Ballou and Pumpelly to Start from 12th Row in GS at VIR
Alton, CA —
Ted Ballou qualified the No. 41 AXA/TRG Porsche GS car in 23rd position for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series race going off at Virginia International Raceway.
Ballou turned a lap time of 2:06.293. The team had to adjust the GS car to take full advantage of the recent rule changes by the series. Ballou and teammate Spencer Pumpelly put the Porsche through its paces in practice coming away with a good handling car. The changes to the car allowed by the series since Barber has the team optimistic for a strong race tomorrow.
"Qualifying was alright," Ballou said. "I ran up on some traffic in the middle of my run and that cost me a good bit of time. Overall I am pretty happy with the car. Spencer is always strong here. I think the car is a little down on power which makes it tough when you hit these longs straights, but we are close in the turns."
"The car is good," Pumpelly said. "We are not the fastest in a straight line. We have a great pit crew and will be right on with our strategy. If it stays dry, tire wear will be a big deal. We will maintain our car better than anyone else out there. If it rains anything can happen and will, however the Porsche is the best car to have in the rain."
Kevin Buckler, team owner, knows that it will take a total team effort to have a top finish in the race tomorrow.
"In the Continental race there are always a lot of variables," Buckler said. "The teams with the best drivers, pit stops and strategy are always at the front. Ted and Spencer are top drivers and we have the team to support them. Unfortunately we need to rely on the big V-8 cars to burn their stuff down a little for us to really have a chance to win."
The Grand-Am Continental Sports Car Challenge race will be televised, tape delayed, on the SPEED Channel at 12:00 p.m. on May 23.
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.