Sheehan Ready to Rock at Trans Am Lime Rock Park

May 17, 2022

Sheehan Ready to Rock at Trans Am Lime Rock Park

The 2022 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship Series heads back to familiar territory in New England, May 27 to 30, for the Memorial Day Classic weekend. The Constitution State circuit will host the muscle car series on what is traditionally one of the most popular recreation and vacation weekends of the year. With the pandemic now disappearing in the rear-view mirror, racegoers can look forward to some tremendous action with 39 cars entered in Saturday’s TA2 race.

The two races at Laguna Seca and Sonoma that comprised the Spring doubleheader in California were the first Trans Am TA2 races that Series stalwart Tom Sheehan had missed since Daytona 2014. One of the most popular drivers in the paddock, Tom sat out the long trip out West with the former ‘Ironman’ focusing on the conversion from Ford Racing engines to the Series mandated Choice power package.

Tom explained, "Our Ford program, although grandfathered, was suffering off the corner, straight-line torque deficiency. The Choice package was really being forced on us. The Ford power that we had had so much success with was falling behind. We were working to make it better but the development wasn’t happening fast enough. We lost a year working on improving the Ford it was just falling short. Going to a new power package was not as easy as it sounds on the surface. The spare parts required make the change take a bit of suffering to round up, and its prohibitive to keep a Ford and a Choice package supported on the road.”

"California was an unnavigable challenge for the team, we have responsibilities to maintain a cohesive program," said Tom from his Granite State base. "It’s a logistical nightmare getting the crew and everything out there 3,000 miles away. The California DOT transportation regulations make it difficult. To be honest, the break was not what we wanted. The cars have been in the shop. The guys continue to work under supply shortage circumstances after we suffered two rear ends failures in three races and are having a difficult time sourcing components. I couldn’t attempt to do the season without Jamie and Jeff. They are unstoppable. Racing is in our blood, we love it, and go through extraordinary sacrifices to compete.”

"Lime rock will be fun, lots of friends make the trip to the track. The fans are great, it's a storied place and I have lots of laps. TA2 will be a great show, I am looking forward to returning.”

The Trans Am Muscle car roadshow is a welcome visitor to Lime Rock Park. Tom and the bright yellow LTK Ford Mustang turned in a top ten finish  last year Tom posted for P9. The track is a short bullring circuit with Big Bend, No Name straight, the uphill thrill, west bend, and the final downhill righthander leading to the short front straight. Its a busy lap with little relief for drivers.

Situated just 160 miles from his HQ in Bow, New Hampshire, Lime Rock Park is effectively Tom’s local track. It’s a natural-terrain motorsport road racing venue located in Lakeville, Connecticut, a hamlet adjacent to the town of Salisbury, in the state's northwest corner. Built in 1956, it is the nation's third oldest continuously operating road racing venue, behind Road America and Willow Springs International Motorsports Park. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

The large 39 car field at Lime Rock means exciting qualifying for TA2 is split into two groups between 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. on Friday, May 27, with the TA2  full field Race going green at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 28. Tickets are available through this link https://limerock.com/events/memorial-day-classic/

The racing will also be screened on the CBS Sports Network the following week. Check local listings for details.

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