TRG's Pumpelly Eighth in Qualifying at Barber
Birmingham, AL —
TRG's Spencer Pumpelly headed the team's four cars in qualifying for the Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union to be run at Barber Motorsports Park tomorrow with an eighth place qualifying effort.
Pumpelly ran a time of 1:29.194 around the 2.3-mile, 16-turn picturesque road course this afternoon. In unseasonably cool weather Pumpelly and the team were focused on the race setup of the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3. Pumpelly will share the seat with John Potter.
"Qualifying was OK, we were really concentrating on our race setup," Pumpelly said. "I am pretty happy with the way the car is handling for the race. The tires really go away after the first few laps. It is pretty much like a skating rink. We just hope to be the ones that are skating the least during the race."
Justin Marks will start the No. 67 Construct Corps/Kartel Motorsports/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 from the fifth row based on his qualifying time of 1:30.293. Marks shares the No. 67 with Andy Lally.
"I am struggling a little this weekend, but it is getting better every session," Marks said. "We were tight in qualifying which is what we expected. Everyone is planning on having the rear tires burning off and the car going looser, but we have a plan for the race. That is our plan. I would have liked to have qualified better than we did, we are thinking long term. We will have a better car in race trim. We are really going to struggle against the Pontiacs and Mazdas, but the Porsche always has a chance to win."
John Potter is doing triple duty this weekend. He is teamed with his regular co-driver Craig Stanton in the No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 and will also run in the same Rolex Series race with Pumpelly in the No. 66. In addition, he is teamed with Andy Lally in the No. 41 Magnus Racing Porsche KONI Sports Car Challenge car. Potter put in a lap of 1:31.613 that will see him start from the fifth row tomorrow.
"Well I had to figure out which car to qualify," Potter said. "I stuck with the 65 because that is how we've been running all season. This is my first time racing at Barber. It is a different experience having been to most of the tracks we race at. I am slowly picking it up and getting faster every session. My best lap was in qualifying. With sticker tires we have good grip. As the tires go away it will become an exciting race. I wish we could pit every six laps for tires. Depending on the cautions I plan to start the 65 and then jump in the 66."
Josemanuel Gutierrez posted his best time of the weekend in the No. 68 Cohen Financial/Marriott Birmingham/TRG Porsche to start from the seventh row. Gutierrez is teamed with Scott Schroeder. The pair is coming off a season's best finish of seventh at Daytona.
"Qualifying went quite well," Gutierrez said. "I went a second faster than my best practice time which is always the goal. The track is very slick and it is hot out there. There is not much grip. We had a challenging practice session to get the car setup right for the slick track. It all worked out just fine, they did some great changes and we are ready for the race."
Team owner Kevin Buckler knew Barber would be tough on the rear tires of the Porsche.
"Our cars are really taxing the tires a lot here," Buckler said. "The tires have a different and inconsistent feel which is what we are tying to figure out with Pirelli. We focused on the race setup of the cars hoping to be able to stretch the grip farther than our competition. Team engineer Jeff Braun is going to earn his stripes this weekend."
The Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union from Barber Motorsport Park will be televised live on the SPEED Channel, Sunday, July 19 starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.
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.