The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli National Series and West Coast Championship fields will unite for a weekend of intense action for the Heacock Classic at Circuit of The Americas (Nov. 5-7). Fifty-two entries are now slated for the TA2 season finale, officially resetting the single-event record for the class and upping the mark from the Nashville round, which featured 38 cars.
With the 2021 TA2 titles on both coasts settled, Rafa Matos (National) and Carl Rydquist (West Coast) can rest easy this weekend as the remainder of the record-breaking TA2 field fight for championship positions.
In the National series, Matos clinched his second career TA2 championship title at Virginia after securing his fifth win of the season. Matos is set to defend his 2020 COTA victory and add additional hardware to his collection behind the wheel of the No. 88 3 Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang. However, Matos will have his work cut out for him as a familiar past rivalry will reignite this weekend between former TA2 champions and Austin hometown drivers as Gar Robinson and Cameron Lawrence return to the Trans Am TA2 line-up.
Robinson, a two-time TA2 champion, will replace Mike Skeen on the Stevens-Miller Racing roster with Skeen already having locked up second in the 2021 championship to follow on his 2020 TA2 title.
Robinson won the TA2 championship his rookie season in 2015 and followed it up with another title run in 2017, amassing 11 wins during his time with the series.
Lawrence will pilot the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro for Showtime Motorsports. Team owner Ken Thwaits debuted the new Camaro earlier this season at the Big Machine Nashville Grand Prix where he placed first in the TA2 Masters class.
Lawrence competed in TA2 from 2012-15, where he clinched two back-to-back class championships. Lawrence returned in 2017 and 2020 for a full-season campaign and still holds the record for all-time TA2 class wins with 20 class victories.
“I’m excited to return to the Trans Am Series at my home track, Circuit of The Americas, with Showtime Motorsports,” said Lawrence. “I’m very appreciative of Ken Thwaits and Franklin Road Apparel for this opportunity. Ken has assembled a strong team at Showtime Motorsports. I am looking forward to showcasing the capabilities of the team and their equipment.”
The final step on the TA2 championship podium will be determined on Sunday in a 100-mile showdown between Connor Mosack and Thomas Merrill.
Mosack (No. 28 NicTailor/IFS M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro) leads Merrill in the championship by a mere three points. Both drivers have a win on the board for the season. While Merrill has driven the No. 81 HPTuners/MikeCopeRaceCars Ford Mustang to more podium finishes, Mosack’s consistent top-five drives have put him ahead of Merrill in points.
Both drivers agreed that with such a large field, qualifying will be extremely important on Saturday in their pursuit for not only the win but championship position.
“With the points gap for third only being three points, we’ll have to work hard to make sure we qualify and race well,” said Merrill. “Trans Am pays out points for qualifying in the top three and leading laps, so we need to make sure we spend as much time up front as possible.”
This weekend will be Mosack’s first time at COTA with TA2.
“This weekend is definitely 100-percent focused on just trying to win the race,” explained Mosack. “As far as qualifying, it’s tough to pass at a lot of these places. At COTA, there are more passing opportunities than other places, but obviously the less you have to pass to get to the front, the better. We’re going to focus on qualifying in the top-five and being there at the front by the end of the race.”
If former champions and class winners returning weren’t threatening enough, the TA2 West Coast drivers will also be inserted in the mix vying for the overall race victory.
With the TA2 West Coast title already decided, five drivers will battle for the remaining two spots in the championship: Tim Lynn, Darrell Anderson, Mitch Marvosh, Michele Abbate and Brad McAllister. Lynn, Anderson and Marvosh are separated by seven points entering the final round.
Lynn is the only driver in the group to put wins on the board (WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Portland International Raceway) this season. Anderson is the top scoring rookie in the class, earning two podium finishes so far this season in the No. 45 Park Place Constructors Chevrolet Camaro. While Marvosh is the top Masters Class driver, fourth overall in points driving the No. 29 Wolf Entertainment Ford Mustang.
Abbate is the only female among the 52-car field. The No. 30 Lucas Oil Products Chevrolet Camaro driver has faced her share of challenges this season but has pulled through with five top-10 finishes, slotting Abbate just nine points behind Marvosh in fifth.
Thirty points separate second-place Lynn from sixth-place McAllister, but with 35-points still available, McAllister is still mathematically viable for second place.
“I missed the COTA race last year while leading in the points, so I’ve got some redemption in mind going into this years race,” said Lynn. “It’s really exciting to have the final race decide the overall finishing position for the West Coast. Darrell (Anderson) and I are good friends and we will definitely have a good competitive race. I just hope he’s not to upset standing below me on the podium! The No. 17 RoofOptions Ford Mustang prepared by CHR is ready!”
After securing the Trans Am West Coast SGT championship early at Utah Motorsports Campus, driver John Schweitzer will join the TA2 West Coast class at Circuit of the Americas.
“Earning the West Coast SGT championship in our rookie season was a dream come true,” said Schweitzer. “When our team outlined our goals for this season, the SGT championship was at the top of our list, and we knew everything would have to go perfectly. To achieve that objective with one round to go in the 2021 season has given us the opportunity to move up our plans for next season and join the TA2 class for the final round at Texas. The fact that my first race in TA2 is a national event at a world-class circuit, with the largest TA2 field in Trans Am history, I don’t know how it could be any better than that.”
Along with Robinson and Lawrence, Marc Austin, Brad Gross, Elias Anderson, Barry Boes, Edward Sevadjian and John Atwell will represent the Lone Star State this weekend.
The Trans Am Series takes Circuit of The Americas on Friday for testing before the official weekend starts on Saturday with the Trans Am practice block starting at 11:20 a.m. Central. The drivers will take a break before the 15-minute split qualifying sessions start at 5:20 p.m. Central. The enormous field of TA2 American Muscle cars will take the green Sunday at 10:50 a.m. Central followed by the TA/XGT/SGT/GT season finale at 1:50 p.m. Central. Live timing and scoring will be available at www.gotransam.com/livetiming.