Race Report and Commentary by Rich Martin
When I was asked to cover the Trans Am race at New Jersey Motorsports Park I didn’t know what to expect. After all, this isn’t the Trans Am that I saw as a wide eyed 15 year old at Lime Rock in 1970 when legendary drivers like Dan Gurney, Mark Donohue, and Parnelli Jones drove Mustangs, Camaros, Javelins, Challengers, and Barracudas while tens of thousands of fans not only followed the series but drove the same name cars they rooted for at the track. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. I’ve been occupied by ALMS and vintage racing the last decade or more, so I haven’t been paying attention to TA but after seeing them I must say if you’re not watching and following, you are missing out on some great racing!
The Trans Am was featured at New Jersey Motorsports Park on a weekend that included ARCA stock cars and the smaller classes of the Pirelli World Challenge Series. Right from the start I was impressed by the quality of the field. 26 cars, mainly Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs made up the field and all were quite nicely turned out. Standing trackside you couldn’t help but be impressed with how quick these cars are, not to mention looking very retro cool! Pole-sitter Amy Ruman followed by Doug Peterson, Simon Gregg, and Jim McAleese topped the grid, all in beautiful Corvettes. The race was an impressive display by Amy Ruman who led from flag to flag in the # 23 McNichols Corvette holding off a strong challenge from series points leader Doug Peterson in the3Dimensional.com Corvette and Jim McAleese who impressed with a 3rd place finish. In TA3i Jason Berkeley won the International Group in his BMG Management Corvette.
Amy Ruman leads the start
Amy cannot be passed
Amy Ruman wins TA
Jason Berkeley wins TA3i
Hanging off racetrack fences since age 13, I can’t stop with just this race report. Right now I would describe my feelings about professional motorsports as “annoyed”…. I’m tired of watching one team after another dominate the series. My true love of endurance sports cars has taken a hit with the loss of the American Le Mans Series. The jury is out for the Tudor United Sports Car Series until the cars are better equalized. About the only things holding my interest are Indycar and vintage racing. But now that I’ve been to a Trans Am race, I can’t say enough at how good these drivers and cars are. If you follow Corvette racing then you should run right out to your nearest TA event. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it! Next up, Saturday, June 21 at Road America, Saturday, August 16 at Mid-Ohio, Sunday, August 31 at Brainerd, Saturday, September 20 at Lime Rock Park, Sunday, September 28 at VIR andSaturday November 15 at Daytona International Speedway.
Thanks to Rich Martin and Chris Clark for the eye candy below and more.
Kurt Roehrig had the seat in Tony Ave’s Corvette at NJMP
Russ Snow in TA31
Corvette Results compiled by Wayne Ellwood