View of the naked cockpit - Riley chassis TA car circa 2010Well, congratulations to Tony Ave, the 2011 SCCA Trans AM Series Champion! With his win in the second race at Brainerd yesterday he clinched the championship.

So lets take a look at these cars, again. Its interesting that many of these cars have been around a pretty good while. And that in one way or another they all go back to a common theme. The tube chassis built by Pratt and Miller back in the day. That was a quantum leap from the unibodies and stock car chassis that had gone before. In one fell swoop those were obsolete.

Before you go any further let me say that the following is MY OPINION, based on conversations with professionals. And hard to quantify given the constant changing of tires and car weights, engines, etc.

Even today I think most people would say that the Pratt cars are the Cadillac of all the modern TransAM cars. Now I know that some people will say, “NO!” that Rocketsports cars were the dominant cars. But I disagree. Rocketsports became the organization that P&M had been, and still are, but they weren’t better.

But the P&M car was one that was for the expert, not the average driver. And this led to the Riley and Scott, which was more comfortable for more drivers, and in the right hands just as fast.

And of course dont forget the many cars that Pancho Weaver built that were successful as well. These even more than the R&S were for the bulk of the competitors.

And I don’t mean to overlook the Roush cars, which had more success than any of them. But they had the benefit of more testing, more data collection than any team before or since. And, of course, absolutely first class fabrication and maintenance. They are deservingly collectors items today.

These were just the most widely known of the chassis, there were and are others. Peerless,Riggins, and  some teams built their own, particularly backup cars, and then the chassis Tony Ave is building has to be considered.

I invite any opinions or discussion you have about the subject.

Next time we can talk about the hardware. Transmissions and engines.