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.

Currently, the races are 100-miles in length with no opportunity for a pit stop to change drivers or tires and refuel the car. Teams can also compete in two championships – Trans Am Championship and Trans Am West Coast Championship.

  • Trans Am Championship – This division opened the season at Sebring International Raceway during the first weekend of March. At the end of the month, teams competed at Road Atlanta. Round three would be at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and include both championships. After the west coast swing teams would travel to Lime Rock Park, the temporary circuit at Detroit’s Belle Isle, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America, Watkins Glen International and Virginia International Raceway. The penultimate weekend at Circuit of the Americas would be the second event with their west coast counterparts and the finale would take place at Daytona International Raceway in November.
  • Trans Am West Coast Championship – The season started in April at Thunderhill Raceway Park and was followed two weeks later with an event at Auto Club Speedway. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca hosted rounds for both championships. Then it was on to Sonoma Raceway and the penultimate event at Portland International Raceway. The finale for the west coast competitors would be another joint weekend – it would take place at Circuit of the Americas.

In 2019, there are four classes – Trans Am, Trans Am 2, Super Grand Touring and Grand Touring. Trans Am, Super Grand Touring and Grand Touring compete in the same event. Tran Am 2 drivers have their own race.

  • Trans Am (TA) – This is the series quickest class. These tube-frame race cars are powered by a naturally aspirated pushrod V8 engine which produces over 850-horsepower. From a technological standpoint the vehicles are kept quite simple – no superchargers, turbochargers, anti-lock braking systems or traction control. The body styles used are the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette and Dodge Challenger.
  • Trans Am 2 (TA2) – These are also tube-frame chassis cars. Unlike the TA category, these vehicles use electronic fuel injection and intake restrictor plates to limit the horsepower to approximately 490. To keep expenses down the maximum price for shock absorbers, wheels and brake pads and calipers are set by the series officials. For example, shock absorbers are limited to a cost of $850 each. This category is also restricted to using a four-speed manual transmission with no overdrive. Teams are also prohibited from using superchargers, turbochargers, anti-lock braking systems or traction control. The most common body style is the Chevrolet Camaro but the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger are also eligible.
  • Super Grand Touring (SGT) – In 2019, TA3 was renamed SGT and includes a large number of production-based vehicles. Unlike TA and TA2, which is restricted to North American models, European manufacturers may also compete in this division. As a result, the list of vehicles eligible for SGT is long and ranges from the BMW M3 to the Dodge Viper. To maintain parity, some cars are fitted with restrictor plates or carry additional weight.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – The newly named Grand Touring was previously called TA4. A wide range of European and American vehicles are also eligible to compete in this group – the list is not as lengthy as the Super Grand Touring category. This is viewed as an entry-level category which only allows limited preparation. To equalize performance some of the cars may carry additional weight or the engine may be fitted with a restrictor place.

Round-ten of the TA2 powered by AEM class was held at Watkins Glen International. Competitors would race for thirty-laps or seventy-five-minutes, whichever came first, around the eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

The start of round-ten for the TA2 powered by AEM class at Watkins Glen International. Leading the field of twenty-seven starters into the high-speed turn two is the pole-sitter, Rafa Matos driving the 3Dimensional Services Group sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. Behind Matos is the second-fastest qualifier and the current points leader, Marc Miller in the No. 40 Dodge Challenger prepared by Stevens-Miller Racing.
It was Rafa Matos’ fourth victory of the season driving the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro sponsored by the 3Dimensional Services Group. This was also his second win in a row having won the previous round at Road America. Matos currently sits second in the title chase. His performances of late have allowed him to close the point’s gap on the championship leader, Marc Miller to within forty-one-markers with three races remaining in 2019.
Former oval track racer, Scott Lagasse, Jr has adapted quickly to the road circuits on the Trans Am schedule. His season to date includes four visits to the podium with two of them being runner-up finishes. At Watkins Glen, Lagasse, Jr. qualified fifth fastest driving the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro. During the contest, he inherited a position from Marc Miller and passed Tyler Kicera and Thomas Miller to finish second.
West Coast competitor, Thomas Merrill impressed series regulars when he started sixteenth at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and grabbed the victory. In the next round at Lime Rock Park Merrill showcased his talents once again by qualifying on the pole and leading the most laps on the way to his second victory. He started fourth at Watkins Glen and inherited a third-place finish when Marc Miller had problems.
Six podium finishes which include two wins has landed Marc Miller on top of the point standings. Other than a thirteenth place finish at Detroit, Miller has always finished in the top-five. At Watkins Glen International, he put the No. 40 Dodge Challenger on the outside of the front row. Unfortunately, contact on lap-2 of the race dropped him to the twenty-fifth position but Miller fought back for a ninth-place finish.
Tyler Kicera made a very impressive debut. The 2016 NASA Eastern States Spec Miata National Champion qualified third. Kicera felt he could have gone quicker but contact on lap-2 of the session damaged the No. 4 Carbotech Brakes Kicera Motorsports Ford Mustang. The crew worked late into the evening to repair the car. Their efforts paid off, Kicera was able to maintain the pace of the leaders and finished fourth.
Quebec resident, Louis-Phillippe Montour has only made one start this year. Montour participated in the season opener at Sebring International where he started eighth and finished tenth. It appeared the time away from the series did not hinder his performance. Montour was ninth fastest in qualifying, driving the No. 13 Chevrolet Camaro with backing from Montour Limited. He made good progress in the race and finished fifth.
The Trans Am series recognizes the highest finishing driver over 65-years of age with the Masters Award. At Watkins Glen, the winner was Doug Peterson who was gridded seventh for the start and was in eleventh place at the checkered flag. Peterson has a wealth of road racing experience which includes the 2004 SCCA Formula Mazda National Championship and at the professional ranks Trans Am titles in 2013 and 2014.
The podium for the TA2 powered by AEM class at Watkins Glen International. In the center and making his fourth visit to the top step of the rostrum in 2019 is the winner, Rafa Matos. To Matos’ right is the runner-up, Scott Lagasse, Jr. This Lagasse’s fourth podium finish of the season. Completing the top-three and making an impressive series debut is the local driver, Tyler Kicera.

11TA2Rafa Matos3Dimensional Services Group / Chevrolet Camaro30
25TA2Scott Lagasse JrM1 Racecars / Chevrolet Camaro30
34TA2Thomas MerrillBig Diehl Racing / Ford Mustang30
43TA2Tyler KiceraCarbotech Brakes / Ford Mustang30
59TA2 Louis-Philippe Montour Montour Ltd / Chevrolet Camaro30
66TA2 Kent VaccaroBC Race Cars / Chevrolet Camaro30
711TA2Doug Peterson3Dimensional Services Group / Ford Mustang30
815TA2Elias AndersonSampson Race/Harris Hill / Ford Mustang30
92TA2Marc MillerStevens-Miller Racing / Dodge Challenger30
1014TA2Lawless AlanAutoParkIT / Ford Mustang30
1121TA2Keith ProciukHP Tuners / Chevrolet Camaro30
1210TA2Tony BuffomanteMike Cope Racing / Ford Mustang30
1312TA2Jacob MoslerM1 Racecars / Chevrolet Camaro30
1416TA2Barry BoesSampson Race/Harris Hill / Ford Mustang30
157TA2Ty GibbsMike Cope Race Cars / Ford Mustang30
1623TA2Riley HerbstMike Cope Race Cars / Ford Mustang30
1724TA2Doug WinstonPrefix / Dodge Challenger30
1825TA2John CloudUltimate Headers / Chevrolet Camaro30
1918TA2Curt VogtCobra Automotive / Ford Mustang30
2019TA2Brian SwankBerryman Products / Chevrolet Camaro29
2126TA2Frank Dalene Telemark Inc / Chevrolet Camaro29
2217TA2Alex WrightStevens Miller Racing / Dodge Challenger28
2322TA2Misha GoikhbergBC Race Cars / Chevrolet Camaro24
2420TA2Bob LimaLima Company / Chevrolet Camaro21
2527TA2A.J. HenriksenAnchor Bolt / Chevrolet Camaro16
268TA2Dillon MachavernLiqui-Moly / Ford Mustang14
2713TA2Tom SheehanLTK Insulation Technologies / Ford Mustang11

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