The TA2 class is undoubtedly the most popular class in the series thanks to recent muscle car entries that include the Gen 5/6 Chevrolet Camaro, Gen 5/6 Ford Mustang and the third generation Dodge Challenger.
TA2 class rules specify that cars must be built with a tubular chassis. Trans-Am allows it to be made by a handful of builders, including Howe Racing Enterprises. Each chassis must weigh a minimum of 2,830 lbs., including driver and gear. TA2 vehicles must be equipped with a properly fitted Derhaag single-plane rear spoiler.
Trans-Am also regulates cost control measures for certain components in the vehicle, to make sure the series continues to be a high-performance, low-cost platform. Regulated parts include shock absorbers, brake calipers, brake linings, wheels, headers and a complete exhaust system.
No titanium or carbon fiber components are allowed, except for the driver’s seat.
Each TA2 is powered by a small block V8 engine. Engines must be supplied by a Trans-Am approved engine builder/rebuilder and use fuel injection, Trans-Am approved intake restrictor plate, and maximum power rating limited to 490 bhp and 447 lb.-ft. of torque. Engines are stamped by the builder/rebuilder, so teams can’t modify components.
Transmissions are limited to an “H-pattern” manual unit with four-speed gear ratios and a reverse gear. Each transmission is limited to a 1:1 fourth gear ratio, and there is no overdrive. The chain also makes sure chain shifting mechanisms and no-lift shifting systems are blocked. Any traction control devices or systems that operate independently of the driver, including ABS systems, are also banned from competition.
These rules ensure that the TA2 class is a true driver-centric series that showcases the best talent.
Now, if you’ve ever been curious about getting your hand on one of these awesome machines, SMR sells a few of their cars on the popular motorsports rating site, RacingJunk.com.
Among the cars was a Howe Racing Enterprises-built Dodge Challenger TA2 (chassis #4040). The Howe Racing Enterprise chassis includes a sporty Dodge Challenger TA2 chassis, TA2 body, Katech Racing TA2 Choice engine with one event raced on it, Andrews transmission, Tilton clutch (with one event on it), Tiger/Gleason differential, and Alcon brakes. The car comes ready to race for the 2023 season.
SMR won the 2019 TA2 Championship with Michigan driver Mark Miller behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger. During that season we got to spend some time with the team at the Indy event (which Miller dominated). What made the experience unique is that SMR fields come from all three manufacturers (Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford). But without a doubt, the Challenger was a fan favorite.
Last season, Trans Am entered 2021 Rookie of the Year, Rhett Barkau in the SMR Challenger race. In a pre-race interview prior to this year’s Charlotte race, the 20-year-old explained some of his reasons for running the Challenger in TA2 competition. His family were die-hard Dodge fans, Barco explained, and even own and operate two Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and Ram dealerships in Illinois. These dealers (who he used to be a salesman), also sponsored his TA2 (BarkauCars.com) efforts.
The car is for sale at $110,000. Surprisingly, this is cheaper than some of the drag racing-oriented Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Paks we’ve seen cross the auction block in recent months. For more information, you can check out Listen at RacingJunk.com.