MEET TONY PARELLATODAY’S LEGENDS
(Clockwise from FAR LEFT) Edward Sevadjian seamlesslytransferred his on-track skills to the virtual Esports realm.
Multi-time Trans Am champion Amy Ruman is already a modernlegend of the TA class. New classes like SGT bring different carsto the class, keeping the racing action as exciting as ever.
Trans Am hit a homerun when its Esports series returnedTrans Am to the infamous Riverside Raceway in 2020.
Parella continues to grow the sport.
Tony Parella’s motorsports journeybegan innocently enough as a
15-year old, wheeling dirt-trackcars in Upstate New York. As timeprogressed, Parella’s involvementin the sport also changed, with himultimately purchasing the SportscarVintage Racing Association(SVRA) in 2012. A quite uniqueprofessional racing opportunityarose soon thereafter, and now in
2020, Parella continues to expandhis offering through SCCA ProRacing’s duo of formula car series.
“In 2013, I received a call fromJohn Clagett, the president of theTrans Am Race Company [TARC,which operates the SCCA ProRacing Trans Am Series], and hesaid Trans Am would like to race atSVRA’s Sebring weekend,” Parellaexplains of the conversation thateventually led to him becomingthe majority owner of TARC.
That SVRA-Trans Am weekend
showed tremendous promise,
although Parella admits several
SVRA members initially pushed
back. “Some of the vintage racers
asked how we could let professional
racers into the weekend,” he says,
“but now there have been an insane
number of SVRA members who
have crossed over to Trans Am’s
TA2 because it’s very affordable
professional racing. Children and
grandchildren of some of the SVRA
racers are now competing in TA2.”
The partnership between
Parella, SVRA, SCCA Pro Racing,
and TARC worked so well that
when the opportunity arose for
Parella to assume control of the
commercial aspects of the SCCA
Pro Racing F4 U.S. Championship
and FR Americas Championship
series, both powered by
Honda, the fit was natural.
“Adding F4 and FR Americas
to the fold will enable us to take
Trans Am, F4, and FR Americas,
and not only run them with SVRA
weekends, but also break off and
do professional racing weekends
on their own,” Parella explains of
his plans to manage the two spec
open-wheel series that SCCA Pro
Racing has launched over the last
four years, plus Trans Am, all with
SCCA Pro Racing sanctioning.
It doesn’t stop there. Trans Am
released a mobile app earlier this
year that showcased the series
and allowed fans to stream races,
and Parella’s intent is to expand
this into F4, FR Americas, and
even SVRA races. “Having F4 and
FR Americas under the umbrella
allows me to leverage the apps that
we developed and the streaming
packages we built,” he says, adding
that despite the Trans Am app being
announced barely one day prior
to Trans Am’s 2020 opening round
at Sebring, it drew some 500,000
views spanning 41 countries.
“We’ve had such a successful
partnership with Trans Am that it
gave us a great template to work
with for F4 and FR Americas,”
Parella concludes. “Trans Am is
doing tremendous, and I think
SCCA Pro Racing is happy
about that. This next chapter will
also have a great outcome.”