With a rules package that fosters both cost containment and close competition among three different marques, the TA2 powered by AEM class has gone from strength to strength since its introduction in 2011. And now, that strong package is set to deliver even more value.
The Trans Am Race Company announced that Prefix has been selected as the Exclusive Supplier of the brand-new TA2 “Choice engine.” The “Choice” engine is a lower-cost engine that performs at the same level as current engines, and is durable as well. The “Choice” engine is eligible to be used in all three marques in the TA2 class. The addition of the TA2 Choice Engine does not change the eligibility status of existing certified TA2 Approved Engines built by approved/certified builders and rebuilders.
“This new Choice engine will have a big impact on our competitors because it brings the costs down significantly, and it will also allow us to continue to have great balance between the three different brands that race in TA2,” said Trans Am TA2 Technical Director Ricky Brooks. “We expect a motor to be good for an entire season of Trans Am racing, and have a rebuild cost that is half of what it has been in the past. These motors will deliver the same kind of performance that our TA2 drivers are used to. We’ve also engaged DeLand, Florida-based Koury, Inc. as an approved rebuilder to give our competitors another choice in terms of geography of where they are getting the rebuilds done and that can also be factored into the cost savings.
“Additionally, Prefix will support the rest of the country with rebuilds by offering a cost neutral shipping solution regardless of where a competitor is located within the Continental US to accommodate the growing interest in the West as a result of Trans Am’s West Coast Championship,” said Brooks.
Michigan-based Prefix Corporation is a recognized leader in the creation of prototype designs, mock-ups, and full scale concept vehicles for the automotive and aviation industries. Prefix is an Approved Engine Builder / Rebuilder (AEBR) for the Trans Am series with a reputation for solid performing and reliable engines. It currently builds all three (Chevy, Dodge, and Ford) race engines for the series.
Prefix is no stranger to the Trans Am paddock. As an Approved Engine Builder / Rebuilder (AEBR) for the TA2 class, Prefix currently builds all three (Chevy, Dodge and Ford) race engines, and has a reputation for top performing and reliable engines.
“TA2 is a fantastic technical rules platform, but engine costs were becoming an issue,” said Trans Am Race Company President John Clagett. “It was over a yearlong process to evaluate current engine cost, and then establish an appropriate course of action. We were approached by current engine builders with various concepts and decided to move forward with Prefix as representing the best solution. There has been extensive testing, dyno time, and at-track testing to assure performance and longevity of the Prefix TA2 Choice engine.”
Prefix celebrates 40 years in business this year. Prefix Performance provides experienced engine design, engineering, development and testing for OEMs, professional race teams, and specialty industry projects.
“We are extremely proud of the work our Performance team has done to support the Trans Am series, and value the relationships and opportunities that our involvement has provided,” said Prefix founder and CEO, Kim Zeile.
The addition of the TA2 Choice Engine does not change the eligibility status of existing certified TA2 Approved Engines built by approved/certified builders and rebuilders.
“There will be a two-year window of eligibility for all of our current engine providers, which was another key part of this so that our competitors are not forced to go out and buy something new just because of a rule change,” said Clagett. “They have two full seasons of competition with our current package. But teams can place an order to get on the list starting on Monday, and I suspect that this will be a very popular choice.”
While the opportunity to provide a cost effective package and support for TA2 powered by AEM competitors, Prefix is also eyeing other benefits as part of the engagement with Trans Am.
“Trans Am represents a great opportunity for us to promote the Prefix brand,” explained Eric Zeile, Prefix president. “Due to the confidential nature of the prototype work we are involved with, many performance enthusiasts aren’t yet familiar with who we are, or what we do. The Trans Am series is one part of an aggressive marketing effort to change that.”
Mike Cope Racing and Howe Racing Enterprises will continue to provide the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger race chassis as the TA2 class continues to grow, while Five Star Race Car Bodies remains the constructor of bodywork.
The 2019 Trans Am presented by Pirelli will return to race action at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on March 29-31.