Mike Skeen won the Motul pole for today’s TA2 race in the dying seconds of the Trans Am series presented by Pirelli. The Trans Am Memorial Day Classic ends today at Lime Rock Park with the 68-lap TA2 race on the 1,478-mile classic course. The 20-car function is expected to take the green flag at 1:15 p.m.
An impressive turnout of spectators encountered dry but cold conditions for the traditional holiday SpeedTour, but as the heavy rains left Northwest Connecticut, competitors were greeted by a very wet track that required use. Pirelli rain tires to qualify. The peloton should switch to Pirelli slick tires for the race.
Skeen clocked a fastest lap in 57.469 with the No.1 Liqui-Moly / Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro for his second consecutive Motul Pole Award and the ninth of his career – eighth in TA2.
“Winning pole will be great for this afternoon,” said Skeen, who made a quick adjustment to his tires on the left side. “It’s also important for Stevens-Miller Racing and our Turn 14 guests this weekend. It will be really difficult in the race. You can go too far in Big Bend, and hopefully we can delay everyone at the start and handle the race from there. We don’t want to be too hard at the start. We hope to play it smart and save it for the end. “
Rafa Matos will start second, clocking a fastest lap of 57.469 under the checkered flag of the # 88 Ford Mustang of the 3-dimensional service group. He had set the fastest time five times in the 15-minute session and missed the point by just 0.189 seconds.
The late turnaround broke the heart of Connor Mosack, who briefly held pole in the No.28 NicTailor / FS M1-SLR / Fields Camaro with a lap of 58.092. It’s his first visit to Lime Rock, and he’s prepared for the race with simulator work and coaching from Scott Lagasse Jr.
The first three beats were only separated by 0.623s.
“The simulator job really accelerated my learning curve, just to know where I was going before I got here so we didn’t lose a session learning that the track was the biggest benefit for us,” said Mosack. “Obviously there is a difference between the real thing and the simulation, but it’s really a big help for me.”
Two TA2 champions will start ahead of Mosack in Row 1, but that doesn’t stop the up-and-coming NASCAR driver from launching his first checkered flag of his Trans Am career.
“We’ve been racing against Mike (Skeen) and Rafa (Matos) all season,” Mosack continued. “I think we were quick enough to be the first and we got caught in traffic at the end. The track was getting faster and faster as it dried, and we had a lot left. We will be good for racing and I can’t wait to run ahead and compete.
Keith Prociuk qualified fourth, followed by 15-year-old rookie Evan Slater.
Saturday’s rainy schedule featured competitors in the TA, XGT, SGT and GT categories. Local favorite Dyson claimed his second straight win at Lime Rock, leading in every lap of the # 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang, fending off title contender Tomy Drissi and guest star Andy Lally for his second win of the season. SGT featured first-time winner Mike Phillips, while Erich Joiner won in XGT and Philip Di Pippo in GT.
The TA2 class will be in the spotlight when the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic concludes on Monday. Drivers will pick up the green flag at 1:30 p.m. EST.
The full race will be broadcast live on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.