Huge Trans Am Field for Nashville Brings New Ruleset for Qualifying and Race
August 6, 2021
The largest field of fire-breathing TA2® cars in Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli history are entered for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix with 38 drivers set to take the green Saturday, August 7.
With the new venue and competitive racing attracting a record-breaking TA2® field, Trans Am officials instated an additional ruleset for the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic with Race for RP.
Trans Am will stage in two official practices on Friday. The first practice will be gridded by championship standings and the second practice will be based off fastest lap in the earlier session. Drivers will be gridded for qualifying based on their fastest overall time from the day. While this isn’t a new rule for the weekend, practice times are more important than ever as it will determine which run group drivers will qualify in.
Due to the large grid sizes, the cars will be divided into two groups to allow more room on the track during qualifying to ensure that each driver has the best chance possible to achieve the target lap time. Group 1 will be the fastest half of entrants using combined practice times and the Group 2 will be the remaining entrants. If circumstances occur before or during the Group 1 qualifying that keeps Group 2 from having like conditions and the same amount of time, Race Director David Hoots will declare the Qualifying session void and set the Race Grid by combined practice times.
To ensure that the race has the most green flag laps possible, every driver will be required to race within 110 percent of the lead car's current speed. If a car does not maintain this 110 percent requirement, the Race Director may take the following actions at his discretion:
· Have the Car yield (off-line) to overtaking traffic
· Reposition the car on a Restart
· Have the car pit for corrective repairs once
· Park the car for the rest of the race
What Drivers Have to Say
Justin Marks No. BC Forever/M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro: “I think qualifying is going to be huge because these street races are really unforgiving. “It’s going to be hot, so that’s going to be hard on equipment and hard on people. But I look at all that as a great opportunity to try and have a great day because of these variables you can focus on trying to do well. I love street racing because I love racing in situations where the consequences are big for getting it wrong, which means you have to drive with some courage and that’s the style of driving that I like. I don’t like going to racetracks with big runoffs where everybody can dive-bomb corners and be a hero. At a street race, if you get one corner wrong, your day can be over, so it’s a matter of how close you want to get to that edge, and I thrive in that environment.”
Rafa Matos No. 88 3 Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang: “I think it’s a great opportunity for Trans Am to showcase our type of racing. It will for sure be very entertaining for the fans to see 38 cars going around the race course. For us drivers I think getting clear track ahead of us is probably the hardest part of the weekend.”
Alex Wright, No. 12 Berryman Products Ford Mustang: “Nashville is shaping up to be an epic event! The field is so deep and so talented that I'm sure it will be a fantastic race. Since nobody has driven this track, we're all on equal footing. It will be extra important to come up to speed quickly and to qualify well. Many thanks to Berryman Products for giving me what I think is the best looking car in the field! I’ll do my best for myself, the team and all of the fans at the track and watching at home.”
Adrian Wlostowski, No. 3 Hawk Performance/F.A.S.T. Auto Chevrolet Camaro: “Racing on a brand new and narrow street course with a large field will make passing difficult and will make qualifying exceptionally important. With a new track, we’ll all be trying to get laps in so the pit lane will be very busy as we hustle to make changes and get back out. During the early sessions we should see a big difference in speed, and keeping the car off the wall will be challenging and hugely important. Everyone will be hustling, and the teams will be working hard to find the best setup for qualifying.”
Tom Sheehan, No. 97 LTK Insulation Ford Mustang: “I always enjoy a concrete bullring! Nobody’s seen the track, nobody really knows the track or driven the track. Practice time will be at a premium.”
Weekend Timetable and Ways to Follow
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® drivers will participate in two practices on Friday August 6 (11:00 a.m. ,2:15 p.m. CT), before the morning split qualifying sessions starting at 11:00 a.m. Central on Saturday. The Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic will go green on Saturday afternoon at 1:25 p.m. Central.
Same-day coverage of the TA2® Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Apparel Classic with Race for RD at the Music City Grand Prix will be featured in a two-hour special aired exclusively on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. (VIDEO: Trans Am Returns to CBS Sports Network)
Real-time updates will be featured on Trans Am social platforms (@GoTransAm) and live timing and scoring will be available all weekend at www.GoTransAm.com/livetiming
TA2® Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic at the Music City Grand Prix
CBS Sports Network
Aug. 7, 2021
8:00-10:00 p.m. Eastern