Trans Am West Coast Championship returns, North and South Cups to be introduced
The Trans Am Race Company has unveiled the 2018 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli schedule for its 52nd anniversary season, with the vast majority of the 2017 event platform returning.
“The 2018 schedule will once more see Trans Am visit iconic tracks with partners dedicated to growing and creating accessible, fan-friendly racing,” said John Clagett, president of The Trans Am Race Company. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with SVRA to that effort, while including showcase weekends at Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio, Road America, and Watkins Glen.”
“At the same time, the 2018 schedule was crafted to reduce the time teams spend on the road,” continued Clagett. “We’ve reduced the number of events by two based on competitor feedback, but we’ve also focused on how we cut back the time commitment for each weekend. Our goal is a three-day event wherever possible, including load-in and test day. Over the course of the season, it should save teams over two weeks at the track in comparison to 2017.”
In helping achieve those goals, Trans Am will split the field on two occasions in 2018 to maintain an 11-race championship for all competitors, with the TA2 class heading to Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, June 1-3 for a double-header weekend, 3-Dimensional Services Motor City Showcase and Showdown, at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.
Likewise, the TA, TA3 and TA4 classes will tackle Pittsburgh International Race Complex for the first time on Aug. 3-5.
“We wanted to make this schedule as competitor friendly as possible while retaining our reach and platform,” said Clagett. “Over the course of the year we listened to feedback from our competitors, our stakeholders, and our partners. We took all of that information and used it to guide our decision-making in crafting this schedule. We’re very pleased with the result.”
Trans Am will offer up two new dates for its annual visits to Road Atlanta and Homestead Miami Speedway, partnering with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) at Road Atlanta to create a new weekend March 29-31, while joining with the Formula & Automobile Racing Association (FARA) at Homestead-Miami on April 13-15.
New for 2018 will be the addition of the Trans Am Southern and Northern Cups, two regional groupings of Trans Am competitions designed to reward competitors and teams that tackle certain segments of the Trans Am schedule but do not undertake a full season commitment. Competitors who undertake a full season will not be eligible.
“We wanted to give competitors who only run a portion of our schedule the opportunity to compete for honors of their own. The Winner’s Circle is typically owned by the teams and drivers running the entire championship,” said Clagett. “We think this new Divisional Program – which is essentially designed for the teams that focus on SCCA Club and Trans Am races within their geographic region – will re-incentivize competitors than run a partial season, and their participation is important, and ultimately to everyone’s benefit.”
In addition to its national championship, Trans Am will also hold its Trans Am West Coast Championship presented by Pirelli for the second consecutive season, as the series continues to work toward reinvigorating its competitor base on the West Coast. To expose that base to the primary championship, the two schedules will hold two events in conjunction— Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 17 and Circuit of The Americas on Nov. 3.
2018 Trans Am Championship Presented by Pirelli
March 2-4, Sebring International Raceway*
March 29-31, Road Atlanta*
April 13-15, Homestead Miami Speedway*
June 1-3, Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear (TA2)^
June 15-17, Indianapolis Motor Speedway^
Aug. 3-5, Pittsburgh International Race Complex (TA, TA3, TA4)^
Aug. 9-11, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ^
Aug. 23-25, Road America^
Sept. 7-9, Watkins Glen International^
Sept. 21-23, Virginia International Raceway*
Nov. 1-3, Circuit of The Americas
Nov. 9-10, Daytona International Speedway*
*Trans Am Southern Cup
^Trans Am Northern Cup
2018 Trans Am West Coast Championship Presented by Pirelli
April 27-29, Auto Club Speedway
June 1-3, Sonoma Raceway
June 15-17, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
July 27-29, Portland International Raceway
Nov. 1-3, Circuit of The Americas
Additional venues for West Coast under consideration.