52 MAY 2017 scca.com
n March 5, 2017 – the day
of his 65th birthday – Cliff
Trans Am’s season opener at
Sebring International Raceway.
Ebben was joined in the
celebrations by TA3 class winner
Mark Boden and TA4 class
BACK AT IT
Trans Am’s season kicks into gear with a wild and woolly
March Sebring race | WORDS Clark Trexler | IMAGES Chris Clark
winner Brian Kleeman courtesy
of the multi-class race group.
Ebben began the day in fourth
position in the 22-car field, behind
the likes of R. J. Lopez, Vinnie
Allegretta, and polesitter Ernie
Francis Jr. Maintaining his speed
over the first 16 laps of the race
Ebben remained consistent, as
the top three dropped back one
by one, with mechanical issues.
Francis led those 16 laps,
building up a lead that spanned
over 12 seconds, before
suffering an oil line burst.
Ebben inherited the lead after
overtaking Allegretta for second
position, a lead he would not
relinquish for the remainder of
the 100.3-mile, 27-lap race. The
victory, his sixth in 54 starts, is
Ebben’s first at Sebring, and with
that win, he also becomes the
first driver of a Ford Mustang to
win the TA class at Sebring since
Boris Said in 2001.
“It was a pretty straightforward
race for me,” Ebben said after
the race. “We just kept moving
up as the leaders started to drop
out, and I inherited the lead!
It’s better to be lucky than
good, they say.”