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TRG Brings the Heat to Daytona

Daytona Beach, FL (January 24th, 2013) - The Racer's Group (TRG) heads to Daytona with three incredibly strong driver lineups, full of experience across the board and looking to extend its unmatched podium streak at the 51st running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

After securing its 13th straight podium, TRG returns with sights set not only on a podium, but adding to the long list of victories from 2002, 2003 (overall), 2009 and 2011. With so much past success at Daytona, TRG is the default heavy-hitter of the GT field. The Number 66, 67, and 68 cars could all easily find themselves on the podium by Sunday afternoon.

All three TRG prepared cars are ready after coming off their successful tests earlier this month at the Rolex Roar Before the 24. The Porsche GT3 Cup cars faired well in testing, but when it comes to the real thing, experience is no exception, and that's exactly what TRG is bringing to the table this weekend.

The lineup is a collection of experienced drivers from all over the world, including Porsche factory drivers, recent champions, and endurance experts.

The No. 66 is full of familiar names to race fans and TRG fans alike with Ben Keating, two-time defending SRT Viper Cup champion and Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona veteran, Porsche factory driver and three-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona champion Joerg Bergmeister, along with Dominik Farnbacher, one of the best young drivers in sports car racing and Keating's co-driver from last year's 24 Hour, and new to the team, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik's co-driver and fellow Dodge SRT Viper Factory Driver.

Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson make their return to TRG in the No. 67 Porsche GT3 Cup car. Both have spent ample time in prototypes and GT cars making them no strangers to Daytona. Krohn has multiple victories under his belt, including Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and Watkins Glen, with seat time in a variety of chassis. A Rolex 24 win would be a welcome addition to his trophy cabinet. Jonsson is a veteran of the WEC, with stints in the IRL, NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series, and has been competing in the GRAND-AM Series since 2001. He's been on the podium twice at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and raced with Krohn multiple times in the past.  The third driver with Krohn and Jonsson will be Emmanuel Collard, who boasts extensive endurance racing experience and was a Porsche factory driver for many years. He has won at both Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.  Completing the line up in the No. 67 will be Porsche Factory Driver Romain Dumas, a TRG veteran, who is widely known for his historical win at Le Mans with Audi Sport in 2010.

The No. 68 car will be driven by Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona veteran, Jim Michaelian, who is a true legend of road and street racing. He's one of the principal founders of the Long Beach Grand Prix and has driven a number of endurance events around the world. Michaelian will be partnering with Daytona newcomer Brad Lewis, perhaps best known for directing the animated film Cars 2.  Lewis has shown some quick times in testing and is looking forward to the long stints in the race where his consistency will shine. Ivo Breukers joins them in No. 68 Porsche GT3 Cup, and this year's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona will be his 36th 24 hour endurance race! Racing since 2000, Breukers has been behind the wheel in a number of endurance events, and is also an endurance racing event promoter. He returns to Daytona with unfinished business after an unfortunate DNF last year. Father and Son duo Ronald and Dennis van de Laar will round out the No. 68 car lineup for 2013. The elder Van de Laar ran the GT3 Masters in Germany for five years and is no rookie to 24 hour races. He's competed in the 24 Hours of Dubai, Daytona, and Le Mans. He's recently taken to ownership of the VAR Formula 3 team, which has four cars active in the FIA F3 Championship. Dennis has been active in racing since a young age, actively driving in the Renault 2.0 series, as well as FIA Formula 3.

TRG's full driver lineup: 

No. 66 ˆ Ben Keating, Joerg Bergmeister, Dominik Farnbacher, Kuno Wittmer
No. 67 ˆ Tracy Krohn, Emmanuel Collard, Romain Dumas, Nic Jonsson
No. 68 ˆ Ivo Breukers, Brad Lewis, Jim Michaelian, Dennis van de Laar, Ronald van de Laar
 

TRG to Offer Racing Mystery Author Tammy Kaehler Unprecedented, Behind-the-Scenes Access During Rolex 24 at Daytona

Award-Nominated Writer to Share Experiences with Fans and Readers

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (January 25, 2013) - TRG will provide author Tammy Kaehler with the fan experience of a lifetime: embedding with the team for the duration of the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend, January 26-27, 2013. The Long Beach, CA-based writer will perform research for the third book in her successful Kate Reilly Racing Mystery Series, as well as give fans and racing newcomers a glimpse behind the scenes of the high-speed, high stakes endeavor.

Kaehler will have singular access to all team activities during the weekend, including attending team and driver meetings, observing crew and driver preparation and on-track practice, sitting in the pits for the entirety of the 24-hour race, and spending time on the pit box with a team radio headset. Throughout, she will share her experiences as a knowledgeable fan (the non-racing insider receiving insider access) through text and video updates to blogs, Twitter, and Facebook throughout the Daytona weekend.  Her notes, commentary, and perspective will be available on her own sites, TRG's sites, and to any interested media outlets. 

About Tammy Kaehler and the Kate Reilly Racing Mysteries:
Tammy Kaehler's career in marketing and technical writing landed her in the world of automobile racing, which inspired her with its blend of drama, competition, and welcoming people. Her debut, Dead Man's Switch, was nominated for the Eureka! for best first novel by the mystery community and highly praised by racing insiders. She takes readers back behind the wheel in Braking Points, the second Kate Reilly Racing Mystery, which has received positive early reviews and will be published in April 2013, just prior to the Long Beach Grand Prix. 

In Kaehler's third mystery, as yet untitled, Kate Reilly will try to uncover the person responsible for a senseless murder of a friend, while on-track she's pitted against fierce competitors and off-track against a troublemaker bent on disrupting the twice-around-the-clock epic race. Set entirely during the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the book is tentatively scheduled for publication by the series publisher, Poisoned Pen Press (www.poisonedpenpress.com) in April 2014. More information available at www.tammykaehler.com.
 

TRG Announces Full Season ALMS Assault

With just under two months before the start of the 2013 American Le Mans Series season, The Racer's Group (TRG) has put together a program likely to be one of the most competitive programs ever seen in the GTC class. The combination of experienced drivers Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner coupled with the brand-new Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car and backed by one of the top GT teams in motorsports has TRG positioned for a championship run. 

Both drivers are signed on for the full season. Keating has raced multiple times with TRG, including two Rolex 24's at Daytona. He is coming off his second SRT Viper Cup Championship, winning six races and earning eight podiums. 
Damien Faulkner joins Keating with an abundance of experience and seat time in Porsches, having competed in the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain before that. The veteran Porsche driver ran with TRG at Daytona a year ago and has been one of the fastest drivers in the ALMS in recent years with a pair of victories that included the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011, six poles and four fastest (race) laps.

Adding even more skill and familiarity to the team is the addition of veteran professional driver Craig Stanton for the endurance races -- Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Stanton has driven numerous times for TRG and has been quick and consistent throughout his driving career.  

The three are expected to test at the Sebring Winter Test, February 7-8.

Kevin Buckler on Ben Keating:
"All of us at TRG are seriously proud to be announcing this program with Ben Keating. Ben is one of the fastest, most committed, most competitive non-full-time professional drivers that we have ever had driving for us.  I mean this guy has a real job outside of racing, but you wouldn't know it to look at the stopwatch!" 

Keating on racing in ALMS:
"I am extremely excited. I love this class for two reasons. First it is a spec class. I love knowing that we always have a car that is capable of winning, and we don't have to get involved with balance of performance. And second, it is a Pro-Am structure. It requires a gentleman driver to really factor into each race.

This will be my first season in ALMS and I believe we will be very competitive. That is exciting. There is nothing much better than having the real opportunity to stand on the podium at the top level of sports car racing in North America."

Damien Faulkner on the upcoming season with TRG:
"I am very happy and indeed excited to be joining TRG for the new season in GTC together with Ben Keating. TRG are one of the most successful American Sportscar Teams and one of the stalwarts of the ALMS. Kevin knows how to win races and championships and with Ben as my co-driver we are in a great position. Ben is the most competent non-professional in the business and his speed mixed with his determination makes me feel really confident for the season ahead"

Buckler on the strength of the 2013 Line-up:
"Ben and Damien are going to be a lethal combo here, but you add in a brand-new Porsche GT3, Craig Stanton as the third driver in the long races, some of the best crew in all of GT racing, and of course, TRG; and I believe we are going to have a solid run at a championship this year! I couldn't be happier to be leading the charge for this formidable effort."

Keating on sharing the seat with Faulkner, and the TRG team:
"I expect great competition and I love a challenge. Damien and I will have a great time this season.  TRG knows how to win. We have a great team, a brand new car, a great driver lineup, and all the ingredients to win the championship. What else can you ask for?"

With just under two months before the start of the 2013 American Le Mans Series season, The Racer's Group (TRG) has put together a program likely to be one of the most competitive programs ever seen in the GTC class. The combination of experienced drivers Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner coupled with the brand-new Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car and backed by one of the top GT teams in motorsports has TRG positioned for a championship run. 

Both drivers are signed on for the full season. Keating has raced multiple times with TRG, including two Rolex 24's at Daytona. He is coming off his second SRT Viper Cup Championship, winning six races and earning eight podiums. 
Damien Faulkner joins Keating with an abundance of experience and seat time in Porsches, having competed in the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain before that. The veteran Porsche driver ran with TRG at Daytona a year ago and has been one of the fastest drivers in the ALMS in recent years with a pair of victories that included the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011, six poles and four fastest (race) laps.

Adding even more skill and familiarity to the team is the addition of veteran professional driver Craig Stanton for the endurance races -- Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Stanton has driven numerous times for TRG and has been quick and consistent throughout his driving career.  

The three are expected to test at the Sebring Winter Test, February 7-8.

Kevin Buckler on Ben Keating:
"All of us at TRG are seriously proud to be announcing this program with Ben Keating. Ben is one of the fastest, most committed, most competitive non-full-time professional drivers that we have ever had driving for us.  I mean this guy has a real job outside of racing, but you wouldn't know it to look at the stopwatch!" 

Keating on racing in ALMS:
"I am extremely excited. I love this class for two reasons. First it is a spec class. I love knowing that we always have a car that is capable of winning, and we don't have to get involved with balance of performance. And second, it is a Pro-Am structure. It requires a gentleman driver to really factor into each race.

This will be my first season in ALMS and I believe we will be very competitive. That is exciting. There is nothing much better than having the real opportunity to stand on the podium at the top level of sports car racing in North America."

Damien Faulkner on the upcoming season with TRG:
"I am very happy and indeed excited to be joining TRG for the new season in GTC together with Ben Keating. TRG are one of the most successful American Sportscar Teams and one of the stalwarts of the ALMS. Kevin knows how to win races and championships and with Ben as my co-driver we are in a great position. Ben is the most competent non-professional in the business and his speed mixed with his determination makes me feel really confident for the season ahead"

Buckler on the strength of the 2013 Line-up:
"Ben and Damien are going to be a lethal combo here, but you add in a brand-new Porsche GT3, Craig Stanton as the third driver in the long races, some of the best crew in all of GT racing, and of course, TRG; and I believe we are going to have a solid run at a championship this year! I couldn't be happier to be leading the charge for this formidable effort."

Keating on sharing the seat with Faulkner, and the TRG team:
"I expect great competition and I love a challenge. Damien and I will have a great time this season.  TRG knows how to win. We have a great team, a brand new car, a great driver lineup, and all the ingredients to win the championship. What else can you ask for?"

Last Updated (Monday, 21 January 2013 16:11)

 

TRG Roars Into the January Test Days with a Formidable Lineup and a 3 Car Entry

PETALUMA, CA (December 26, 2012) - As the holidays roll on, The Racers Group is hard at work trying to extend their streak of 13 podiums at Daytona, with sights firmly set on a fifth victory in the Epic battle - the Rolex 24 at Daytona.


With just over a month before the Grand-Am Series’ Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the three TRG Porsche entries are gearing up for "The Roar Before the 24," and finalizing a remarkably strong lineup. TRG will once again be showcasing some of the most experienced Daytona drivers, past champions and factory superstars while adding fresh new talent to the team, setting expectations high for the 51st running of the event.

"There isn't much of an off-season for our group here at TRG," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "We've all worked tirelessly to make this incredible feat happen and it started 2 months ago. The Rolex 24 has been our signature event for more than the last decade, and we've been successful because of our team's dedication, and we're glued together by one thing... we like to win...especially here...and we deliver."

The No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 will set the bar high with the lineup of Ben Keating, Porsche Factory driver Jorg Bergmeister, Dominik Farnbacher, and Kuno Wittmer, open wheel and sports car sensation. Keating and Farnbacher drove the 66 at Daytona in 2011 and 2012, qualifying on the pole in 2011 and having strong runs in the races. Bergmeister is no stranger to victory lane, previously winning the 24 Hours at Daytona with TRG 3 times. Keating and Bergmeister also drove the inaugural Indy Grand-Am event in 2012 where they were charging for a podium in the final minutes of the event.

Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson return to TRG's No. 67 Porsche after partnering with the team on a successful DP program that saw historic runs throughout the 2005 season, culminating with an incredible 1-2 victory at the Watkins Glen Six Hour. Joining the team will be Porsche superstar, Emmanuel Collard, who has driven for the team multiple times at the Rolex 24 and Petit Le Mans with strong podium finishes.

Jim Michaelian returns to Daytona once again to run in TRG's No. 68 Porsche GT3. Michaelian, one of the longest tenured TRG drivers at Daytona and the President of the Long Beach Grand Prix Association, will be teaming up with newcomer (and Cars 2 director) Brad Lewis who has been solid in testing during the offseason. Also joining the team will be Dutch Race Car driver and 2nd year Daytona participant, Ronald van de Laar.

"It is really nice to be back with Ben in the 66 car and the amazing driver lineup we put together here," stated TRG Team Owner Kevin Buckler. "This.... is a formidable car. It's fantastic to have Dominik back again and our new addition with Kuno. Also Jorg is Back!!  We have had some amazing runs together since 2002, sharing 3 Daytona victories. Joining forces with Tracy and Nic again is going to be fantastic in the 67 car. We had such a strong run together on the DP program and many other races that we've done. We have added Emmanuel Collard as well, and are waiting to nominate the final superstar to round out the team. Tracy likes to win and so do we and that's what we're setting our sights to accomplish. It is really great being back with Jim in the 68 as well as the addition of Brad and Ronald. This is going to be a solid car and we will be finalizing our lineup in the next few days."

"It is really nice to be back with TRG for our 3rd Daytona 24 together," stated 66 driver Ben Keating.  "This is my 3rd year racing with Dominik and we have been so close here - with a really fast car and a great team behind us so we feel this year we are really ready and gunning for the victory. TRG puts together an amazing effort at the Rolex 24 and combined with this solid Porsche racecar and this amazing group of drivers, we are doing everything possible to be standing on the top step of the podium."

"That darn watch has eluded me and this year we are after it," stated 67 driver and Krohn Racing team owner, Tracy Krohn. "Kevin and I and all of the TRG team have had some great runs together so this year we have combined our efforts to put together a fantastic run at the Rolex 24. Nic and Emmanuel will make great teammates here with their years of experience and I can't wait to get the test days."

"This will be my 8th year running the Rolex 24 with TRG and every year it seems to get just better," stated TRG veteran driver Jim Michaelian. "I am really looking forward to running with Brad as it was just a few years ago that he put his car on the pole in our Toyota Celebrity race at Long Beach, and adding Ronald to our lineup with his endurance racing experience will help to round out the car."

Buckler had this to add, "We are proud to once again be driving and representing, these amazing Porsche race cars at one of the toughest endurance races on the planet. It is really an event like no other and we take pride in being the lead dog on this one so we always give it our best. I am also really excited and proud to be associated with Grand American and the merger with ALMS. This is going to yield some amazing results in the elevation of professional sports car racing in North America. It has been a long time coming and with the incredible schedule and super experienced management team that will come of this---the future looks extremely bright for our sport."

 

TRG Focused on Another Porsche Win at 2013 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

While many may be making plans for the holidays, at TRG all focus entering the festive season is on one thing – getting ready for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.  The Jan. 26-27 endurance classic will once again feature a cadre of Porsche 911 GT3s. The only question is how many.
While many may be making plans for the holidays, at TRG, this time of year our focus is on one thing – getting ready for the Grand American Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.  The January 26-27 endurance classic, along with the January test days will once again feature a small fleet of Porsche 911 GT3s. The only question is how many.

Team owner Kevin Buckler and TRG has consistently fielded the largest and one of the strongest teams in the Daytona paddock, and this year we expect the same.  In 2012, TRG finished second with its field of five Porsches, all of which were still running at the end of the 24 hours, after having earned the victory four times in the last 10 years. 

Traditionally, our announcement of drivers and teammates is released around the holidays, so stay tuned!
Traditionally, Buckler releases his armada of drivers around the holidays so stay tuned!

Last Updated (Saturday, 01 December 2012 17:34)

 
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