Trans Am Series Event Preview: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 14, 2023
Length: 2.592 Miles
Layout: 15-Turn Road Course
Entry List: View
Friday, June 16
4:05-4:45 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 17
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. ET
Race Length: 42 Laps/75 Minutes
Return to the Brickyard
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT competitors return to action for Round 5 of their 2023 season at one of the world’s most historic and storied racetracks, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Throughout the track’s 114-year history and the series’ 57 years of competition, the Trans Am Series has only visited the Brickyard three times, with the most recent event held in 2019. Built in 1909, the Brickyard is the oldest track on the Trans Am circuit.
Kissed the Bricks
Chris Dyson in the No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang is the only driver entered into this weekend’s event who has won on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in Trans Am, earning his third-career victory in the series in 2019. However, he isn’t the only one who knows what it’s like to kiss the bricks at the famous facility.
Paul Menard in the No. 2 Weaver/Householder/Technique Dodge Challenger won the 2011 Brickyard 400, claiming his first ever victory in the NASCAR Cup Series on the track’s 2.5-mile oval.
Matthew Brabham in the No. 20 GYM WEED Ford Mustang won on the track’s road course, standing atop the podium in the 2014 Indianapolis Grand Prix in Indy NXT. The 29-year-old has four road course starts at the track in that series.
Back Home Again in Indiana
The two drivers in this weekend’s field who call the Indianapolis area home have two of the most famous last names in racing: Adam Andretti and Matthew Brabham. Brownsburg native Andretti (No. 44 Top Liner Chevrolet Camaro) comes from a large family of famous and multi-disciplined racers, including his uncle, Formula 1 champion, four-time INDYCAR champion and Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti. Brabham, the grandson of three-time Formula 1 champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of four-time IMSA champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Geoff Brabham lists Indianapolis as his hometown.
Fathers and Sons
This Father’s Day weekend, two drivers in the Trans Am Series will be sharing the track with their fathers. Keith Grant in the No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will take the green flag with his father, Richard Grant in the No. 30 Grant Racing Chevrolet Corvette, competing against each other in the TA class. Keith will also be on track with his uncle, 2022 SGT champion Milton Grant, who will drive the No. 55 Springhill Suites/Sentry Self Storage Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup in the SGT class.
Matthew Brabham will be joined at the racetrack by his father Geoff Brabham, who will drive in Formula B in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.
While he won’t be racing against him, Chris Dyson’s father Rob Dyson has his own place at the speedway. The elder Dyson, who recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of his team, Dyson Racing, is the Chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum board of directors. Rob, an SCCA GT2 national champion and Rolex 24 at Daytona winner has served on the museum’s board since 2011 and was named chairman in 2021.
New Burtin Chassis Debuting
When Trans Am arrives at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, driver and team owner Claudio Burtin will unload a brand-new Burtin Racing TA class chassis, which will make its competition debut in Saturday’s race following three years of design and development. This is the first time Burtin or his team have competed since Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last June. Adam Andretti will pilot a second Burtin Racing entry this weekend, the No. 44 Top Liner Chevrolet Camaro. Andretti scored a third-place finish in the TA race at the track when the series last visited in 2019.
The No. 17 Top Liner Chevrolet Camaro, which will be driven by Burtin this weekend, was built in Burtin Racing’s 70,000 square-foot facility, which houses their race shop in Adairsville, Ga., with design and manufacturing assistance from Leap Racing in Georgia and CP Tech and CP Autosport in Germany.
Burtin says that the metric-sized tubular design of the chassis is unique and is a foot wider than current vehicles in the TA field, utilizing the strength and lightweight nature of the chassis to create a more stable platform. It also moves the full contents of the fuel tank in front of the rear axle, allowing it to be more balanced. He also states that the car is metallurgically different than every other car in the garage. Through careful design, and the use of tubing with superior specifications, the new chassis has a torsional rigidity that is nearly three-times higher than the previous chassis. Learn more about the new chassis here.
Dyson Could Become Fifth in All Time TA Wins
Two-time TA champion and current points leader Chris Dyson in the No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang could become fifth on the all-time list of TA class winners if he scores a victory in this weekend’s event. The win would tie him with Scott Pruett with 22 victories. Dyson scored his third ever Trans Am win at Indy in 2019, which is the last time Trans Am visited the track.
New Look for Drissi at Indy
2009 TA champion Tomy Drissi will run a familiar number this weekend, but his car will be sporting a completely different look. Drissi will drive the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Ken Thwaits’ Showtime Motorsports. Drissi suffered a hard crash in his 3GT Racing Ford Mustang at Lime Rock Park over Memorial Day weekend. The team was unable to repair the car up to their standards of performance and safety in time for this weekend’s race, so Showtime Motorsports is lending a hand to allow Drissi to continue his full-time championship effort.
New Faces in Production Classes
This weekend, the Trans Am Series will welcome a few new faces into the garage. Florian Eyme is making his first-career start in the No. 11 Racing Hive Porsche Cayman GT4 CS in the GT class. Wesley Slimp will also compete in the series for the first time, driving the No. 43 BridgeHaul/Bennett Family of Companies Audi R8 LMS in the XGT class.
Father’s Day Thoughts
In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, a handful of drivers offered their thoughts about their dads and how they influenced their racing careers:
Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette:
“What a fitting way to spend Father’s Day weekend – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Racing Capital of the World. I can’t thank my father enough for being such a great role model and inspiration to me throughout my life. I am fortunate to have worked side-by-side with my dad in business and in racing. His love of the Trans Am Series, Corvettes, and racing set the tone for where I wanted to be. I have learned so much from him and can’t thank him enough for his tireless efforts, from working on the car, data, engineering, coaching, and even body work. Without his unconditional love, encouragement, and support, I wouldn’t be a Champion!”
Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang:
“Watching Dad go racing when I was a boy was inspirational. He was winning races and building amazing businesses. He was (and still is) an absolute dynamo. But more than anything, he absolutely loved being a dad. When I wanted to go racing, he was the opposite of a ‘Little League dad.’ He wanted to make sure I was doing it for myself and not to impress him. He had enjoyed a great driving career and didn't need to live through me. I also started racing a lot later because I was mainly playing baseball, so he pushed me to sort out a lot of my early karting and club racing on my own. He knew that was the way I would understand if I really wanted to do this. I appreciate his approach to it even more now.
“Dad's priority as a driver and as a team owner was getting the basics right. He always focused on putting resources into the right people and the right equipment and carved his own path. He built relationships with people who shared his outlook and wanted to succeed. He saw potential where others might not. And then he gave his people freedom and empowered them to do great things. We have been able to build on the foundation of the team he created and enjoy a lot of success together. It's an honor to carry on his legacy. Happy Father's Day, Dad!”
Tomy Drissi, No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro:
“My dad raced bikes in Morocco; he loved racing bikes and he loved cars. My dad was always supportive of my racing and was the first one to have a bag packed for a race. My career started in vintage racing, and he was a fixture at the racetrack. He couldn’t believe it when I started racing pro. Everyone at the track knew him and loved him. If he wasn’t able to make it to the race, everyone would say ‘Where is your dad?’ before they even said hi to me. When I won my first Trans Am race, the Long Beach Grand Prix in 2000, everybody had him come up on stage and he took the mic. I was excited, but I think he was even more excited. I don’t know where my racing career would be without his love and support. I think he enjoyed it more than me sometimes. I love you, Papa!”
Matthew Brabham, No. 20 GYM WEED Ford Mustang:
“I grew up listening to incredible racing stories shared around the dinner table between my Dad and Grandpa. I would sit there in absolute awe, and it really inspired my decision to go racing myself. Dad was fully on board and supported me a great deal throughout my life and racing. We have so many fond memories driving all across Australia in a van and going to kart races together. We developed such a strong and emotional connection through all the success and hardships. When it comes to racing, we almost always know what each other is thinking without even having to say it.
“When we finally got to race together through the SVRA Pro/Am and historic racing, it was certainly exciting! Racing hard for the lead, swapping positions and out-braking each other was just incredible. It created some even more fond memories that I will cherish forever. I'm really looking forward to this weekend as we will both be racing again on the same weekend and creating more of those awesome moments together.”
1. Chris Dyson (389)
2. Matthew Brabham (379)
3. Tomy Drissi (333)
4. David Pintaric (318)
5. Amy Ruman (307)
1. Danny Lowry (212)
2. Nathan Byrd (204)
3. Chris Evans (126)
4. Randy Hale (114)
5. Austin Hill (61)
1. Lee Saunders (263)
2. Ricky Sanders (221)
3. Milton Grant (127)
4. Carey Grant (81)
5. Kaylee Bryson (63)
1. Michael Attaway (160)
2. Billy Griffin (117)
Complete Standings: View