Trans Am preview: Lime Rock Park

Trans Am preview: Lime Rock Park

Trans Am

Trans Am preview: Lime Rock Park

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Trans Am season approaches halfway
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to the East Coast for round six of the 2022 season at Lime Rock Park. When the checkered flag waves over the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic, the National Series will officially pass the halfway mark. Where competitors stand after Lime Rock will be crucial to determining who is still in contention for championships.

Unique challenges still lay ahead for competitors, such as the final pair of back-to-back races (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America), the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix street course, and another Trans Am National and Trans Am Western Championship combo event to close out the season at Circuit of The Americas.

Past Lime Rock winners
There are several previous winners at Lime Rock Park who are returning for their chance to once again sit atop the podium at the shortest track on the Trans Am schedule. In TA, Chris Dyson has won the last two events at Lime Rock (2021 and 2019). Paul Fix took the TA victory three years in a row, winning in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In TA2, Mike Skeen is the defending winner after earning the top podium spot in 2021. Thomas Merrill won the event in 2019, and Cameron Lawrence was the winner in 2014, which was the last multi-class race held at Lime Rock.

Trans Am history at Lime Rock
Trans Am first competed at Lime Rock Park in 1967. The race was won by Peter Revson in a Bud Moore Mercury Cougar. Revson was a last-minute substitute for Parnelli Jones, who was scheduled to run in the Indianapolis 500.

In 2003, Paul Newman made his final start in the Trans Am series. At 78 years old, his car was No. 78.

Trans Am races stream live for free, no app required
For those wishing to tune in to the events at Lime Rock this weekend, the Trans Am Series races will air live on the Trans Am YouTube page and Facebook page, and a full schedule of events, including the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, will be available on the SpeedTourTV YouTube page.

CBS Sports Network air times
This weekend’s races from Lime Rock Park will air on CBS Sports Network the week following the event.

TA/XGT/SGT/GT will premiere on Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation on Saturday, June 4 at 12:00 a.m. ET.

TA2 will first air on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation on Monday, June 6 at 1:00 a.m.

CD Racing comes home
Chris Dyson’s CD Racing comes into Lime Rock Park as the home team, with the organization’s shop in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. located just an hour away from the track. The driver of the No. 20 ALTWELL Ford Mustang has won the last two events at Lime Rock (2019 and 2021) after leading flag to flag, and Dyson is currently the track’s TA class record holder.

In 1995, Dyson first attended the Skip Barber Racing School at Lime Rock at the age of 17. Lime Rock is where he drove in his first SCCA race, and also where he won his first SCCA National event.

Dyson’s family has five decades of victories at Lime Rock. His father, Rob Dyson, frequently won at the track at the SCCA level beginning in the mid 1970’s, and Rob’s team, Dyson Racing, has a history of success there. Dyson Racing made its IMSA GTP debut at the track in the 1985 Memorial Day race, where the team’s driver, Drake Olson, won as a seven-year-old Chris looked on. Dyson Racing also won at the track in 2001 in the Rolex Sports Car Series and earned IMSA ALMS victories in 2009 and 2011.

In addition to going for his third-consecutive win, Dyson hopes that CD Racing will continue his family’s legacy of success at the track with teammate Humaid Masaood in the No. 21 allgram Ford Mustang. This weekend will be Masaood’s first Trans Am start at Lime Rock, but the English driver made his first start for Dyson Racing at the road course in 2011 when he earned a podium finish in the team’s Lola-Mazda prototype.

Paul Fix returns
Three-time Lime Rock winner Paul Fix will return to the Trans Am Series this weekend. Fix will be racing the No. 77 StopFlex.com/Classic Tube/Car Coach Reports Jaguar XKR-S for Tony Ave Racing in the TA Heritage Championship class. Fix, who is currently ranked 16th on the Trans Am all-time win list, won the Lime Rock race three consecutive times in the TA class (2013, 2014, 2015).

Tomy Drissi makes good on bet
Lime Rock Park is known for having the best fans on the Trans Am Series circuit, and last year before the race at the track, Tomy Drissi in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Ford Mustang made a bet that if he didn’t win the race, this year he would return and camp in a tent with the fans. This Saturday night, Drissi makes good on that bet, and will be set up in a tent on the hill. Drissi will document his camping adventure (as well as the day’s on-track activities) by doing a social takeover of the Trans Am Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/gotransam/).

TA/XGT/XGT/GT points update
After winning four of the first five rounds of the Trans Am TA class, Chris Dyson holds a 24-point lead over second-place Tomy Drissi. Amy Ruman, driver of the No. 23 McNichols Chevrolet Corvette is third, followed by Ken Thwaits, who is only two points behind Ruman in his No. 7 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro. Humaid Masaood rounds out the top five.

In XGT, Randy Hale in the No. 21 Hale Propeller Corvette currently leads the class by only two points over Jason Hart in the No. 48 Gspeed Corvette. Michael Weathers, who also drives the No. 48, is one point back in third. All three are rookies in the series and lead the rookie standings for the class as well.

Milton Grant in the No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Springhill Suites Porsche 991.1 currently leads the SGT class, with Dirk Leuenberger in the No. 2 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper only eight points back. Lux Performance owner Cindi Lux is third in her No. 45 Black Rock Coffee Dodge Viper, just two points behind her teammate. Lee Saunders in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Viper currently sits fourth in the standings, four points behind Lux, and Luca Mars in the No. 02 Race for RP Ford Mustang is fifth.

Danny Lowry in the BridgeHaul Porsche GT3 Cup leads the SGT rookie standings, followed by Don McMillon in the No. 51 Salasko Racing Corvette in second, and Luca Mars in third.

In the GT class, Billy Griffin sits atop the point standings in his No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan Towing Ford Mustang, followed by Natalie Decker in the No. 29 N29 Technologies LLC Audi R8. Bob Michaelian is third in the No. 52 Race for RP Ford Mustang GT4. Michaelian is the only rookie in the class.

Last year vs this year at Lime Rock Park
The field for this weekend’s TA2 race is packed with 34 entrants, which is a 70-percent increase over last year’s field of 20 competitors, highlighting the continuous growth of the class over the course of 2022. 17 of last year’s 20 entrants will return, including Young Guns Connor Mosack in the No. 28 High Point University/Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply/TeamSLR/M1 Racecars Mustang who finished fourth, Rhett Barkau, in the No. 01 Barkau/Berryman/NAPA/MPCE Dodge Challenger, who finished 10th, and Evan Slater, driver of the No. 35 Cube 3 Architecture Mustang, who finished 14th in what was his first-ever Trans Am race.

There are 15 drivers entered this year who have never raced TA2 at Lime Rock, including Young Guns Connor Zilisch (No. 5 Silver Hare Racing Camaro), Darin Mock (No. 51 AAN Adjusters Ford Mustang), Brent Crews (No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang), and Dylan Archer (No. 0 MMR/FPEC Racing Group Mustang).

Last year at Lime Rock, Mike Skeen had the fastest car in testing, practice and qualifying, and led the first 22 laps of the race before lapped traffic allowed Rafa Matos, driver of the No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang, to take the lead. Matos held the point position until the final four laps, when another incident with lapped traffic allowed Skeen to overtake Matos and retake the lead and the checkered flag. As Matos and Skeen are locked in a tight points battle this season, who comes out ahead this weekend will have a big impact on the point standings.

Ironman Tom Sheehan returns at Lime Rock
Tom Sheehan, driver of the No. 97 LTK Insulation Ford Mustang, returns to Lime Rock Park following a two-race hiatus, missing his first races since Daytona International Speedway in 2014. Sheehan earned the nickname ‘Ironman’ by running more TA2 races than any other driver in class history (119). Sheehan is the only driver in the field who has run in the last six races at Lime Rock, dating back to the 2012 event. He has three top-10 finishes, and a best finish of fourth, which he achieved in 2012.

Borchetta’s Big Machine Racing scores NASCAR win in Texas
This past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Tyler Reddick earned Scott Borchetta’s NASCAR Xfinity Series team its first victory. Big Machine Racing, which is in its second year of NASCAR competition, powered to Victory Lane after Reddick took the lead with 31 laps remaining. Borchetta currently sits 15th in the TA2 standings, with a best 2022 finish of fifth at Sebring International Raceway.

TA2 points update
Following his second win of the season at Sonoma Raceway, Rafa Matos has reclaimed the points lead heading into Lime Rock with a 25-point advantage. He is followed by his teammate, Mike Skeen, driver of the No. 89 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang, who has also won two races, but is not running the full schedule in 2022. Tyler Kicera in the No. 77 Liqui Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet is just two points behind Skeen, with Thomas Merrill in the No. 26 BridgeHaul/HP Tuners/Cope Race Cars Mustang and Cameron Lawrence in the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro both within five points of Kicera. Kicera has only one previous start at Lime Rock, finishing eighth in 2021.

Rookie standings and Young Gun update
Evan Slater currently leads the Wilwood TA2 Rookie of the Year standings with 83 points. Just eight points behind him sits Brent Crews with 75 points, followed by Dylan Archer with 66 points.

Connor Mosack sits atop the Peter Gregg Foundation Young Gun Standings, which awards the top driver under the age of 25 with $20,000 at the end of the season. Mosack is followed by Slater, who is just one point back, and Crews, who is only nine points behind. Crews was the highest finishing Young Gun at both WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway, and comes into Lime Rock with momentum on his side.

Other news and notes
Doug Peterson, driver and owner of the No. 87 3Dimensional Services Group Mustang, will be making his 100th start this weekend at Lime Rock.

Thomas Merrill just announced that he will be heading to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with WeatherTech Racing, sharing the car with Cooper MacNeil and Julien Andlauer.

Aaron Pettipas, driver of the No. 78 DQ/GPX Live Camera/The Tool Shed Camaro, will be making his second TA2 start ever this weekend. The Canadian driver from Bedford, Nova Scotia made his Trans Am debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2019, finishing seventh.

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