The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship heads this weekend to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash., for Round 4 of the 2022 season.
This is only the second time that Trans Am will take the green flag at The Ridge, which held its inaugural event for the series last year. However, Trans Am has a long history of racing in the Pacific Northwest and the state of Washington, dating back to 1967 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. That race was won by Mark Donohue, who won a purse of $1,600 for taking home the victory for the Over 2.0-Liter class.
Last year, Carl Rydquist took the overall victory in his TA2 Ford Mustang, and Cindi Lux won the SGT class, followed by her teammate Dirk Leuenberger, who finished 1-2 in Dodge Vipers.
The Western Championship’s previous outing
The Western Championship last hit the track at Sonoma Raceway April 30-May 1 in two combo events with the National Championship. Greg Pickett in the No. 5 ALTWELL Ford Mustang battled hard for a third-place overall finish, earning him the victory in TA, while Chris Evans in the No. 99 Chris Evans Inc. Ford Mustang earned the win in SGT.
In the TA2 race, the three leading competitors were in a battle for the top step of the podium the entire race. Roy Fulmer IV earned the pole in his No. 186 Fulmer’s Auto Body/Nichols Construction Camaro, but competitors Jeff Holden in the No. 11 RELAXandCBD.com/Dakota Lithium/Mid Valley Transmission Camaro and Ken Sutherland in the Cascade Sotheby’s/Wyatt Fire Protection Camaro fought their way past him early on. The three were in tight competition the entire race, but Holden took the checkered flag for the second time in 2022. Unfortunately, Fulmer, who crossed the line third, was later disqualified for failure to pass post-race technical inspection, and Bobby Hodges in the No. 04 Garage Row Racing Ford Mustang was officially scored third.
New Ridge winner guaranteed
With neither Rydquist or Lux in the field for this weekend’s event, a new winner is guaranteed in both the TA2 and SGT classes. Only four drivers from last year’s event are returning this year. Mitch Marvosh in the No. 29 Wolf Entertainment Ford Mustang is the top finisher from last year’s event with a third-place finish in TA2. Michael Fine in the No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Inc. Camaro finished fourth in TA2. Jeff Holden, who has won two events so far in 2022 and currently leads the point standings, finished sixth in TA2 last year, and John Schweitzer in the No. 00 Superior Builders Inc. Ford Mustang finished fourth in SGT, but will be running in the TA2 class this year.
Pacific Northwest drivers flock to The Ridge
The entry list for this weekend’s event sees a majority of drivers hailing from the Pacific Northwest.
There are two drivers from the state of Washington entered in this weekend’s event: Jeff Holden from Snohomish. and John Schweitzer from Fife.
The state of Oregon has six entries: Xuanqian Wang, Howard Johnston, and Matt Crandall all hail from Portland. Greg Anthony is from Beaverton, Ken Sutherland is from Sherwood, and Chris Evans is from Powell Butte.
British Columbia, Canada has two natives: Dave Kunicki and Brody Goble, both from Surrey.
Three drivers making first career Trans Am starts
There are three drivers in the field this weekend who will be making their very first starts in Trans Am. Xuanqian Wang in the No. 22 AURALIC North America McLaren 570S GT4 will make his debut in the SGT class, as will Greg Anthony in the No. 23 Prime Roofing BMW M3. Brody Goble will make his TA2 debut in the No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford Mustang.
Saturday, June 11
Practice: 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PT
Qualifying: 3:30-4:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, June 12
Race: 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. PT
Race Length: 41 laps or 75 minutes