The Trans Am Series to resume the 2014 Trans Am Championship with the 100 Miles of Luna-C at Road Atlanta on May 10, in association with Formula Drift and the Drift Atlanta weekend.
After a brief break, the series will continue the year in the same record-setting style as it started 2014, as the 49 confirmed entries already surpass the current record field of 41, set in 1986 and ’87, at the Georgia track. The Series began the year with entries of 49, at Sebring, and 53, at Homestead-Miami.
“We’re very excited to see the momentum Trans Am created in our first two events carry over as we continue the 2014 season,” said John Clagett, president of the Trans Am Race Series, “as we prepare for another record breaking event with one of our major partners, Luna-C Clothing, taking center stage.”
Drivers returning to the track include defending champions Doug Peterson and Cameron Lawrence, both of whom are currently atop the points standings for their respective classes.
Peterson opened the year at Sebring with his customary victory – Peterson and the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette have won the past three season openers, but fell just short of the podium at Homestead-Miami with a fifth-place finish, impressive given he had to make his way back up through the field after a minor excursion off track early in the race.
Now the defending champ will look to rebound to his usual podium placement at Road Atlanta; but Cliff Ebben, in the #36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang, and 2012 champion Simon Gregg, driving the #59 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, are both in hot pursuit of Peterson with solid starts to the season.
The current entry list also sees Tony Ave making his return to the #4 Corvette, where he has been devastatingly quick at Road Atlanta, winning the 2013 race and having a current streak of three consecutive fast qualifiers at the Georgia track. Ave, a 2010 and 2011 Trans Am champion, must be considered a favorite in any race he enters.
In TA2, Lawrence and the #11 Trick Titanium Chevrolet Camaro seem all but set to continue their dominance atop the TA2 standings; together they’ve won an astonishing nine races in a row dating back to Round 4 of 2013. But the field is more competitive than ever; and as TA2 goes into its second straight weekend of having an independent race, there are plenty of opportunities for new challengers to make their move.
Key among them are Ron Keith, Bob Stretch and Adam Andretti, who follow Lawrence in the point standings. In particular, Ron Keith’s performances as a Trans Am rookie have been impressive finishing second and third at Sebring and Homestead-Miami respectively.
Keith and his #25 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang have carried the standard for Ford in TA2 so far this year and, along with teammate Kevin Poitras, have opened the Mike Cope TA2 program in style. And while the season may still be young, Keith’s early success makes him a potential challenger to Lawrence this year and a favorite for rookie of the year honors.
Adam Andretti rebounded from a disappointing season opener at Sebring, where a mechanical forced a 12th place finish after being in second position on grid, with a second place finish at Homestead-Miami, closing the gap on Lawrence over the last few laps.
Bob Stretch, in the #98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro, who has won the TA2 class multiple times in the past and has a strong history at Road Atlanta, and Tommy Archer, in the #53 Archer Racing/Race-Keeper Chevrolet Camaro, who is making his return to professional racing, are both more than capable of challenging Lawrence for the top spot as well.
TA3 see yet another production powered showdown, with Dean Martin and the #52 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang poised to continue their victory streak. So far Martin has won every race he’s entered in the American Muscle Group, Trans Am’s production class, despite challenges from Ernie Francis, Jr., and Steve Kent. Jr.
The American Muscle cars will also be joined by the International Group, with joint points leader Russ Snow, in the #20 Carbotech Chevrolet Corvette, in attendance. He’ll be challenged by the #84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper of Lee Saunders, which won the season opener fairly handily but was absent for the follow up at Homestead-Miami, and the #67 BMG Management Chevrolet Corvette of Jason Berkeley, who has put in impressive times so far this year and seems poised for a leap onto the podium.
Trans Am will first take to the track on Friday, May 9 for two practice sessions, one at 9:00 a.m. ET and another at 11:40 a.m. ET in preparation for qualifying later that afternoon starting at 2:05 p.m.
The two 100-mile Trans Am races will be held the next day, May 10, with TA2 taking to the track at 9:30 a.m. and TA and TA3 starting their race at 11:00 a.m.
Trans Am will have an open autograph session Friday evening at 4:00 pm and customary open paddock throughout the weekend, all presented by Luna-C Clothing, giving fans the opportunity to interact with drivers and cars one-on-one during the event.
Image: John Thawley