TRG Porsches Fourth and Seventh in KONI at Barber
Birmingham, Ala. —
TRG's KONI Sports Car Challenge cars finished fourth and seventh in today's Grand-Am support race at Barber Motorsports Park. Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly led the TRG charge with a fourth place finish.
The 2.3-mile, 16-turn rolling road course located just east of Birmingham produced no cautions the entire two-hour-and-thirty-minute race. Duncan Ende started the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Racer's Roast Coffee/ TRG Porsche 997 from his seventh place qualifying position, the best for a Porsche. Surrounded by big V-8 iron at the start Ende drove up to fourth place at the exchange with Pumpelly. Pumpelly was able to make it to the finish on the tank fuel for his stint securing a strong fourth place on the day.
"I had a pretty good start," Ende said. "We were the highest qualifying Porsche by a long way, which meant everyone around us had a lot more horsepower. The start was satisfying. I managed to get by a couple of the BMWs and was chasing the top three guys. The car went a little funky on me towards the end of my stint and I lost a little bit of ground. We were the best of the rest today, the first car without a big V-8 under the hood. It was a good points day."
"We had a really good car at the end," Pumpelly said. "I am not sure if the lap times reflected it, I was able to run down anyone in front of me and pass them. This was a really good job by the TRG guys. The car was great and the pit stop was flawless. The team is really hooked-up and all of the mechanics and strategist were really on this weekend."
John Potter started the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 from the seventh row and was very racy early in the going. Potter had his first of what will be three trips in three different cars around Barber today. He will be competing in the Rolex Series in the TRG No. 66 and the No. 65. Andy Lally took over the car and tried to use some strategy to make up some track position without the help of a caution. Even though the team had to pit Lally late for a splash it proved to be a non factor. The sports car ace brought the car home in seventh.
"The car was good," Potter said. "Toward the end of my run it got a little loose, but that is to be expected. I wish we could have gotten a little break to help our strategy out. With the strategy we had to try to save some time with the pit stop and hope for a late race caution which never came."
"We timed our gas fill a little short," Lally said. "We ran out a half of a lap before the checkered flag. But it made no difference. It was a good call right on the edge, we needed to try something and take a chance. We were sixth or seventh at the time and we had to try something. The car was great. We were consistently the fastest car out there all race. I am proud of the team. TRG did a super job making sure the car was quick. This is the second race in a row we ran caution free all race. That makes it boring for us drivers and the fans. We need some more debris out there."
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, was hoping for a win today, but had no help from the officials.
"We had 20 cars in the field and no ST cars," Buckler said. "With a small field everyone tends to get spread out around the track and there is no incidents to cause cautions. Without that it is tough for our little Porsches to make up track position against the big V-8s. Duncan did a fantastic job in qualifying and was able to improve his position with a solid opening stint. Spencer just couldn't move up when everyone was spread out. John Potter did the first of his Iron Man runs today and did a great job. We tried to help Andy gain some track position with a short fill on the gas and the yellow we planned for never came. We had a good day with both cars finishing in the top seven."
The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will travel to Circuit Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Canada for round nine to be run on August 16.
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 (three) at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. TRG's young KONI Challenge team has logged three wins and recorded nine podium finishes in their first two seasons of competition.
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 with a new state-of-the-art facility coming on-line at New Jersey Motorsports Park in late 2009.