This past weekend was one of the first rounds of motorsport in Victoria since COVID-19 restrictions began back in March. This allowed me to take a closer look at what is today's evolution of the American Trans-Am series that originated in the 1960's. It's called the TA2 Muscle Car Series and this form of motor racing is steadily growing in both the U.S and Australia.
The series consists of cars made with a purpose built Howe Racing Enterprises space-frame chassis with essentially a body of a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger placed on top.
Mind you, there were also a few NASCAR style cars joining in on the Trans-Am fun, but they were only there to make sure they had a large enough grid to go racing.
But let's have a closer look at these beasts shall we? These cars weigh approximately 1250kg and produce an angry 525 horsepower whilst being able to rev to 6,500rpm. The engine itself is built by McLaren but still uses the oiling system from a Chevrolet LS9 engine. The exhaust gases leave the car through a HPPC coated side exit exhaust.
The driver's office is surrounded by an FIA approved roll-cage and includes a MoTec 5" dash, 4 speed H-pattern gearbox, collapsable steering column and a lot of switches to fiddle with. It's all business, no frills.
Penske made 7" single adjustable shocks soften the landing when jumping over Sandown's curbs while Hoosier 3045 slick tyres give the car plenty of grip, even in the wet.
Wilwood brakes pad and rotors are kept cool by fan forced front brake ducts. They'll be needed too as theses cars roar towards what is a blind braking zone into Sandown's ninety-degree turn one.
As you may be able to tell by now, these cars are strictly built for performance, and since they are all the same minus the body shape and what each team decides to do with the car setup wise, the competition is just as fierce as their V8 soundtrack.