Matthew Brabham continued his streak of podium finishes in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s season-opening race at the historic Sebring International Raceway. After mechanical failures struck defending champion Chris Dyson and polesitter Justin Marks, Brabham cruised to victory in the No. 20 Gym Weed Ford Mustang, earning his fourth win in just six Trans Am starts.
Marks led the field to green in his No. 99 Trackhouse Chevrolet Camaro, showing incredible speed through the first half of the 27-lap event. Brabham ran hot on Marks’ tail, periodically challenging for the lead but unable to complete the pass, followed by CD Racing owner Dyson, 2002 champion Boris Said, and CD Racing teammate Adam Andretti. Disaster struck Dyson when his No. 16 Gym Weed Mustang lost power on lap 14, bringing out a full-course yellow. Said’s No. 79 ECC/Anchor Bolt & Screw Dodge Challenger was damaged when he made contact with Dyson’s car as it suddenly slowed in front of him, forcing Said to also visit pit road.
On the restart just three laps later, Marks experienced his own power failure, leading to his retirement from the race. Once Brabham took over the lead, he maintained it for the remaining 10 laps. Andretti followed closely in the No. 21 allgram Ford Mustang, and the two paced the field until the checkered flag waved, earning CD Racing a one-two finish. Keith Grant in the No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Camaro rounded out the podium.
“This was an unbelievable weekend,” said Brabham on the podium. “Chris (Dyson) was really fast in the race, and Justin (Marks) was too, but they had issues. This track is just really hard on the cars. I was fortunate, and sharing the podium with these guys is so cool, especially having Adam (Andretti) here. Hearing the names Brabham and Andretti at a track like this with so much history, in a series with so much history, is pretty cool. Trans Am is just unbelievable; it’s so much fun. Thank you to Chris and the team. They deserved a one-two finish and I’m so happy to get it for those guys. We made it to the end and survived. Thank you so much to Gym Weed and allgram for supporting our team.”
In his six starts in the Trans Am Series, Matthew Brabham has accrued an average finish of 1.3, winning four of the six races he has competed in. His worst finish in the series is second.
TA Masters Award: Ken Thwaits, No. 7 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro
COOLSHIRT Cool Move of the Race: Keith Grant, No. 40 Showtime Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro