Trans Am Matches Five-Year High Entry Record for Mid-Ohio
June 22, 2021
TA, XGT, SGT, GT classes set to deliver 100-mile action-packed sprint race at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, OHIO (22 June 2021)- The product of more than 30 years of continuous development and improvement, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli has firmly established itself as one of the most competitive series in North America. Growing that rich legacy into the modern era, Trans Am returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend (June 25-27) with a 53-car lineup, matching a five-year high for the event.
“Last season, the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio was the first event back for Trans Am after the pandemic put racing on hold,” said Trans Am Race Company President John Clagett. “We were happy to be racing again, but Mid-Ohio felt a bit different without spectators. What a difference a year makes. We are extremely excited to return to Mid-Ohio with one of the largest fields we’ve had since 2016, and we get to do it in front of fans.”
Mid-Ohio is the first leg of back-to-back events for the Trans Am drivers. Trans Am will host a pair of 100-mile races on the 2.4-mile, 15-turn Northern Ohio circuit before traveling to Road America to celebrate Independence Day weekend as part of the NASCAR Cup Series JOCKEY Made in America 250. (How to stream Mid-Ohio race weekend)
Notching his second win of the season at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day Weekend, Chris Dyson jumped to the top of the championship standings in the TA class, edging out WeatherTech Raceway winner Tomy Drissi by 12 points. Building off his winning momentum, Dyson is predicting another first-place finish for CD Racing.
"We've been really fast and in contention to win Mid-Ohio the last couple years, so I'm really excited to go back there,” said Dyson. “Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks and we've had some big successes there in the past. The team has been on excellent form this year, the car has been super-fast and reliable and we are leading the points championship tables. We are taking it one session and one race at a time, but I'm feeling confident we will get another great result with the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang."
While Dyson and Drissi are building off a pair of podium finishes coming into Mid-Ohio, they will still have to get through the winningest driver at Mid-Ohio in Trans Am history, Ernie Francis Jr.
Francis Jr. has captured the championship every year since joining the series fulltime in 2014 – and has included a victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course all seven years. Though he’s collected the most wins at Mid-Ohio, this year is different than any other season for Francis Jr. For the first time, the SRX podium-finisher will enter the weekend without a victory. Francis Jr. will also be pulling triple duty racing in three open-wheel rounds for FR Americas Championship at Mid-Ohio and an SRX race at Eldora Speedway on Saturday.
Driving the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang, Francis Jr. is third in the TA championship and only trails second-place Drissi by two points after four rounds.
Two-time Trans Am champion Amy Ruman comes into the weekend with home track advantage. The Stow, Ohio, native has logged the most laps of her racing career at Mid-Ohio. Ruman is confident that competitive edge will get her No. 23 McNicholsCo/CornertechCNCSolut Chevrolet Corvette to the podium for the first time this season.
“I have spent a lot of time at Mid-Ohio, from spectating as a kid, to racing consistently here over the years,” said Ruman. “Mid-Ohio is a particularly challenging, unique course. Track conditions can change at any given moment and that's part of its uniqueness. There is no time for rest either, its remarkably busy. I am determined to have a good finish this weekend, preferably a win, and would love to move up in the standings – we have had a bit of a rough season thus far so I would love to turn it around at my home track.”
Other TA drivers entered for the weekend who’ve topped the podium at Mid-Ohio include two-time winner Simon Gregg in the No. 59 The Peter Gregg Foundation Chevrolet Camaro (2012 and 2016) and Paul Fix in the No. 4 StopFlex.com/CarCoachReports Chevrolet Corvette (2015).
The Trans Am production classes are also set to deliver an action-packed race on Sunday with a 13-car field.
Winning on a road course at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and on the Charlotte Motor Speedway roval earlier this season in the new Trans Am Pro Am Challenge, Mark Brummond is back to challenge national points leader Justin Oakes in the No. 24 GarageDoorDoctor/DynamicAutoTune BMW M4 GT4.
“After winning Mid-Ohio’s race last year, Tons Of Gas Motorsports is thrilled to be back here racing again,” said Brummond. “Winning both Road Atlanta and the Charlotte Roval this year, we are looking for our third straight win at Mid-Ohio to add to our leading points race in the Trans Am Pro Am Challenge.”
After missing the last three rounds due to mechanical issues that stemmed from his outing at Road Atlanta, reigning GT Champion Billy Griffin is back in the No. 14 GriffinAutoCare/SheehansTowing Ford Mustang GT4 to recover his SGT rookie season.
Philip Di Pippo (No. 94 Sasco Sports Ford Mustang) will go up against a team of brothers Michael and Sean Young in the GT class, while Erich Joiner and Mike Weathers will get a Lime Rock rematch in the XGT class.
The weekend kicks off for Trans Am drivers with optional testing on Thursday for TA2®. The official weekend for TA2® starts on Friday morning with practice followed by qualifying at 5:40 p.m. Eastern. The TA/XGT/SGT/GT classes will also hold an unofficial test on Friday.
Saturday the TA/XGT/SGT/GT drivers will host an optional test session before the 45 laps (or 65 minutes) TA2® Feature Race (1:05 p.m. Eastern). The day will conclude with a split TA/XGT/SGT/GT qualifying at 5:15 p.m. Eastern. The weekend wraps up on Sunday with TA2® taking the green at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.
The full weekend will be live streamed for subscribers on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App: https://bit.ly/35EAnND
*Note that only SpeedTour events featuring Trans Am will be live streamed. The Road America event will not be available on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.
Watch Mid-Ohio Full Race from 2020- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVCK9U_jMoM&t=33s
Replay Full TA/XGT/SGT/GT Lime Rock Round- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYbGzMuZfUQ&t=3918s