TRG Wins at Laguna Seca; Solid Showing in NJ
TRG scored its first win of the sports car season with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the GTC class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday by its No. 66 entry of Emilio DiGuida, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Bret Curtis.
After a few early race hiccups, the TRG Porsche 911 GT3 of team owner Kevin Buckler, found itself down three laps early in the race but methodically made its way back through the pack to take the lead with less than an hour remaining in the six-hour endurance classic. The No. 68 car piloted by Tracy Krohn, Nick Tandy and Mike Hedlund was extremely strong as well, but it sustained a mechanical issue early, after solidly leading in the race and lost more than 30 laps while under repair in the garage.
"We knew we had two really good cars and that if we just hung in there, we would have a chance to win," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "The entire team just did a stellar job today. I was so proud of all of our drivers. Emilio is doing such a fantastic job and getting better and better with every race. It is nice to be able to bring him back to a track he has driven at like Laguna Seca. Bret was a super-star today and a real heads-up driver. He and I were working well together on the radios and when I asked him to dig deep and pull out the laps times, he got it done for us. Jeroen is just so strong and consistent that whenever we have him in the car and we are within "striking distance," we all know that we are in a solid position.
The 68 guys were equally as impressive and had a real shot to win. Tracy was awesome and put in the drive of his life for us on his last double stint, running times with the leaders. Mike was absolutely stellar and I am always so impressed whenever I get a chance to work with him. His approach to professional racing and his commitment to all aspects of his driving is outstanding. It was our first time working with Nick and he is a rocket----fast and smart and was solidly leading the race before the differential blew apart. And I can’t say enough about the entire crew. They worked very hard to get these cars dialed in and they did.
This is what TRG is all about. If it had not been for the mechanical issue on the No. 68 car, I believe we would have had two cars on the podium."
Curtis may have provided the best insight of the day, "I think we just drove a really hard race, but conservative," he said. "The thing about (team owner) Kevin Buckler and TRG is he wants you to push, but he also wants you to pace the car. The strategy was really good. Everyone was putting in solid laps, and the crew did a super-super job. It was the strategy from the get-go. Some teams might have been struggling but we kept on and took the win."
"It is getting harder and harder to win in GTC," admitted Bleekemolen, who has driven with TRG and Emilio multiple times this season. "You are getting a lot more cars out there with experience and a lot of great drivers. We didn't have a lot of mistakes from the drivers and the teams, so it was just a good win."
It was the first win in a U.S. series for the DiGuida, who began with TRG mid-season last year.
"I am very happy to get my first win," said the former Venezuelan champion. "The traffic can get really tough out there. I don’t have a lot of experience yet here in the US but working with Kevin [Buckler] and two great drivers like Jeroen and Bret, really helps a lot. We refused to give up and it paid off."
TRG moved into third place in GTC class with the win.
Meanwhile at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Spencer Pumpelly and Steve Bertheau took TRG to a 10th place GT finish in the Global Barter 250 in the Fourth Round of the Rolex Grand Am schedule.
"We stayed at it hard all day," said Buckler. "We had a strong car but this is not our best track. Steve and Spence did a good job all weekend of dialing in the car and staying out of trouble. The Grand-Am schedule really heats up next month (with four races in June), and I really feel we're ready to make our move with some amazing venues coming up."
TRG's next race is the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix June 2 in a doubleheader weekend of Rolex Grand-Am racing and Indy Car. Its next ALMS race is July 7 at Lime Rock Park.
TRG is a full-service motorsports company offering a total driver ladder approach, as well as comprehensive sponsorship and business opportunities. For drivers, this approach starts with track days, goes to club events, up into street stock series and culminates in the ultimate goal of professional motorsports. For sponsors and business partners, this method starts with everything from executive events, to traditional sponsorship models, all the way to comprehensive business-to-business opportunities and experiential marketing. The team races in America's two largest sport car series - the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and can offer turn-key marketing programs as well as arrive-and-drive support.
The Racer's Group was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing. The team boasts Rolex Series GT championships in 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most wins in GRAND-AM with 32. The team's resume is highlighted by two championships, four Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona victories, and a Le Mans 24 Hour win.
Detailed team info can be viewed at www.theracersgroup.com.
The Racer's Group
1995 S. McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Last Updated (Monday, 14 May 2012 23:55)