Following expansions to Sweden, Canada and Costa Rica, America’s Trans-Am TA2 formula will launch in Australia in 2016.
To be known as TA2 Racing Australia, the series pays homage to the muscle car rivalry of the SCCA Trans-Am Series established in 1966, featuring the ongoing battle between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, with the Dodge Challenge thrown into the mix.
TA2 draws its global success from a focus on cost control and parity with an emphasis on driver competition. The TA2 formula utilises a Howe space-frame chassis, fitted with a controlled GM Motorsport Division LS3 engine package developing 525 horsepower.
TA2 is set to be managed by the management group of the Australian Trans-Am Series, a tribute series to the Trans-Am era of the late 1960s and early 70s. The inaugural series takes place at Queensland Raceway and Lakeside Park, with optional events at Wakefield Park yet to be confirmed. TA2 plans to work with established motorsport authorities to expand the series interstate with a national set of rules and regulations.
Peter Robinson, the importer of the TA2 cars stresses that the TA2 formula allows drivers to concentrate on racing, not the financing of it, while showcasing their skill in modern machinery.
“TA2 cars have simple rules, these include no modification to any part, no professional drivers, only 98 octane pump fuel and one set of tyres per weekend. Let’s go racing!” said Robinson.
“Our TA2 package for Australia is built from the best advice and components for the level of motorsport we wanted to be involved in. These cars are well powered and at 1200kg with big brakes and wide slick tyres, you will see some fast racing.
“There will be close competition and plenty of overtaking opportunities because of car setup differences, driver ability and of course race day luck.”
The cars are constructed by Howe Racing Enterprises in the United States, a stalwart of Trans-Am racing internationally with a worldwide tally of TA2 machines now exceeding 212. However, a number of local companies have contributed to the development of the Australian version of the TA2 technical package.
World-renowned Australian cooling systems provider PWR have developed a tailor-made cooling system for TA2 Racing Australia, and impressed the American constructors to now offer the PWR kits to American TA2 teams.
Supplying the race seats, safety harnesses and window nets is New Zealand-based Racetech, who also supply their range of safety equipment to V8 Supercars. While a partnership with Gold Coast-based Motorsport Brakes involves track support and engineering assistance with the Wilwood disc brakes and calipers.
A deal has been made with the suppliers of the Australian-made MoTeC dash systems to supply the C127 dash as the standard dash for TA2 Australia, with support from Steve Manning at CPWS Queensland to manufacture the interconnecting loom required to marry the MoTeC dash to the TA2 cars.
Transferring their association with the Trans-Am Series in the US, Hoosier will be the official tyre supplier for the series, with the TA2 cars set to run the Hoosier 3045 slicks, and the 44307 wets.
The SCCA Trans-Am Series in the 60s and 70s saw large manufacturer input and high profile drivers battling in the muscle cars of the era. Historic Trans-Am continues to be celebrated around the world while the Australian Trans-Am Series continues to flourish down under as a tribute to the ‘golden era of Trans-Am racing.
In updating to modern machinery, Robinson believes TA2 Australia will appeal to a new generation of fans as well as those who look back fondly to the days of Moffat, Jane, Beechey and Geoghegan battling in the Australian Touring Car Championship.
Robinson suggests that the timing of introducing TA2 to Australia is perfect.
“The timing of TA2 in Australia is perfect with Holden and Ford both closing the factory doors on the Commodore and Falcon, and with the recent release of the Ford Mustang onto Australian roads and not forgetting the talk of General Motors bringing the Camaro out as street competition for Ford.
“We think that racers and race fans will be drawn to the TA2 cars because of the modern look and reliability that TA2 brings. What you see and hear on track has a factory street version available from a showroom near you,” said Robinson.
TA2 Australia has already attracted the likes of 2014 Australian Trans-Am Champion and former V8 Supercar driver Craig Harris, former V8 Ute Racer Greg Willis, former Touring Car Masters entrant Ian McAlister and former V8 Supercar driver Bob Thorn.
“I am really excited to be part of this new series to Australia,” said Harris.
“As a previous Trans-Am champion, it is great to see both Trans-Am and TA2 running under the existing successful management team with high profile motorsport players such as John English and Ian Palmer. This can only make Australian Trans-Am stronger and more successful as well as grow the established relationships that they already have with the promoters, suppliers, fans and Media.
“I am thrilled to now be part of the management team for the TA2 series and I look forward to being part of the category’s success and future growth.”
TA2 Australia will debut at the Shannons 2 Days of Thunder at Queensland Raceway on June 11-12, with a series of demonstration sessions featuring the cars already landed in Australia.