American muscle drives Trans Am 2 grid growth
January 30, 2012
Miami, FL – January 30, 2013 – Trans Am 2 saw unprecedented growth of over 400 percent of cars on the grid in 2012. Going into 2013, the growth will continue with Camaros committed to the grid and the launch of the all new for 2013 Mustang built by Howe Racing Enterprises.
“We had orders for over 25 new cars to be built over the off-season. The success of the Camaros in 2012, combined with the introduction of the new Mustang at the Performance Racing Industry tradeshow in November, created tremendous demand for both brands,” stated Chas Howe of Howe Racing Enterprises in Beaverton, Michigan. “We’ve built cars for existing teams as well as new competitors, the TA2 grid will definitely grow this year.”
Trans Am TA2 class champion is Bob Stretch from Wheels America Racing in Arlington, Texas. “Winning the TA2 class championship was a great achievement for our team and really puts the pressure on us for this year,” commented Stretch. “We have ordered two more TA2 chassis for 2013 and expect to field five cars in TA2, except for the opener at Sebring, where we will have four. The success of TA2 last year has prompted us to build new cars for drivers and teams who want to compete in Trans Am for 2013.”
Second in TA2 points in 2012 was Miller Racing, from Lansing, Michigan with driver Pete Halsmer. “We competed hard for the championship last year,” said Mike Miller, “but in the end we came up short. For 2013, we are expanding to a three car team with Pete and Cam (Cameron Lawrence, TA2 driver) running all 11 races and we will have the third car ready for the opener at Sebring. We are still looking for the right driver to pilot the new car and would like that person in place for the full season. It’s a great car and will be identical to our other Camaros that use the Howe chassis and Katech engines. With that said, our expanded team and effort we will be racing for the TA2 championship in what appears to be an even more competitive year than 2012.” With a fourth chassis back at the Miller Racing shop, there’s also a good chance we will see Mike Miller behind the wheel this season as well.
Kurt Roehrig, TA2 Rookie of the Year and 3rd overall in TA2, is returning with his team Race 4 PD for the full season. “We’re returning with the goal of finishing first in TA2 points for the 2013 season. Our new Crew Chief is Dave Price, because Oliver Saltzmann has returned to Berlin. We did the early testing in January with SCCA at Sebring, where we were second fastest in GT-2 (the SCCA equivalent of TA2) so we’re going to be ready for the opener at Sebring the first weekend in March,” commented Kurt.
New teams will swell the TA2 ranks in 2013. Teams like the one from Tom West, a lifelong SCCA racer, are making the move to TA2. “TA2 is a perfect fit for where we wanted to go next,” stated West. “After 25 years in SCCA club racing, we are ready to move up to a more refined series that offers us a professional race experience that is affordable and fast!” Tom West’s team, along with John Payne, will be campaigning a new for 2013 Ford Mustang. “We love the look of the new Mustang and bought the Howe PRI show car at Road Atlanta. Our goals for 2013 are to run all 11 races, be in the Top 10 in points in the second half of the season and be in a position to compete for rookie honors by the time we finish in Daytona. We want to be on the ground floor of what we feel will become America’s favorite road racing series.”
Pinnacle Autosports from Decatur, Texas will field a new three car team that is scheduled to run all 11 races. Pinnacle is owned and managed by Gregg Rodgers, a veteran of both SCCA and vintage racing. “The growth in TA and TA2 in 2012 gave us the incentive to move ahead with our three car team for 2013.” Rodgers continues,” I’ll be piloting a new Camaro as will John Atwell with Scott Ferguson driving a Pontiac GTO. We have increased our crew size and staff to compete for the entire season. Even though many of our owners could afford Grand Am, they choose to spend less on Trans Am and compete for the full year.”
There will be another new Howe Mustang on the grid from DJ Jans and Tony Ave Racing. Dale Madsen has been the Crew Chief for DJ and is moving into TA2 as the pilot of the new Mustang and will run the entire 11 race season. “As Dale gets to know the car and our team World Information Systems TA2 car gels, we want to be in a position to help Dale compete for rookie of the year honors in TA2,” said DJ Jans.
With returning teams expanding and new teams coming to the Series, Trans Am expects a full grid for the season opener on March 1st to the 3rd at legendary Sebring, where it will share the track with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) and The Spring Vintage Classic, featuring historic Trans Am racers.