A panel of Trans-Am racing experts will discuss the series’ 50-year history at the International Motor Racing Research Center on Saturday October 22. Free of charge and open to all, the discussion will commence at 1 p.m. at the Racing Research Center at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, New York. Sponsored by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, the event is part of the IMRRC’s monthly Center Conversations series.
Attendees will hear Trans-Am stories from the perspective of drivers, crew chiefs and engineers. The panel discussion will be moderated by Judy Stropus, who worked in the Trans-Am for several years as timer and scorer for Bud Moore Racing, the AMC Javelin team and Penske Racing, as well as handling public relations for Chevrolet.
“This talk will bring together the pioneers of the Trans-Am series from the technical side as well as drivers from the past and present,” Stropus said. “The stories of the strategy that was used and the secrecy that existed in the early years to get that competitive edge should enthrall those in the audience.”
The panel members will be: Chuck Cantwell, chief engineer behind the 1960s Shelby GT350, Shelby Racing team manager and Penske crew chief for Mark Donohue; John “Woody” Woodard, chief mechanic for Penske’s Trans-Am effort; Lee Dykstra, lead Trans-Am engineer at Kar Kraft, Ford’s private research and development shop; Don Cox, Chevrolet Research and Development engineer who became Penske Racing’s chief engineer; four-time Trans-Am champion Tommy Kendall; and Butch Leitzinger, the Trans-Am’s 2002 Rookie of the Year.
The Racing Research Center staff is planning special Trans-Am displays and will be showing films of vintage Trans-Am racing throughout the day. For further information please visit www.racingarchives.org.