The TA2 (Trans-Am 2) Series is the spiritual ancestor of the American Trans-Am Series, which saw iconic muscle cars such as Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Pontiac Firebird doing battle on US circuits.
TA2 first appeared in Australia through the efforts of Peter Robinson, who imported the first batch of cars. After starting as a Queensland-based state series, TA2 gained enough popularity during 2016 and ‘17 to enable it to expand to a full national series in 2018, with its first round being held at the Winton AMRS event.
The TA2 cars are based around the same fundamental ingredients that made the original Trans-Am formula so successful – V8 engines, high horsepower and the excitement of rear-wheel-drive handling.
But what exactly is underneath the skin of a TA2 car? Let’s have a closer look.
All TA2 cars are powered by control 6.0L V8 Chevrolet LS engines, regardless of the body style. As well as ensuring equality in performance between all vehicles, the decision to use the Chev motor was driven by its widespread availability, reliability and longevity.
A rev limit of 6,500rpm means the engines are under-stressed, yet they still produce a healthy output of 525hp, on 98 octane BP Ultimate fuel.
The expected lifespan for a motor is three to four seasons between rebuilds – a part exchange program allows competitors to source a rebuilt engine for $6-8,000, while brand-new units are available for $14,000.
The V8 engines are driven through control G-force 101 H-pattern, 4-speed dog boxes. Because the gearboxes have no synchros, drivers can shift without using the clutch. These gearboxes are designed to cope with the high torque output of the engines and are easy to maintain.
Control Penske coil-over shock absorbers are used in all TA2 cars, and while the emphasis is on simplicity, there are still a few adjustments to enable drivers to tweak the setup to suit their driving preferences as well as different circuits.
The rebound is adjustable on all shocks, while the front camber and castor can also be tweaked (the rear is fixed). The ride height is also adjustable within a specified range.
Bodyshell, chassis and roll cage
Several different TA2 bodyshells are available – Chevrolet Camaro Gen 6 (carbon), Ford Mustang (carbon), Dodge Challenger (carbon/fibreglass) and Camaro Gen 5 (fibreglass).
While the bodyshells may differ, the chassis and roll cages of all TA2 cars are identical, and all cars must comply with a minimum weight limit of 1,250kg.
All TA2 cars are equipped with control Wilwood brakes with six-pot calipers on the front, and four-pot on the rear. Teams are restricted to 15×10-inch rims, naturally restricting the size of rotors that can be used.
The wear rate is exceptional, with teams reporting they can complete an entire season on a single set of pads.
Control Hoosier slick and wet tyres are used, with teams restricted to two new tyres per round.
All engine ECUs are sealed, but drivers have access to data through Motec’s I2 data acquisition system, allowing them to analyse their performances.
A full suite of the latest safety equipment is fitted to all TA2 cars, including Racetech seats and harnesses, window nets, on-board fire extinguisher systems and FIA-approved fuel bladders and roll cages. Cool suits are optional.