Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

As you probably heard, Indian Motorcycle recently disrupted the motorcycle industry with the announcement of its all-new Challenger – a class-leading, liquid-cooled, fixed-fairing American bagger.

 

Now test ride demos are all well and good. But you’re not going to get a sense of what a bike like the Challenger can do – a bike made for long-distance, sport touring type of applications – by taking it out for a couple miles around the local dealership. To that point, Indian is offering one lucky rider the chance at the ultimate Challenger test ride – an all-expense paid trip for two to ride Indian Challengers on one of the five greatest touring routes in America.  

 

Riders can enter the “Challenge Everything Giveaway” by visiting: 

https://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/sweepstakes/challenger-giveaway/

 

 The scenic ride routes, include:

  • Cherohala Skyway - TN and NC
  • North Cascades Scenic Byway - WA
  • Twisted Sisters – TX
  • Pacific Coast Scenic Byway – CA
  • Pig Trail Scenic Byway – AR

 

The raffle is open now and will conclude on Friday, January 31, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Renger van der Zande returns for his third season as full-time co-driver of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and will be joined for the 10-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign in 2020 by IndyCar Series and sportscar veteran Ryan Briscoe.

 

The duo’s first order of business will be defending the team’s 2019 victory in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona with added drivers Kamui Kobayashi, the former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship regular who was part of this year’s victorious Rolex 24 effort, and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

 

Van der Zande, the 33-year-old from Amsterdam, co-drove with Jordan Taylor to a pair of victories and seven podium finishes the past two seasons, and earned the 2017 Rolex 24 pole position in his first race with the team. Taylor left after a seven-year run with the team that netted 19 victories and the 2013 and 2017 driver championships to join the factory Corvette Racing effort in the WeatherTech Championship’s GT Le Mans class.

 

“I am obviously very happy to be continuing with the team,” van der Zande said. “I think we’ve built up a good relationship over the past two seasons and it’ll be the third year in a row I’ll be driving for the same team, which is fantastic in terms of continuity. This team is all about continuity and repetition, doing things better and better every time you do them. That’s why there are so many people with this team who have been there for 10-plus years, some over 15 years. That’s also what makes this team good, makes it great. Obviously we’re working on having great success in 2020. I’m happy to continue, happy to move forward, and this definitely feels like my American home.”

 

Briscoe, the 38-year-old from Australia, joins the team after a four-year run with the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT Le Mans-class program. With full-time co-driver Richard Westbrook and the addition of Dixon at the endurance events, his No. 67 Ford GT scored eight class wins, 18 podium finishes and eight pole positions in 44 races, including a class victory in the 2018 Rolex 24. Briscoe also was part of the team’s 24 Hours of Le Mans effort the past four seasons with a best class finish of third in 2016. In 11 seasons on the IndyCar circuit, including three with Ganassi and five with Team Penske, Briscoe scored seven victories and 27 podium finishes and qualified on the pole 12 times, including the pole at the 2012 Indianapolis 500. His best IndyCar points finish was third in 2009 with Team Penske.

 

“I’m really excited to be joining WTR,” said Briscoe, who’s driven with the No. 10 team five times previously, including Rolex 24 efforts in 2006, 2011 and 2012. “I’ve always had so much respect for the organization. They’ve been so successful and are one of the most committed teams in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. It’s an honor to join them as one of their full-time drivers. The Cadillac DPi is a fantastic machine and I can’t wait to drive it.”

 

Kobayashi, the 33-year-old from Japan, returns to the team for the 2020 Rolex 24 after co-driving with Taylor, van der Zande and Formula One veteran Fernando Alonso to victory this past January, the team’s second win in the endurance marathon in three seasons. He co-drove the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1-class entry to second in the most recent World Endurance Championship standings and is back with that team full-time this season. Kobayashi was highly instrumental in the Rolex 24 victory, keeping the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the lead for 72 of his 87 laps behind the wheel. It was his first career Rolex 24 outing.

 

“First of all, I want thank to Wayne Taylor Racing and Konica Minolta for giving me a chance to race at Rolex 24 hours for two years in a row,” Kobayashi said. “I had a great experience in winning with WTR and the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi last year at Daytona, so I am really looking forward to go back there to try to win the race again. I know it is not easy to repeat the success the team had there last year but, with my 2019 teammate Renger and with very strong new teammates, I think we should be able to challenge for win. Ryan and Scott are not only talented, but they also have had great success in other U.S. racing series, so I am really looking forward to working with them.”

 

Dixon, the 39-year-old from New Zealand, is a veteran of 19 IndyCar seasons, the last 18 of which he spent with Chip Ganassi Racing. He is a five-time series champion, the most recent title coming in 2018. Among his 46 career race wins and 115 podium finishes is his victory from the pole at the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Dixon also has contested 36 sportscar races dating back to 1999, including 12 with the Ganassi Ford GT effort the past four seasons. In addition to his 2018 Rolex 24 class victory with Briscoe and Westbrook, he has scored a pair of overall Rolex 24 wins in Ganassi Racing prototypes. The first was the 2006 Rolex 24 alongside Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon, the second with Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray in the 2015 Rolex 24.

 

“I’ve been with Chip Ganassi Racing’s sportscar program since its inception back in 2004, and we’ve enjoyed a good amount of success together over the years,” Dixon said. “With the Ford GT program coming to a conclusion in 2019, the opportunity with Wayne Taylor Racing became available, and it’s something I’m really excited about. I’ve always loved racing Prototypes and to get back to the top class is something I’m looking forward to, for sure. Wayne and his team run a very strong program and have been proven contenders for years, now. Ryan and I obviously have a long history together, so I think that will be important, as well, to get a fast start. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Renger and Kamui and hope to contribute to the overall success of the No. 10 car.”

 

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team has been among the most dominating at the Rolex 24 since the team’s inception in 2007. It has reeled off six race-day podiums in its last seven outings at the iconic endurance marathon, including the 2017 and 2019 victories, with a total of 1,222 laps led from 2013 through 2019. The team enters the 2020 season coming off a runner-up finish at the Petit Le Mans finale at Road Atlanta, which locked in a top-four finish in the final standings.

 

“Obviously, these are some of the biggest changes we’ve made in the way of our driver lineup,” team owner Wayne Taylor said. “Ricky (Taylor, eldest son) left two years ago and Jordan’s been with us since forever, it seems like. With him leaving, we’re in some ways starting with a clean sheet of paper. Renger has been with us for two years and he has done a good job. Ryan and Max (Angelelli, former co-driver and current team owner) and I have always worked together, so there is a lot of familiarity there. For the longer races, we’re excited to have Kamui back to help defend our Daytona championship, and Scott Dixon certainly brings us a fresh, new look to the team with a history of winning races and championships. So, despite all the changes, everything will kind of still be the same, and everyone is highly motivated. The team is looking forward to some change. You’ve got to have change in life and I think this is a good time. I’m proud of Jordan for getting selected to drive the factory Corvette. It would have been difficult to turn that down. I wish him well and the team does, too. I’m also excited with the announcement of the new head of IMSA, John Doonan. He’s a guy I’ve known for years and he understands what we’re all trying to do, especially in the business-to-business arena, which has always been so important to us. John knows these cars, he understands BoP (Balance of Performance), and we feel absolutely revitalized having him in charge. I’m really looking forward to good things happening in 2020.”

 

The 2020 season kicks off Jan. 25 and 26 with the 58th running of the Rolex 24. It will be preceded by the annual three days of Roar Before the 24 test days Jan. 3 to 5.

Following a successful first year together in 2019 in which viewership increased by more than 50 percent year-over-year, IMSA and NBC Sports today announced a new component to their partnership heading into the 2020 season with the introduction of TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
 
The new digital motorsports platform launching in early December is a transition of the FansChoice.tv platform that previously offered live streaming of IMSA, NASCAR and American Flat Track (AFT) events. The announcement was made at NASCAR Championship 4 Media Day in Miami Beach, Florida by officials from NBC Sports, IMSA, NASCAR and AFT, all of which will be part of the new offering.
 
TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will be the exclusive home for live streaming of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge races in the United States, and also will offer complete live streaming of all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events.
 
TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold offers our fans more options to watch IMSA content on the devices they are using the most,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “Metrics indicate our fans are consuming more of our product digitally, and the move to TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold is a natural progression for coverage of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge. TrackPass allows us to showcase our sport to millions of additional households, which instantly becomes the leading digital platform for motorsports fans in the United States.”
 
Subscriptions to TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold – which does not require a cable television subscription – start at $2.99/month or $19.99/year for the IMSA-only package. A complete package that includes IMSA, AFT and “NASCAR Roots” (ARCA, Whelen Modified Tour, grassroots racing and select NASCAR practice and qualifying sessions) coverage is available for $4.99/month or $44.99/year.
 
TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold allows users to cast streamed content on a connected device via the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com, allowing fans to experience racing action on their preferred hardware, including big-screen environments. Upon launch, TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold will be available via iOS and Android phones and tablets, desktop web browsers, Apple TV (Gen 4), Roku, Amazon Fire TV, AndroidTV, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and Chromecast devices connected via HDMI.
 
IMSA.tv will continue to offer live streaming of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America races, as well as WeatherTech Championship qualifying and in-car cameras during WeatherTech Championship races for U.S. viewers.
 
International viewers can watch these races the same way they did in 2019, as this product is only available in the United States.
 
WeatherTech Championship races will continue to be televised on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC and available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com for cable television subscribers with authentication. The Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge races will also continue to be broadcast on NBCSN as they were in 2019. A subscription to TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold eliminates the authentication requirement.
 
To sign up for TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, please visit http://nbcsports.com/gold/trackpass and to learn more about what promises to be the most robust motorsports offering in the domestic digital marketplace visit our FAQ page at https://www.imsa.com/trackpass.
 

German PayTV channel Motorvision is the new TV partner of the Formelaustria eF1 Championship, the first professional virtual Formula One league for Central Europe.

 

Motorvision, the first German TV channel devoted to the world of automobiles, can be received via Sky, IPTV and Streaming TV in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It will broadcast seven of nine eF1 Championship race on its webstream and show the two live events of the Central European simRacing series, which take place in Munich and Vienna in 2020, on its TV channel.

 

“The 2019/20 coverage of the eF1 Championship is a first step, as we are planning to include the entire 2020/21 season in our TV program, as eSports is a key area of motor racing to us,” Andreas Schaefer, Director Sales & Marketing at Motorvision, said.

 

The Formelaustria eF1 Championship is run by HM Sports, an international sports consulting agency founded in 2003 and based in Vienna, which has been active in Formula One for several teams, circuits and sponsors for more than 16 years.

 

„We are delighted about this partnership, as we believe that our eF1 Championship will become a valuable addition to Motorvision’s simRacing portfolio and excite their community,” Harry Miltner, Managing Director of HM Sports and publisher of Formelaustria, added.

 

The next eF1 Championship race will take place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on November 24, 6 pm CET and will be shown live on Motorvision.tv and Formelaustria’s YouTube Channel.

Acura Team Penske’s celebration for winning the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) title is over.
 
Last week at Daytona International Speedway, both of the team’s Acura ARX-05 DPis and all six of the team’s drivers – full-timers Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves, and the team’s pair of endurance drivers, Indy 500 winners Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi – were back in action on DIS’ famed high banks.
 
The team also confirmed last week that the driver lineups for 2020 will be the same as they were at the start of 2019. Cameron and Montoya will defend their DPi championship in the No. 6 with Pagenaud as their endurance co-driver. Castroneves and Taylor again will share the No. 7 for the full season alongside Rossi at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and Motul Petit Le Mans.
 
Rossi was replaced by Graham Rahal for Motul Petit Le Mans last month as he was in Australia competing in the Bathurst 1000, which was the same weekend.
 
“We are working on all aspects,” said Castroneves. “We’re trying new things, but for the most part is we have a third member, who is Alex Rossi, trying to fit back in again in our team. We’re getting the stuff that normally you don’t have a chance (to do) because the track is busy in traffic. We’re trying everything we can to make sure that when we come back here, we are ready to go.”
 
Castroneves and Taylor finished third in the 2019 DPi standings. They finished on the podium in half of the season’s 10 races but did not have a race victory. They’re looking to flip that script in 2020.
 
“We were coming into it off of a great year for Acura Team Penske last year,” Taylor said. “I think the (No.) 7 car, in particular, has some unfinished business to get to as far as race wins. We had plenty of pace last year, but we’ve just got to complete the job this year, I think.”
 
If Taylor and Castroneves are among the “hunters” in the 2020 DPi class, Cameron and Montoya could be considered the “hunted.” Their championship run included victories at Mid-Ohio, Detroit and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and a total of seven podiums.
 
“The ball, for us, keeps rolling,” Montoya said. “Nothing’s changed for us. We have the same guys, same crew, same drivers, same everything. I think we have good momentum on our side. We’re here preparing the best we can for the 24 hours. I think this is one of the main goals of 2020 is to get this win with either car. Hopefully, the (No.) 6, but either car, honestly. But it’s exciting. I think we’ve got a realistic chance of winning it.”
 
Montoya, who’s already won three Rolex 24s in his career, is open to the No. 7 team scoring a Rolex 24 victory. Cameron – who now has three WeatherTech Championship titles on his résumé – is hungry to add a Rolex watch to his collection.
 
“Even more so than the championship, for myself, I think the goal has to be Daytona,” Cameron said. “That’s the one that’s gotten away from me in the last 10 years. That’s going to be the big motivator through all the winter training. It’s going to be Daytona and knowing I’m going to have another great opportunity there. It’s been very elusive for me over the last number of years. Hopefully, 2020 can be the year I can get my first Daytona 24 win.”
 
The 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona will take place January 25-26. Tickets are available at www.DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.

“I want to congratulate Jordan on being named a factory driver for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. As a father, I can’t express how proud I am to have both my sons in factory rides and, even though they are no longer with Wayne Taylor Racing, I can only wish them well. Our new driver lineup for the 2020 season will be announced in the coming days.”

 

Indian Motorcycle Benelux revealed the winning ‘Project Scout Bobber’ contest build at the Bigtwin Bikeshow and Expo earlier this month. ‘Hasty Flaming Buffalo’, by Dutch designer Luuc Muis of LM Creations, is a beautifully elegant blend of modern technology and the classic lines of a 1910 Indian board-track racer.

 

Open to amateur and professional builders from across the region, the Indian Motorcycle Custom Contest: ‘Project Scout Bobber’ saw three finalists chosen by a professional jury put forward to a public Facebook vote. Luuc’s design proved so popular that he became the clear leader with over 54% of the votes and won the opportunity to create his unique vision.

 

Luuc’s design for ‘Hasty Flaming Buffalo’ draws on the rich and successful history of Indian Motorcycle racing, particularly the board track racers of the early 1900s. With their innovative designs, Indian Motorcycle had a big technological advantage at the Motordromes, the timber board tracks appearing all over America at the time, and riders like Jake de Rosier became household names for their feats on these risky circuits.

 

“As an industrial product designer, this contest was something I had to enter. I wanted to explore the idea that, if over 100 years of motorcycling, materials and techniques had developed but visual design hadn’t, what would that look like,” says Luuc. “To be told that my design had won, and I now had the opportunity to explore the concept fully was both really exciting but also quite intimidating, especially with the short deadline to complete the build.”

Announced as the winner in the middle of June, Luuc had just 20 weeks to turn his design into reality for the November 1st unveiling, the opening day of the BigTwin Expo. With just the engine and axles retained from the original Scout Bobber, completing the build alongside working his normal day job meant many late nights to stay on schedule.

 

Blending his 2D design with a 3D scan of the Scout Bobber engine to refine his frame design, Luuc constructed the frame from aluminium tubing and parts machined in aluminium by Scheffers Engineering in Norway. The gorgeous handmade tank also forms part of the frame and houses the airbox and electronic components to achieve the clean minimalist look inspired by the early Indian Motorcycle board track racers.

 

Luuc was able attract great partners to the project and Hasty Flaming Buffalo benefits from exceptional bespoke parts including:

  • Bespoke exhaust system by Akrapovic
  • CeraCarbon Racing full carbon forks with diamond cut ceramic tubes
  • One-off wheel rims by JSR Service
  • Moto-Master Brakes and Brembo calipers
  • Bespoke seat by Old Dutch Leatherworks
  • One-off air filter by DNA Performance Filters
  • Mini indicators and rear light/brake light supplied by Kellermans

 

“When we first saw the entries for this contest, we knew that the jury was going to have a very hard time choosing just three finalists to go to the public vote,” says Lynda Provoost, Marketing Manager Indian Motorcycle Benelux. “The creativity that went into all of the entries was outstanding, and I think you can see from Luuc’s winning build that the Benelux is a force to be reckoned with in the world of custom motorcycles. To take a Scout Bobber and transform it to such a high standard into beautiful tribute to the heritage of Indian Motorcycle and the early riders of motorcycle sport has exceeded our hopes for this contest.”

 

‘Hasty Flaming Buffalo’ will make its next public appearances at Custombike in Bad Salzuflen (December 5-7), the Autosalon in Belgium (January 10-19) and Motorbeurs Utrecht in the Netherlands (February 20-23).

 

Just in time for Ford Championship Weekend, Ford’s all-new, all-electric SUV will don the iconic pony badge and the name Mustang Mach-E when reservations for the vehicle open after it is revealed this Sunday.

 

The all-electric Mustang Mach-E will make its debut Nov. 17 at an event in Los Angeles that will be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Autohome (China). Special guest, actor Idris Elba, will help introduce the latest addition to the Mustang family. Immediately following the broadcast – which ends at approximately 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 p.m. EST) – reservations will open for the Mustang Mach-E at Ford.com.

 

Customers can reserve their spot in line for the Mustang Mach-E by making a $500 refundable reservation deposit.1 Timing will be critical, especially for a limited First Edition, details of which will be announced as part of the Nov. 17 event.

 

Customers in the U.S., Canada and Europe who wish to reserve a vehicle can select their desired specification of the Mustang Mach-E, create a Ford account, select their preferred Ford dealer, and enter their credit/debit card details and address.

 

Customers who reserve a vehicle will be able to finalize their configuration next year when the ordering window opens.

 

Reservation timing for China will be announced at a later date.

Joao Barbosa knows what it feels like to drive a Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP) to victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which he did in 2014 alongside Action Express Racing co-drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais.
 
Barbosa and Eric Curran both know what it’s like to drive Corvette DPs to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship titles. Barbosa did it alongside Fittipaldi in 2014 and 2015, while Curran won the 2016 title with Dane Cameron as his co-driver.
 
That’s why both drivers are excited for this weekend’s Classic 24 Hour At Daytona Presented by IMSA. They’re going to get the chance to relive positive memories from their not-too-distant past in Corvette DPs this weekend.
 
“We won the Daytona 24 with a similar car,” said Barbosa, who is teaming up with JC France and Tim Jernum this weekend. “It’s not exactly the same car but was a very similar car.”
 
The feelings are similar for Curran, who will drive a Corvette DP prepared by Hudson Historics this week. Curran said the team is bringing five Corvette DPs to Daytona this week, one still wearing the same Whelen Engineering livery that he and Cameron drove to the 2016 title.
 
“It’s fun to kind of go back in time a few years and go back to Daytona Speedway in a few of my old Daytona Prototype Corvettes that I raced for years around that track in the past,” Curran said. “So, it’s a bit of a different animal than the Cadillac DPi, but still an exciting race car to race.”
 
The unique 24-hour race organized by Historic Sportscar Racing, LLC (HSR) brings a variety of different sports cars onto the legendary, 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway circuit, some of which never raced in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
That’s obviously not the case for the Corvette DPs, which were built primarily with the Rolex 24 in mind.
 
“That car feels really at home at Daytona,” Barbosa said. “It’s a great car. We developed that car. When the new era of the Corvette DPs came along, we developed the car a lot at Daytona with the downforce and the tunnels and everything and the different aero package. It’s a car that’s suited for Daytona and it’s still fast. It’s just a great overall fun car to drive around Daytona.”
 
Fun is the name of the game this weekend. While these Corvette DPs could likely compete for 24 consecutive hours as they used to, this weekend they only will need to run four, one-hour races in a 24-hour period beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.
 
There are seven different run groups participating in the Classic 24. The DPs are part of Group F, which runs at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 12 a.m., 6 a.m. and 12 p.m.
 
“You’re not having to drive for four or five different stints, three or four hours apiece, that’s for sure,” Curran said. “But it’s still an exciting weekend. I mean, it’s cool the way that they have it staged throughout and all the different classes and cars. Yes, it’s much lower key than the true Daytona 24, but still exciting nonetheless.”
 
And if Hudson Historics is looking for any late-night or early-morning volunteers to drive the car, they won’t have far to look. Curran is ready and willing.
 
“Why not?” he said. “It gives a little bit of memory of what the true Daytona 24 is all about. I don’t have any problem. I know that there’s some early A.M. shifts to do and it’s not problem. I mean, it’s again much lower key than what you’re actually doing in the 24. I have no issue. Whatever stints they sign me up for are the ones I’ll do. It’s a little bit of preparation for the [Rolex] 24 [in January], so it’s exciting.”
 
Tickets for the Classic 24 Hour At Daytona Presented by IMSA will be available for purchase from the Gate 40 ticket booth at Daytona International Speedway beginning Thursday, Nov. 14. For more information, please visit Classic24Hour.com.

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to the Sunshine State for its 2019 season finale this weekend (Nov. 14-16), bringing a 53-car field to Daytona International Speedway. Staged as part of the HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA weekend, the 3.56-mile circuit will play host to two 100-mile Trans Am races on Saturday. 

Three drivers will arrive at the event already carrying the confidence of their 2019 championship, as Marc Miller (TA2®), Mark Boden (SGT) and Steve Davison (GT) have all sealed the titles in their respective classes. 

But the TA class championship is still up for grabs, as defending champion Ernie Francis Jr. and Chris Dyson look to close out the year on top. 

“We are looking forward to taking the championship fight to the finale at Daytona,” said Francis Jr. “This season has been long, and filled with ups and downs. We aim to end it on a high note with what could be our sixth Trans Am Championship.”

Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang, enters the weekend with a 21-point advantage over Dyson, in the No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang. Dyson’s task to take the title is difficult, but not impossible, in the 16-car TA class field. 

At the last round of TA class competition at Circuit of The Americas, the 2018 TA class Rookie of the Year Dyson closed the points gap on the defending champion with a second-place finish after Francis Jr. suffered braking issues mid-race. Francis Jr. pulled a dominant lead before the mechanical issues dropped him down the grid into fifth. 

But, that has really been the tale between the two contesting Ford Mustangs all season, when one experiences heartbreak on the track, the other is there to capitalize on the misfortune. 

"I am really excited about racing at Daytona,” said Dyson. “It is one of the true American cathedrals of speed and it has always been awe-inspiring, no matter how many times I've raced there. In a Trans Am car, every lap is thrilling.  My family has a long history of success at Daytona, and I'm hoping to enhance our record.  Our Plaid Crafts Mustang has been really strong all year and especially at the fast and flowing tracks. We were quick at Daytona last year and I know we've made improvements all through this year.”

With the points spread being what it is, Dyson is under no illusion about what his job is this weekend. 

“We have nothing to lose at this point and so our focus is on winning the race,” said Dyson. “Luck hasn't always been on our side this year, and we know that our rival has been able to grab points when we haven't.  He has to have problems in order for us to win the championship. I can't control that, but I'm hopeful that we can close out the season with a win and we have to let the chips fall how they may."

Amy Ruman’s history at Daytona International Speedway cannot be understated.  

With 2014, 2015 and 2016 victories in the No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette to her credit, Ruman stands as the most successful driver in Trans Am history at Daytona International Speedway.  Daytona was the site of her clinching the 2015 and 2016 championships, while her 2014 win marked the first solo victory at Daytona by a woman in a professional automobile race.  If Ruman rekindles her long-standing success at Daytona come Saturday, she could be the wild-card to upset the title chase between Francis Jr. and Dyson. 

Following a huge win at CoTA in the No. 4 WeaverRacing/ECC/AnchorBolt Dodge Challenger, Adam Andretti has proven that he has what it takes to snatch a victory and could add another twist to the championship chase. Mix in the return to the wheel from TA championship driver Claudio Burtin on board the No. 3 Elavon Chevrolet Camaro, earning maximum points for the weekend could get even more difficult.

“Racing Daytona in Trans Am is an incredible experience,” said Burtin. “The track is popular with fans and drivers and the Trans Am cars are a modern representation of what made the muscle cars so popular back in the day. The two together are a great combination.” 

The TA2® powered by AEM class will feature a 26-car entry— one more opportunity for teams and drivers alike to capture Trans Am hardware in the Muscle Car Challenge. While Miller wrapped up the 2019 TA2® title during the penultimate round at CoTA, the championship podium is still not set. Mathematically, a combination of four different drivers could take second and third in the overall points battle.  

Miller’s on-track nemesis and 2018 TA2® champion Rafa Matos returns to the lineup with a new team, Silver Hare Racing, and new number, No. 7 Ford Mustang, to fend off all other challengers from his second-place championship finish. 

“I am thrilled to be racing the season finale with Silver Hare Racing,” said Matos. “We had a great meeting during the Runoffs at VIR, Maurice Hull and his wife Laura are very passionate about their team and the sport, plus their crew chief Jeff Holley is highly committed to the program.”

Matos leads by a mere six points over Scott Lagasse Jr., No. 92 SLR/Fields Racing/M1Racecars Chevrolet Camaro. Six points also separate third-place Lagasse from Dillon Machavern, No. 77 Liqui-Moly / Prefix Ford Mustang in fourth. 
Entering the round in fifth, TA2® Rookie of The Year Lawless Alan, No. 52 AutoParkIT Ford Mustang, still has a chance to clinch a championship podium at Daytona.

The championship in the SGT class was sealed up by Boden three rounds early in his Porsche 991 GT3 Cup entry. Davison will also have multiple challengers in the GT class this weekend. A double-digit field of SGT and GT drivers will share the 3.56-mile oval-based circuit.  

The competitors will participate in practice on Thursday with back-to-back qualifying sessions starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday. The season concludes on Saturday with the TA/SGT/GT 100-mile feature starting at 10:15 a.m. followed by the TA2® powered by AEM race at 11:25 a.m. Eastern.  
 
Fans can keep up with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli throughout the event at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.  

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.