Blog post by Jan Hyde
Corvettes have been a fixture in the SCCA Pro Trans Am after the series moved to big bore sports cars and small bore sedans in 1973. Headline events the preceding year brought an abrupt end to the “Pony Cars” for which the series was created. The factory Chevy, Ford, Mopar and AMC teams were put out of business by a lethal dose of recession, hostile politics, pollution controls, expensive insurance, falling oil output and the OPEC embargo.
Corvettes turned out in numbers over the course of seasons except when factory teams re-appeared in the mid-‘80s to mid-‘90s. Want to learn more? (link to Trans Am Corvette survey,http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs032/1102766514357/archive/1105335232005.html)
The Trans am series fell on hard times in 2005. A group spearheaded by Jim Derhaag and other competitors bought the operation in 2009 with the intent to revive it. John Clagett is the president and executive director. After a false start, management started a new TA2 class for the Camaro, Mustang and Charger in hopes of attracting a bigger following and signing up more commercial advertisers. SCCA Pro racing remains the sanctioning body.
The Corvette has been a mainstay in the fastest TA class and is still a remarkably exciting package. The TA class cars are based on tube frame designs, are interchangeable with SCCA Club Racing GT1 specs and have endured for more than 30 years. The same applies for engines and drivelines. As a result, these are proven cars, relatively inexpensive to race, parts abound, are easy to fix and a good choice to go pro racing on a budget.
Naturally the Registry of Corvette Race Cars is committed to support Corvette racers and to help publicize the Trans Am series. While we search around for current video, watch privately backed Trans Am Corvettes in action at Laguna Seca in 1979. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AavSc_ZBUEI