The Curtain Rises for TeamSLR at Sebring

TA2 Veteran Barry Boes, Rookie Gavan Boschele Kick Off 2024 Season; Floridian Thomas Ellis Completes Three-Car Entry for M1 Racecars Team

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2024) – A trio of drivers looking to take their racecraft to the next level head to iconic Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway to kick off the 2024 Cube 3 Architecture TA2 Series season in M1 Racecars equipment with TeamSLR this weekend.

Sixth-year TA2 competitor Barry Boes of Ooltewah, Tennessee, leads the way in this weekend’s three-car effort for TeamSLR, and he’ll be joined by recently turned 16-year-old prodigy Gavan Boschele, who hails from Mooresville, North Carolina, and is a rapidly rising development driver. Completing the lineup will be Thomas Ellis, a 28-year-old from Pompano Beach, Florida, who’s returning to the series for the first time since 2018.

Boes has been competing in the TA2 Series since 2019. Best among his 39 career TA2 outings was his third-place finish on the Detroit street circuit last June. The winner of the 2019 and 2023 SCCA Hoosier Super Tour and 2021 World Racing League national championship will be making his fifth career TA2 appearance at Sebring this weekend driving the No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro. He posted a best previous Sebring finish of 11th in 2020, when he closed the season eighth in the TA2 championship.

Saturday’s 27-lap, 75-minute race around the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring circuit will mark the road-racing debut for Boschele, driver of the No. 28 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro who since first wheeling an Outlaw kart months before his fourth birthday has competed and 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 Pro and Super Late Models.

Ellis will be behind the wheel of the No. 8 Averitt Express/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro this weekend for the first of a handful of races on the 12-event TA2 calendar for 2024. Ellis was last seen on the TA2 circuit running a slate of five events in 2018, three in his home state at Sebring, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The other two took place during the Streets of Belle Isle weekend doubleheader in Detroit. Ellis has also competed in various SCCA club racing classes, including Spec Miata and American Sedan.

Partnering with TeamSLR for the 2024 season will be the Nashville, Tennessee-based apparel company Franklin Road. And joining the TeamSLR trio in the contingent of M1 Racecars among 40 TA2 entries this weekend will be the two-car effort of Peterson Racing, featuring drivers Austin Green and team owner Doug Peterson.

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.

A pair of Thursday test sessions kick off this weekend’s on-track action at 11:45 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. EST. TA2 practice is set for 10:40 a.m. Friday, followed by qualifying at 2:20 p.m. Race time Saturday is 11:15 a.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. EST on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Barry Boes, Driver, No. 27 Accio Data/SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:

What led to your decision to drive for TeamSLR this season?

“What brought me here was wanting to improve my level of competitiveness and moving my way up through the field. I’ve been racing in Trans Am since 2019 and started off in the back of the pack, gradually working my way forward. I’ve had a few top-10 finishes and was on the podium at Detroit last summer. I’ve been looking for a better team, better support, better equipment, better driver training, better teammates. I’ve been talking to the Lagasses the last couple of years and their program really does seem to work and produce results, and they have fantastic equipment. And between Scott Sr., and Scott Jr., they have an incredible amount of knowledge between them. This was the right year to take that next step and hop in with the big boys. We’re going to go for the Pro-Am championship, and the West Coast Championship, and the Hoosier (Racing Tire SCCA) Super Tour championship and see what we can bring in.”

You took part in the Sebring test last month. How was that experience for you, both driving M1 Racecars equipment, and working with TeamSLR?

“The testing was really eye-opening. They can take a car, put a setup on it, have you try it out, put you in another car with a different setup and have you try that out. You go through three or four of them and see what works for you to really figure out your driving style, then see what they need to improve, and also what kind of a setup you need to be able to improve yourself so you can drive the way you want to drive, and then fine-tune from there. I’ve seen the results in recent years with people like Connor Mosack and other younger development drivers. They take raw talent and make the guy an incredible racecar driver, and take guys like Scott Borchetta from being an OK driver to a great driver, and I hope they do the same thing for me.”

You’ve raced at Sebring in various classes over the years. How has the track suited your driving style?

“Sebring has been an interesting track for me because I could show up one weekend and run a 2:06 and the next weekend run a 2:12, and we can’t always figure out the difference. I’ve had reasonable but not great luck at Sebring in the past, but I’ve spent a lot more time at Sebring, three times already this year, in fact. A few years back I did a 24-hour race there and I drove 12 of those 24 hours for my team. I’m definitely not lacking in experience there.”

Gavan Boschele, Driver, No. 27 SLR-M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:

Talk about coming to TeamSLR and what made you look at Trans Am and racing in the TA2 class?

“I’m excited. I want to go more toward the road racing just to get some experience because the Cup cars and the Xfinity cars have a number of road-course races, and even ARCA. I like the Lagasses and the team, so I’m excited to get started.”

This will be your first taste of racing in TA2. How would you compare your M1 Racecars equipment to other cars you’ve driven?

“I think it’s a lot different than any car I’ve driven. You have to use a lot of brake pressure, you’re shifting going into the corner and coming off the corner, and there’s a lot of lateral grip. It’s a stock car and I’m used to that. But it’s a lot different kind of driving than I’m used to. I’m not really a road-course guy, so I’m adapting to modulating the brake pedal, the gas, the shifting, stuff like that. These cars are really cool, they’re really, really fun to drive and they have a ton of grip.”

Do you feel your experience road racing in TA2 cars will benefit your other racing endeavors?

“I think a little bit, maybe – just getting used to using the brake pedal, but other than that, not really. I just think it’s valuable to learn the tracks that you do go to in NASCAR and ARCA, like COTA and Sonoma, so I think it’s helpful from that aspect. I don’t think it can relate much translating from the road course to the oval other than modulating the brake pedal because they’re completely different.”

You tested your M1 Racecar at Sebring in January. What do you think of the track?

“I’m pretty excited. It’s a cool track – really, really rough. I think it’s pretty neat in that respect, you have to cowboy up, elbows up. It’s pretty technical, a pretty rough track. You have to complete all the laps, just learn as much as you can, and hopefully we’ll be running up front and running really well. I’m excited.”

Any particular part of the Sebring track that sticks out in your mind after testing there?

“There’s the hairpin corner where it’s really, really deep braking, and the last corner that’s huge, almost like a swoop. It’s pretty cool. You’ve got the high-speed straightaway and the long backstretch. It’s a fast-paced track, in my opinion, but it’s very technical.”

How has your experience been working with TeamSLR, so far?

“Scott’s definitely a really good role model for me, him and his dad, both. I think they’re great drivers, both of them, and I think they’re going to help me a lot. They’ll help me progress this year not just in TA2 but in all the aspects of anything I drive.”

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

What brought you back to TA2 this season?

“I’ve become friends with Scott (Lagasse Jr.). He gave me the opportunity to run last year but I wasn’t ready to get in the car, yet, because it’s hard to just jump into a TA2 car when you haven’t driven in years. I wanted to drive again, but I wanted to make sure I could actually be competitive. I don’t like to get into a racecar and run in the middle of the pack – I guess nobody does. I want to run up in the top-10.”

After having tested at Sebring with TeamSLR last month, what are your expectations this weekend?

“In my previous times running in TA2, I always was working my way toward good finishes, but I always struggled with broken car parts and stuff like that, there was always something happening. Every time something good was happening, I was pushed back, for some reason. Honestly, I’m super, super excited and very motivated because I’m getting to drive essentially the best car in the field. M1 Racecars are proven race-winners and it’s exciting for me because I know I’ll have the equipment to finish at the top, so at this point it comes down to me being able to push the car to do that.”

How was your experience working with TeamSLR for the first time?

“Working with the Lagasses is awesome because they spend a lot of time with you, especially with driver coaching. At the Sebring test, I was able to learn a lot of things that I was never able to do before, just because of the data and telemetry we use, like pushing the braking zones, diving deeper into the corners, and not getting on the throttle too early and being able to roll out of the corner with tons of momentum and speed.”

You’ve driven at Sebring a good bit in the past. What are your impressions of the track?

“Sebring is rough, but I’m very used to that because it’s my home track. Homestead is a little bit closer, but everybody likes to run at Sebring despite it being rough on your car and your body. For me, I know every single corner of that track because I’ve done tons and tops of laps there. I actually have an (SCCA) American Sedan track record there.”

About TeamSLR:

TeamSLR (Scott Lagasse Racing) competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s newly renamed Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series in a multifaceted effort that includes dedicated entries in the TA2 division, customer programs, driver coaching and car construction. Its history dates back to 1985 and covers a wide spectrum of motorsports, including NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, ARCA and ASA. TeamSLR is a family-owned organization run by Scott Lagasse Sr., and Scott Lagasse Jr., The father-and-son duo have combined to win more than 120 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks. For more information, please visit us online at www.TeamSLR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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