Defending Lime Rock Race Winner Thomas Merrill Wins First Motul Pole Award of 2023
May 26, 2023
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2023) – Practice and qualifying are complete for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series at Lime Rock Park. 2022 champion and defending Lime Rock Park race winner Thomas Merrill earned the Motul Pole Award with a 51.764-second lap.
Mike Cope Race Cars dominated the top three, with Evan Slater in the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro qualifying second and Thomas Annunziata in the No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang qualifying third.
“I owe this pole to my crew, this is actually the same setup we rolled off the truck with,” said Merrill. “They did an amazing job with their preparation for this weekend, and we unloaded with a great car. Every time we changed it in practice, we made it slower, so we went back to what we started with. It shows the work they’ve been putting into this. It’s a great day for the Cope cars. To lock out the top three like that is pretty cool. I’m very proud of them.”
Qualifying Top Five:
1. Thomas Merrill, No. 26 Bennett/HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang (51.652)
2. Evan Slater, No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro (51.764)
3. Thomas Annunziata, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (51.915)
4. Nathan Herne, No. 29 CUBE 3/Berryman Ford Mustang (51.963)
5. Connor Zilisch, No. 5 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro (51.990)
Full qualifying results can be found here.
Practice Top Five:
1. Brent Crews, No. 70 Franklin Road/Mobil 1 GearWrench Ford Mustang (52.011)
2. Thomas Annunziata, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (52.096)
3. Evan Slater, No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro (52.471)
4. Nathan Herne, No. 29 CUBE 3/Berryman Ford Mustang (52.587)
5. Thomas Merrill, No. 26 Bennett/HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang (52.625)
Full practice results can be found here.
The race will be contested on Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 p.m. ET and can be streamed live here.
The TV broadcast of the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series race will air on MAVTV on Thursday, June 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET.