Trans Am’s chance to be what V8 Supercars was

Trans Am debutant Jack Sipp believes Turtle Wax Trans Am has the potential to be like the Repco Supercars Championship of old.

Sipp has long aspired to race in the championship but has been hamstrung by financial and scheduling struggles.

Last year, the Queenslander contested a part-time program in the Supercars feeding Dunlop Super2 Series. Now he’s turned his attention to Trans Am, a cheaper V8 racing alternative.

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Sipp will contest the remaining three rounds of the Trans Am season and makes his debut at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7 as part of the SpeedSeries schedule.

There, he’ll work with Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris, who will also support his son Nash as well as Chris Pappas and Michael Rowell.

Sipp, who will carry backing from Supa F Series Spares, said the sponsorship demands of Trans Am aren’t as extreme as they are elsewhere.

“There are probably a couple of attractions to run in the series,” said Sipp.

“One is dollars, plus it was a good fit and opportunity to run with Paul [Morris] as we get along really well with him, and like what they’re about.

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“The cars are really fun to drive and the field is becoming super competitive which is cool.

“I just want to get back to doing more racing with Super2 being stop and start, as well as limited testing. I wasn’t getting the miles to have a crack properly in that category.

“We’ve had a lot of great success in getting sponsors for this category because it’s more value for money.

“I see a big future for Trans Am, it’s got the potential to be what Supercars used to be, which really excites me.

“I was surprised there was good grip mid-corner as obviously you watch them and they look loose, but it’s how you need to drive it.”

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the championship formerly known as V8 Supercars enjoyed a healthy grid of privateer entries with grids upwards and over 30 cars.

The touring car championship has since morphed into a primarily professional category, while privateer entries are few and far between, capping the grid at 26 cars.

In some ways, Trans Am has filled that void, with little to hold its grid back which often hangs around 30 cars.

Sipp said he’s eager to contest the forthcoming Trans Am round, which will see the addition of an active Supercars driver, Brodie Kostecki, for the first time.

“It’s been good to do a couple of days testing at Queensland Raceway definitely helps, so it’s worked out good,” said Sipp.

“It’s just been the right type of preparation for myself, the team and everything’s been stripped back on the car to make it pretty much brand new.

“It was good having Nash at the test because I can see first-hand what he can do at Queensland Raceway and I’ll put money on him being there for pole the way he was driving. To have Nash to learn off and look over his data, it’s pretty handy.

“If I just keep out of trouble and look after my tires, I will have a good weekend. I’ll be doing the rest of the season ahead of a full-season next year to have a proper crack.”

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series headlines proceedings at Queensland Raceway for what will be the fifth round of its calendar.

Turtle Wax Trans Am will play support as well as Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia, the Australian Production Car Series, GC Marine Australian Prototype Series and Radical Australia Cup.

SpeedSeries coverage will be live and ad-free, exclusively on Stan Sport with a bumper 12 hours of broadcasting across Saturday and Sunday.

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