Team SLR Scores Pro-Am Class Win at Sebring
February 26, 2024
Pair of Solid Top-10s for Team SLR at Road Atlanta
March 23, 2024
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TeamSLR Eyes TA2 Round Two Road Atlanta

Barry Boes Brings Momentum from Pro-Am Class Victory at Sebring Season Opener; Rookie Gavan Boschele, Thomas Ellis Ready for Next Step with M1 Racecars Team

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (March 20, 2024) – After a modest start to the Cube 3 Architecture TA2 Series season in their very first race together at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway last month, TeamSLR’s driving trio of Barry Boes, Gavan Boschele and Thomas Ellis are ready to turn up the heat in their M1 Racecars equipment for round two this weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Boes, the sixth-year TA2 competitor from Ooltewah, Tennessee, capped his maiden voyage with TeamSLR by spraying champagne on the top step of the Sebring podium, having finished best of the 14 cars in the 38-car field vying for the season-long Pro-Am Championship. Thrilled with the ability to maneuver his way forward from his 22nd qualifying position during the 27-lap race around the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring circuit to finish 13th overall, Boes has been champing at the bit to return to his No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang this weekend. It’ll be his seventh career TA2 start at Road Atlanta. Best among Boes’ previous visits to the Georgia circuit was a pair of top-10s during the November 2020 weekend doubleheader, when he finished 10th in the Saturday race and sixth on Sunday.

Since his class victory at Sebring, Boes has kept plenty busy, scoring a pair of TA2 top-fives March 2-3 in the season’s opening Trans Am Western Championship weekend at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willow, California, and a pair of GT2-class top-six finishes in SCCA Hoosier Super Tour competition March 9-10 at Road Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Boschele’s first-ever race in a TA2 car resulted in a 16th-place finish at Sebring that the 16-year-old development driver from Mooresville, North Carolina, described as a valuable learning experience on many fronts. He’s looking to make short work of learning to navigate his No. 28 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro around the scenic 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit, then accelerating his evolving road-course racecraft in qualifying and the race. Boschele, who’s won more than 300 races and dozens of track and series championships in everything from Quarter Midgets to Sprint karts, Micro Sprints, dirt Midgets, 360 and 410 Sprint cars, and pavement Late Models, got his first taste of the Road Atlanta circuit when he drove practice laps in a Spec Miata last month. He arrives at Road Atlanta fresh off last Saturday night’s Rattler 250 Super Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston. His first Super Late Model experience resulted in a 13th-place finish from the seventh starting position.

The Sebring weekend was a welcome chance for 28-year-old Thomas Ellis of Pompano Beach, Florida, to dust off the cobwebs after being absent from a TA2 cockpit since 2018. While his first weekend back ended abruptly when his No. 8 Averitt Express/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro was bumped off the track on a lap-11 restart and emerged with unrepairable damage, Ellis left Sebring confident about his prospects for a much more desirable result at Road Atlanta this weekend. It will be his first TA2 race at the track, but he has competed there in numerous SCCA TA3- and American Sedan-class events over the last decade.

Riding along with all three TeamSLR drivers and their M1 Racecars this weekend, as it will all season long is Nashville, Tennessee-based Franklin Road Apparel Company, which has been a longtime team supporter.

M1 Racecars was represented on the podium at 12 of the 13 TA2 rounds in 2023, highlighted by a pair of victories by two-time series champion Rafa Matos of Peterson Racing. Team SLR’s Dillon Machavern and Thad Moffitt both scored podium finishes, as did TeamSLR driver Connor Mosack at the season-opening event at Sebring, when he qualified on the pole and led the first 19 laps of the race before finishing third. At this year’s Sebring season opener, Austin Green of the two-car Peterson Racing contingent was the top-finishing M1 Racecars entry with his fifth-place result.

A pair of Thursday test sessions kick off this weekend’s on-track action at 1:10 and 3:50 p.m. EDT. TA2 practice is set for 11:25 a.m. Friday, followed by qualifying at 2:25 p.m. Race time for Saturday Bennett/Bridgehaul TA2 Classic is 12:45 p.m. with series partner MAVTV providing live television coverage, augmented by live streaming video on the Trans Am and SpeedTour channels on YouTube. MAVTV will air a 60-minute race show at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 28.

Barry Boes, Driver, No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Ford Mustang:

Your overall thoughts as you head to Road Atlanta for this weekend’s TA2 round two?

“I’ve had pretty decent showings there. I was there two weekends ago with the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour, so it’s pretty fresh on my mind. We had some power steering issues in the Saturday race after qualifying on the pole and I ended up sixth. But we got those worked out by the Sunday race and won it. I’m feeling pretty good about the racetrack for this weekend, feeling pretty good about the car. I have been as high as top-five in lap times in TA2 sessions at Road Atlanta in the past, and I usually race pretty good but then a mechanical issue or a mistake on my part would ruin a potentially good day. I’m really hopeful, it’s a track I do well at, I’ve had recent time there, and I’m in a way better car than I’ve ever been in, so I should do well.”

How does the Road Atlanta layout suit your driving style?

“There are a couple of places at Road Atlanta that I’ve always struggled with when it comes to always getting everything right and always keeping up the speed. Probably turn seven is where I’m going to do best and get the most passing opportunities. And then I’m really good through 10A, 10B, 11 and 12, where I can get enough of a gap on them, or even if I don’t run them perfectly, I can keep them behind me and make the pass stick. And I’m pretty quick through the technical stuff and that’ll give me a little bit more of a gap I’ll be able to hold onto.”

Looking back to your first race with TeamSLR at Sebring last month, how did the weekend go for you?

“At Sebring, the car was just so amazing. I have for so many races been in a car and seen other people in other cars do things that I thought there’s no way my car could do that. Is it that my car could not do that, or is it that I could not get my car to do that? You’re never sure, but I got in the M1 TeamSLR car and it actually did those things. Qualifying didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but the things the car would let me do in the race, like get into the corners at the last second where you have to in order to make the move, it really, really helped me be able to move forward. I’d never had a car that could do those things. In the end, it was only a little bit faster of a car, but it gave me the things I needed to do in order to make the pass. I’m very excited moving forward.”

Gavan Boschele, Driver, No. 28 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:

Road Atlanta is one of the many tracks on the calendar that will be all new for you. What is your approach as you prepare for your second TA2 race?

“I’m excited for the weekend. Just kind of still learning everything, getting used to the car and still learning all the fundamentals of it, and learning the tracks. Road Atlanta seems like it’s a faster track, not as many harder braking zones like at Sebring. I had a chance to practice there in a Spec Miata about a month ago. It kind of flows more, it’s more of a fast-paced track. This road-course stuff is still so new to me, I’ll just try to learn the track as quickly as I can in the TA2 car this weekend, do my best to figure out the braking zones, figure out what the car needs, what lines I need to run.”

What were your takeaways after your first weekend racing with TeamSLR at Sebring last month?

“One takeaway is that I need to push the car a little bit harder, maybe. I also learned there are rules I probably need to be more aware of, like the (exceeding track limits) penalty I got for driving off the track and then coming back on, even though I didn’t gain any spots. That was weird. I’m from the dirt-track world, the Late Model world, where there aren’t those kinds of penalties. Like I said, I’m still learning, maybe drive the car a little harder, learn about the things we can do with the car to make it faster. I liked working with the Lagasses, it’s a good team. They’re good.”

What have you done since we last saw you at Sebring?

“I raced my first-ever Super Late Model race in Alabama last weekend. Those things are really, really fast. We qualified seventh and ended up 13th. It was a 250-lap race and my only goal was just to finish all the laps and learn how they drive. I hit the wall at one point and broke the toe link, so it was a struggle all the way to the end. But it was a learning experience, for sure.”

Thomas Ellis, Driver, No. 8 Averitt Express/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:

 Your overall thoughts as you head to Road Atlanta this weekend?

“I have a decent amount of experience at Road Atlanta. It can be very intimidating to a lot of people because of all the blind corners, but I’ve found it to kind of be easy, at times. It’s a matter of finding a relatively stable pace and just staying there and let it all play out in front of you. There are corners where you can make passes, but sometimes it seems really easy to pass there and sometimes it’s really hard. There are a lot of places you just can’t go two-wide. I’ve driven a handful of different Mustangs there – TA3, and some American Sedan stuff there. I’ve never won, but I’ve finished second there a good bit.”

What are your expectations for this weekend after racing with TeamSLR for the first time at Sebring last month?

“I’m just excited to get back in the car after having that weekend end as badly as it did. The M1 racecar had really, really good race pace and I’m expecting that to transition over to this weekend. That will help me a lot because I’ll just have to focus on finding flying speed in qualifying.”

Where would you rate Road Atlanta among the racetracks you’ve experienced?

“I would rank it in my top-three. Especially being from South Florida, most of the tracks I get to run all the time don’t have any elevation change, so anywhere with elevation change is up on the top of my list.”