Rough Contact Costs Pacey Sheehan After Early Gains at Sebring
February 27, 2023
Sebring, FLORIDA – February 27, 2023 - The 2023 Trans Am TA2 season got underway at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday, February 25 with the first race of the Championship now billed as the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series. Tom Sheehan and the team behind the No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Damon Racing Ford Mustang were due a change of luck at the famously bumpy circuit. The experienced New Hampshire pilot looked like he was making his own as a first lap charge saw him gain an extraordinary nine places. However, that put him right in the middle of the notorious barrel of the line-up, the very crowded mid-section of the field where contact is not just likely, but can sometimes be unavoidable.
It proved for Tom who through no fault of his own was shunted twice, causing damage to the car and costing him several places. Despite showing pace to match the Top Ten, Tom had to settle for P22, still a gain on his starting position. It could have been so much more as Damon Racing Technical Manager Matt Romanowski explained to our reporter post race.
"The team came together really well. We put a great car together for Tom for the weekend. We had had a little challenge in qualifying but the race started out great. Tom gained nine positions on the opening lap and we were poised for a really great performance but unfortunately there was car contact."
He went on, "Mike Cope is doing a great job. The guys are heading over there now to get the car tuned up and we'll hit NOLA with the same start we had here." Of the incidents that cost the team he added, "It's a tough situation. It happened twice. On Lap 2 and then in the middle of the race. Tom was doing a great job battling back from the first one when he got bumped again and it put us off our pace but we'll get back at it."
Tom saw plenty of traffic in the qualifying session, which meant he had to settle for P31 on the grid with a time of 2:10:511. His best lap time in the race of 2:11:186 was comfortably quicker than the cars around him and Tom will be looking to build on that in the next event at New Orleans NOLA Motorsports Park (with New Orleans SpeedTour) March 9 to 12.
Trans Am races are being live streamed in full on Trans Am and SpeedTour’s YouTube channels with full playbacks available immediately after the race. They are also being edited into 60-minute features and broadcast to MAVTV’s 22 million North American linear households and 175 million connected devices. MAVTV will also be streaming the races through their FAST Channels, which reaches 25 different countries. The Thursday-night primetime slot will include a two-hour block of racing, with the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series airing at 8:00 p.m. ET and the TA/XGT/SGT/GT class race airing at 9:00 p.m. ET. The block will be capped off by the 30-minute Showtime Motorsports docuseries, Road to Glory.
Keep up with Trans Am driver Tom Sheehan on social media – Facebook page is Damon Racing; Instagram is TomSheehanTA97 and @TomTA2_97.
For more information on LTK Insulation Technologies please visit the website online at https://ltkinsulationtechnologies.com/
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