Sheehan Finishes Top Ten in 2021 TA2 Championship Following COTA Finale
November 9, 2021
Austin, TEXAS – November 9, 2021 - New Hampshire's Tom Sheehan had the consolation of a top ten finish overall in the Drivers' Classification in the TA2 Class coming in P9 overall on the season. The Damon Racing LTK Mustang saw a particularly challenging final round to the 2021 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship at Circuit of the Americas on November 7.
A huge field assembled for the National finale to the season with 52 cars taking part in practice, 49 involved in qualifying and a whopping 51 on the grid for the start of the race. Tom, with only one clean real lap at speed completed prior to the feature race, put the No. 97 Damon Racing LTK Insulation Technologies Ford Mustang in P14 for official qualifying in the enormous field. However, a switch to a Chevrolet motor proved a huge disappointment for Tom and the team. After a good race start, engine problems continued forcing multiple trips to pit and then to retire. The consolation for Tom and the team is that in spite of the disappointing conclusion to the 2021 campaign, he retained his place at P9 overall in the National Championship table in a 64-car strong field.
"It was a tough weekend for our guys. Nobody feels satisfied," said Tom after getting out of the car. Going into more detail about what caused his early retirement from the race he added, “We switched the car over to the Chevy Choice engine program, the engine platform that the Series is tipping the field towards. We struggled with reliability pretty much straight out of the trailer. We got one decent lap in qualifying to get us into the race but the motor was running on seven cylinders, sometimes six.”
“We had a good start but I knew the motor was not good. We worked on a fix under the cautions but the motor just laid down. We pitted giving up track position, trying to stay on the lead lap, we knew without a fix I was just going to fall back more in the race.”
The Damon Racing crew had an impossible job trying to make running repairs to the engine itself during the race as Tom explained, “We pitted but it's really tough to work on stuff with the engine smoking hot. People get burned. They'd have cut their arm off to make that car run. It's not on them. We’ve had no time for testing and it wasn't ready for us to present here. Sometimes it goes that way. It'll be a long ride back for everybody.”
Tom and the Damon Racing team now have just over three months to get a disappointing 2021 forgotten with the 2022 season set to start in Florida on February 24 at Sebring with the Sebring SpeedTour. #GoLTK!
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