Team Polizei 144 Racing Ready to Make Sports Car Debut
Petaluma, CA — The renowned underground Team Polizei will make its professional racing debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Verizon Festival of Speed to be run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 17. Henri Richard and Rene Villeneuve will pilot the No. 63 Team Polizei 144/TRG Porsche GT3.
The Team Polizei 144 brand made famous by street racing legend, Alex Roy, who holds the unofficial driving record from New York to Los Angeles in a staggering 31 hours and four minutes, will compete in the Grand-Am GT class at Laguna Seca with a TRG prepared Porsche GT3. The car will feature the familiar Team Polizei 144 infamous German police car livery.
"I couldn't be more proud than to see Team Polizei enter the Grand-Am Rolex Series," Roy, Team Polizei's president said. "With Richard and Villeneuve at the helm, and TRG behind us, even I can't believe it."
"For me, racing in the Rolex Grand-Am Series is a natural progression towards my ultimate objective of being able to participate to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring," Richard said. "The Rolex Grand-Am series is truly the premiere road racing series in the US and provides a level of competitiveness that sets the bar and provides a perfect proving ground for endurance racing."
Teaming with Richard is Rene Villeneuve.
"I am very pleased to be racing in the Grand-Am Series," Villeneuve said. "It is the top of professional sports car racing. It is a perfect fit for Team Polizei Racing because it exemplifies fan involvement and the forward thinking needed to expand the demographics of sports car racing, which is exactly what Team Polizei Racing is all about. We also have TRG, the best team in Grand-Am, and that gives me confidence."
Both drivers are very familiar with the challenging 2.2-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit.
"Laguna Seca is my home track and my favorite track! I work there daily with the Skip Barber Racing School, so obviously I know the track very well," Villeneuve continued. "I love the elevation changes and blind corners. Everyone talks about the "Corkscrew" which is fantastic, but I have found that there are other more challenging corners that can be the difference between a good lap and a not so good lap! For me, it is just going to be a matter adapting what I know about the track to the Rolex GT car."
"Being a Silicon Valley resident, Laguna Seca is my "other" home track and I just love the setting and the layout," Richard explained. "I established a new race lap record last year in the Ferrari Challenge series and finished on the podium, so obviously I am comfortable with it. Perhaps it comes from my background as a motorcycle racer."
The duo knows that the GT class is very competitive and are bringing realistic expectations.
"The Rolex GT class is very competitive, however with TRG, we will get a great car that works well from the start," Villeneuve said. "It is my first race in Rolex GT, as well as Henri's, but he is very talented and experienced. I have an intimate knowledge of Laguna, so we are hoping to show ourselves as competitive as possible. If Henri and I do our jobs and we stay out of trouble, I think we can be in the top ten for our first race! That would make us very happy!"
"I don't want to set unrealistic expectations for a first race in the series," Richard said. "Much of it will be calibrating ourselves against a very competitive field and getting acquainted with the car. This said, with Rene's experience and expertise on this track to guide me through, I am looking forward to a clean and safe race and a top ten finish."
TRG team owner Kevin Buckler is looking forward to introducing the team to Grand-Am racing.
"Polizei is a great brand and we are excited to bring them into professional sports car racing," Buckler said. "Their program is exciting and fits well with our aggressive style of brand presentation within the series. It's very cool what Alex has done in complex viral marketing backed by a very hip and edgy concept with terrific results. I love it. Henri and Rene are an awesome team and have a lot of laps at Laguna and we are looking forward to helping them be very successful in their first Grand-Am GT race."
Team Polizei and its founder - Alex Roy - best known for a history of rally victories culminating in their shattering of the longstanding Cannonball Run Record - have cult followings in the underground motorsports and tuning worlds. Team Polizei has evolved into a branding/marketing/technology consultancy with a unique understanding of viral marketing and expert utilization of social networking platforms, enhanced by successful book and merchandising lines. Using these tools, Team Polizei is taking a new and fresh approach in marketing to mainstream motorsports media. Now, for the first time, Team Polizei is offering its partners access to this alternative platform. Additional information can be found at www.teampolizeihq.com and apparel can be ordered at www.polizei144.com.
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 26, 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.