Detroit is the Motor City and is known around the world by that moniker with good reason as it is home to the Big 3: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US. One often hears the Chevy tag line referring to Chevrolet as the Heartbeat of America and Katech, Inc. of Clinton Township, Michigan is making that heartbeat even stronger. As the 2017 Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear approaches this weekend (June 2-4), one of the fan favorites will be the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
Trans Am hosts two races as part of the Detroit Grand Prix, the 3-Dimensional Services Motor City 100 for TA class cars, and the 3-Dimensional Services Muscle Car Challenge for TA 2 class cars. Race cars in both classes will be equipped with Katech engine power plants not only in Chevrolet, but Ford engines, as well. Katech is a leading developer of advanced racing engines from performance street cars to world class prototypes. In fact, out of the 34 cars entered in the two Detroit Belle Isle Trans Am events, approximately a quarter of the cars are running Katech power plants built at the company's Clinton Township, Mich. facility.
In the TA class, 19-year old Ernie Francis, Jr. of Dania, Fla., is running his Breathless Pro Racing/Beta Tools/Ford Mustang. Francis drove to his first win in the TA class earlier this season at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in April, and grabbed his second win of the season at Road Atlanta on May 13th. Katech built a 358 cubic inch, carbureted, overhead valve, naturally aspirated V-8 that produces over 790 hp for Francis' Mustang.
Kevin Pranger, director of motorsports for Katech said, "We've always been excited to race in Detroit and especially, to me personally, this race is very important. Back in the 90's when we were involved in Trans Am, the Detroit race was the most important event on the schedule. And we've won the Detroit race many times."
In the TA2 class, Katech features its Chevrolet GM LS3 power plants in about a third of the class cars. The TA2 class feature the "Pony cars" the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger, all racing wheel-to-wheel. The engines are restricted to under 500 hp. This makes the class both affordable and cost effective over the season. Katech engines have been right in the thick of things taking three of the top five positions in each of the first three TA2 races at Sebring, Homestead and Atlanta so far this year. And they are looking to do more of the same in their hometown race here in Detroit this weekend.
Pranger expounded, "We would love another win in the TA2 class, that's our expectation. One thing for sure, this is a crown jewel race for us, and as our hometown race, we'll be there in mass!"
Katech has always been headquartered in Michigan. Founded in 1977 by Fritz Kayl and Warren Frieze, Katech has been offering innovative custom parts production as well as cutting edge technologies in racing engines, race program support, prototyping, testing, R&D and the manufacturing of high performance parts for both street and track. Building race engines for more than 40 years has brought them to the forefront for the world's most prestigious racing series. In addition to Trans Am racing, Katech is involved in the marine industry, as well as IMSA Racing and at the Detroit race will power the entire PC field in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship with the spec LS3 engine. They also build and service engines in the Pirelli World Challenge, as well as off road racing and much more. Katech engines have powered six Le Mans 24-hour road racing wins.
*From media release
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