TRG Eyes Win at 12 Hours of Sebring
SEBRING, FL (March 13th) – The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron kicks off with the 61st running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the most grueling endurance races on the planet. The Racer's Group enters the race coming off of a rock-solid Winter Test where they were quickest among the GTC competitors.
Full-season drivers Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner will take the seat for the first time in the Florida Lottery/Viper Exchange/Port Lavaca Auto Group No. 66 Porsche GT3 Cup car. TRG is proud to welcome the Florida Lottery as a sponsor for the weekend on both cars. Keating, the reigning two-time SRT Viper Cup champion, and accomplished endurance racer will join his teammate Damien Faulkner in one of the class's strongest season entries.
Hailing from Ireland, Faulkner is a Porsche superstar with wins and poles across the globe. Two years ago, he won at Sebring in GTC class and earned a podium last year. An outstanding qualifier, Faulkner posted six GTC pole positions a year ago.
The punishing 12 Hours of Sebring as well as Petit Le Mans will feature Porsche ace Craig Stanton, who has previously run with TRG. In 2008 and 2009, Stanton drove Porsches with TRG after showing strong success in both the Koni Challenge and Grand-Am Series. Stanton is considered by many one of the best endurance racers in the field. He has earned 13 podiums in the ALMS, including a win a Road America.
The experience of the three drivers, coupled with the dialed-in Porsche, create a formidable GTC team for the race.
Newly announced for the B+/ Vitalz/Florida Lottery No. 68 car are drivers Al Carter, Kevin Estre and Carlos de Quesada. Carter, a proponent of BePositive.org, a foundation for kids helping kids fight cancer, is a veteran of Grand-Am racing and has won two Skip Barber Series Master Championships in a row. Last year, Carter drove twice with TRG in ALMS scoring podiums both times with a win at the Baltimore Grand Prix and a runner-up spot at Mid-Ohio (in which TRG actually earned first place points). Carter is hoping that Estre and de Quesada can help him earn a TRG "trifecta" here at Sebring.
The first of Carter's co-drivers is the French-born Estre, who began racing in 2001 in predominantly single-seaters through 2007. In 2008 he began in GT and soon ran in the FIA GT3 European Championship. In 2011, Estre claimed his first win in the Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup and ended up winning the Rookie Championship for the 2011 season, becoming the Porsche Carrera Cup champion of France.
Rounding out the final seat in the No. 68 is Carlos de Quesada, whose company Vitalz, comes aboard as one of the team’s sponsors. Vitalz, founded in 2008 by an experienced group of technologists and medical professionals, rethinks the way patients and providers store, access and use health information. De Quesada not only restores and races vintage Porsches, but he gets behind the wheel, too. He has had amazing success in professional sports car racing. In 2007, de Quesada won the 24 Hours of Daytona and has recently been at the helm of a strong Daytona Prototype team. He now looks to add the 12 Hours of Sebring victory to his list of accomplishments.
Keating on driving at Sebring: "We’ve tested well here and really would like to bring Kevin his first Sebring win. The car is great. Damien, Craig and I are ready. It's a grueling track with lots of great teams and drivers, so we’ll have to bring our 'A' game."
Faulkner on driving at Sebring: "It's fantastic to be with TRG this season - the team has so much depth and so much success and certainly knows how to win. I feel we have a strong driver line up too. Ben Keating will be the man to beat among the amateurs. This season will be easily the most competitive in the short history of GTC. It's been a long winter and it's great to be finally kicking things off here at Sebring. Early in the week we had a challenging day running through a range of settings. We expect to be at the sharp end and we will."
Buckler on the competition this year: "This place just has so much tradition. You look at all the great drivers in the Hall of Fame here and you know what this place means to sports car racing. It's a grueling, grueling track as well as an amazing event. We have brought two great cars with an outstanding group of drivers and crew and are ready to do battle. This is the only big one that has eluded TRG and we'd like to bring home the winning trophy at end of day. I'd also like to especially thank the Florida Lottery for jumping on board this weekend, I think the 66 and 68 could be the lucky numbers. We are ready!"
Carter on Sebring: "This is my first 12 Hours of Sebring, and I've heard how difficult and demanding this race is. It's one place where you really need to have a good car and team. TRG has a great reputation in endurance races with wins at Daytona, Petit Le Mans and Le Mans; so I have no doubt we'll be ready for this one from both a preparation and strategy standpoint. I've had some pretty good success with these guys, earning podiums my last two races so I'm going to be going for the trifecta here at Sebring!"
Last Updated (Friday, 15 March 2013 01:33)