Some rain, some sun, lots of good racing
Tom Merrill and Chris Dyson were the big winners in the 2022 Lime Rock Trans-Am event. The weather did not cooperate for the TA2 race on Saturday, heavy rain falling on the second half of the race. Monday’s TA1 race was held in warm and sunny weather before a large, happy crowd.
The TA2 field charged off at the start as threatening skies covered the track. Rain was imminent. Drivers had to choose to start on dry tires for the dry track or mount rain tires for the wet that was to come. This was a crucial choice as Trans-Am cars have 5 lug nut wheels rather than centerlocks, so a pit stop could delay competitors enough to lose a lap or more in the pits.
Most of the leaders chose to start on wets and made the most of the squirming tires while conserving the tread life waiting for the rain to come. When the rain did come, those tires were worn and the cars were a handful in the teeming rain.
Tom Merrill and his Bridgehaul Mustang (top photo) held on to win the race, describing the drive as “fun” as the cars slipped and slid without traction control available to them. Second was Evan Slater who tried valiantly to close the gap to Merrill in his Cube 3 Mustang but came up short at the finish. Cameron Lawrence came third in his Franklin Road Camaro.
The TA1 class goes to Chris Dyson…again
Six TA1 cars lined up for the start in Monday’s feature race. Chris Dyson started on pole and walked away from the competition in his Altwell CBD Mustang. It was his third straight victory in what is his home event. Mathew Brabham (son of Geoff Brabham) was driving the Allgram Mustang in place of usual pilote Humaid Masaood in the second Dyson entry. Brabham has subbed for the Dyson team before and has won in the Mustang before, but second was his reward this time around. Brabham did get the Racerhead award for best wheelie of the weekend (below).
Third was a charging Ken Thwaites in his Franklin Road Camaro.
The 2022 Lime Rock Trans-Am was great in heavy rain and bright sunshine. You can’t ask for a better combination of challenges for the Trans-Am drivers and their cars.
If you haven’t seen a modern Trans-Am race lately, you should consider attending one. On the same ticket as the SVRA vintage cars, it’s a good show of modern horsepower and classic vintage cars. The TA2 cars put on an impressive race every time and the TA1 cars are even faster. Watch the Trans-Am cars on a straightaway and you will be impressed with the huge speed they carry. The cars are straight-ahead engine and chassis cars, no traction control or any other driver aids at all.
You can see the 2022 Trans-Am schedule here.