Trans Am Series Event Preview: Sebring International Raceway 2024

February 21, 2024

Trans Am Series Event Preview: Sebring International Raceway 2024

Sebring SpeedTour

Track Facts:
Opened: 1950
Length: 3.74 Miles
Layout: 17-Turn Road Course
Entry List: View


Saturday, February 24
4:40-5:15 p.m. ET

Sunday, February 25
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET
Race Length: 27 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:
LIVE on MAVTV and MAVTV Select

Highlights Show:
Thursday, February 29
9:00 p.m. ET


Friday, February 23
2:20-2:55 p.m. ET

Saturday, February 24
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET
Race Length: 27 Laps/75 Minutes

TV Broadcast:
LIVE on MAVTV Select
Delayed coverage on MAVTV at 3:00 p.m. ET

Highlights Show:
Thursday, February 29
8:00 p.m. ET

Starting Over
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to the site of its inaugural race in 1966 to open up the 2024 season at Sebring International Raceway as part of the Sebring SpeedTour. The challenging 3.74-mile track has hosted 27 previous Trans Am Series races and has served as the season-opener for the series since 2013. 62 cars are entered into this weekend’s event, with 39 entries for Saturday’s CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series race and 23 in Sunday’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT race.

Live Coverage on MAVTV in 2024
Trans Am’s 2024 broadcast package will include live coverage of every National Championship race this season. Continuing its partnership with MAVTV, Trans Am’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT and CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series events will air live on MAVTV’s linear television network and its Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) channel, MAVTV Select. Live streams will also be available for all National Championship events on Trans Am’s YouTube channel (@TheTransAmSeries).

In addition to live broadcasts of the events, 60-minute highlight shows will air Thursdays on MAVTV in primetime following each race weekend, with the TA2 Series race airing at 8:00 p.m. ET and the TA/XGT/SGT/GT race airing at 9:00 p.m. ET as part of MAVTV’s ‘World of Racing’ programming block. Other Trans Am programming includes the docuseries Road to Glory, which tracks the progress of teams and drivers in the paddock.

Trans Am Drivers Powering Diversity
Six drivers in the Trans Am paddock have been awarded the 2024 PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship, which strives to create a more diverse field while empowering drivers from a variety of backgrounds to participate in PMH-owned race series. Four of those recipients will be participating in this weekend’s event:

Kaylee Bryson got a quick introduction to Trans Am competition last season at Sebring before turning her focus to USAC Silver Crown, where she became the first woman to earn Rookie of the Year honors and was also named the series’ Most Popular Driver. This year, she will compete full time in both series, driving in Trans Am’s SGT class with LSI Racing in the No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette.

Two-time TA Champion Amy Ruman will prove to be a mentor for several of the younger drivers, as she once again returns to the Trans Am Series’ TA class with her family-owned Ruman Racing team driving the No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette. 

Tyler Gonzalez is a first-time scholarship recipient who made his Trans Am debut with Nitro Motorsports in the 2023 season finale at Circuit of The Americas. He will compete as a rookie in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series in 2024 after gaining experience in both MX-5 Cup and Toyota GR Cup.

Gonzalez will be joined at Nitro Motorsports by two-time champion Rafa Matos, who will serve as an additional mentor for the younger members of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship class. 

Past Winners
Twelve drivers in this weekend’s races have driven to GYM WEED Winners Circle at Sebring International Raceway. Lee Saunders in the SGT class has the most wins of any returning competitor, amassing six victories at the track since 2014.

Boris Said, No. 2 Weaver Racing Dodge Challenger: 2001
Wally Dallenbach, No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang: 2023, 2022 (TAH)
Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang: 2022, 2021
Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette: 2015

Danny Lowry, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/ Mercedes AMG GT3: 2023

Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper: 2023, 2020, 2019, 2016 (SGT) 2015, 2014 (TA3-I)

Billy Griffin, No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang: 2022
Todd Napieralski, No. 39 SKF/Turn-Key/Bell’s Brewery Chevrolet Camaro: 2015 (TA3-A)

CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series
Rafa Matos, No. 60 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang: 2023, 2022, 2019
Thomas Merrill, No. 26 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang: 2021
Dillon Machavern, No. 17 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro: 2017
Doug Peterson, No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang: 2014, 2013 (TA)

NASCAR Connections
The racing world’s attention has been focused a few hours north of Sebring at Daytona International Speedway, where NASCAR kicked off its 2024 season with the Daytona 500. This year, 10 drivers in “The Great American Race” had previous experience in the Trans Am Series:

Christopher Bell
Chase Briscoe
Harrison Burton
Austin Dillon
Ty Gibbs
Kaz Grala
Justin Haley
Riley Herbst
Tyler Reddick
Daniel Suarez

Of those competitors, Christopher Bell, who entered Trans Am races in 2018 and 2021 had the most success in Monday’s race, finishing third. In addition to the Daytona 500, 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have competed in Trans Am, including pole winner Jesse Love, and another seven Trans Am alumni were entered in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, meaning 28 race starters in NASCAR’s top-three series began or supplemented their racing career in the road-racing series.

Another NASCAR connection: Cup Series and Xfinity Series-winner Paul Menard returns to the Trans Am paddock this weekend, driving the No. 3 Menards Ford Mustang in the TA class. Menard has two previous starts at Sebring, competing in the last two events at the Florida track, plagued by mechanical issues in both events.

Florida Drivers Take on the Sunshine State
There are 10 drivers who will be close to home this weekend racing in Florida.

Wally Dallenbach, No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang (Punta Gorda)

Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper (Lakeland)

Billy Griffin, No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang (West Palm Beach)
Jeff Lindstrom, No. 41 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang (Lake Worth)

CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series
Thomas Ellis, No. 8 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro (Pompano Beach)
Lee Saunders, No. 15 Owosso Speedway/Howe Racing Chevrolet Camaro (Lakeland)
Tyler Gonzalez, No. 30 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (St. Cloud)
Rafa Matos, No. 60 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (Boca Raton)
Roberto Sabato, No. 61 6th Gear Garage Ford Mustang (Bonita Springs)
Doug Peterson, No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang (Bonita Springs)

Bill Warner Named Grand Marshal
Racer, collector, photographer, author and founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner has been named Grand Marshal for Sebring SpeedTour. Warner will give the command to start engines for Saturday’s CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series race.

Recent Sebring Experience
Just recently, the SCCA Super Tour competed at Sebring, and a few Trans Am drivers partook in the event, finding success at this weekend’s venue.

Boris Said, No. 2 Weaver Racing Dodge Challenger
Finished third in GT1 in Race 2

Keith Grant, No. 40 Drissi Motorsports/Showtime Chevrolet Camaro
First overall and first in class in GT1 in Race 1

Richard Grant, No. 30 Grant Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Finished ninth in GT1 in Race 1

Danny Lowry, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/ Mercedes AMG GT3
First in class in GTX in Race 1

Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper
Seventh in GT2 class Race 1, Fourth in GT2 class Race 2

Connor Zilisch, No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Won in Race 1 and Race 2 in Mazda MX-5.

Barry Boes, No. 27 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang
Finished third in GT2 in Race 1

Jared Odrick, No. 81 CB Motorsports Ford Mustang
Finished second in GT2 in Race 1

Win a Buzz Bike!
At Saturday’s TA2 podium, Buzz Bikes will be giving away a Buzz Centris E-Bike that retails for $1,399. To win the 20-inch folding electric bike, you must be present at GYM WEED Winners Circle, which will begin at approximately 12:35 p.m.


Dyson Chasing Number Four
After Chris Dyson clinched his third-consecutive TA championship last year at VIRginia International Raceway, he said, “The most important championship is the next one.” This year, the driver of the No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang has the potential to accomplish a feat that has only been achieved once before – winning four-consecutive championships. Ernie Francis Jr. is the first and only driver to sweep the TA class for four straight years, holding the title from 2017 until 2020. Dyson’s dynasty began the very next year, and he has been the TA titleholder since 2021. While he works to match Francis Jr. in championships, Dyson is also chasing him in wins. A victory at Sebring would tie Dyson with Francis Jr. as the fourth-winningest driver in the TA class at 24.  Dyson has two previous victories at Sebring, which he earned in 2021 and 2022.

Drissi Motorsports Launches in TA
Longtime TA-class driver Tomy Drissi has embarked on a new endeavor over the off-season, acquiring Showtime Motorsports’ TA program and forming his new team, Drissi Motorsports. The 2009 champion has finished second in the points for the last four-consecutive seasons and aims to claim the top spot and end his two-year winless streak with help from former Showtime owner Ken Thwaits, who remains on as team principal. Drissi will unveil a new livery when he debuts his No. 8 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro at Sebring this weekend. He will be joined by teammate Keith Grant in the No. 40 Drissi Motorsports/Showtime Chevrolet Camaro. Grant earned his first TA class podium last year at Sebring, finishing third in the season opener.

Brent Crews Making TA Debut
2023 CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series champion Brent Crews will make his TA class debut this weekend, doing double duty in the first race of the season. Crews, who became the youngest Trans Am champion in history at 15 years, seven months and six days old, will pilot the No. 79 ECC/Treetop Apple Juice Dodge Challenger. Crews will also return to the TA2 class in his familiar No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang. Crews will be competing in a number of different racing series in 2024, but has already confirmed he’ll race in the Trans Am Series at Road Atlanta and NOLA Motorsports Park.

Wally Dallenbach Jr.’s New Ride
1986 TA champion Wally Dallenbach Jr. will hit the track in a brand-new racecar this weekend. After primarily driving in the TA Heritage class the last two seasons, Dallenbach Jr. will debut a new No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang. His team just took delivery of the new Meissen chassis, meaning he’ll be making his very first laps in the car when he hits the track at Sebring.

A New Face, An Old Car
Jon DeGaynor
comes to the Trans Am paddock for the first time as a winner in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) garage. He’ll be driving a very special No. 04 Speed Dream’n Racing Ford Mustang. The 1992 racecar was previously driven by Ron Fellows to victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and possesses the 20-time Trans Am victor’s signature.

Saunders Doing the Double
Defending SGT champion Lee Saunders has the most wins of any returning competitor at Sebring this year, tallying five victories at the track since 2014. He will once again compete in SGT, driving his familiar No. 87 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper. However, this weekend he will do double duty, also racing in TA2 in the No. 15 Owosso Speedway/Howe Racing Chevrolet Camaro in the Pro/Am Championship. Sebring is Saunders’ home track, and he has won three out of the last five races there.

TA/XGT/SGT/GT News & Notes
Another driver pulling double duty this weekend is Adam Andretti, who finished second at Sebring last year in the TA class driving for CD Racing. Andretti will pilot the No. 17 Top Liner/Go Share Chevrolet Camaro for Burtin Racing in the TA class, in addition to the No. 41 Ultimate Headers Chevrolet Camaro in TA2. His TA car is a new chassis that made its debut last year after years of development by Burtin. Martin Ragginger drove it to a second-place finish in the series’ last outing at VIR.

Seven-time Trans Am champion Ernie Francis Jr. will be joining this weekend’s Sebring SpeedTour, competing in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA). He will be driving his 2017 TA-class championship winning car in Group 10. In addition to his four-consecutive TA championships, Francis Jr. is also a two-time champion in the TA3-A class, and has one GT title.

2022 GT champion Billy Griffin will be hitting the track in a brand-new Ford Mustang for the 2024 season. This year, he plans to compete in the Pro/Am Pick Six Championship.


Welcome CUBE 3!
CUBE 3 Architecture steps up as the new title sponsor of the TA2 Series for the National and Western Championships, which will now be recognized as the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series. This marks the debut year of CUBE 3 Architecture as the "Exclusive Architectural Firm of the Trans Am Series, SVRA, and SpeedTour." Over the past 3 years, CUBE 3 has actively sponsored emerging TA2 talents, including young drivers like Evan Slater and Australian TA2 champion Nathan Herne.

Nitro Motorsports’ Strong Stable
Nitro Motorsports comes into Sebring with an incredible stable of eight talented drivers, which boasts six of this year’s Young Gun Award competitors, including 2023 TA2 champion Brent Crews, and winner of the season finale at Circuit of The Americas, Thomas Annunziata, who also had a successful ARCA Racing Series debut at Daytona last weekend, finishing second.

Joining Nitro Motorsports this year is two-time champion and veteran Rafa Matos, who will serve as mentor to his young teammates. Matos has won three of the last five races at Sebring (2023, 2022, 2019) including going back-to-back in the two most recent events. If Matos is able to pull off a third-consecutive victory at the Florida track, he will become TA2’s winningest driver with 21 visits to GYM WEED Winners Circle, breaking his current tie with Cameron Lawrence. This year, Matos will be sponsored by Concord American Flagpole Association in a collaboration with TA competitor Chris Dyson.

Tyler Kicera has also been hired by Nitro team owner Nick Tucker as a driving coach to assist with the development of the younger drivers on the team.

COPE Cars Taking Over
There are many talented competitors entered in this weekend’s TA2 race, but there’s a very high likelihood that the podium will have at least one COPE Chassis driver. Cars under the COPE Race Cars tent and COPE Chassis customers compose more than half of Saturday’s field, with 20 entrants this weekend. Some COPE customers include CB Motorsports, Nitro Motorsports and TRB Autosport, as well as several privateer organizations. COPE Chassis has been building TA2 cars since the class’s very first race at Road Atlanta in 2010.

Connor Zilisch Returns
Connor Zilisch
, the winningest TA2 driver in 2023 with five victories, returns to the Trans Am paddock for a partial schedule in 2024. Zilisch recently announced he’s been signed to a multi-year driver agreement with Justin Marks’ Trackhouse Racing in a developmental program that will include select CARS Tour, ARCA, Trans Am, and IMSA races, in addition to NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Series events.

Zilisch’s penchant for winning didn’t stop during Trans Am’s off-season. He became the second-youngest winner ever in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, winning in the LMP2 class. He also recently won at Sebring in the SCCA Tour, winning on both Saturday and Sunday in a 75-car field.

Mosack is Back
Connor Mosack
returns to the Trans Am Series garage full time in 2024 and will be behind the wheel of a brand-new ride, the No. 77 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Mosack has two victories in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series and has also shown considerable speed in qualifying, earning six pole awards. Mosack was the polesitter one year ago at Sebring, leading the first 19 laps before finishing on the podium. Mosack will be joined at Silver Hare Racing by Boris Said Jr., who will be racing full-time and competing in the Pro/Am Championship. 

Bruce Raymond Levels Up
Bruce Raymond
in the No. 54 Optima Batteries Ford Mustang made some changes this off-season, purchasing a racecar nearly 10 years newer than his previous chassis to compete in the TA2 Pro/Am Championship in 2024. His busy off-season also included getting engaged to his new fiancée, Maria.

TA2 Debuts
There will be many new faces in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series paddock this year as the series continues its exponential growth. Here are just a few new contenders in 2024:

New to the Trans Am huddle is former Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Jared Odrick, who joins TA2 driving for the newly-expanded CB Motorsports. While he made his name in football, Odrick is a talented racer, winning the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs in GT2 at VIR in only his second attempt. 

Josh Hurley will be making his TA2 debut driving for BC Race Cars in the No. 20 BCR/Greenlight Simulation Ford Mustang, though he has run in the TA class previously, earning podium finishes in his two starts in 2018 and 2019. You may recognize his name, as he was the 2020 Trans Am Esports Championship winner. His company, Greenlight Simulation uses racing simulator technology to teach new drivers how to drive on the street safely.

Gavan Boschele is a 16-year-old phenom who has won in almost everything he’s raced in so far, including late models, dirt cars and go-karts. He joins Team SLR after first testing with them last summer at VIR.

Who Will Be This Year’s Young Gun?
$20,000 will once again be on the line for TA2’s best drivers under the age of 25. One of the most hotly-contested trophies in the class, the Young Gun Award showcases the series’ young, up-and-coming drivers competing for the TA2 National Championship, awarding the cash prize to the season’s top points earner at the year-end awards gala. Brent Crews, who captured last year’s championship, was awarded the Young Gun Award in both 2022 and 2023.

Drivers in this weekend’s race who are eligible for the 2024 Young Gun Award are:

Thomas Annunziata, 18, No. 90 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Caleb Bacon, 19, No. 18 CB Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro
Ethan Barker, 18, No. 07 Concierge Motor Sports Chevrolet Camaro
Gavan Boschele, 16, No. 28 Team SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro
Brent Crews, 15, No. 70 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Parker DeLong, 15, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul Ford Mustang
Austin Green, 22, No. 89 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang
Tyler Gonzalez, 19, No. 30 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Ben Maier, 15, No. 80 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Darin Mock, 21, No. 51 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Gio Ruggiero, 17, No. 40 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang
Luke Rumburg, 24, No. 95 Manchester Hydraulics Ford Mustang
Connor Zilisch, 17, No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro

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