The inaugural season for TA2 turned out to be spectacular and as exciting as everyone had expected. Born out of an idea by veteran Super Car competitor Craig Corliss, best known for running ‘V8 Supercars’, firstly a Ford Falcon and latterly a Holden Commodore. Joining the TSS racing programme for the 2018 season filling a niche in Thai Motorsport slotting in between the evergreen A-, B- and C-segment production car categories and Super Car/FIA GT3 cars. TA2 allowed drivers to make the step from any junior rank, or karting background to fine-tune their skills in an affordable car with low running costs.
The ever-popular TA2 concept is currently enjoying 40 plus car grids in the US and is booming in Australia and Scandinavia. The car has been optimised for Asia, having a Bespoke paddle shift 6-speed sequential transmission as well as featuring a fully integrated MoTeC M150 engine management and data acquisition system. Additionally, they come with a 9-inch Detroit locking diff, Auto Blip and Traction Control which further improves driveability.
Seven Trans-Am cars, Dodge Challenger, Mustang, Camaro, started on the grid for the season opener at the Sepang Circuit Malaysia in March. The TA2 cars were always going to be a welcome and exciting addition to the Super Series. Philip Massoud was the winner of the first race.
After the successful debut of the TA2 cars in the Super Series first rounds in Sepang Malaysia, Craig Corliss and Philip Massoud first and second places gave them an early advantage in the championship. Chang International Circuit Buriram was the venue for rounds 3 & 4. The driver and teams lining up were, Don Pastor, TEC Asian Championship, Poramin Meesamanyont, B-Quik Racing Team, Craig Corless TA2 Racing, Grant Supaphong, TA2 Racing Team, Narin Naeosathon, B Quik Racing Team, Gregory Bennett, Amerasian Fragrance Racing, Philip Massoud, TAS Asia, Michael Freeman, Innovation Motorsport.
Over the 2 days of exciting racing, there was nothing to choose between Craig and Philip, but Philip manages to get the upper hand in both races and left the circuit at the end of the weekend leading the championship.
The 12th Baan Saeng Grand Prix, an international motorsport racing event was the venue to host over 200 hundred car drivers from 24 countries. This was an excellent venue to showcase the TA2 class. Baan Saeng was a typical challenging street circuit with tight corners and an uneven surface making this a very challenging time for all drivers. The position of the garage on the beachfront gave the crowds an excellent opportunity for them to see at first hand all the teams hard at work on the cars.
TA2 welcomed Lenso with newcomer driver Cem Yudulmuz in car 35 the mustang. The street circuit lived up to its reputation with many incidents, forcing the safety car to be deployed on a couple of occasions throughout the weekend racing. There was no quarter given over a hard-fought 2 days of racing. There was no let up from the championship leader with Philip winning Saturday’s race and Craig Sunday.
The championship was turning out to be everything the organisers wanted, fast, furious muscle car door to door racing. It was the turn of Bira international Racing circuit in Pattaya to host rounds 7 and 8. A home track for a number of the drivers. On a tight circuit over a hot weekend in September the cars were pushed to their limits. It was a testimony to all the mechanics and drivers that put on such a fanatic exhibition for the crowd. It was a weekend of ups and downs where first place went to Michael Freemans and Craig Corliss. The drivers left us just as we always wanted, looking forward to the final races of the season. It was any of the top 3 drivers, Philip, Craig or Michael for the championship.
All the team’s mechanics, drivers and staff had worked very hard to make the first season of TA2 as memorable as possible. It lived up to all the hype and expectations, these muscle cars had put on a great show. So, it was off to Buriram for the final races of the season. There was just one point separating the top two drivers Craig Corliss first Philip Massoud. With an eye on next season already there was a welcome addition to the line-up with Prince of Malaysia joining the starting grid as well as a few more surprises lined up for next season.
The tension for the drivers was palpable. It had been a long hard-fought season, but there was one more push for that coveted number one position. Chang international circuit had a been a favourite venue earlier in the season that Philip Massoud had excelled at. He didn’t disappoint, even though the racing was fast and furious with all the drivers pushing hard as possible it was Philip weekend taking the Championship with 2 first places. All the teams can be very pleased that the first season for TA2 had been a resounding success.
So, what about next season? After a long deliberation with TSS and TA2, the format has been changed. This is to encourage greater participation for drivers to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder of exhilarating driver experience. There will be an opportunity for a 2-man team racing over one hour, with an obligatory pit stop. The grid is set to grow for next season with inclusions of drivers from Australia, Europe, South American.
We are looking forward to the season’s opener in Malaysia in April 2019.