TA2 Thailand sees strong interest after first ‘customer test day’
TA2 Thailand is looking towards the future with even more confidence after completing its first ‘TA2 Thailand Customer Test Day’, held at Bira Circuit, Pattaya. The event resulted in strong interest and highly positive feedback regarding the new breed of racing machines that are all set to provide an exciting new opportunity for drivers and teams in Thai motorsport.
The inaugural TA2 Thailand Customer Test Day comes hot on the heels of two successful appearances for the TA2 racecar at the Bangsaen Grand Prix, firstly its Thai debut at the rescheduled 10th edition, held back in February, and latterly during last month’s 11th edition. At both events the Ford Mustang TA2 joined the Super Car GTC field, which offered a realistic benchmark in parity terms, as a guest entry, to demonstrate not just its all-round prowess, but its dynamic capabilities on the famous tight, tricky and narrow Bangsaen Street Circuit.
In February the car was driven during the iconic seaside race by experienced U.S. TA2 driver Shane Lewis while at the most recent event it was in the hands of Australian racer Steve Owen. The Ford Mustang TA2 (which features the latest ‘6th generation’ body style) more than justified its promise by romping to all four pole positions (there were two races for Super Car GTC held at each event) and then by running comfortably at the front of the pack to cross the finish line first in all four races albeit not counting towards championship points.
Alongside those headlining appearances have been several successful test sessions at Bira Circuit where the TA2 Thailand team has been further honing the car specifically for ASEAN regional application, which includes additionally upgrading the cars prior to delivery to customers with sequential transmission, full MoTeC M150 ECU, Paddle shift with auto blip up/down, locking diff and Traction Control.
Next stop for TA2 Thailand will be Thailand Super Series’ closing round, which will take place in Buriram in 21-24 September, where both the Ford and Dodge will be in action. The high speed nature of Chang International Circuit will suit these cars and as an absolute opposite of the Bangsaen Street Circuit, and indeed Bira Circuit, it demonstrates that the TA2 racecar is a high competitive proposition for any racing scenario.
Craig Corliss (Distributor for TA2 Asia Racing Co., Ltd.): “I’m very pleased with how our first customer day shook out and we will plan to hold more events in the coming months. We wanted to fill a gap in racing not just in Thailand, but across South East Asia, for drivers to come from touring cars, small production cars or even karts into a pure racecar that is both affordable and offers a genuine pure racecar experience. We looked around a lot for the right package, but when we looked at TA2 the dots all joined up instantly. Everyone who has driven the TA2 car so far has been blown away by how good it is, so really that’s the idea behind these events, to allow prospective customers to try the car and see for themselves what we are talking about. We are very confident in the product and want people to make up their minds for themselves.”
TA2 for Thailand
TA2 Thailand is bringing a completely new dimension to Asian motorsport – in every aspect. The exciting new racing series, which will officially launch in 2018 in Thailand, is underpinned by a state-of-the-art ‘silhouette’ racecar that’s been optimally thought out right down to the very tiniest details and offers drivers the ultimate dynamic track package: a ‘spec’ machine that allows user ability to be the benchmark thanks to that machinery parity while also developing their racing skills in an advanced racecar.
It aims to fill a gaping niche in motorsport across South East Asia, slotting in between the many A-, B- and C-segment production car categories and FIA GT3 cars. TA2 Thailand will allow drivers to make the step from any of the junior ranks, even from karting, and then hone their skills in a pukka racecar that comes at a very affordable price.
Add in a high profile calendar, a superb support package as well as a clear focus on minimised running costs and TA2 Thailand is putting a firm tick in all the required boxes.
Already, the TA2 ‘concept’ is making its mark outside of the U.S., firstly with a very popular pan-Scandinavian series and now most recently with TA2 Australia, which burst into life last year. More than sixteen TA2 cars have been sold in Australia so far meaning the grids are filling up very fast and the fundamental of the concept is to offer franchises and spread it out individually into each of the states.
Now TA2 has arrived in Thailand. Bringing TA2 here is the brainchild of Craig Corliss, a long-time Super Car GTM driver best known for racing ‘V8 Supercars’ such as the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore. Craig has recently acquired the rights for Thailand (as well as China, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia) from TA2 builder, Michigan-based Howe Racing Enterprises.
TA2 Thailand has continued that emphasis on identical ‘spec’ fundamentals to underpin a prospective regional cluster that will create maximum value for drivers as well as being cost effective and able to fully support all the competitors’ requirements.
The perfect platform to showcase skills and allow drivers to develop from a basic level to where they can graduate to a GT3 level car, TA2 Thailand will also be strictly reserved for amateur driver – so everyone has the opportunity to win races.
TA2: The Machine
The ‘spec’ spaceframe chassis currently comes with the option of three body styles – Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger – and all are fitted with the same 6.2-litre GM V8 engine producing 525 hp to keep performance level and reduce costs – a bite to match its looks.
No compromise has been spared to ensure the TA2 is a sophisticated and flawless racecar and all components used are from high quality component manufacturers. The car has a fully integrated safety package including a plumbed in fire extinguisher system, (both auto and manual) internal and external kill switches and the recently introduced lateral driver safety nets.
While being identical under the skin in chassis and powertrain terms, each body panel, such as the bonnet, doors and door pillars as well as the front and rear windshields, are unique to the respective versions. Going forward TA2 Thailand plans to offer additional body shape options and will be able to cater for bespoke customer requirements. The whole package weights at around 1170 kg.
As a leading edge racecar, the TA2 not only provides a cost effective option and real racing thrills thanks to its dynamics but also a challenge for teams to develop their skills as the spaceframe chassis and 2-way Penske shocks means perfecting setup will go hand-in-hand with driver skills in the pursuit of victory.
Optimised for ASEAN
The TA2 concept is currently the hottest property in U.S. racing with 40 plus car grids and booming in Australia but for ASEAN markets the dynamic edge has been raised further with core revisions to the cars. After an extensive development programme in Thailand the TA2 cars sold across ASEAN are all fitted with a bespoke 6-speed paddle shift operated sequential transmission as well as featuring a fully integrated MoTeC M150 data logger.
The TA2 cars for this region additionally come with a 9-inch Detroit locking diff and Traction Control which further improves driveability.
As a pure racing car, the TA2 cockpit has been optimally designed for only the driver. TA2 however also offers the option of a 2-seat/2-door version which, while featuring a number of revisions, still fits into the ‘spec’ chassis format and is ‘ready to race’. Changes to the 2-seat/2-door version include revisions to the chassis, reformatting of the cockpit layout, including fire safety system and rerouting the exhaust system. This car comes equipped with the specific ASEAN market upgrades. The 2-seat/2-door version is ideal for customer ride applications as well as being ready to join the race series. TA2 Thailand has a 2-seat/2-door version, in Dodge Challenger body style, now available for sale and further orders take 10 weeks.