Multiple Trans Am Championships in Play this Weekend at VIR

Multiple Trans Am Championships in Play this Weekend at VIR

22.09.2021: The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli enters its penultimate round this weekend (Sept. 24-26) at VIRginia International Raceway, and while the production class championships were locked up two rounds early, the TA and TA2 titles are still undecided.


The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli enters its penultimate round this weekend (Sept. 24-26)  at VIRginia International Raceway, and while the production class championships were locked up two rounds early, the TA and TA2 titles are still undecided.




 Before the all-class doubleheader at Watkins Glen International, 10 TA drivers were mathematically viable for the championship. Now it's down to three: Chris Dyson, Tomy Drissi and Ernie Francis Jr.



Dyson took a commanding lead in points following his weekend sweep at WGI. It's the first time in his career that the No. 20  ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang driver has led the season-long points battle by a 46 point margin heading into the final rounds of the season. Though Dyson has never won in Virginia in TA (the closest he came was in 2020 finishing second and third in the two-round weekend), he is confident that his winning momentum will carry over to VIR to lock up the title.



"We are going to treat the weekend like any other," explained Dyson. "We are going in with the intent to win. We feel we have fast cars and have been competitive each time we've visited VIR. If we can keep executing like we have been, I am confident that we will be up front and points will fall into place if we do our jobs."



Drissi's title bid took a backseat following a tumultuous pair of races at WGI. Second in the championship, Drissi's chance to challenge Dyson for the top spot was looking optimistic as his No. 9  Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevrolet Camaro claimed the checkered flag in the opening round at WGI. However post-race penalties knocked the race winner down to sixth and promoted his championship rival Dyson to first.



The second round at WGI was another heartbreak for Drissi as a mechanical issue sent him spinning down the back straight into the wall. His 20 point deficit quickly turned into a 46 point gap from Dyson heading into VIR. But, with 70 points up for grabs, Drissi is still hopeful that with a winning weekend at VIR he can clinch his second national championship title in the Heacock Classic at Circuit of The Americas finale (Drissi won the National TA Championship back in 2009).



"I can't wait to get to VIR to give it everything I have for the fans, the team and the whole Lucas Oil family," said Drissi. "We came out at Watkins and we were fast and competitive up front the whole weekend but unfortunately the results did not show how fast we were. I'm looking forward to bringing that to VIR to battle Ernie (Francis Jr.), (Chris) Dyson, Boris (Said) and everyone else, we're not going to give up, we're going to fight until the end!"



Seven-time Trans Am champion Francis Jr. enters the weekend in unfamiliar territory- third in the championship trailing Dyson by 62 points. With just 70 points left available for the season, everything would have to fall in Francis Jr.'s favor for him to claim his eighth consecutive title. But, the 22-year-old driver has VIR dialed in being the lone six-time winner on the technical track.



Francis Jr. won in TA3 American Muscle in 2014-15; TA4 in 2016; and Trans Am in 2017. He struggled in his next two visits, finishing 14th in 2018 and in 2019, before sweeping the 2020 doubleheader. Out of any other driver entered for the weekend, Francis Jr. always seems to deliver on the unexpected, and shouldn't be counted out just yet of capturing another title.



"We are heading into VIR looking to do the best we can," said Francis Jr. "The car is ready after the few issues we experienced during the Watkins Glen event. We look forward to being competitive and we are focused on increasing our overall Trans am wins for the record books. A special thank you goes out to Future Star Racing / Wings and Wheels Foundation for their support."
 


 After facing engine complications at WGI, Said returns to the cockpit of the No. 2  WeaverRacingTechnique/SRI Dodge Challenger to throw a wrench in the championship battle. Said won at VIR in 2002 and in 2019. Another past TA VIR winner entered for VIR is Simon Gregg (2013).



The campaign for the TA2 2021 season championship has been the most unpredictable from race to race with a revolving door of six different winners claiming the top step over the last 10 rounds. But with just two races left, the championship chase has whittled down now to two former champions: Rafa Matos and Mike Skeen.



Matos stretched his championship advantage over Skeen by 40 points following a victory in the WGI doubleheader. While Matos has shown speed over the years at VIR, setting the class lap record in 2019 (1:49.401-seconds), the scenic track nestled in a forest of oak trees has created a mixed experience for the No. 88  3 Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang driver.



 Last year, Matos took second in the first round of the doubleheader and finished just inside the top 20 in both the second round in 2020 and in 2019. He did not start in 2017. Matos finished third in 2018 which was enough to clinch his first championship early. This weekend could be déjà vu for Matos as he has the opportunity to clinch his second championship at the same track as he did in 2018.



"It would be a dream come true to have a chance to clinch the championship at VIR, like we did in 2018," said Matos. "Going into VIR with a 40 points lead gives us a peace of mind. Our goal is to earn max points on (Mike) Skeen, so in reality I can lose four points to Mike and I would still clinch at VIR.



We will approach the weekend just the way we have been doing all season, focusing on session by session, and see after qualifying how we are positioned for the race. Obviously my main focus during this weekend is not to take unnecessary risks, and try to preserve the car as much as I can.”



Reigning champion Skeen has only wheeled two TA2 races at VIR, the back-to-back in 2020. He drove from pole to victory in the opening round and followed it up with a sixth-place finish in the finale. Skeen's No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn14Distribution Dodge Challenger was severely damaged in the WGI Race 2 melee, which allowed Matos to expand his championship lead. His Stevens-Miller Racing crew has worked overtime to get the car together to be race-ready for VIR.



Connor Mosack is third in the points race, 43 points behind Skeen. The TeamSLR driver drove to a commanding victory at WGI, a career first for Mosack. While the title is out of grasp for Mosack, the No. 28  NicTailor/IFS M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro can still challenge for runner-up, though he will have to hold off Thomas Merrill.



“We definitely would try to get second more than try to defend third," said Mosack about his approach to the championship. "Really, our main goal is to try to win these last two races. Without having a real shot at winning the championship, points don’t really matter to me, we are now focused on getting race wins.”



 Merrill's championship chase ended at WGI after his No. 81  HPTuners/MikeCopeRaceCars Ford Mustang was collected in the multi-car incident in the final race. With the second and third spots still open in the championship, Merrill's fight continues from fourth as he enters VIR (trails Mosack by 27 points). Over the last two seasons, Merrill has shown speed at VIR, driving to victory in 2019 before a post-race infraction promoted Marc Miller, who went on to win the championship. Last year, Merrill finished the doubleheader with fourth and ninth place standings.  



 In 2020, Tyler Kicera's season peaked at VIR as he charged to his first Trans Am career victory. The No. 5   Davis Roofing/Silver Hare Racing Ford Mustang driver has been chasing success all season, and finally broke through with a podium in Watkins Glen, a second-place finish after avoiding the crash in the Esses that took out several top-competitors (VIDEO: Mega Crash Caught on Helmet Cam).



With his momentum building, Kicera is on the hunt for 2020 repeat.



"I'm excited to get back to VIR and feel like I have some unfinished business there," said Kicera. "While we grabbed our first TA2 win on Saturday, which was unreal, on Sunday I basically gave away the win on a late race restart with all the mixed class and lapped traffic.



 Our performance here last year catapulted me into a full season drive with Silver Hare Racing, which I am incredibly thankful for.  It's been a really tough 2021 season, but we've managed to grab a third-place finish at Brainerd and were runner-up at Watksin Glen, so we're looking for one spot better this weekend.  The level of competition this year is extremely high, but I have a lot of confidence at VIR that we can get it done."   



Adam Andretti is another class VIR winner entered for the weekend. Andretti won at VIR in 2014.



Justin Oakes(SGT) and Erich Joiner (XGT) clinched their respective championships two rounds early. Both will miss VIR due to schedule conflicts.



"I am going to miss VIR for a race in Indy," explained Oakes. "But, I will be back for CoTA. It's our home track and we want to finish the season strong there. We are a Texas-based team and we are going to come out in full force and celebrate our championship with lots of family and friends."



Oakes' absence leaves the door open for the father-and-son duo of Milton and Carry Grant to faceoff for the top step, and with the return of 2020 race winner and class champion Lee Saunders, the class battle will be one to watch this weekend.


The Trans Am Series drivers will spend Friday (Sept. 24) testing with Saturday  TA/XGT/SGT/GT class practice at 11:40 a.m. Eastern followed by TA2 practice at 12:10 p.m. Eastern. The Trans Am qualifying block starts at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.



Trans Am will host a pair of 100-mile races on Sunday with TA/XGT/SGT/GT taking the green at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and TA2 at 3:35 p.m. Eastern. The full VIR SpeedTour weekend will be live streamed on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. Available for download: Download the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App to Watch Live Events (gotransam.com)



 
SundayGroupManagement- photo TransAm



Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/multiple-trans-am-championships-virginia---228842.html

22.09.2021 / MaP

More News

2022 Trans Am National Schedule at a glance
16.09.2021
•    Feb. 24-27       Sebring International Raceway (with SpeedTour)•    March 17-20    Charlotte Motor Speedway (with SpeedTour)•    March 24-27    Mich more >>
Trans Am Announces 2022 National Schedule
16.09.2021
- Charlotte Roval for National Championship and return to Sonoma Raceway- Continued focus on cost-containment schedulingThe Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is on more >>
Mike Skeen Battles for Trans Am TA2 Victory on the Streets of Nashville
08.08.2021
Skeen, Merrill and Mosack race to inaugural Trans Am Music City Grand Prix PodiumMike Skeen used a pair of restarts to win the first race ever held on the streets of Nashville on Saturday, captu more >>
Trans Am Series Races into Nashville with Record Field for Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
05.08.2021
Huge names join Trans Am TA2® for Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic in NashvilleWhat: TA2® Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic at the Music City Grand PrixWhere: CBS Sports NetworkWhen: Aug. 7, 2021Time: 8:00-10:00 p.m. Eastern more >>
Trans Am Racing Returns to TV for Nashville Debut
05.08.2021
CBS Sports Network to Air Same-Day TA2® Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers Presents the Franklin Road Classic Race Coverage Nashville Music City Grand Prix RaceTrans Am Series p more >>
Trans Am Returns to Portland for 28th Visit with West Coast Championship
23.07.2021
When the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli a West Coast Championship returns to Portland International Raceway on July 23-25, it will mark the 28th visit for Trans Am to the historic circuit.  more >>
Trans Am West Coast Ready for Portland Challenge
22.07.2021
The roar of Trans Am machinery returns to Portland International Raceway this weekend as the Portland SpeedTour showcases the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship July 23-25. more >>
Drissi Leads Brainerd Qualifying for Fourth Motul Pole Award of 2021
18.07.2021
Grid penalty moves Thwaits to head of grid for combined race Tomy Drissi captured his fourth Motul Pole Award of the 2021 season in Saturday’s qualifying for the Ryan Companies US present more >>
Matos Turns Up the Heat, Captures Brainerd Trans Am Pole
18.07.2021
Rafa Matos captured the TA2® Motul Pole Award in qualifying for Su more >>
Drissi Fastest at Road America, Takes Third Motul Pole of 2021
04.07.2021
A determined Tomy Drissi captured his third Motul Pole Award of the 2021 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Saturday morning in an incident-shortened session at Road America. &n more >>
Trans Am ‘Golden’ at Road America, Set for 50th Race at Historic Circuit
02.07.2021
When the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to Road America for the July 1-4 weekend with the NASCAR Cup Series, it will mark the 50th visit for the series at the historic circuit.  more >>
Trans Am TA2® Grid Grows with NASCAR Entries for Road America
02.07.2021
Top NASCAR talents like Newman, Bell, Mayer and more set to field TA2® cars at Road AmericaAmerican Muscle will be more >>
Third place for Audi R8 LMS GT4 in TransAm at Mid-Ohio
29.06.2021
At the fifth round of the American Trans-Am club racing series, a privateer driver managed a podium result in the Audi R8 LMS GT4. Seth Lucas finished third out of seven participants in the SGT class in the car entered by the Ave Motorsports team at Mid-Ohio.Eva-Maria Becker - more >>
Dyson Takes Trans Am Win at Mid-Ohio
28.06.2021
Seven-Year Mid-Ohio Win Streak Ends for Ernie Francis Jr. With high heat, multiple restarts, a front to back charge to the field that came to naught, and a recovery drive to the podium from a cham more >>
Motivated Drissi gets second chance, wins Mid-Ohio Trans Am pole
27.06.2021
A motivated Tomy Drissi put together a flying lap in the final minute of qualifying to claim the Motul Pole Award for Sunday’s Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  more >>
Rafa Matos Flag-to-Flag for Trans Am TA2® Victory at Mid-Ohio, with video recap
27.06.2021
Peterson Racing sweeps the podium at Mid-OhioRafa Matos followed up Friday’s Motul Pole Award with a flag-to-flag Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® victor more >>
Championship Tightens as Trans Am TA2® Brings Stacked Field to Mid-Ohio
25.06.2021
Rafa Matos and Mike Skeen battle for points in championship chaseTying a five-year record-high number of event entries, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to Mid-Ohio more >>
Rydquist Rallies for Trans Am West Win at the Ridge
14.06.2021
Lux Performance returns to Trans Am with One, Two Finish in SGT ClassDriving from the back of the field to the front twice on a rain-soaked track, Carl Rydquist would not be more >>
Jeff Holden Claims First Trans Am Pole at the Ridge Motorsports Park
13.06.2021
Cindi Lux returns to Trans Am racing with top time in SGT class Jeff Holden led the entire 30-minute Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship qualifying session on Saturda more >>
Trans Am West Coast Set to Debut The Ridge Motorsports Park - Entry List
09.06.2021
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship will travel to the Pacific Northwest with Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) to Shelton, Washington, for a weekend of vintage and sports car racin more >>
Emotional Win for Dyson in Drenched Lime Rock Park Trans Am Race, race summary video
30.05.2021
Joiner, Phillips and Di Pippo score class winsWinning at his home track was twice as sweet for Chris Dyson in Saturday’s Trans Am Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park. more >>
Francis Masters Rain, Wins Lime Rock Trans Am Pole -results
29.05.2021
Joiner, Oakes, Di Pippo top in classSeven-time Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli champion Ernie Francis Jr. surprised local favorite Chris Dyson in heavy rain at Lime Rock Park on Friday, w more >>
Trans Am TA2® Cars Set for Huge Show at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day
26.05.2021
Video: Sights and Sounds of TA2® at Lime Rock in 2019On the same 1.478-mile circuit that Sam Posey, Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones made Trans Am racing the Am more >>
Speed and Tradition as Trans Am Set for Saturday Showdown at Lime Rock Park
26.05.2021
Seventy-years of racing featured at Trans Am Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock ParkThirty years in the making, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is set to return to Lime Rock Park. This Memorial more >>
Trans Am West Coast Championship Back in Action at Thunderhill - entry list, schedule
12.05.2021
Trans Am West Coast hosts third race in four weeks to complete California runWith three rounds in four weeks, it’s been a shotgun start to the 2021 Trans Am Series presented by Pire more >>
Round 3 Racing Road America Bound for World Racing League
04.05.2021
Round 3 Racing (R3R) returns to World Racing League (WRL) competition and heads to Road America for two, eight-hour endurance events on Saturday and Sunday. For the first time this season, R3R will have entries at every level of competition with team cars competing in the GTO, GP1, GP2 and GP3 classes.  more >>
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Secure Three Class Victories and 11 Podium Finishes at Cota
04.05.2021
..  in Successful Weekend of SRO America Championships Competition at Circuit of The AmericasDXDT Racing Secures Mercedes-AMG GT3 Race Win while RENNtech Motorsports and Murillo Racing are Victorious with Mercedes-AMG GT4 Entries at Circuit of The Americas more >>
Team Hardpoint EBM Earns Three Porsche Carrera Cup Podiums at COTA With Efrin Castro, Riley Dickinson
03.05.2021
Castro Scored a Pair of Runner-Up Finishes in Pro-Am, Dickinson Earns Pro Class Podium at His Home Track Team Hardpoint EBM scored three Porsche Carrera Cup North America podiums on Sunday, with Efrin Castro earning a pair of second-place finishes i more >>
Dramatic Finish in Trans Am Gives Tomy Drissi the Win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
03.05.2021
Joiner, Oakes, Goldman and Crocker finish first in class at Laguna SecaTomy Drissi won his sixth race in two decades in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli round at WeatherT more >>
Dyson Prevails in Torrid Scrap with Francis Jr. for Trans Am Pole at WeatherTech Raceway
02.05.2021
Joiner, Oakes and Crocker top in class at Laguna SecaChris Dyson prevailed in a back-and-forth qualifying battle with Ernie Francis Jr. to capture the MOTUL Pole Award for Sunday’s Tr more >>
Matos Magic in Monterey, Takes Trans Am TA2® Win
02.05.2021
Tim Lynn victorious in Trans Am West Coast Championship at WeatherTech RacewayAfter losing out on the MOTUL pole in the closing moments of Friday’s qualifying session, Rafa Matos was not t more >>
Trans Am TA2 Laguna Seca Race classification -Matos ahead of Skeen and Merrill
02.05.2021
Trans Am Championship Presented by PirelliProvisional Race ResultsTA2 Round 3WeatherTech Raceway Laguna SecaApril 29 - May 1 20211 88 Rafa Matos / Boca Rat more >>
Skeen Earns Pole Position and Sets New Track Record in Trans Am Qualifying at WeatherTech Raceway, results
01.05.2021
Captures Motul Pole Award in TA2® after last second flyer&n more >>
Trans Am Cancels Trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Doubleheader added to Watkins Glen
01.05.2021
As a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on international travel, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will stay stateside for 2021, canceling its visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park scheduled for Se more >>
Trans Am Brings in Heavy Hitters for Trans Am SpeedFest at Laguna
01.05.2021
After being forced to cancel its West Coast tour in 2020 due to the pandemic, Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is finally able to return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, bringing a huge field of American horsepower to t more >>
Trans Am Brings Huge TA2® Field to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
29.04.2021
Nearly 60 fire-breathing American muscle Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli cars will return to the home of the Corkscrew this weekend (April 30-May 2) for the Trans Am SpeedFest at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. more >>
Trans Am Continues Long History at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca This Weekend
28.04.2021
Hometown Driver Thomas Merrill Returns to Laguna to Defend 2019 WinThe Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli visits historic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the 12th time April 30-May 2 for more >>
Dyson Breaks Trans Am Track Record in Sonoma Qualifying
25.04.2021
Mayer, Gregg and Crocker fastest in class at Sonoma RacewayThe fast turns and steep elevation changes at Sonoma Raceway made for an interesting qualifying session for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirell more >>
Trans Am West Coast Sonoma Entry List
22.04.2021
Trans Am West CoastSonoma RacewaySonoma, California April 23 – 25, 2021TA / TA2 / XGT / SGT / GT7 SGT W Gene Sigal, Malibu, Calif. Sigal Sport Por more >>

Kategorien

2001-2021 automobilsport.com full copyright