Pole sitter is never headed despite foot injury
Chris Dyson wrecked while competing in the Hoosier 100 on Thursday night. The crash almost scuppered his plans to race at the Lime Rock Trans-Am presented by Pirelli on Memorial Day. It all came good when Dyson took pole position in qualifying and was never headed in the race for a home track win. He was chased for the full distance by Josh Hurley, Ernie Francis Jr. and Tomy Drissi, but Dyson never relented. Francis would finish second just under 2 seconds back at the finish after Hurley and Drissi faded at the end.
I have followed the Trans-Am series since the landmark 1970 season but never made it to a race. Too bad. The top class TA and TA2 cars are ground-shaking delights. At the Lime Rock Trans-Am they were pulling impressive wheelies at the top of the uphill as they caught air at the Uphill. Even though the top TA field was on the thin side, the racing was close and the cars very entertaining. The current TA cars are based on a tube frame chassis with 800 horsepower V8s. Camaro, Mustang, Corvette and Cadillac bodies grace the cars that honor the original series concept famously started in the 1960s. Unlike the original series’ production car basis, the TA cars have plenty of freedom to modify and innovate in the quest for more speed.
Merrill wins TA2 by razor-thin margin
Thomas Merrill (right) also took pole and led from start to finish in his TA2 Mustang for the win. He was chased the entire distance by the similar Mustang of Dillon Machavern, winning by just .550 second. Machavern tried everything he could to shadow Merrill all around the short, tight course and try for a drafting pass on the main straight. But he simply ran out of straight again and again before he could pull off the pass.
There was plenty of action in the rest of the 19-car strong field too. The spec car basis of the TA2 cars made passing tough at Lime Rock but dice they did. The battle for sixth ended with less than two seconds separating Misha Goikhberg from the 3 pursuing cars.
Mark Boden wins SGT going away
Mark Boden (left) had the only Porsche in the field, but his GT3 Cup car had the field covered by a full lap. Second was Brian Kleeman in his Mustang.
A word about Lime Rock Park
Lime Rock put on another great Memorial Day show. Supporting the Lime Rock Trans-Am races were a diverse variety of SVRA vintage races. As usual here, the parking lot contained a mouth-watering variety of exotic cars bolstered by a strong Ferrari and Porsche presence. Skip Barber and staff put on a reliably great show. Nestled in a beautiful corner of Connecticut, the well manicured facility goes from strength to strength. Each time fans come back, there are more trees, amenities and pleasant diversions for the whole family than before. The friendly staff provides golf cart shuttles for fans and the free parking is right inside the circuit.
If you have never been to Lime Rock, you owe it to yourself to attend one of the terrific events held here. My kids spent many a day here while growing up. They love the place even now that they are post-college age. Any questions?
Gallery of Lime Rock Trans-Am cars