TRG Begins Quest for Third Rolex 24 GT Win
Petaluma, CA —
TRG has finished the preparation of its five Porsche GT entries for the Grand-Am Rolex Series Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. The team is ready to make a run for its third Rolex 24 hour win in the twice-around-the-clock classic to be run this weekend, January 24-25.
Just three weeks ago, following the early January test, the team loaded three of the top four cars on the final GT timing sheet and headed to its NASCARheadquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina for race prep. The team of Justin Marks, RJ Valentine, Andy Lally, Patrick Long, Joerg Bergmeister in the No. 67 Construct Corps/CRG/No Fear Energy Drinks/K1 Speed/Voodoo Ride/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 posted the second fastest time in GT. The team is no stranger to 24 hour success, Bergmeister has won the Daytona 24 in a TRG car in 2002 and again overall in GT in 2003 with team owner Kevin Buckler as teammate for both races. Lally won the 24 in the old SRPII class in 2001. Justin Marks knows what it is going to take to be successful this weekend.
“This is an incredibly difficult race,” Marks said. “You need so much more than just speed to win. You do have to be fast, but you have to be smart. The strategy has to be good and everyone has to do their job well. I am optimistic for the race, but those thoughts can be dangerous. I’m just trying to prepare for my job. I’ll try to be hydrated, healthy and well rested going into it. You just have to take care of yourself in the days leading up to it. I won’t eat that much during the race just be real picky about what I fuel with. Adrenaline has always picked up the remaining slack. I don’t sleep. I don’t even really like leaving the infield. This is one of the most important endurance races in the world and we can win it. I’ll sleep Sunday night.”
In the No. 65 Riegel-Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/Marquis Jet/Resorts International/IPC/Total Lubricants/TRG Porsche GT3 John Potter, Bryce Miller, Craig Stanton, and Marco Holzer have an excellent mix of speed, veteran leadership and youth ready to take on the high-banks of Daytona. At the test, Bryce Miller turned some of the fastest and most consistent laps of the weekend and new comer to the Porsche Factory driver line-up, Holzer, posted the third fasted time in GT. Stanton is the 2005 Rolex Series GT champion and brings his endurance pedigree to the team. The team’s association with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is offering unique tours and VIP experiences for charitable donations at the Rolex 24. Information can be found at www.65rosesracing.com.
“The speed in our car, at the moment, is certainly encouraging and breeds optimism for the race,” Bryce Miller said. “The chemistry and ability amongst the crew and drivers is very good and these attributes may be our most important assets going into a 24 hour race. Sleep sometimes occurs, but your responsibility to rehydrate and replenish your body with proper nutrition comes first. Only then if you’ve found a quiet place and aren’t on deck for another driving stint will you be happy to organize all your gear and get a chance to lie down and rest a little. I have many small supplemental snacks and shakes which I try to ingest constantly throughout the event. It is important to keep your nutritional portions smaller but more constant given the physical demands of a 24 hour race. Many times you simply are not up to taking on a full meal depending on your fatigue and hydration levels.”
Ted Ballou, Tim George Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, Emmanuel Collard, Richard Lietz driving the No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3 also be a factor come Sunday afternoon of the race. The speed of Pumpelly, Collard and Lietz is accented by the consistency of Ballou and George Jr. Each driver has been here before and Pumpelly won the GT race at Daytona in 2006. For George Jr. it is all about the watch.
“At the test we were fast right off the truck, we had a slump in the middle and then finally were fast again at the end of the three day test,” George Jr. said. “So I am looking forward to unloading fast again and getting a front row qualifying position. I do get some sleep between stints. Last year I went back to my hotel, but this year I think I will try and sleep in the motor home. I get a lot of sleep and eat whole grains such as whole wheat pasta and bread prior to the Rolex 24 weekend. My personal goal is to leave with a shiny Daytona Rolex 24 GT winner’s watch. We took third last year. Spencer and I are looking forward to moving up two steps on the podium.”
In the No. 63 Guardian Angel Motorsports (GAM), drivers Bruce Ledoux, David Quinlan, Dan Watkins, Steve Zadig and Kurt Kossmann the goal will be to turn as many laps as possible in the 1,440 minute race. The team has joined with Children’s Hospital Boston to raise money, on a per lap or lump basis, for their center for pediatric health care. Pledges and additional information can be found at www.guardianangelmotorsports.com.
“By the end of testing we were very happy with the cars setup,” Quinlan said. “Our times were coming down to a point where the team felt confident that we could maximize lap counts and complete our mission to finish the race and raise as much money as possible for Children’s Hospital Boston. There will only be a few hours between shifts. With that said I hope I can sneak in a quick power nap during the overnight hours. Starting a couple months before the race I ratchet up my cardio work outs. The days before the race I try to make sure that I get plenty of sleep, eat well and hydrate like crazy. This is my first Daytona 24. My personal goal is to complete the race and keep the car in good shape for my teammates. Donations are going well. We won’t have a final count until we complete the race.”
In the No 68 James Farrell & Co./Pallis Properties, Inc./COLO Columbia River Logistics/Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche GT3 Josemanuel Gutierrez, Steve Miller, Chris Pallis, Duncan Ende and Scott Schroeder will be looking to gain valuable experience at Daytona.
“We have a great group of drivers that don’t do this for a living,” Steve Miller said. “We won’t be on the pole to start the race, but if we take care of our car, we have a shot to stand on the podium at the end. I usually take little catnaps while headed down the backstretch. No alcohol for a month, and some extra weight training for the legs. Be a good teammate, have some fun, drive both aggressively and generously, and know which is appropriate for each moment.”
Buckler and his crew has put in the hours of preparation necessary to have a successful weekend.
“We took the cars up to Mooresville after the test,” Buckler said. “This proved to be very educational for our NASCAR Camping World Truck and ARCA guys. They got a good taste of what happens on the sports car side of our business and the same went for our Rolex crew. They can see the precision and work that goes into our NASCAR programs. The cars are ready, the drivers are ready now we have to battle 31 other teams, the track, the Daytona Prototypes and of course the weather. It is a good feeling when you know that you have done everything you need to do to be successful. We are prepared and have set the goal of getting our third Rolex 24 win.”
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be televised live Saturday, January 24 beginning at 3:00 p.m.EST on FOX. The coverage then transitions to the SPEED Channel at 4:30 p.m. going to 10:00 p.m. SPEED will rejoin the action at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning taking it to the checker with post race interviews concluding at 4:00 p.m.
TRG’s 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Line-up:
67: Construct Corps/CRG/No Fear Energy Drinks/K1 Speed/Voodoo Ride/Gemstone Winery
65: Riegel-Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/Marquis Jet/Resorts International/IPC/Total Lubricants
66: AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies
Tim George Jr.
63: Guardian Angel Motorsports (GAM)
68: James Farrell & Co./Pallis Properties, Inc./COLO Columbia River Logistics/Cohen Financial
TRG was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing ever since. The team has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with 25, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance racing parts. The group specializes in engine and chassis tuning as well as full service professional race car preparation. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive opportunities. TRG is based in Petaluma, Calif., near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The company’s NASCAR operation is based in Mooresville, North Carolina and a new state-of-the-art facility is coming on-line at New Jersey Motorsports Park in late 2009.