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Trans Am set for 2024 launch at Sebring

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to the site of its inaugural race in 1966 to open up the 2024 season this weekend at Sebring International Raceway as part of the Sebring SpeedTour. The challenging 3.74-mile track has hosted 27 previous Trans Am Series races and has served as the season opener for the series since 2013. 62 cars are entered into this weekend’s event, with 39 entries for Saturday’s CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series race and 23 in Sunday’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT race.

Schedule: TA/XGT/SGT/GT                               TA2

Live coverage on MAVTV in 2024


Trans Am’s 2024 broadcast package will include live coverage of every National Championship race this season. Continuing its partnership with MAVTV, Trans Am’s TA/XGT/SGT/GT and CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series events will air live on MAVTV’s linear television network and its Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) channel, MAVTV Select. Live streams will also be available for all National Championship events on Trans Am’s YouTube channel (@TheTransAmSeries).

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In addition to live broadcasts of the events, 60-minute highlight shows will air Thursdays on MAVTV in primetime following each race weekend, with the TA2 Series race airing at 8:00 p.m. ET and the TA/XGT/SGT/GT race airing at 9:00 p.m. ET as part of MAVTV’s ‘World of Racing’ programming block. Other Trans Am programming includes the docuseries Road to Glory, which tracks the progress of teams and drivers in the paddock.

Trans Am drivers powering diversity
Six drivers in the Trans Am paddock have been awarded the 2024 PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship, which strives to create a more diverse field while empowering drivers from a variety of backgrounds to participate in PMH-owned race series. Four of those recipients will be participating in this weekend’s event:

Kaylee Bryson got a quick introduction to Trans Am competition last season at Sebring before turning her focus to USAC Silver Crown, where she became the first woman to earn Rookie of the Year honors and was also named the series’ Most Popular Driver. This year, she will compete full time in both series, driving in Trans Am’s SGT class with LSI Racing in the No. 02 Logical Systems Inc./Sam Pierce Chevrolet Corvette.

Two-time TA Champion Amy Ruman will prove to be a mentor for several of the younger drivers, as she once again returns to the Trans Am Series’ TA class with her family-owned Ruman Racing team driving the No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette.

Tyler Gonzalez is a first-time scholarship recipient who made his Trans Am debut with Nitro Motorsports in the 2023 season finale at Circuit of The Americas. He will compete as a rookie in the CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series in 2024 after gaining experience in both MX-5 Cup and Toyota GR Cup.

Gonzalez will be joined at Nitro Motorsports by two-time champion Rafa Matos, who will serve as an additional mentor for the younger members of the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship class.

Past winners
Twelve drivers in this weekend’s races have driven to GYM WEED Winners Circle at Sebring International Raceway. Lee Saunders in the SGT class has the most wins of any returning competitor, amassing six victories at the track since 2014.

TA
Boris Said, No. 2 Weaver Racing Dodge Challenger: 2001
Wally Dallenbach, No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang: 2023, 2022 (TAH)
Chris Dyson, No. 16 GYM WEED Ford Mustang: 2022, 2021
Amy Ruman, No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette: 2015

XGT
Danny Lowry, No. 42 Bennett/BridgeHaul/Pitboxes.com Mercedes AMG GT3: 2023

SGT
Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper: 2023, 2020, 2019, 2016 (SGT) 2015, 2014 (TA3-I)

GT
Billy Griffin, No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang: 2022
Todd Napieralski, No. 39 SKF/Turn-Key/Bell’s Brewery Chevrolet Camaro: 2015 (TA3-A)

CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series
Rafa Matos, No. 60 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang: 2023, 2022, 2019
Thomas Merrill, No. 26 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang: 2021
Dillon Machavern, No. 17 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro: 2017
Doug Peterson, No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang: 2014, 2013 (TA)

NASCAR connections
The racing world’s attention has been focused a few hours north of Sebring at Daytona International Speedway, where NASCAR kicked off its 2024 season with the Daytona 500. This year, 10 drivers in “The Great American Race” had previous experience in the Trans Am Series:

Christopher Bell
Chase Briscoe
Harrison Burton
Austin Dillon
Ty Gibbs
Kaz Grala
Justin Haley
Riley Herbst
Tyler Reddick
Daniel Suarez

Of those competitors, Christopher Bell, who entered Trans Am races in 2018 and 2021 had the most success in Monday’s race, finishing third. In addition to the Daytona 500, 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have competed in Trans Am, including pole winner Jesse Love, and another seven Trans Am alumni were entered in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, meaning 28 race starters in NASCAR’s top-three series began or supplemented their racing career in the road-racing series.

Another NASCAR connection: Cup Series and Xfinity Series-winner Paul Menard returns to the Trans Am paddock this weekend, driving the No. 3 Menards Ford Mustang in the TA class. Menard has two previous starts at Sebring, competing in the last two events at the Florida track, plagued by mechanical issues in both events.

Florida drivers taking on the Sunshine State
There are 10 drivers who will be close to home this weekend racing in Florida.

TA
Wally Dallenbach, No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang (Punta Gorda)

SGT
Lee Saunders, No. 84 LandSearch LLC Dodge Viper (Lakeland)

GT
Billy Griffin, No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang (West Palm Beach)
Jeff Lindstrom, No. 41 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang (Lake Worth)

CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series
Thomas Ellis, No. 8 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro (Pompano Beach)
Lee Saunders, No. 15 Owosso Speedway/Howe Racing Chevrolet Camaro (Lakeland)
Tyler Gonzalez, No. 30 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (St. Cloud)
Rafa Matos, No. 60 Nitro Motorsports Ford Mustang (Boca Raton)
Roberto Sabato, No. 61 6th Gear Garage Ford Mustang (Bonita Springs)
Doug Peterson, No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang (Bonita Springs)

Bill Warner named Grand Marshal
Racer, collector, photographer, author and founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner has been named Grand Marshal for Sebring SpeedTour. Warner will give the command to start engines for Saturday’s CUBE 3 Architecture TA2 Series race.

Recent Sebring experience
Just recently, the SCCA Super Tour competed at Sebring, and a few Trans Am drivers partook in the event, finding success at this weekend’s venue.

TA
Boris Said, No. 2 Weaver Racing Dodge Challenger
Finished third in GT1 in Race 2

Keith Grant, No. 40 Drissi Motorsports/Showtime Chevrolet Camaro
First overall and first in class in GT1 in Race 1

Richard Grant, No. 30 Grant Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Finished ninth in GT1 in Race 1