Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsNews & Views
Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli: Ernie Francis Jr. Wins the 3-Dimensional Services Motor City 100
Ernie Francis Jr. put his #98 Breathless Pro Racing/Beta Tools Ford Mustang on the pole for the 3-Dimensional Services Motor City 100 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. Francis led every lap, taking the victory in a most dominant fashion, including setting a new course record of 1:32.612 around the 2.35-mile track.
Transitioning to Trans Am this year from the production based muscle cars in TA4 made Francis’ victory even more impressive. The Trans Am cars run a 358ci powerplant that generates 850hp in a naturally aspirated V-8 engine; all contained in a tubular chassis car with coilover springs and a live axle. The bodies are constructed out of carbon fiber or fiberglass and the 5th generation Mustang is quite popular. Compared to the production based TA4 class, these cars are much wider and the chassis are way stiffer.
The 19-year-old Francis has victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Road Atlanta and the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix to go along with the 23 other wins in the Series. That experience combined with his excellent crew helped Francis find the perfect setup for qualifying, putting him on the pole for the 100 mile race. These races are run without any mandatory pit stops and it is a flat-out sprint from the green to the checkered flag - Ernie Francis Jr. was more then up to the challenge, making the victory look easy.
Tomy Drissi finished 8th in a hard fought battle, driving the War for the Planet of the Apes Mustang. The Trans Am class is very popular at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with so many in the crowd working for the Big Three, you could almost see who the Ford employees were from the enthusiastic way they cheered on Ernie Francis Jr. to his victory.