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Trans Am Series Ready for Circuit of The Americas Debut with 52-Car Field in Tow

Series brings American thunder and pony wars back to Texas with Championships on the line
With only two races remaining in the 2015 Trans Am Championship, the Trans Am Series heads south to Circuit of The Americas for its much anticipated debut at the Austin based track and its first return to the Lone Star State since the 2000 season. The mystique and intrigue of the 3.418-mile, 20-turn, CoTA track will only be compounded with the drama of a season coming to a close, two Championship battles in full force, and a 52-car field full of drivers aiming to their make their mark in the 102.81-mile, 30-lap Trans Am race on Saturday, November 7.
For those uninitiated with Trans Am’s resurgence over the past several years, never mind its appearance at Texas Motor Speedway nearly 20 year ago, fans will now find a far different Series in its stead. Every round of the 2015 season has seen Trans Am feature record breaking fields as the Series continues to find success in its new three class format, with both car counts and the level of competition increasing year by year. Now Trans Am is poised to take another step forward and forge yet another tradition at one of the country’s newest, yet most revered, racetracks in COTA.
Previous fans of the Trans Am Series are well acquainted with the iconic TA class, the only Trans Am class to appear in Texas before. They still emit the iconic Trans Am “thunder” and now feature more power than ever before with 875-plus horsepower engines at the heart of the purpose built racer’s platform. Now the TA class also features one of the most contested Championship battles in recent history, with COTA representing yet another round in the yearlong battle between Amy Ruman, driver of the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, and Paul Fix, in the No. 4 StopFlex.com/TheCarCoach.com Chevrolet Corvette.
Together Ruman and Fix enter the penultimate round separated by only 11 points, with Ruman currently holding the lead and, in turn, advantage entering the round. However, the race will mark Ruman’s debut at the COTA track as she, and her crew, attempt to learn its ins and outs on the fly; whereas Fix stands more experienced on the course having competed on the course multiple times in other series. The event stands to represent yet another chapter of what has been an intriguing chess match between the two drivers, who have remained one-two in the Championship points since the second round, while combining to win all but one race so far this year.
While Ruman and Fix, in either order, have all but secured the top two spots on the TA Championship podium the battle for the third and final spot remains just as heated with six drivers, John Baucom, Jim McAleese, two-time defending Champion Doug Peterson, Simon Gregg, Kerry Hitt, and Cliff Ebben, all in contention and in attendance at COTA.
In all, 17 members of the TA class are set to compete, and with the stakes so high for so many drivers in addition to the added incentive of being one of the final few shots at silverware of the year, the COTA weekend is shaping up to potentially be one of the class’ true showcases of the year.
TA2, the home of the ongoing pony wars between the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, will once more be highlighted by the three way Championship battle among current points leader and two-time defending Champion Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 1 MOPAR Dodge Challenger, Texas’ own Gar Robinson, in the No. 74 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 Engineered Components Chevrolet Camaro.
While Lawrence enters the event with 20 points in his favor, the round will be fought on Robinson’s home track with the San Antonio based rookie aiming to increase his own tally and set up a season-ending showdown for the championship at Daytona next week. Robinson enters the round coming off a win at NOLA Motorsports Park, his second victory of the year, and will be keen to build on that momentum once more. Adding to the mix will be the talents of Adam Andretti, still in the fight for the Championship that eluded him at Daytona last year. Still, Andretti needs to close the gap quickly to remain in the chase, and COTA represents both a potential ultimatum and golden opportunity in his championship pursuit.
Still there remains Lawrence, the man to beat. The two-time champion looking to once more seal the deal. In total, he will face off with 28 other drivers in a field with an astonishing depth of talent. Lawrence Loshak, Dillon Machavern, Shane Lewis, Kevin O’Connell, Kyle Marcelli, Kevin Poitras and JJ Haley are all names of note capable of making their mark on the race. World Challenge TCB Champion Johan Schwartz will also be making his TA2 debut and impacting the equation, as will Travis Cope, and Texas natives Dan Knox and Jody O’Donnell.
The rest of the TA2 Texas contingent includes former TA2 Champion Bob Stretch, making his second cameo appearance of the year; Sam LeComte; the father-son duo of Joe and Justin Napoleon; and John Atwell—poised and ready to defend their home turf.
Also in attendance will be Trans Am’s production based class, TA3. Unlike TA and TA2, the TA3 class saw both of its championships clinched last round at NOLA. One Champion, teenager Ernie Francis, Jr., now two-time American Muscle Group Champion and driver of the No. 98 Breathless Racing Chevrolet Camaro, will be in attendance once more as he seeks what would be his eleventh consecutive pole position and eighth win of the year, a continuation of his title-winning form throughout the year.
Featuring alongside Francis will be Todd Napieralski, in the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/Backstreet Chevrolet Camaro, Milton Grant, in the No. 55 Courtyard Hotel by Marriott Porsche 997 GT3, and a bevy of Francis’ Breathless Racing teammates, including: Mel Shaw, Fernando Seferlis, and Dave Ricci.
Trans Am will feature alongside the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, holding their U.S. Vintage Racing National Championship with 11 different race groups participating. In addition to the racing, the event will feature a Saturday afternoon car show, Saturday night paddock concert by the Marshall Tucker Band, and the MOTOSTALGIA Collector Car Auction Friday and Saturday nights at the paddock media center starting at 5 p.m.
Event tickets can be purchased online through www.circuitoftheamericas.com/vintage/tickets; otherwise fans can keep up with all the action remotely at www.gotransam.com, www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Source: Trans Am Series, www.gotransam.com

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