It rained, it rumbled, it was a reunion
The 2021 Lime Rock Trans-Am races were a reunion of track, fans and cars. Fans were greeted by a steady rainfall most of the day on Saturday. The rain wrecked havoc with the high-powered V8 Trans-Am cars. It still felt good being amongst like-minded fans again at one of the most beautiful tracks in America. Friendships were rekindled after the longest year in recorded history. The current Trans-Am series was a great way to get us all together.
Pirelli rain tires were the rule of the day for early practice sessions. Drivers were constantly testing the limits of traction in the wet. Compounding the traction troubles were the various classes of the SVRA vintage classes that run in conjunction with the Trans-Am series. You can bet some oil and non-grippy tire rubber was laid down in advance of the Trans-Am runners. This photo was taken at the always-challenging Uphill turn.
The TA1 race
Pole winner Ernie Francis led away at the start, soon to be overtaken by Chris Dyson in his flat-plane engined Altwell Ford Mustang. Dyson then went on to lead every lap on a drying track. Dyson considers Lime Rock to be home track for good reason. He grew up here watching his father Rob win races in IMSA competition. Their shop is based not terribly far away in New York as well.
That flat-plane Ford V8 in Dyson’s car has a wonderful shriek to it. It’s a fine counterpoint to all of the other deeply (and loud) rumbling V8s in the series.
Tomy Drissi and his Lucas Oil Camaro chased Dyson and finished second after a late pass of Andy Lally in the other Dyson Mustang with 7 laps to go. Lally would on to finish third at the finish.
The TA2 race
As always, The TA2 class put on a great show. Lime Rock is a great place to see the race as many drivers in the TA2 class are absolutely determined to pull wheelies after cresting the Uphill Turn. It’s extremely exciting and even more so while trying to photograph them as the high-powered cars come straight at you! Just feet below you, engines bellowing while making mental plans on what to do if one of the cars get airborne….
The race was run in dry conditions on an overcast day. The 20 car field took off in a rush. Pole-winner Mike Skeen led early on but Rafa Matos assumed the lead when Skeen had a contretemps with a lapped car. Matos led for quite a while before losing the lead to a charging Skeen with 4 laps to go. Matos then lost second to Dillon Machavern in the closing laps. Ten cars were on the lead lap at the finish on the short and very fast Lime Rock course.
Do yourself a favor….
Take in a Trans-Am race this year (or any year for that matter). The cars are very exciting and very fast. They sound great and the smell of hot tires and hot V8s is absolutely intoxicating. Seeing the race at Lime Rock is even better with those wheelies at the uphill! Coupled with the vintage races that are a hallmark of this series, it’s a great show for fans of any age.
The Lime Rock Trans-Am 2021 was great! I can’t wait for next year.
You can catch the 2021 Trans-Am schedule here.
For more motorsports mayhem, go here.