TRG Fifth in GT at The Glen
Petaluma, CA —
TRG's John Potter, Spencer Pumpelly and Craig Stanton came home fifth in today's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. Teammates Josemanuel Gutierrez, Scott Schroeder and Duncan Ende finished the day in 11th with Justin Marks, RJ Valentine and Andy Lally ending in 13th.
Coming into the race Pumpelly had a slim one point lead in the GT championship standings. He leaves The Glen second in points, just eight back from the leader. The consistency of the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 showed once again finishing in fifth with new to the car drivers John Potter and Craig Stanton. Pumpelly was able to lead 11 laps in two different segments during the race.
"It is a top five finish, our worst all year is a sixth, so the consistency is there," Pumpelly said. "We are keeping the streak alive. We just need a little more speed. The guys did a good job in the pits and with the strategy. At the end we just didn't have the pace. We will have to figure out what we can do. John had a great opening stint and Craig had a solid middle run as well. I wished we could have come away with a podium, but fifth is all we could get today."
"The 66 car is really fast," Stanton said. "TRG put together a great car for us today - it never missed a beat all week. Obviously we are with the 65 team and we combined drivers and supporters this weekend for a good finish. John opened with a great stint. Spencer jumped in and put us up front. I hopped in and kept us toward the front and Spencer brought it home for a good finish in fifth. It was a really good effort. We were out gunned a little bit by some of the other cars, but it was fun to drive with Spencer."
Josemanuel Gutierrez, Duncan Ende and Scott Schroeder finished 11th on the day in the No. 68 Cohen Financial/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche GT3 . The trio of up and coming professional drivers had a challenging day that included a flat tire for Schroeder.
"The car was good, but I had some tire rub in the esses," Schroeder said. "About 20-minutes into my session I had the tire let go through there and I had to nurse the car around for three-quarters of a lap. It hurt us. We lost a couple of laps because of the flat. We were doing a good job trying to gain those laps back. I am looking forward to Mid-Ohio in two weeks."
"It was OK, I didn't make any mistakes and ran a consistent stint," Guiterrez said. "It was a long stint. I was in the car for almost two hours with only one yellow. We had a tough start to the weekend, we had a few issues in practice, but the TRG guys were able to give us a great car for the race. Duncan and Scott did a very good job, but unfortunately Scott had that flat tire. I think we would have had a top 10 finish."
Justin Marks, RJ Valentine and Andy Lally had a tough race to follow-up their tough start to the weekend in the No. 67 Construct Corps/CRG/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3. In practice on Friday Valentine was put off the track by an aggressive DP car causing what was thought to be fatal damage to the green and black Porsche. But, the tenacity of the TRG crew with the help of a local frame shop got the car on the track in time for the warm-up at 8:30 a.m. this morning. The tired crew would be called upon once again to perform when Marks experienced transmission problems and had to be towed into the paddock. Again the crew did the job and returned the car to the race for an eventual 13th place finish.
"We were able to come back from going down a lap early in an unfixable car to run as high as eighth starting from the back," Lally said. "We were making our way back up the grid and the car was really good after all of the repairs that went on late yesterday and last night. Justin was doing great and we were full of confidence when the transmission let go. Again, the crew guys went to work with that never quit attitude and we were able to make up a few places at the end of the day."
Team owner Kevin Buckler is likes the way his team performed this weekend.
"The crew did an outstanding job getting the 67 car back from the dead the day before, working hard all last night," Buckler said. "I talk about our secret sauce here at TRG and that is a healthy helping right there. It is too bad we had to call on those guys again with the transmission fix. Justin has an incredible first stint and it was good to have RJ back. Spencer, John and Craig were thrown together this weekend as a new driver combination in the No. 66 and had a great run, all three drivers performed flawlessly. The car spent some time in the lead, but we just couldn't get them on the podium. Duncan, Scott and Josemanuel did two hours each in the car and all three did a great job. If it wasn't for the flat, we would have had them in the top ten easy."
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will travel to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the EMCO Gears Classic to be run on June 20.
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.