing slick.
The twelve race season begins on April 7 in Miami and ends on October 27 at Virginia International Raceway.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course hosted round four of the 2002 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am championship. The race was forty-five laps around the 2.258-mile, thirteen-turn road course and called the Trans-Am Buckeye 100.
|Twenty competitors enter Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s ‘Esses’ for round four of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Butch Leitzinger, in the No. 88 Tom Gloy Racing prepared Chevrolet Corvette. Behind Leitzinger is the No. 33 ACS Express Panoz Esperante driven by the other front row starter Boris Said. Trailing Said is the third-fastest qualifier, Michael Lewis.|
|Trans-Am rookie Butch Leitzinger came close to winning a couple events this season but finally got it done at the Trans-Am Buckeye 100. Leitzinger put the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Chevrolet Corvette on the pole. During the race, he led 41 of the 45-lap contest. However, it wasn’t a dominant performance. A final caution, required Leitzinger to defend first place against Paul Gentillozi, Boris Said and Johnny Miller.|
|Finishing in the runner-up position at Mid-Ohio was Paul Gentilozzi. The reigning series champion qualified sixth fastest in the No. 3 Jaguar XKR. He led for a lap while the other competitors made their mandatory pit stop. By the end of the contest, Gentilozzi was in second place and in a four-car train with the leader, Butch Leitzinger, Boris Said and Johnny Miller. He finished 0.540-seconds behind Leitzinger.|
|The final spot on the podium for the Trans-Am Buckeye 100 went to the points leader, Boris Said. By the time the series arrived at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Said had collected three podium results, two of which were victories. He started on the outside of the front row in the No. 33 ACS Express Panoz Esperante. As the race came to a conclusion, Said challenged the leaders but could not advance his position.|
|Johnny Miller was one of the four drivers battling for a podium position after the final caution period. Miller recorded the ninth-fastest time during the qualifying session. Driving the No. 64 Automation Direct / Eaton / Cutler Hammer Jaguar XKR, he moved into contention early in the contest. With three laps to go, Miller chased the leaders but could do no better than fourth place. He was still third in the points chase.|
|Trans-Am series veteran Michael Lewis delivered an excellent qualifying performance in the No. 12 AmeriSuites sponsored Jaguar XKR. Lewis qualified third fastest just 0.236-seconds behind the pole-sitter, Butch Leitzinger. He would use the mandatory pit stop to his advantage and lead laps 15-17. However, Lewis was unable to manage the pace set by the leaders and crossed the finish line in seventh place.|
|Stu Hayner piloted the No. 02 Chevrolet Corvette. In his last outing, he finished thirteenth. Round four would provide the team with an opportunity to redeem themselves. Hayner was gridded in the fifth position for the start of the forty-five lap Trans-Am Buckeye 100. He moved into fourth early when Justin Bell retired but lost a spot to Paul Gentilozzi. Hayner collected a fifth-place, his best result to date.|
|Tony Ave had a spectacular outing in round three at Lime Rock Park. Driving the No. 53 LAC Motorsports prepared Panoz Esperante. He finished in the runner-up position. Ave was the eighth fastest during the qualifying session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. A solid performance in the race was rewarded with a sixth-place finish, which moved him to fifth in the championship standings.|
|The top three finishers for round four of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Standing in the center and claiming his first series victory is the rookie from Tom Gloy Racing Butch Leitzinger. On the left is last year’s champion and the runner-up finisher Paul Gentilozzi. Completing the rostrum is the current points leader, Boris Said.|
|1||1||Butch Leitzinger||Chevrolet Corvette||Tommy Bahama||45|
|2||6||Paul Gentilozzi||Jaguar XKR||Rocketsports||45|
|3||2||Boris Said||Panoz Esperante||ACS Express||45|
|4||9||Johnny Miller||Jaguar XKR||Automation Direct||45|
|5||5||Stu Hayner||Chevrolet Corvette||Revolution Motorsports||45|
|6||8||Tony Ave||Panoz Esperante||LAC Motorsports||45|
|7||3||Michael Lewis||Jaguar XKR||Amerisuites||45|
|8||10||Tomy Drissi||Jaguar XKR||Rocketsports||45|
|9||15||Paul Fix II||Jaguar XKR||Classic Tube||45|
|10||13||Jack Willes||Chevrolet Corvette||Comer Racing||45|
|11||23||Max Lagod||Chevrolet Camaro||Hypermax Diesel Turbo||44|
|12||12||Simon Gregg||Chevrolet Corvette||Derhaag Motorsports||44|
|13||7||Randy Ruhlman||Chevrolet Corvette||Performed Line Products||44|
|14||14||Tim Cowen||Ford Mustang||Cowen Truck Line||44|
|15||16||Bob Ruman||Chevrolet Corvette||McNichols||44|
|16||18||Charlie Webster||Chevrolet Corvette||CJ Webster of Canada Ltd||44|
|17||19||Paet Hidalgo||Ford Mustang Cobra||ACS Express||43|
|18||17||Claudio Burtin||Panoz Esperante||Linex Spray-On||39|
|19||20||Craig Shafer||Chevrolet Camaro||Somerset Door & Column||35|
|20||4||Justin Bell||Chevrolet Corvette||XtremeLens||20|
|21||11||Bobby Sak||Chevrolet Corvette||Revolution Motorsports||17|
|22||21||Dan Furey||Chevrolet Corvette||Power Technology||2|
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