Bow, NH - June 30, 2020 - In what may be one of the most action packed final lap shootout finishes in the history of Trans Am, the field for Round 2 of the TA2 class race at Mid Ohio set out after caution for a dramatic final lap that saw Scott Lagasse take the checkered flag after four of the top six machines found heartbreak on the final lap. Tom Sheehan capitalized advancing four spots to take the checkered flag P3 finish on the podium.
The final thriller was to be subsequently declared null and void by the Stewards in post race official review. The race clock had in fact already run down to zero prior to the leaders taking the green and white flag restart, meaning that the restart lap would not count and would not affect the final standings.
“We were under a full-course caution and going for a restart,” explained Trans Am Race Director Dorsey Schroeder. “Because of the COVID-19 virus restrictions, our timing and scoring official, Bill Skibbe, was in a different building. He couldn’t get the information to us that we were going to run out of time before we got the restart underway. We should have gone checkered flag on the lap we went back to the green flag. So we went back to the last scored lap for the official result.”
The No. 97 LTK Ford Mustang pilot Tom Sheehan had these comments on the race, “Great race today from start to finish. We started off strong. Our car started out pretty fast. We were really good on the short run. In the long run we found a bit of trouble, I made a mistake, had a quick spin, saved it and kept on going. I lost contact with the front four but kept digging. It was a survivors' race for sure on a tough hot day, but all the hard work we've done off season during the break, staying in shape, working out and doing all the things you do to compete at this level, it pays off on days like these."
The reversion to the placings prior to restart meant Tom was notched a P7 with a fastest lap of 1:28:057 - so that is his official finishing position. Nevertheless, it was a sporty show and a competitive weekend that Tom can look back on his performance with great satisfaction. Tom went on, “Our Damon Racing Team never gave up we kept digging all weekend, Mike Cope Racing is a family. The support is helping us make gains, I am confident we can get back on the top steps soon. It’s disappointing to loose the podium spot but the officials made the right decision. Congratulations to Thomas Merrill, he had them covered. He and Cope, they earned that win. I thank the fans who came out and those who watched the live stream. I don’t think they were disappointed, the final lap had to be a thrill for them, it just doesn’t count in the books.”
Sunday’s action ended a long layoff of almost four months for the Trans Am competitors. Fortunately, collaboration between the Series, Mid Ohio Sportscar Course and the State of Ohio meant that spectators were able to enjoy the action at the glorious parkland setting. All being well, the next action is in only two weeks time with racing scheduled for Minnesota’s historic Brainerd International Raceway in the Ryan Companies presents the Jed Copham Tribute Weekend on July 10-12.
Watch the full race replay of this extraordinary race along with other action and exclusive Trans Am content on the Trans Am by Pirelli App. Trans Am by Pirelli Racing app available for download from your mobile smartphone device.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nagra.ion.transam&hl=en_US
Keep up with Trans Am driver Tom Sheehan on social media – Facebook page is Damon Racing, Instagram @TomSheehanTA97 and Twitter @TomTA2_97.
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