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.
Round eight of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup was conducted at Trois-Rivieres. Competitors would race around the ten-turn 1.521-mile temporary street course for sixty-six laps.
|A field eighteen competitors enter the final turn at Trois-Rivieres in anticipation of the Starter’s green flag for round eight of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. The No. 33 ACS Express Panoz Esperante of the points leader Boris Said is on the pole. On the outside of Said is the rookie Butch Leitzinger driving the No. 88 Tom Gloy Racing Chevrolet Corvette. Occupying row two are Stu Hayner and Paul Gentilozzi.|
|Rookie Butch Leitzinger was fresh off his second victory of the season in the previous round at Washington, DC. His first came at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leitzinger was gridded in the second position for the start at Trois-Rivieres. He chased the pole-sitter, Boris Said, for the first twenty-five-laps. A quick pit-stop allowed Leitzinger to move into first. He would lead the remainder of the race for the win.|
|Randy Ruhlman is a twelve-year veteran of the Trans-Am series with 120-starts but has yet to finish on the podium. Ruhlman qualified eighth fastest at Trois-Rivieres in the No. 49 Chevrolet Corvette. On the first lap of the race, he had to pit with a flat tire. Attrition and a steady drive moved him up the order. By lap-63, Ruhlman was third and the retirement of Johnny Miller late in the event gave him a runner-up result.|
|Another driver benefitting from the retirements at Trois-Rivieres and a solid performance was Tomy Drissi. Drissi was gridded in the ninth position for the start of the sixty-six lap contest. Late in the race, he lost fourth place to Randy Ruhlman, but when Johnny Miller encountered a mechanical issue, Drissi collected the final position on the rostrum. His last podium visit was a third place at Mosport in 2000.|
|At Trois-Rivieres, Bob Ruman, piloting the No. 23 Cenweld Corp. / McNichols Co. sponsored Chevrolet Corvette, also collected his best result of 2002. Ruman was the twelfth-fastest during the qualifying session. He moved up the race order as his fellow competitors encountered problems. Ruman crossed the finish line in the fourth position, his best result since 2000 when he finished third at Long Beach.|
|Round eight at Trois-Rivieres proved to be a heart-breaking event for Johnny Miller. Miller managed to qualify sixth fastest in the No. 64 Automation Direct / Eaton / Cutler Hammer Jaguar XKR. Early in the race, he moved past Mike Lewis for fifth-place. With the race almost over, Miller was running in second. However, with four laps remaining he retired with a mechanical issue and was classified with a twelfth place finish.|
|The defending series champion Paul Gentilozzi won the season opener at Long Beach. Unfortunately, Trois-Rivieres would be one of his worst events of 2002. Gentilozzi qualified fourth fastest in the No. 3 Rocket Sports Jaguar XKR. Early in the race, he had contact with Stu Hayner, resulting in a flat tire. Gentilozzi was penalized for excessive pit speed and dropped to the rear of the field but drove to a fifth-place finish.|
|Despite a braking issue with the No. 02 Revolution Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette in the opening practice session, Stu Hayner qualified third fastest at Trois-Rivieres. Early in the contest, contact initialed by Paul Gentilozzi sent him to the rear. He banged wheels for a second time with Gentilozzi, which caused both cars to spin. Hayner charged through the field for a sixth-place finish.|
|When qualifying ended at Trois-Rivieres, it appeared that Boris Said was in a position to collect his fourth victory of the season. The driver of the No. 33 Panoz Esperante, started on the pole and was chased by Butch Leitzinger until the mandatory pit stop. After the stops, Leitzinger was in the lead. Said dropped down the race order and pitted with a brake issue. An extended stop resulted in a ninth-place finish.|
|1||2||Butch Leitzinger||Chevrolet Corvette||Tommy Bahama||66|
|2||8||Randy Ruhlman||Chevrolet Corvette||Performed Line Products||66|
|3||9||Tomy Drissi||Jaguar XKR||Rocketsports||66|
|4||12||Bob Ruman||Chevrolet Corvette||McNichols||66|
|5||4||Paul Gentilozzi||Jaguar XKR||Rocketsports||66|
|6||3||Stu Hayner||Chevrolet Corvette||Revolution Motorsports||64|
|7||15||Simon Gregg||Chevrolet Corvette||Derhaag Motorsports||64|
|8||18||Claudio Burtin||Panoz Esperante||Linex Spray-On||64|
|9||1||Boris Said||Panoz Esperante||ACS Express||63|
|10||14||Mike Davis||Ford Mustang||ACS Express||63|
|11||13||Paul Fix II||Jaguar XKR||Classic Tube||63|
|12||6||Johnny Miller||Jaguar XKR||Automation Direct||62|
|13||17||Richard LaBarbera||Ford Mustang||R&L Racing||59|
|14||11||Don Sak||Chevrolet Corvette||Revolution Motorsports||58|
|15||5||Michael Lewis||Jaguar XKR||Amerisuites||42|
|16||7||Tony Ave||Panoz Esperante||LAC Motorsports||36|
|17||16||Charlie Webster||Chevrolet Corvette||CJ Webster of Canada Ltd||35|
|18||10||Paul Menard||Ford Mustang||ACS Express||30|
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