2023 Track to the Title: Lee Saunders, SGT Champion

December 19, 2023

2023 Track to the Title: Lee Saunders, SGT Champion

Lee Saunders in the No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper claimed his third-career SGT championship while easily maintaining his record as the winningest SGT driver in the history of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. Saunders previously earned the title in 2015 and 2020, but his 2023 season was like no other, which included a six-race win streak that lasted from Lime Rock Park to COTA.

Saunders kicked off the year in Victory Lane, winning from the pole in the season-opening race at Sebring International Raceway. Following a podium finish at NOLA Motorsports Park, Saunders headed to Road Atlanta, where he needed a little help from his competitors. Saunders suffered multiple mechanical issues with his Dodge Viper, which led to Billy Griffin loaning him his Ford Mustang, allowing Saunders to salvage a third-place finish.

After Road Atlanta, Saunders returned to his Viper at Lime Rock Park and won every event he participated in for the remainder of the season. He competed in six of the next eight rounds, standing on the top step of the podium in every single one. He finished the season with a total of seven victories, bringing his career total to 21. Saunders is the winningest SGT driver in Trans Am history, with almost twice as many victories as second-place Tim Kezman with 12.

“We’ve had a really good year, and I’m super excited to win the championship,” said Saunders. “I never thought we’d get one chance at it, much less three chances at it. I want to thank my team, Kevin Smith, KSR, Eddie, Drew, everybody that helped out this year. My wife for putting up with this again. Kevin and KSR, they just did an awesome time with car prep this year. They were such a joy, and the car was just fantastic this year. As far as the drivability and reliability, we’ve never had a car that’s anywhere near this good, and that’s them and not me. It was really awesome. Trans Am is such an awesome series, so much history, so much fun. The best bang for the buck.

“I’m really hoping that we can expand the field [next year], because that’s the only thing that we need. We’ve got to make sure that this [class] isn’t the best-kept secret, because we love it. There’s nothing I like better than this.”

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