Dodge Challenger SRT gets ready to debut in the Trans Am Series

Article by Christian A., on August 15, 2014

SRT Motorsports announced their debut in the Trans Am Series with two Dodge Challenger SRTs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15-16. Miller Racing will field the two vehicles driven by Tommy Kendal and Cameron Lawrence. For four-time series champion Tommy Kendall, this will be his first Trans Am start since 2004 in the TA2 series class.

Kendall is known for winning championships in Trans Am and IMSA but also for his victory in the 1995 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Kendall has 28 victories in Trans Am series while Lawrence captured 14 wins in 21 series starts since 2012.

The 2015 model year marks a new chapter in the newly combined Dodge and SRT brands as they unleash the Dodge Challenger SRT and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, around a month after unveiling new Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker at the 2014 New York Auto Show.

Riding on five SRT performance hallmarks, both the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT Hellcat have been re-designed and re-engineered to feature innovative technologies inside and outside, allowing them to achieve monster-like performance levels. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will be powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 Hellcat engine, considered as the most powerful V8 engine built by the Chrysler Group.

Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand at Chrysler Group LLC, described the new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat as the ultimate performance muscle car. He remarked that now that Dodge -- the Mainstream Performance brand – has been consolidated with SRT, they were able to introduce a true GT car with a driver-focused interior as well as with the most powerful V8 from Chrysler so far as mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission.

The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT and Challenger SRT Hellcat will be produced at the Brampton Assembly site in Ontario, Canada, starting the third quarter of 2014.

Press Release

Trans Am legend and four-time champion to join Miller Racing as team transitions to Dodge Challenger SRTs

As the Trans Am Series heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with 59 cars in tow for The 3-Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100, one of those entries will mark the return of four-time Trans Am Champion Tommy Kendall.

Kendall is set to begin his second stint in Trans Am this weekend, Round 6 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship, as a member of Miller Racing, behind the wheel of the iconic No. 11, this time a Dodge Challenger SRT—the completion of the pony car trifecta in TA2.

“Tommy is a generational talent,” said John Clagett, President of The Trans Am Race Company. “And we’re overjoyed to have him back home in Trans Am. Having Tommy and Miller Motorsports spearheading the Dodge platform in TA2 is a huge bonus. There’s no denying the awe-inspiring power and performance of the TA class, but our goal in TA2 has always been to resurrect the pony wars, real rivalries between iconic American cars. Now with the resurgence of these iconic makes across the United States, we wanted to incorporate them back into Trans Am. With the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger all present, combined with a 25-car entry, the class is well on its way.”

Also making the transition alongside Kendall will be TA2 Champion Cameron Lawrence, who currently holds a 35-point margin over second place.

“We definitely want to continue the success we’ve had, and we’re really excited to bring Dodge on board,” said Lawrence. “We want to stay on top and keep the season rolling with the momentum we’ve had. We’re dedicated to producing wins for Dodge and SRT Motorsports this season; and although it’s going to be tough changing platforms halfway through the season, we’re going to do our best to get the Dodge Challenger SRT into victory lane.”

As the Dodge Challenger SRT makes its TA2 debut, the C7 Chevrolet Corvette will be making its first appearance in the TA class. The new body by Derhaag Motorsports will be featured on the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette driven by 2012 Trans Am Champion Simon Gregg.

The TA class has been highlighted by a tight championship race atop the point standings between defending Champion Doug Peterson, in the No. 87 Chevrolet Corvette, and Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette.

Peterson currently leads Ruman by 14 points as the Series prepares for the second half of the season, and a victory at Mid-Ohio will go a long way towards each driver’s championship hopes. Also of note is the attendance of former Champion Tomy Drissi, in the No. 4 Tony Ave Racing Chevrolet Corvette, as well as current competitors John Baucom and Kerry Hitt who along with Simon Gregg round out the top five in the TA class points.

TA2 will feature a class record 25 entries, with pony cars of American-make taking center stage. As Lawrence and Kendall focus on getting the Dodge Challenger SRTs up to speed they’ll have their hands full with current runner-up Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 Engineered Components Chevrolet Camaro, NASCAR Nationwide Star and Ty Dillon, in a Miller Racing Camaro, and Mike Cope Racing duo Kevin Poitras and Ron Keith.

Joining the TA2 field for the first time will be Bruce Nesbit, Joe Napoleon, Justin Napoleon, Aaron Quine, Allen Milarcik and Lawrence Loshak, helping the TA2 class reach an all-time high and joining a Trans Am rookie class already 18 drivers strong.

TA3 will also feature a record entry of its own with the American Muscle Group featuring a 10-car show, with two-time defending Champion Chuck Cassaro, driving the No. 76 StackData/Aeromotive/Metallica Ford Mustang, hanging onto a one point lead over rookie Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro. Dean Martin and Todd Napieralski will also compete as threats to finish atop the podium.

TA3 International will also be active with current points leader Russ Snow, in the #20 Carbotech Chevrolet Corvette, pitted against Clint Sawinski, in the No. 94 Temp Air Porsche Super Cup, and Jerry Greene, in the No. 93 Ever Greene Jewlery Porsche GT3 Cup. Snow is currently leading the Championship hunt and a strong outing would go a long way towards either increasing his lead.
Trans Am will take to the track four times throughout the weekend, with two practices—10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday August 15, and qualifying at 4:45 p.m. The 3-Dimensional Services Next Dimension 100 will then take place at noon on Saturday, August 16.

Before sessions, Trans Am encourages all fans to visit the cars and drivers in person, with all tickets serving as a cold pass to the Trans Am paddock. The Series will also be conducting a free drivers’ autograph session at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, with open attendance for all.

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