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 BMW, Alfa Romero, British Leyland and Porsche vehicles.

The Trans Am series and its regulations have evolved over time. The championship has changed 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

  • February 23-26 - Sebring International Raceway
  • March 9-12 – NOLA Motorsports Park
  • March 23-26 – Road Atlanta
  • May 26-29 – Lime Rock Park
  • June 2-4 - Detroit Grand Prix (TA2 doubleheader)
  • June 15-18 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (TA/XGT/SGT/GT only)
  • June 23-26 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • July 6-9 – Road America
  • August 3-5 – Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (TA2 only)
  • September 6-10 – Watkins Glen International
  • September 22-24 – World Wide Technology Raceway
  • October 5-8 – VIRginia International Raceway
  • November 2-5 – Circuit of the Americas

Trans Am West Coast Championship

  • March 3-5 – Thunderhill Raceway
  • April 27-May 30 – Sonoma Raceway
  • May 5-7 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
  • June 9-11 – The Ridge Motorsports Park
  • July 21-23 – Portland International Raceway
  • October 20-22 – Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch
  • November 2-5 – Circuit of the Americas

In 2023, there are five classes – Trans Am, Trans Am 2, Xtreme Grand Touring, Super Grand Touring and Grand Touring. Trans Am, Xtreme Grand Touring, 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 relatively 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 series officials set the maximum price for shock absorbers, wheels, brake pads, and calipers. For example, shock absorbers are limited to $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.
  • Xtreme Grand Touring (XGT) – This class was created to give former FIA GT3 cars a place to race. The category is open to a wide range of GT3 vehicles - Audi R8 LMS, Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup, Mercedes AMG GT3 and Chevrolet Corvette.
  • Super Grand Touring (SGT) – In 2019, TA3 was renamed SGT and included many production-based vehicles. Unlike TA and TA2, which are restricted to North American models, European manufacturers may 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. Some cars are fitted with restrictor plates or carry additional weight to maintain parity.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – The 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 that only allows limited preparation. To equalize performance, some cars may carry additional weight or the engine may be fitted with a restrictor place.

Round ten for the TA2 category of the 2023 Trans Am Championship presented by Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers was held at Watkins Glen International. Drivers would compete in a thirty-lap contest around the eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

The first of two qualifying sessions was completed when on track incidents and impending fog forced series officials to set the grid based on practice times.

The race was scheduled to be thirty-laps. However, it became a timed event due to many caution periods. The leaders completed twenty-nine-laps.

Thirty-seven competitors charge into Watkins Glen International’s corner two for round ten of the 2023 Trans Am 2 Championship presented by Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers. The third fastest qualifier, Thomas Annunziata, leads the field in the No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang. Just behind Annunziata is the No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro driven by the pole-sitter Connor Zilisch. Beside Zilisch is Rafa Matos.
The championship leader, Brent Crews, set the second fastest time in qualifying driving the No. 25 Franklin Road / Mobil 1 Ford Mustang. On race day, teams had to decide whether to start on slick or wet tires. Crews Mustang was fitted with slicks. On the wet track, he fell to fifth, but the rain stopped. Crews began to move forward and crossed the finish line in second. However, the winner, Connor Zilisch, was disqualified, giving the victory to Crews.
TA2 newcomer Austin Green led the Wilwood Rookie standings heading into round ten. Green made an impressive debut with a runner-up result at Sebring. Since the opening race, the No. 89 3-Dimensional Services Ford Mustang driver has had mixed results. At Watkins Glen, Green started sixth and was fourth at the checker. However, with the disqualification of Connor Zilisch and Nathan Herne, he was awarded second.
Another driver benefitting from the disqualification of Zilisch and Herne was Dillon Machavern. Machavern returned to the series full-time after spending the last three years competing in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. His 2023 record included a third place at Mid-Ohio, but he also had a pair of twenty-eighth-place finishes at Road America and Nashville. Machavern inherited third after starting fifteenth.
The two-time TA2 champion Rafa Matos started the season with three podium finishes, one of which was a victory. Despite some setbacks, Matos is second in the points chase. At Watkins Glen, he was gridded fourth driving the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang. He started the race on rain tires but changed to slicks on lap-6. Matos charged to the front and was credited with a fourth-place finish.
Connor Zilisch drove the No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Zilisch was fourth in the standings with victories at Road Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville. At Watkins Glen, he was fastest in practice and started on the pole. He took control of the race and despite several cautions, Zilisch crossed the finish line first. However, his car and that of Nathan Herne failed the post-race technical inspection due to an engine height violation.
A driver having a miserable weekend was Thomas Merrill. Merrill was the 2018 TA2 West Coast Champion and won the National title in 2022. He races the No. 26 Bennett / HP Tuners / Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang. Merrill had issues throughout practice and was gridded eighteenth for round ten. However, the problems persisted into the race and he finished thirty-fifth. However, Merrill remains fourth in the points chase.
How the TA2 podium looked for round ten of the 2023 Trans Am Championship at Watkins Glen International before the technical disqualifications. In the center is Connor Zilisch, the first to cross the finish line. However, his car failed the engine height rule during the post-race inspection. The victory was awarded to Brent Crews, standing on the left. Nathan Herne was disqualified for the same infraction.

12TA2Brent CrewsGearwrench / Ford Mustang29
26TA2Austin Green3-Dimensional Services / Chevrolet Camaro29
315TA2Dillon MachavernSLR-M1 Race Cars / Ford Mustang29
44TA2Rafa Matos3-Dimensional Services / Ford Mustang29
535TA2Thad MoffitSLR-M1 Race Cars / Chevrolet Camaro29
67TA2Adam AndrettiUltimate Headers / Chevrolet Camaro29
736TA2Chris DurbinAmsoil / Chevrolet Camaro29
827TA2Keith ProciukMike Cope Race Cars / Ford Mustang29
911TA2Darin MockNitro Motorsports / Ford Mustang29
1032TA2Jim GallaugherMike Cope Race Cars / Ford Mustang28
1121TA2Barry BoesAccio Data / Chevrolet Camaro28
1222TA2Michele AbbateLucas Oil / Ford Mustang28
1329TA2Doug WinstonBring Back The Trades / Ford Mustang28
1426TA2Parker DelongMike Cope Race Cars / Ford Mustang27
1516TA2Caleb BaconBacon Development / Ford Mustang27
1637TA2Luke RumburgRumcastle Racing / Ford Mustang27
1733TA2Ty YoungTy J Young Wealth Management / Ford Mustang27
1831TA2Bruce RaymondOptima Batteries / Ford Mustang27
1914TA2Ben MaierSilver Hare Racing / Ford Mustang26
2028TA2Cale PhillipsNitro Motorsports / Ford Mustang26
2130TA2Bruce NesbittOrion Motorsports / Ford Mustang26
2212TA2Misha GoikhbergBC Race Cars / Ford Mustang25
2334TA2Richard RuckhTeam 7 Racing / Chevrolet Camaro25
2410TA2Boris Said Jr3-Dimensional Services Group / Chevrolet Camaro23
2520TA2Doug Peterson3-Dimensional Services Group / Ford Mustang23
2623TA2John WeisbergIron Smoke/BERG / Chevrolet Camaro22
2719TA2Josh SarchetCUBE 3 / Ford Mustang22
289TA2Evan SlaterFranklin Road Apparel / Chevrolet Camaro22
2924TA2Eric CaytonRay Skillman Auto Group / Chevrolet Camaro20
308TA2Robert Noaker IIINitro Motorsports / Ford Mustang20
315TA2Adrian WlostowskiAMT Motorsport / Ford Mustang19
3225TA2Tom SheehanLTK Insulation / Ford Mustang19
333TA2Thomas AnnunziataNitro Motorsports / Ford Mustang17
3417TA2Jade BufordBig Machine Spiked Vodka Coolers / Ford Mustang14
3518TA2Thomas MerrillMike Cope RaceCars / Ford Mustang14
DQ1TA2Connor ZilischSilver Hare Racing / Chevrolet Camaro29
DQ13TA2Nathan HerneBerryman / Ford Mustang29

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