Sheehan Ready to Go at Superfast Music City Spectacular
July 22, 2022
The TA2 Championship takes center stage with the iconic muscle car Series appearing for the second running of the Music City Grand Prix, August 5 and 6. Hosted at the home of country music with the feature Trans Am event the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Trans Am Championship paired alongside the IndyCar Series. The new race has already proved a real triumph with teams, drivers and fans all hailing the street circuit event as one of the most exciting events of the year.
Traveling there in his customary good spirits is New Hampshire's Ironman Tom Sheehan who finished in P17 out of 37 starters last year. Piloting the No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Ford Mustang, it’s been a mixed season for Tom so far who currently has 54 Championship points for P20 in the standings but who is used to being camped among the top ten TA2 drivers. Tom has nevertheless expressed himself optimistic and upbeat when we caught up with him this week.
"Nashville is a big stage. We are ready to go. It’s tight and you really have to race the track, keep it out of the fence, that’s the plan! Qualifying is important, but keeping it out of the fence is a big part of the weekend too."
The TA2 racers are billed as a support act to the IndyCar racers but in terms of sheer thrill and wheel-to-wheel action the muscle cars play second fiddle to no one. Organizers are calling it the “New Sound of Nashville” and the powerful TA2 cars will certainly roar around a circuit that runs 2.17 miles, has 11 turns and lies adjacent to the Nissan Stadium.
It’s very fast, with the most interesting feature being the 1.1-mile straight where the TA2 cars will be approaching or reaching maximum speed. The track goes across the Cumberland River over the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge and makes it one of very few circuits in the world to cross a significant body of water. Music City Grand Prix CEO Matt Crews noted that the event organizers planned to limit traffic interruptions as much as possible while track designer Tony Cotman intentionally avoided Nashville's major streets so as not to adversely affect tourism.
Discussing the design of the circuit, he called the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, "One of those landmarks where you see that bridge on TV or in photos and you’re going to know exactly where it is. It’s like seeing the Queen Mary in the background at Long Beach."
Passing opportunities are best at Turns 1, 2, and 7. Pundits and drivers, including former Formula One drivers Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson have compared the Nashville Street Circuit to the Baku City Circuit that hosts the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Nashville Street Circuit's downtown section and long straightaways on the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge have been compared to the castle section and long straights at Baku.
There are two practice sessions for the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers Presents the Franklin Road Classic, the TA2 racers getting sessions on Friday, August 5 at 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Qualifying is in two groups from 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, August 6 with the feature race over 46 laps of the 2.17-mile circuit at 12:30 p.m.
Fans can buy tickets via this link to the Music City Grand Prix:
Highlights will be screened on CBS Sports Network following the event. Check your local listings for details. The race will also be screened live on the Trans Am App and on YouTube.
Watch the TA2 racing live on the Trans Am presented by Pirelli YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcjbSevxbVsrrUYz77QzNuA
Keep up with Trans Am driver Tom Sheehan on social media – Facebook page is Damon Racing; Instagram is TomSheehanTA97 and Twitter please give us a follow @TomTA2_97.
For more information on LTK Insulation Technologies please visit the website online at https://ltkinsulationtechnologies.com/
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