Trans Am Western Championship Race Preview: Portland

July 19, 2023

Trans Am Western Championship Race Preview: Portland

Track Facts:
Opened: 1960
Length: 1.97 Miles
Layout: 12-Turn Road Course
Entry List: View

Friday, July 21
4:10-4:35 p.m. PT

Saturday, July 22
10:00-10:30 a.m. PT

Race 1
Saturday, July 22
12:45-2:00 p.m. PT
Race Length: 51 Laps/75 Minutes?

Race 2
Sunday, July 23
11:40 a.m.-12:55 p.m. PT
Race Length: 51 Laps/75 Minutes


Double Header Weekend

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship kicks off the second half of the 2023 season this weekend with a doubleheader at Portland International Raceway. The only doubleheader of the year presents a unique challenge for competitors, as damage incurred in Race 1 can heavily impact Race 2, and the two races combine to be worth a quarter of the season’s points. This weekend’s back-to-back races will be the sixth (and seventh) time the Western Championship has taken the green flag at the Oregon track, and the first doubleheader for Western competitors at the facility.

The entry list for Saturday and Sunday’s events is composed of five GT competitors, tying the Western Championship record for most entrants in the class in a single race, which was established in the series’ last outing at Ridge Motorsports Park in June.

One sweet thing to note about this weekend’s event: As a longstanding tradition, United Salad Company will be serving strawberry shortcake to everyone in the paddock on Saturday during lunch (11:15-11:45 a.m. PT).

Portland Trophies
Four drivers in this weekend’s field have previously stood atop the podium at Portland. Ken Sutherland and Chris Evans are the most recent winners in this event, with Sutherland taking the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series victory last year, and Evans winning in SGT before going on to win the 2022 championship for the class.

Chris Evans, No. 92 Central Welding Supply Ford Mustang (2022, SGT)

Tim Lynn, No. 17 RoofOptions Ford Mustang (2021)
Brad McAllister, No. 24 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (2019)
Ken Sutherland, No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro (2022)

Shiny and New
Two drivers will be making their first-career Trans Am Series starts this weekend at Portland. Troy Ermish (No. 33 Ford Mustang) makes his debut in the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series with 33 years of racing experience behind him. Ermish is a two-time SVRA National Champion from B-Sedan Racing, and also a two-time National Champion in SCCA’s GT3 and SMG/AS classes.

Kevin Roggenbuck (No. 45 Union Marine Audi R8 LMS) comes to the XGT class with 15 years of racing history in SCCA Prototype 1, Prototype 2, and Formula 1000. Roggenbuck also has experience racing in the National Auto Sport Association.

Living on the Edge
With Portland nearly straddling the Oregon-Washington border, there are several drivers in this weekend’s field from the two states who will feel at home at Portland International Raceway. Closest to home are Martin Sarukhanyan from 34 minutes away in Hubbard, Ore., Brad McAllister and Ken Sutherland, both 35 minutes away in Sherwood, Ore., and David Hampton, less than an hour away in Salem, Ore.

Steve Goldman, No. 13 LIG Racing Chevrolet Corvette (Mercer Island, Wash.)

Kevin Roggenbuck, No. 45 Union Marine Audi R8 LMS (Woodinville, Wash.)
Chris Evans, No. 92 Central Welding Supply Ford Mustang (Powell Butte, Ore.)

Martin Sarukhanyan, No. 11 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata (Hubbard, Ore.)
David Hampton, No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS (Salem, Ore.)
Larry Luck, No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3 (Snohomish, Wash.)

Brad McAllister, No. 24 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (Sherwood, Ore.)
Ken Sutherland, No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro (Sherwood, Ore.)
John Schweitzer, No. 00 Superior Builders Inc. Ford Mustang (Fife. Wash.)

Previous Race Recap
Brody Goble
went back-to-back at Ridge Motorsports Park, once again leading the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series race from start to finish in dominating fashion. Goble, who made his Trans Am Series Western Championship debut at The Ridge in 2022, was uncontested in the 41-lap caution-free race, earning his third-career win in the series and first victory of 2023.

David Hampton in the No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS led the GT class for the duration of the event to earn the first victory of his Trans Am career. Hampton broke JC Meynet’s streak of three wins in a row.

Rudy Revak won in SGT as the sole competitor in the class.

Mid-Season Points Update
With four races in the books, the Western Championship has officially hit the halfway point in the season. This weekend’s doubleheader will be crucial to the championship hunt, as the two races will award a quarter of the points available this season. While things may change dramatically after this weekend, here is an update on how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series
The Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series has been the most competitive class in the Western Championship. Greg Tolson (No. 38 GT Auto Lounge Chevrolet Camaro) currently leads the point standings on the strength of two wins (Thunderhill Raceway Park and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca). The always-fast Michael LaPaglia (No. 31 Papini’s Garage/F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang) is 12 points behind with consistent results, earning a best finish of third at Laguna Seca. After missing the first race of the season, Brody Goble (No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex Performance Ford Mustang) has made a remarkable recovery with two poles and three-consecutive podium finishes, including a victory at Ridge Motorsports Park. He currently sits third in points, 20 points behind second. Michael Fine in the No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Chevrolet Camaro is eight points behind Goble after a best finish of second in the Thunderhill season opener. Ricky Leigh (No. 09 1909 Gastropub Temecula, CA Chevrolet Camaro) rounds out the top five, with a best finish of second at The Ridge in the series’ most recent event.

Steve Goldman (No. 13 LIG Racing Corvette) currently leads the TA standings, finishing first in the season opener at Thunderhill and second at Sonoma. Greg Pickett (No. 6 GYM WEED/Pickett Racing Ford Mustang) is second following his sole start at Sonoma Raceway.

Newcomer Will Rodgers in the No. 42 Central Welding Supply Chevrolet Camaro currently leads the XGT standings after an explosive series debut, winning both the pole and the race in his first-career Trans Am races at Sonoma Raceway and Laguna Seca. His team owner and 2022 SGT champion Chris Evans (No. 92 Central Welding Supply Ford Mustang) is second with two podiums. Erich Joiner (No. 10 goodboybob Coffee Roasters/Tool Porsche 991 GT3 R) is third with a second-place finish at Laguna Seca.

Only one competitor has competed in the SGT class so far this season. Rudy Revak (No. 60 Xyngular Ford Mustang) made his first start of 2023 at The Ridge, earning the win in the class.

GT has been strong in 2023, with the class seeing its highest number of entrants ever at Ridge Motorsports Park. JC Meynet in the No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Corvette leads the points after earning the pole and the win in the first three events of the season. David Hampton (No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS) is second with three podium finishes, including one victory from the pole at The Ridge. With only one start each this season, Larry Luck (No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3), Martin Sarukhanyan (No. 11 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata) and Xuanqian Wang (No. 22 AURALIC North America McLaren 570S GT4) are third through fifth, respectively.


1. Greg Tolson (342)
2. Michael LaPaglia (330)
3. Brody Goble (310)
4. Michael Fine (302)
5. Ricky Leigh (281)

1. Steve Goldman (105)
2. Greg Pickett (60)

1. Will Rodgers (130)
2. Chris Evans (112)
3. Erich Joiner (63)

1. Rudy Revak (50)

1. JC Meynet (272)
2. David Hampton (218)
3. Larry Luck (82)
4. Martin Sarukhanyan (73)
5. Xuanqian Wang (59)

Complete Standings: View

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