This past Memorial Day weekend, May 28th–May31st, Armada Analytics joined their colleagues in commercial real estate (CRE) to sponsor the B2 Motorsports race team at the Trans AM Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. The Memorial Day Classic offered an enthralling mix, as it does every year, of races and vintage sports car shows.
From modern Formula 1 cars to John Wyer and Shelby-American’s famed endurance Ford GT40 muscle cars—which took the checkered flag at four consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966-1969—to vintage Jaguars and Porsches, the events surrounding the Trans Am Classic at Lime Rock, and the race itself, provided something for motorsports fans of every stripe.
Notably, the Lime Rock racetrack played an important role in making Trans Am racing the U.S. standard. On the same track in 1967, Sam Posey, Dan Gurney, and Parnelli Jones sped around the same 1.478 mile circuit, thus cementing Trans Am at the center of American motorsports. As they did in 1967, debates still carry on to this day regarding the best line to take (high or low?) into The Lefthander at Lime Rock.
At this year’s competition, Armada was the proud sponsor of Evan Slater of B2 Motorsports, a 15-year-old driver who made his debut this season on the TA2 circuit.
Slater’s ambitions are overshadowed only by his talent. Beginning as an indoor kart racer at the age of 7, Evan made the transition to competitive outdoor karting at the precocious age of 10.
After winning Rookie of Year on the NHKA racing circuit, Evan jumped onto the national karting circuit.
As he explains on his website, “the budgets [on the national karting scene] were crazy and competition was fierce, but we did the best we could.”
Indeed, even operating on a third of the budget of the average national karting team, Slater added to his skills of car control and race control, which could eventually propel him toward the Spec Racer Ford 3 circuit. In turn, his success in Spec Racer Ford 3 driving led to his eventual promotion to Trans Am.
If you’ve ever stood beside a car from the Trans Am (TA2) circuit and compared it to a Spec Racer Ford 3 car, the difference is palpable.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but a Spec Racer Ford 3 looks and drives much like an oversized Go-Kart, whereas the cars racing in Trans Am series race cars are very much, well, race cars.
With tubular chassises of a Chevrolet Camaro (Generation 5 and 6), Ford Mustang (Generation 5 and 6) or Dodge Challenger (Generation 3), the high-performance cars of the TA2 circuit are mainly built by Howe Racing Enterprises.
Powered by an overhead valve (two per cylinder), pushrod, naturally aspirated, fuel injection V8 engine producing 490 horsepower and 447 lb-ft of torque, race cars on the TA2 circuit are built for speed and precision racing.
This was only the fourth race of the season for the Trans Am Series, which began with the Sebring International in Florida in late February.
With a racer as young as Evan riding for B2 Motorsports, not having participated much in the Trans Am series (TA Class), his performance this past Memorial Day was a bit of an open question.
Alongside some of the greatest names in motorsports, and with a track slick from rain, Slater, however, masterfully controlled his launch in prelims to run fifth in pole position—ahead of last year’s winner at Lime Rock.
On Sunday’s race, with rain still pouring down the front straight, even the then Trans Series points leader, Ernie Francis Jr., struggled.
As Francis Jr. drifted, the wet track spun him into a 360; he would lose his first pole position, eventually finishing eighth in the race.
Chris Dyson took the checkered flag at Lime Rock, but Slater performed admirably in adverse conditions, overcoming a host of technical difficulties along the way. Evan would eventually finish 14th against his much more seasoned peers at Lime Rock. Three cheers for young Mr. Slater! We know how hard it is to compete in races of this caliber.
As Executive Vice President of Business Enhancement, Michael Fissette, who attended the race with Armada Chairman Zack Devier, explained: “I gained great respect for these drivers as athletes. The casual viewer of auto racing often doesn’t appreciate how hard a driver has to work to become a professional. Speaking with Evan, and drivers who took titles, one gains an immense appreciation for what they must endure—the thousands of hours they spend just to make it to this level.”
For his part, Devier has been a racing enthusiast for some time, but it’s clear to see that he has sparked an interest in the sport among his employees.
The culture of Armada has always been invested in acknowledging individuals with special talent and bright futures. In this way, sponsoring B2’s Evan Slater, a rising star in motorsports, fits perfectly with the company mission.
Next on the horizon: Armada Analytics will continue to sponsor B2 Motorsports and their drivers at the Inaugural Music City Grand Prix from August 6th-August 8th in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Trans Am Series will showcase on Friday, August 6th as a runup to the main IndyCar race on Sunday.
Armada employees will be there to cheer on our TA2 team, before enjoying the entertainment of Formula 1 cars speeding along the Nashville Street Circuit. We hope to see you there!