Ford’s Winning Trans Am Record at Lime Rock Park

Trans Am returns to Lime Rock Park for Memorial Day Weekend


The lush 300-acre hillsides of Lime Rock Park will play host to a riveting mix of modern and vintage race cars, a craft beer festival, live music and a curated car show this Memorial Day weekend as Lime Rock Park kicks off the summer season with racing from the Trans Am Series by Pirelli, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) and International GT (IGT), for the long-standing Trans Am Memorial Day Classic (May 24-27).


Ford’s legacy at Lime Rock Park runs deep, and this year marks another milestone as Ford takes the spotlight as the official marque of Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 42 this labor day weekend.


Lime Rock has long played host to Ford’s winning history dating all the way back to the inaugural Trans-Am race in 1967, where Peter Revson clinched the win driving NASCAR legend’s Bud Moore’s Lincoln-Mercury Cougar.


In 1969 the Memorial Day race conflicted with the Indianapolis 500, and understudies to the factory stars dominated Trans-Am. Local favorite Sam Posey won the pole in a Carroll Shelby prepared Ford Mustang, and then won easily ahead of Swede Savage in Moore’s Ford Mustang. To avoid the Indy 500 conflict, the 1970 Trans-Am was moved to May 9. Legend Parnelli Jones won in a Moore Ford Mustang. This year is still considered the greatest season in Trans-Am’s long history.


After the factories stepped away from Trans-Am, the next big Ford involvement came with former drag racer Jack Roush, who dominated both Trans-Am and IMSA GTO competition beginning in 1984 through the late 1990s. At Lime Rock, his Mercury Merkurs finished first and second in the 1987 event, with Pete Halsmer beating Scott Pruett by four seconds. The following year, Pruett won wire-to-wire in the Roush Merkur XR4Ti. Roush switched from Mercury to Ford for 1989, with Dorsey Schroeder winning in the 25th Anniversary Ford Mustang fielded by Roush.


While Canadian Ron Fellows became later known as a star for another manufacturer, he came to fame driving Tom Gloy’s AER Ford Mustangs. He was the Lime Rock winner in 1992. Schrader then won back-to-back for Gloy, beating Tommy Kendall in a 1-2 Mustang finish in 1992 and repeating in 1996 in the Raybestos Mustang.


Kendall dominated Trans-Am in 1997 in a record-shattering campaign driving the Roush All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang. At Lime Rock, the Memorial Day weekend featured a unique Trans-Am/IMSA doubleheader. Tommy Kendall won in Trans-Am, with Mustangs taking six of the top seven positions, while the Momo Ferrari 333SP captured the IMSA World Sports Car feature.


Mustangs continued their Lime Rock Park dominance the following two years with podium sweeps. Lou Gigliotti led a Mustang podium sweep in 1998 followed by Michael Lewis and Ross Thompson. In 1998 Brian Simo led another Ford 1-2-3, followed by Chris Neville and Lewis.


Ford’s next big day at LRP was 2015, with Tony Ave leading a sweep of the top four positions.


In recent years, Mustangs have enjoyed plenty of success at LRP, in both the TA and TA2 features.


Only a few days after crashing in the Hoosier 100 Sprint Car race in Indianapolis, Poughkeepsie second-generation star Chris Dyson won the pole and claimed what he called his “Biggest career win” in the 2019 Trans Am feature. Ernie Francis Jr. recovered from an early spin to take second for another 1-2 Ford Mustang finish.


With no race due to COVID in 2020, Dyson led every lap of the 2021 TA race in his Mustang.


After making it three in a row in 2022, Dyson came up one position short in 2023, while Gym Weed Mustang teammate Matt Brabham won the pole and finished third.


Thomas Merrill won three of four TA2 features at LRP since 2019, driving Mike Cope’s Mustangs to victory in 2019, 2022 and 2023.


The Trans Am Memorial Day Classic will feature racing from the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association and International GT. Sunday’s (May 26) festivities will include the Royals Car Show and the Connecticut Craft Beer Grand Prix. For tickets visit,