Sheehan Powers Through Field for Top Ten Finish at Lime Rock Park
May 29, 2022
Round 6 of the 2022 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship took place at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day weekend with the TA2 feature race was Saturday, May 28. After missing the marathon trip out west for the two California races, New Hampshire's Tom Sheehan roared back into action at the Connecticut circuit with his first top-ten finish of the season. It was cagey display from the Granite State pilot who climbed no fewer than 16 places during the race to finish in P9 despite heavy rain in the second half of the race. Driving conditions were changing lap-to-lap throughout the 100-mile sprint.
Driving the distinctive yellow No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Cope Ford Mustang for Damon Racing, Tom was making his 120th start in Trans Am Series and was rewarded with his best finish of the season. His comments after the race, “We had a poor qualifying pace and that had me way back in the field. The weather was going to be a factor, I prayed for rain. We put a strategic plan together that required some patients and a lot of water. When I put it on the grid and the field was entirely on wet tires, I felt we had a shot. Slicks would have been a good call, for guys with track position, the rain tires were not going to be that much of an advantage to start.
It was a management game for us. Keeping the rain tires healthy was required. I was stoked to see the sky open; we were starting to struggle on the drying track on the rains, paces were really mixed, and tire management paid off.
The race was a test. I was backwards twice to the rear, quick spins, contact and limited visibility. I had decent vision, none at times. Some cars you just couldn’t see and it got mixed up. In the final laps we just had to dig back up to the top-ten, most cars had no tires left or had been caught out going full dry early and were forced back into pit for wets. Our tires were pretty shot by the end, but the early management paid off in the final laps. We just had a little more tire than cars around us.
It’s a little momentum for the team. The focus is on Ohio and reclaiming Damon Racing and the Mike Cope Mustangs' potential.”
Tom qualified the Mustang in P25 in the 32 car TA2 field but this pilot’s deft driving quickly gained him four places by Lap 5. With the team pitting for dry tires early, other drivers were struggling with drying conditions. Continuing with his great drive, Tom made it up to P14 by Lap 21 of the 68 Laps scheduled.
When the rain came midway through Tom cycled to P13 as teams scrambled to re-fit rain tires under green. A subsequent caution allowed him to close the gap lost in earlier contact with a lapped car. As the rain continued pouring down, a final push after caution saw Tom claim key positions wrapping up his P9 finish. Earning the best of the halved 2022 season.
Next up for Tom and the LTK team is the trip to Mid Ohio and the race at the Mid Ohio Sportscar Course, June 23 to 26.
In a change to previous schedules, highlights of the track action from the weekend can be seen at 12:00 AM ET (midnight) on Friday, June 3. The scheduled programming is billed as the 2022 Trans Am TA2 presented by Big Machine Spiked Coolers: Lime Rock with a repeat showing at 4:30 AM ET on Saturday morning.
If you were unable to attend the racing in person or watch the race live, you can catch up with all the action on the Trans Am Series channel here: https://youtube.com/c/TheTransAmSeries
Learn more about LTK Insulation Technologies at: www.ltkinsulationtechnologies.com
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