The inaugural SpeedTour Grand Prix Festival, featuring the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, is set for September 22-24 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Sports car racing will take place on WWTR’s 1.6-mile road course, inside the oval track.
For spectators, the paddock area always is open — at no cost beyond admission — offering a level of access to cars and drivers not available in most other forms of motorsport.
The Trans Am Series is America’s road racing series and dates to 1966. Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans Am Series, including Dorsey Schroeder, Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Peter Gregg, Bob Tullius and Wally Dallenbach Jr.
Recent standouts include current and former NASCAR drivers: Kaz Grala, Paul Menard, Natalie Decker, Thad Moffitt (Richard Petty’s grandson), road course specialist Boris Said, Craftsman Truck Series driver Taylor Gray, Wally Dallenbach and Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks. Marks, a St. Louis native, is a three-time Trans Am winner in 2023.
Other notable names include USAC Silver Crown Series driver Kaylee Bryson, Adam and John Andretti (Mario’s nephews) and INDY NXT drivers Matthew Brabham (grandson of three-time Formula 1 champion Jack Brabham) and Ernie Francis Jr.
Trans Am race weekends consist of two races, one combining the 800+ horsepower TA class with XGT, SGT and GT production classes, and one featuring the rapidly growing TA2™ class. Trans Am races feature entry lists of more than 70 cars, including Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers and Corvettes.
The SVRA races are open to virtually any type of vintage/historic race car, including Can-Am racers, restored NASCAR Cup entries, classic Jaguars, Triumphs, BMWs, MGs, and Lotuses as well as contemporary Camaros, Audis, Porsches and Corvettes compete. The organization is guided by a philosophy that encourages the restoration, preservation, and racing of historically significant automobiles.
WWTR’s drag strip pit area will be transformed into a giant paddock, midway, car show, food-and-beer festival, and concert venue for the fans.
The giant Hagerty Cars & Caffeine Car Show is open to any exotic, custom, hot-rodded and classic car with the focus on the 70th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette (which was manufactured in St. Louis from 1953-1981. Registration for the car show is $50 and includes two three-day passes for the driver and one guest, VIP parking, full access to the infield garage and paddock, and Saturday car show pace laps on the 1.6-mile road course.
Gates will open Friday, September 22, at 7 a.m.; Saturday, September 23, at 7:30 a.m.; and Sunday, September 24 at 8 a.m. Tickets start at just $20.
“One of our primary goals at WWTR has been to provide world-class motorsports to a diverse selection of racing fans,” said WWTR CEO and Owner Curtis Francois. “We’ve showcased the best of NHRA on our drag strip and our oval hosts the stars of both NASCAR Cup and INDYCAR. Our drift arena hosts the premier international drifting series — Formula Drift – and now we’re thrilled to showcase our 1.6-mile road course with the stars of Trans Am and SVRA.”
“The SpeedTour Grand Prix Festival is unlike anything we’ve presented in the past at World Wide Technology Raceway,” said Chris Blair, WWTR’s Executive Vice Present and General Manager. “The event will encompass our entire facility with great racing, an interactive paddock, manufacturer midway, the Hagerty Cars & Caffeine car show featuring the 70th anniversary of the Corvette, live music and food-and-beer festival. Tony Parella and his team are open-minded and want to create unique and entertaining events, which is our primary mission here at WWTR.”
The iconic Trans Am Series is operated by the Trans Am Race Company, LLC.
“We are incredibly pleased to add World Wide Technology Raceway to the Trans Am and SVRA schedules next year,” said SpeedTour CEO Tony Parella. “The staff at WWTR is excellent at what they do and really understand how to put on a great event. We are very excited to introduce Trans Am and SVRA to the St. Louis market. The Midwest has a very passionate motorsports fan base, and we can’t wait for them to have the opportunity to see the sports cars in action.”
SVRA is guided by a philosophy encouraging the restoration, preservation, and racing of historically significant automobiles. The vintage class is populated with motor racing’s iconic machinery from days gone by, including iconic Formula 1, Can-Am, NASCAR Cup Series and Trans Am classics.
Gateway SpeedTour Trans Am fan schedule
Friday, September 22
8 a.m. — TA2 optional test session No. 1.
10:30 a.m. — TA2 optional test session No. 2.
1 p.m. – SVRA practice begins.
2: 40 p.m. – SVRA qualifying.
4:20 p.m. — TA2 practice.
Saturday, September 23 – including Hagerty Cars & Caffeine car show
8 a.m. — TA2 qualifying, Group 1.
8:20 a.m. — TA2 qualifying, Group 2.
8:40 a.m. — Trans Am GT classes optional test session No. 1.
9:10 a.m. – SVRA qualifying begins.
11:10 a.m. — Trans Am GT classes optional test session No. 2.
12:30 p.m. — Fan walk and pre-race ceremonies.
1 p.m. — TA2 Race (63 laps or 75 minutes).
2:20 p.m. – SVRA feature races (4) begin.
4:20 p.m. — Trans Am GT classes practice.
Sunday, September 24
8 a.m. — Trans Am qualifying.
8:20 a.m. — Trans Am GT classes qualifying.
8:40 a.m. – SVRA feature races (4) begin.
12:30 p.m. — Pre-race ceremonies.
1 p.m. — Trans Am Classes Race (63 laps or 75 minutes).
2:50 p.m. – SVRA feature races (4) begin.
Schedule subject to change.
2023 Trans Am presented by Pirelli and Big Machine Spiked Coolers TA2 event winners
- Sebring (February 26) – Matthew Brabham (Trans Am); Rafa Matos (TA2).
- New Orleans (March 12) – Chris Dyson (Trans Am); Brent Crews (TA2).
- Road Atlanta (March 26) – Chris Dyson (Trans Am); Connor Zilisch (TA2).
- Lime Rock (May 27) – Justin Marks (Trans Am); Thomas Merrill (TA2).
- Detroit (June 4 ) – Brents Crews and Connor Zilisch (TA2 doubleheader).
- Indianapolis (June 17) – Matthew Brabham (Trans Am).
- Mid-Ohio (June 25) – Chris Dyson (Trans Am); Rafa Matos (TA2).
- Road America (July 9) – Justin Marks (Trans Am); Brent Crews (TA2).
- Nashville (August 5) – Connor Zilisch (TA2).
- Watkins Glen (September 10) – Justin Marks (Trans Am); Brent Crews (TA2).
Current Trans Am presented by Pirelli points leaders
- Chris Dyson 802
- Tomy Drissi 661
- David Pintaric 645
- Amy Ruman 628
- Justin Marks 599
- Matthew Brabham 587
- Boris Said 447
- Keith Grant 361
- Adam Andretti 357