Brabham Wins, CD Racing Earns 1-2 Finish in Hot Sebring Season Opener
February 26, 2023
Race of Attrition Claims Several Fast Competitors, Including Polesitter Justin Marks
SEBRING, Fla. (February 26, 2023) - Matthew Brabham continued his streak of podium finishes in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s season-opening race at the historic Sebring International Raceway. After mechanical failures struck defending champion Chris Dyson and polesitter Justin Marks, Brabham cruised to victory in the No. 20 Gym Weed Ford Mustang, earning his fourth win in just six Trans Am starts.
Marks led the field to green in his No. 99 Trackhouse Chevy Camaro, showing incredible speed through the first half of the 27-lap event. Brabham ran hot on Marks’ tail, periodically challenging for the lead but unable to complete the pass, followed by CD Racing owner Dyson, 2002 champion Boris Said and CD Racing teammate Adam Andretti. Disaster struck Dyson when his No. 16 Gym Weed Mustang lost power on Lap 14, bringing out a full-course yellow. Said’s No. 79 ECC/Anchor Bolt & Screw Dodge Challenger was damaged when he made contact with Dyson’s car as it suddenly slowed in front of him, forcing Said to also visit pit road.
On the restart just three laps later, Marks experienced his own power failure, leading to his retirement from the race. Once Brabham took over the lead, he maintained it for the remaining 10 laps. Andretti followed closely in the No. 21 allgram Ford Mustang, and the two paced the field until the checkered flag waved, earning CD Racing a 1-2 finish. Keith Grant in the No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Camaro rounded out the podium.
“This was an unbelievable weekend,” said Brabham on the podium. “Chris [Dyson] was really fast in the race, and Justin [Marks] was too, but they had issues. This track is just really hard on the cars. I was fortunate, and sharing the podium with these guys is so cool, especially having Adam [Andretti] here. Hearing the names Brabham and Andretti at a track like this with so much history, in a series with so much history, is pretty cool. Trans Am is just unbelievable; it’s so much fun. Thank you to Chris and the team. They deserved a 1-2 finish and I’m so happy to get it for those guys. We made it to the end and survived. Thank you so much to Gym Weed and allgram for supporting our team.”
Notes of Interest:
In his six starts in the Trans Am Series, Matthew Brabham has accrued an average finish of 1.3, winning four of the six races he has competed in. His worst finish in the series is second.
TA Top Five:
1. Matthew Brabham, No. 20 Gym Weed Ford Mustang
2. Adam Andretti, No. 21 allgram Ford Mustang
3. Keith Grant, No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro
4. Ken Thwaits, No. 7 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro
5. Tomy Drissi, No. 8 Lucas Oil Ford Mustang
TA Masters Award:
Ken Thwaits, No. 7 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro
COOLSHIRT Cool Move of the Race:
Keith Grant, No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro
In XGT, Danny Lowry led from start to finish in his No. 42 BridgeHaul/Bennett Mercedes AMG GT3, with Nathan Byrd close behind. Randy Hale struggled against mechanical issues the entire race, crossing the finish line third in class.
“I had a great race, I had a great car, and I had a lot of fun competing with these guys today,” said Lowry. “Young Nathan [Byrd] right here was eating my bumper up most of the time, and I think his tires went before mine did. He’s one hell of a racecar driver. I’m hoping we see him out here all year long. Thank you to the Bennett Family of Companies and BridgeHaul.”
1. Danny Lowry, No. 42 BridgeHaul/Bennett Mercedes AMG GT3
2. Nathan Byrd, No. 88 Sonesta/Tilson/Hopegivers Porsche 911 GT3
3. Randy Hale, No. 31 Hale Motorsports/Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette
XGT Masters Award:
Danny Lowry, No. 42 BridgeHaul/Bennett Mercedes AMG GT3
SGT was a race of attrition, with both Kaylee Bryson and Aaron Pierce suffering mechanical issues early in the race. Florida native Lee Saunders carried the torch for the class for the remainder of the race and took the win.
“It was obviously really hot out there today,” said Saunders. “Unfortunately, Aaron [Pierce] and Kaylee [Bryson] couldn’t finish; they were really doing well. I hate that for them and wanted to see them out there, obviously. Thank you to my team, and thanks to Trans Am for putting on a great race.”
1. Lee Saunders, No. 44 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper
2. Kaylee Bryson, No. 26 AP Driver Development/LSI Racing Chevrolet Corvette
3. Aaron Pierce, No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette
Tyler Hoffman, filling in for Mike Attaway, led from green flag to checkers to claim the victory in GT. Billy Griffin was ahead of Chris Coffey until the final lap when he experienced a mechanical failure, losing the second position in the closing moments of the race.
“Thank you very much, it was a blast out there,” said Hoffman. “Thank you to Mike Attaway for the privilege to drive his car. Unfortunately, he got sick and asked me to fill in for him. It’s a privilege and an honor to be up here racing with these guys.”
1. Tyler Hoffman, No. 91 Bennett/BridgeHaul/Pitboxes.com Audi R8
2. Chris Coffey, No. 97 Norwood Auto Italia/Traffic Grafix Maserati MC GTA
3. Billy Griffin, No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang
Wally Dallenbach put on an impressive show in his Trans Am Heritage car, finishing fifth overall, duking it out with Ken Thwaits and earning the win for his class.
1. Wally Dallenbach, No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang
Full official race results can be found here.
The broadcast of today’s race will air on MAVTV on Thursday, March 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The Trans Am Series returns to the track March 9-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park.