Trans-Am Set For Another Large Field
The season opener at Sebring Int’l Raceway was unlike any other in recent Trans-Am history, with car counts unseen in Trans-Am since the early 1980s and 25 Trans-Am rookies making their debut at Sebring Int’l Raceway.
This will be Trans-Am’s first appearance at Homestead-Miami since 1998, and it brings with it a far different series than was on display during its last appearance.
The giant grand touring cars remain, now in the TA class, still the pinnacle of North American grand touring, each powered by 875 horsepower V-8 engines. Two other classes, TA2 and TA3 have joined them, creating a multi-class series.
For TA2, Homestead-Miami will be a special occasion, as it will feature the first independent race for the class. Usually TA, TA2 and TA3 all race together, but this weekend TA2 will have its own show as a mixture of Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros take to the track in a showcase of America’s beloved Detroit-built icons.
TA3 now stands as Trans-Am’s production-based class, harkening back to the early days of Trans-Am when production racing reigned supreme. It features two groups, the American Muscle Group and the International Group. American Muscle features pits icons like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger against each other, while the International Group showcases high performance production from around the world from Dodge Vipers to Porsches.
Both of last season’s Trans-Am’s champions experienced a successful outing during round one, with TA champion Doug Peterson in the No. 87 Chevrolet Corvette and TA2 champion Cameron Lawrence in the No. 1 Chevrolet Corvette, both opening their title defense with victories at Sebring.
“I’m looking forward to Homestead-Miami,” said Peterson. “I’ve got a ton of track time out there and I know Tony Ave will give me a great car for the weekend with a great setup. We’ll do our best to recreate the result from Sebring.”
Lawrence, like Peterson, is based in Florida and also has plenty of time on the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I love seeing the increase in competition,” said Lawrence. “It drives us all to become better drivers and makes for great racing. We’ll address Homestead-Miami like we do every other race, with a focus on running hard and running clean.”
In TA3, Dean Martin, in the No. 52 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang, is coming off his first Trans-Am appearance and American Muscle victory. However, he’ll be faced with a stern challenge from Ernie Francis Jr., in the No. 9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro, who finished less than a car length behind Martin.
Trans-Am will practice on Friday, qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday starting with the TA2 race followed by the TA and then finishing out with the TA3 class.