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Ende Qualifies on Pole at Lime Rock

Lime Rock, Conn. —

Duncan Ende put the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Racer's Roast Coffee/TRG Porsche 997 on the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Series GS pole for Monday's race at Lime Rock Park. 

Ende and teammate Spencer Pumpelly worked with the TRG crew to make the No. 39 GS Porsche faster throughout the day.  The first session the duo were 10th on the time sheet, second session seventh, third session fifth and then Ende delivered a lap time of 57.171 seconds around the1.53-mile, seven turn track to take pole position.   

"The car is running pretty good," Ende said.  "The track, with its new surface, doesn't have a lot grip.  The car is not easy to drive by any means, but we have a lot of speed.  We will be there as long we keep things nice and tidy.  Qualifying was an intense 15-minutes.  It was a hell of a lap to get the pole.  It was not at all an easy run. I had the car on the ragged edge.  I was dropping wheels left and right for the first couple of laps.  It came together when it had to to take the pole."

The team was not fast off of the trailer.

"We searched for a good balance on the car all day yesterday.  The track is so low grip that we were chasing our tails a little bit.  The car portrayed every bit of bad behavior it had, but the crew did a good job to help us dial it in.  Lime Rock is a typically good track for the Porsche and the team.  Spencer and I had our first podium together here last year, so we knew we were going to have a good weekend.  We just had to work for it."

"The tire wear seems to be good for us.  Our cars are a little lighter than the Mustangs, so we should be good with tires on Monday.  So far we're good.  We will have to see what Monday brings.  The weather Monday is looking to be perfect."

"Our strategy for the race will be to stay upfront, drive fast and be ready for long runs.  There's only 18 cars here in the GS class and we haven't had any black flags in practice, so we are looking for long runs in the race.  We are anticipating needing to do everything on speed on Monday instead of strategy."

John Potter qualified the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 in 11th with a time of 58.255 seconds.  Potter and teammate Andy Lally will be looking to get to the front and run with their teammates.

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, is proud of the way Ende has progressed as a driver.  

"Duncan has really hit his stride this year as a young professional driver," Buckler said.  "He and Spencer area a magical combo and this should be a great race.  This is the third year for Duncan here at Lime Rock with TRG and he has always been flat-out fast here.  He led at this track in 2007 and finished on the podium last year.  This year it is time for a win.  Getting his first pole at a technical track like Lime Rock really proves he belongs at the front of this field.  The unfair advantage of the big V-8s is minimized at Lime Rock.  We are working towards a championship and want to leave Lime Rock gaining more points on the field.  We are on a roll."

The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will run at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Monday, May 25th.  Unfortunately the race will not be televised.

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 eight 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.

More information and a complete press kit can be found at www.theracersgroup.com. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-935-3999 for additional information.

 

TRG's Ballou and Pumpelly Fourth at Laguna Seca

Monterey, Calif. — TRG’s Ted Ballou and Spencer Pumpelly kept their consistent streak going by finishing fourth today at the Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The duo maintains their Grand-Am Rolex Series GT points lead heading to the six hour race at Watkins Glen.

Ted Ballou started the No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3 from his tenth place qualifying position. Wasting no time, Ballou had the Porsche in fourth place by lap 15. Pumpelly took over the drive and was able to keep the rear tires under the car for the remainder of the race and finish in a good points position of fourth.

“We had a really clean run,” Pumpelly said. “We are looking for consistency, while maintaining our points lead. It is not as big as when we came here, but we are still leading. We are going to keep being consistent and keep finishing in the top five and take the wins when we can. Ted is doing a great job in qualifying and is very clean during his stints and that is what is making us successful at the end of the day.”

John Potter had the wheel of the No. 65 Riegel/Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 at the start. Potter had the car up to seventh when he handed over to Stanton. Veteran sports car driver Stanton was able to maintain the position for the duos best finish of the year in seventh.

“The 65 team has been working on the car and our overall approach on the weekend,” Stanton said. “John Bedell (crew chief) and the guys took a look at why we were eighth and ninth. We were seventh today, so we are chipping away at it. Debriefing with John Potter we are getting to know why the car was better today. I think we had good handling, we had good aero on the car and the brake package was right on today. We had some good power as well. We are getting a good feeling for the Pirelli tires and what makes them work best on these cars. The set-up allowed us to run harder longer. We had three great pit stops by the guys and had a strong day.”

René Villeneuve started the No. 63 Team Polizei 144/TRG Porsche GT3 and soon had the car in the top ten. Villeneuve put in a double stint behind the wheel, and he soon had the series new comers in the top ten. Villeneuve handed over to Henri Richard who drove some of his best laps of the weekend and was able to bring the car home unscathed in 12th position for the group’s first outing.

“TRG gave us great support this weekend, we had a fantastic crew,” Richard said. “I have to thank René. He did a fabulous first stint and ran an hour-and-thirty-five minutes, which is no small task. He gave me a good car and I played it safe. Our objective was absolutely first and foremost to take the checker. I judged that some of the guys behind me were faster and I let them go. I listened to my spotter on the DP traffic and kept it together to the end. A good or our first outing our team.”

Josemanuel Gutierrez started the No. 68 Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche. Gutierrez was able to knock on the door of the top ten during his strong stint. Handing over to 20-year old Scott Schroeder, the youngster proceeded to engage in an on track battle with the No. 20 car until contact relegated him to a 11th place finishing position.

“Our strategy had to change from what we planned in the truck before the race,” Schroeder said. “We had to adjust it as the race progressed. We were a lap down so we had to adapt to that fact. We could have finished eighth or ninth, but we were in that battle at the end. I had contact with the 20 car with about five laps to go which bent our suspension and knocked the toe out. I am looking forward to running Watkins Glen with Josemanuel in a few weeks.”

Gutierrez was impressed with his co-driver this weekend. “We had a slightly tough race, because we had two mishaps and we lost our left side mirror,” Gutierrez said. “But Scott was our hero for this weekend. He had to drive a badly damaged car, but he drove so well, that his times were as good as if the car was in perfect condition. I’m looking forward to driving with him again at Watkins Glen and having Duncan Ende in the car with us.”

Justin Marks had a tough start to the race. Taking the green in the No. 67 Construct Corps/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/Kartel Motorsports/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3, Justin kept the car up front and stayed solidly on the tails of the class leaders but had an issue with a radiator on lap 8. The team took to repairing the Porsche on pit lane returning Justin to the track to complete the minimum distance for points and then getting Andy Lally into the fray, not only getting his minimum seat time, but grabbing four valuable positions on the finishing order as well. The crew helped get the team to a 15th place finish on the day.

“We had another tough outing,” Lally said. “This crew came through and did a pretty tough fix on the car in very hot conditions. I think we are going to look back on these finishes where the crew performed so well at the end of the season as extremely valuable. We were able to get back out and get four more places on the finish sheet. I am not sure what happened, the right front radiator just lost its water all at once.”

Team owner Kevin Buckler’s team is leading the points and having solid drives every weekend.

“Ted and Spencer had another strong day,” Buckler said. “They are driving smart and the guys are putting a great car under them. John Potter and Craig Stanton had their best finish with us so far, another testament to their ever increasing driving abilities and overall approach on the track. Josemanel and Scott ran smart all day. Josemanuel did his usual ironman stint and Scott had a nice battle at the end and made a pro move to back off with an ill handling car and take the position. Our new guys René and Henri had a great first outing with us. They both did just a stellar job in the cockpit. We introduced the Team Polizei 144 brand to the Grand-Am audience. Justin and Andy had their trouble early which was a bummer because it was one of Justins best drives. He was flying in his opening stint. I am glad they got it back out.”

Round five of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will be the Sahlen’s Six Hour of Glen at Watkins Glen International Raceway on June 6.

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.

More information and a complete press kit can be found at www.theracersgroup.com. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-935-3999 for additional information.

 

Ende and Pumpelly Third in TRG Porsche at Laguna

Petaluma, CA —

TRG's Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly fought back from some early race troubles to finish third in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed race run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today.  It is the second podium in three weeks for the duo who won the last race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Ende started the race in the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Racer's Roast Coffee/TRG Porsche 997 from his second row qualifying position.  At the start Ende was reporting handling problems and pitted on lap 15.  On the next pit stop, Ende turned the car over to Pumpelly and the TRG crew made a sway bar adjustment on the front and an air pressure change, which brought the car back into the track.   

"There was something going on with the handling of the car at the start," Ende said.  "The car had huge understeer, I thought that there was a rear sway bar that broke or a shock that was bent.  I brought the car in and the team took a look and didn't find anything.  I came back in and turned the car over to Spencer and they made a front sway bar adjustment which might have done the trick.  They also adjusted the tire pressure."

"I am not sure what happened early on," Pumpelly said.  "We pitted the car three times and did a drive thru and still managed to finish on the podium.  We made a strategy call to come in and just fuel and not take tires.  I am not sure if I would have took tires if we could have won here with the power that the Mustangs and BMWs have.  Third is a good place for us today."

John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 had their second consecutive tough weekend.  After a strong opening stint by Potter, Lally got in the car and while leaving the pits, lost the clutch and had to drive several laps without it.  The result was a broken third and fourth gear as well as time in the paddock for repairs.  

"Sometimes you have stretches like this in racing," Lally said.   "John did a strong opening stint and had us in excellent position.  I got in the car, dropped it into gear, left the pits and then when I went to shift to second the clutch went away.  Just a tough stretch of races for us, it will turn around and we will win soon."

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, has the KONI program showing strength.  

"Once again Duncan and Spencer had a great weekend," Buckler said.  "Duncan had a few issues at the start, but was able to drive around them and hand off the car to Spencer in really good position.  Spencer was contending for the win, but the Mustangs and BMWs just have too much motor.  John Potter had a good opening run and those guys looked strong early.  It was too bad for Andy, they actually beat the 39 car out of the pits and then the clutch went.  A good points day for the 39 and TRG has the top finishing Porsche."

The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will race across country to Lime Rock Park in Connecticut for their next race to run on May 25th.

Today's race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised on the SPEED Channel, taped delayed, on May 23rd at 12:00 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 (three) at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  TRG's young KONI Challenge team has logged three wins and recorded eight 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.

More information and a complete press kit can be found at www.theracersgroup.com. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-935-3999 for additional information.

 

TRG Bringing Five to Laguna Seca

Petaluma, CA —

TRG is bringing five Porsche GT entries to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for this weekend's Verizon Festival of Speed. TRG's Ted Ballou and Spencer Pumpelly, on the heels of a second place finish in New Jersey, currently lead the GT drivers championship point standings.

Ted Ballou and Spencer Pumpelly spent a lot of time in the lead at New Jersey Motorsports Park two weeks ago in their No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3.  Eventually settling for second, Pumpelly is looking forward to a one place improvement at Laguna Seca.   

"Besides the neighborhood -  I like all the high speed turns like four, five and the kink," Pumpelly said.  Laguna has a lot of fast turns.  We will need to protect our rear tires over the course of the stint.  Rear tire wear is always an issue with the 911 and the slippery Laguna surface will make it even tougher on the teams. The track was the site of my last victory in KONI, at least until last weekend.  Porsche got a little help this past week, but it was small when compared to what we needed.  We are significantly slower on the straights to the other cars, which makes passing a real challenge, but as always the team will come ready to do our best."

Justin Marks started the No. 67 Construct Corp/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/Kartel Motorsports/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 is coming off of a strong run at New Jersey Motorsports Park and are eighth in GT points.  Teamed with TRG regular and Grand-Am champion Andy Lally, the duo are eager to back-up their season opening win at the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona. 

"Laguna is one of the best tracks on the tour," Marks said.  "Besides just being a world class facility, it's in a beautiful setting.  Monterey is a great part of the country.  I always look forward to this race because the track is challenging, as well as the accommodations, the food, the scenery, and the town is all amazing.  There are a few good passing opportunities on the circuit that makes your car's grip off the corners very important. Utilizing the rear end weight of the Porsche to aid in forward bite is going to be crucial to get good runs into the braking zones.  My career began here at Skip Barber and a few years later my first professional podium in SPEED World Challenge. My best memories have been sharing my passion for racing with my close friends and family at this place, my home track."

"Turn five and six is pretty fun, and also an important place to set your car up well for racing at Laguna," Lally said.   "One of my favorite memories of racing at Laguna is when RJ Valentine and I won the race in 2007 and it opened up the flood gates for us that year. It was a great one-two finish for TRG that day and it was great to win at such a historic track.  We will have our hands full with the power of the Pontiacs and the weight to power ratio of the Mazdas." 

John Potter and Craig Stanton will take to the track in their No. 65 Riegel/Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3.  The duo has been extremely strong at all of the races so far this year with a valiant finish at New Jersey two weeks ago.

Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder will partner for the third time this season in the No. 68 Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche.  Schroeder has a winning history at Laguna Seca.

"My favorite part about Laguna Seca is that it is only an hour away from home and I have had good results there in the past, including a win in the Skip Barber Series," Schroeder said.  "I also like that it is a good track for the Porsches and TRG has had great success there in the past. The track is nice to drive as it has a good combination of fast and slow corners along with the famous corkscrew.  Although the Pontiacs and Mazdas have been quick this year I know the TRG Porsche will be strong." 

New comers to the Grand-Am GT series are Henri Richard and Rene Villeneuve.  The pair will pilot the No. 63 Team Polizei 144/TRG Porsche GT3.  Richard is no stranger to Laguna Seca, having competed there many times and Villeneuve is an instructor with Skip Barber.

"Turn five and turn six are critical at Laguna Seca," Richard said.  "Perfect execution in those turns is key to a good lap since it is all uphill.  I was racing there two weeks ago with my Ferrari and led the race for a few laps under the rain. I love the track.  The Grand-Am version of the Porsche has more mechanical grip than the GT3 Cup car I am used too, as well as a little more power. Most of my racing experience is with a Ferrari F430 which is a very different car in almost every area. I consider the Porsche a true racer's car, and I am impatient to get familiar with our new car."

Team owner Kevin Buckler will have his hands full again this weekend with five GT and two KONI entries.  

"We are very familiar with running five cars," Buckler said.  "If you can handle it at Daytona for the Rolex you can do it anywhere.  Ted and Spencer are leading the points with Andy and Justin up there as well.  We were able to get a small adjustment from Grand-Am last week, but it isn't close to being enough to make us competitive.  We have a new group with the Polizei team with us and of course Scott, Josemanuel, John Potter and Craig Stanton are all professionals and know their way around this track.  The odds are definitely in our favor."

Round four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will be run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 17 and will be televised live on SPEED Channel starting at 4:00 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.

More information and a complete press kit can be found at www.theracersgroup.com. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-935-3999 for additional information.

 

TRG Going for Back-to-Back Wins in KONI Race at Laguna

Petaluma, CA —

TRG's Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly will be looking for a second win in a row this weekend at the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed to be run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday May 16.  The duo won the last race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Ende and Pumpelly, behind the wheel of their No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Racer's Roast Coffee/TRG Porsche 997 currently sit fifth in the KONI Challenge driver's point standings.  For Ende and Pumpelly Laguna will be a test of their championship mettle.  

"I'm really happy for KONI to be returning to Laguna this year after a 2008 season devoid of West Coast events," Ende said.  "The downhill run from the top of the Corkscrew through turns nine and ten is one of my favorite sections of racetrack and it has been far too long since I've seen it!  Laguna should be a reasonably good track for our Porsches, but the severe uphill front and back straights are going to be tough for us with the huge power advantage that the Mustangs and BMWs have.  We have to make the most of our corner speed and stopping power, as always.  Thankfully the ST field isn't as large this weekend as it sometimes is, so we shouldn't get hung out lapping slower cars as often than we might ordinarily.  If we can qualify up front and play the inevitable Laguna-gravel-trap cautions right we should come out of this weekend with a solid finish."

"Laguna is a low grip track so trying to optimize everything we can with the suspension and alignment will be critical," Pumpelly said.  "If we have a long green run we should fair OK, but with our huge power deficit we will struggle if we have to sprint to the finish. More good strategy, more great pit stops, and lots of green flag racing."

John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 will be looking to get into the top ten in points, the duo is currently 11th.  A DNF in the last race at New Jersey set them back, but Laguna is a strong track for veteran Lally.    

"Turn five and six is critical in the KONI car, it is a key section to setting-up your car to do well at Laguna," Lally said.   "John and I had a tough race at New Jersey when the transmission let go, but we were very competitive and I think we could have drafted Duncan and Spencer across the finish line. We will need the caution flags to be minimal and have all around good run on the track and in the pits to do well this weekend."

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, has his KONI cars coming on strong.  

"After we got over Daytona, where we just got out powered, we've had a couple of very good events," Buckler said.  "Duncan and Spencer won the last race, Andy and John nearly won at Homestead.  We would like to put a good race together this weekend for both cars and go for a one-two at what is almost a home track for us.  We have been doing well with simply great teamwork all around and that is what this is all about."

The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will take the green flag Saturday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. PT.  The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel, taped delayed, on May 23rd at 12:00 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 (three) at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  TRG's young KONI Challenge team has logged three wins and recorded eight 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.

More information and a complete press kit can be found at www.theracersgroup.com. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-935-3999 for additional information.

 
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