TRG Makes it Two Podiums in a Row at Mosport

After a podium in the last race at Lime Rock Park, TRG made it two in a row this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park after a strong showing at the newly upgraded Canadian circuit. The Venezuela/Adobe Road Winery No. 68 of Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel, driving their inaugural race for TRG, made a charge up through the GTC class to finish third in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix ALMS race, which featured drama right up to the end. 

On a beautiful weekend at the stellar new facilities at Mosport, the team performed flawlessly leading up to the race, looking to find pace wherever they could. After the extensive testing during the ALMS 45-day break, there was a better understanding of the cars, and it was paying off across the board.

The race was looking to be a good one with Ben Keating running fast laps before being shunted by the No. 18 prototype car. It was a disappointing accident that removed the Port Lavaca Auto Group/Viper Exchange/Adobe Road Winery No. 66 from contention. 

After hitting the barrier, the crew immediately got to work to repair the car and put it back out on track as soon as possible. It was an admirable effort and resulted in valuable championship points.

In the No. 68, Alex Popow had a fantastic opening stint, hanging onto the leaders pace and keeping the car solidly in contention and on the lead lap. As the race wore on, other teams tried to play different strategies, but were ultimately caught out by yellow flags. As Ryan Dalziel took his spot in the car, the fortune turned in the favor of TRG. 

With the time winding down, Dalziel was able to navigate to fourth position with the first four cars nose-to-tail, and with a bit of good fortune finished with a Top Three podium spot.

Kevin Buckler on the race weekend:
"It was a great podium for the 68 guys. Alex and Ryan were welcome additions to our team this weekend, showing us why they run up front in the prototypes. They were awesome teammates and drove really smart, I only wish we could have given them a little bit better of a car. Ben and Damien had it going. Ben did a phenomenal job in the beginning before being run off the track by the No. 18 prototype car. As usual, the team was mechanically perfect, but the car has been testing a lot lately and are looking for that last little bit in speed. We are looking forward to putting it all together for Road America."

Ryan Dalziel on the car:
"There was some trouble with the handling of the car but with hard driving, we overcame it in the end to take a podium, which Alex (Popow) and I are thrilled about."

Alex Popow on driving with TRG:
"Driving for TRG this weekend was a great experience and I want to thank them for the hard work they put in. The car found its speed and we were able to move up and take third in the last hour."

TRG Looks to Capitalize on Momentum, Brings Strong Driver Lineup to Mosport

After a podium two weekends ago at Lime Rock Park, The Racer's Group is doubling down on its chances to capitalize on that momentum this weekend at Mosport's American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix with drivers Alexander Popow and Ryan Dalziel joining the team in the No. 68 car. 

The duo is currently tied for the lead in the prototype class of the Grand-Am Rolex Series, but are making the move over to the ALMS GTC class in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at the historic Canadian road course.

After ALMS Round Three at Laguna Seca in mid-May, TRG spent the 45-day break performing extensive testing. It paid off immediately with both cars finishing in the top five at Lime Rock. Now, the team looks to improve on that result in Canada. 

Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner return to the Port Lavaca Auto Group/Viper Exchange/Adobe Road Winery Porsche, which finished third just a few weekends ago, and their confidence is running high after the solid run.

Popow and Dalziel have experience at the highest levels of racing, running prototypes in ALMS and other series, including the WEC. Popow won the North American Endurance Championship last year, and the class championship in ALMS, as well as being named Rookie of the Year in both ALMS and Grand-Am. 

Dalziel also came off an incredibly successful year, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class in 2012, as well as the team championship in WEC. In the American Le Mans Series he was victorious at Petit Le Mans and won the North American Endurance Championship in Grand-Am while finishing runner-up in the driver standings.

Needless to say, both cars will be gunning for the win at the famous Canadian track where TRG has fared well in the past, including an incredible one-two finish in 2011.

Kevin Buckler on his history with the Canadian road course:

"I am really looking forward to this weekend's race and I usually don't say that about Mosport! This is one of the longest treks across the country for our team and sometimes can be a bit tough logistically, but it has also been the site of some of our best performances. I won the GT race here 10 years ago as a driver and we finished with an amazing 1-2 two years ago in this class. With all of the hard work we have been putting in for Ben and Damien and with the addition of Alex and Ryan for this weekend, quite honestly, that is what we are gunning for: the top two steps of the podium! This is a fantastic driver lineup and our team is ready."

Ben Keating on Mosport and driving with Damien Faulkner:

"I have never raced at Mosport, but I am extremely excited about it. I love tracks like this. I think this track suits my driving style. Damien has been on the pole at this race for the past 2 years, and we will be looking to make that three in a row.

Damien has been a great teammate. He is quick in the car, but also a great coach. Most importantly, Damien is a good guy and we have fun working together. We have both been frustrated with the start of our season, but we are working hard to turn that energy into a dominant second half of the season."

Ryan Dalziel on running with TRG at Mosport:

"We raced there in PC and finished on the podium last year, and it’s definitely up there as one of my favorite tracks. I’m looking forward to running with TRG, as I’ve known them for a long time, and Kevin is one of the first people I got to know in sports car racing. I usually do about one race per year in a GT Porsche of some kind, and I’m excited to be racing again with Alex Popow. It will be a hard weekend for us, running with the big sports car drivers, but we’re up for the challenge!"

Last Updated (Tuesday, 16 July 2013 23:15)


TRG Returns to Podium at Lime Rock; Team Car Finishes Fourth

The Racer's Group made the most of some perfect weather this weekend at the famous Lime Rock Park short course, and came away with a podium result. It was the sixth podium in the team's history at Lime Rock and the first of the American Le Mans Series season for TRG, and one the team hopes starts a trend going forward with the remaining six races.

The race started with Ben Keating in the No. 66 Port Lavaca Auto Group/Viper Exchange/Adobe Road Winery Porsche GT3 Cup in third after a great qualifying session from co-driver Damien Faulkner. After some contact, the team faced an uphill battle to get back in the hunt, but Ben buckled down and put in extremely quick laps to allow Damien Faulkner a chance to put the finishing touches on a great comeback.

With less than twenty minutes left, TRG found themselves running fourth and fifth when a caution flag bunched the field back up. Capitalizing on the opportunity, both drivers ignored the extreme heat and pushed for a podium. A final caution helped put the No. 66 in third to finish the race, while Craig Stanton was just behind in the No. 68 finishing fourth.

In the Grand Precast No. 68, a difficult qualifying session left it starting in the back of the GTC class, but over the course of the race, it slowly moved its way up. Craig Stanton put in solid, consistent lap times yet again, but the real surprise was David Ostella. Ostella, who is making the transition from open-wheel to Porsches, won at Sebring in the PC class this year, and was making his TRG debut with the team. Throughout the weekend he drove smart and fast and his lap times improved every session, showcasing his maturity and ability to run with the leaders.

Kevin Buckler on the podium:
"I was really proud of the team this weekend. Everybody worked really hard and you could feel the chemistry was strong. We have tested multiple times over the last few months and made a lot of progress on the cars. Traditionally we are strong here at Lime Rock and today was no different. Without a little mischief in the first stints, we had cars capable of running up front today and that was nice--- considering how incredibly talented and deep this field is."


TRG Goes for Another Historic Win at Lime Rock

(PETALUMA, CA – July 3) - TRG made the most of the American Le Mans Series mid-season Le Mans break by doing extensive testing on its Port Lavaca Auto Group/Viper Exchange/Adobe Road Winery Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and enters the rest of the season with plenty of confidence.  After running reasonably well in the first few events and falling just short of the podium’s top step, the team enters the second half of the season with a renewed focus - challenging for the championship.

Lime Rock Park begins a string of tracks on which TRG has done very well in the past.  The short course has produced some of the most historic wins in the team’s illustrious history, including three wins, five podiums, and two one-two finishes.  Drivers Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner hope that history can repeat itself.

Throughout the course of the season the car has been really fast, but bad luck seems to have crept up on it. At Sebring, the No. 66 was running in first with just over an hour to go when a wheel gun jammed during the final pit stop. In Monterey, TRG held the lead but the car didn't have the speed to maintain it. This weekend, TRG hopes to create its own luck. No mistakes, the top of podium is the goal.

Kevin Buckler on the season thus far:

"In many ways, this Lime Rock event feels like the beginning of the season again. After the long break we have 7 of 10 races left. We run flat out for the next four months at some really cool venues and ones that we have traditionally done well at. We have a fantastic history at Lime Rock-- almost dominant and I would really like to continue that tradition for Ben and Damien. The team has been working really hard on prepping and improving the cars and this is going to be an exciting weekend."

Damien Faulkner on looking forward this season:

"TRG have had no break really with a lot of work behind the scenes. We’ve had a challenging beginning to 2013 and the team have found a few irregularities with the chassis and indeed the engine. I’m hoping that our season will finally kick off at Lime Rock and I aim to reward the team for their hard work by having a successful weekend. There’s still loads of time and everything to fight for in the championship."

Ben Keating on the extensive testing during the break:

"I am very proud of the work that TRG has done during the break. So far this season, we have not had a car that was ready to lead the field. Now, I feel like we have a legitimate chance at running at the front. At the last race, our driving and our strategy put us in a position to win the race, but the car was not capable of it. Going into Lime Rock and the last 7 races of the season, I hope to have a car that not only is capable of winning, but also a car that becomes our competitive advantage. Yes, each of these cars are a spec GT3 Cup car, but the fact is that the best prepared car has a major advantage. So far this year, we have been very unlucky. I expect that the preparation we have all done during the break should create a lot more luck for our team. I am looking forward to the next 7 races."

Keating on the outlook for the remaining seven races:

"I am excited about where we are now. We are better prepared. Everybody loves a "come from behind" story. I don't feel like an underdog. I feel like we have nowhere to go but up. We will begin to climb. But in order to win the championship, we've got to start winning a lot of races."


TRG Finishes Strong at Laguna Seca

As the sun began to set on a gorgeous Monterey afternoon and the clock ticked down on the American Le Mans Series race, TRG found itself in the top five with enough fuel to make it until the end. After running in first with just under an hour to go, the pit strategy had worked out flawlessly, and the team was ready, but an issue in the right rear suspension meant Damien Faulkner had to nurse the car to bring home the strong finish.

Ben Keating and Damien Faulkner once again took home a top five finish after delivering stellar performances in the Port Lavaca Auto Group/ViperExchange/Adobe Road Winery No. 66. The team fought hard throughout the weekend to prepare the car and were rewarded with a solid finish.

Keating began the race by moving up quickly and charging toward the front with the solid, consistent lap times he's becoming known for. Just before the halfway mark, Keating turned it over to Faulkner who, despite a small issue with the right rear suspension, put his head down and stayed out of trouble, doing his best to hold off the competition. With less than an hour to go, the No. 66 found itself in first place, but nursing the car resulted in a satisfactory fourth position.

Craig Stanton started in the Bellissima/Adobe Road Winery No. 68 and immediately moved toward the front. Stanton was on the move and climbed all the way to second before pitting and handing it over to the new young hot shoe, Andrew Novich.

Novich, a California native, made his ALMS debut this weekend and showed that he has the quickness and maturity to compete at the highest level of GT racing. After running in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge this past season, he showed incredible mental toughness and growth throughout the weekend, consistently getting faster with each session.

The No. 68 climbed as high as second during the race, and eventually finished in seventh, topping off a highly productive weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Faulkner on driving with Keating and the teams performance:
"Credit to Ben who drove out of his skin and didn't put a wheel wrong. He delivers exactly what a pro wants from his co-driver, handing the car over clean and in a higher position than where he started. Secondly, the team was flawless with strategy and pit stops."

Andrew Novich on racing at Laguna and his first time in ALMS:
"Racing at Laguna is awesome. There are so many experienced drivers, so I was fighting tooth and nail the whole way. It really doesn't get any better than running at my home track."

Novich on teaming up with Craig Stanton:
"Craig did a phenomenal job all weekend. He helped me get acclimated to the car, since he's so knowledgeable and was an invaluable resource."

Ben Keating on the car:
"During the race, the car felt better than it had all weekend. We'd really struggled early on in the weekend, but the team did a fantastic job to get it ready for the race. Credit to our pit strategy, which worked out pretty well while other cars made some mistakes."

Craig Stanton on the weekend and teaming up with Andrew:
"The car felt great. We found something that works with the setup. Andrew and I have different styles and we found a combination that suits both of us well. Hopefully he can learn a lot and take it with him going forward. He is a super promising young driver."

Kevin Buckler on race weekend: 
"We had some challenges to get both cars where we wanted them by race time, but the crew worked really, really hard with an variety of adjustments and we came incredibly close to pulling off a stunner, which would have been our 3rd victory in a row at Laguna. My hat's off to Ben and Damien as well as newcomer Andrew Novich and his teammate Craig Stanton. Laguna Seca is not an easy place for one's ALMS debut, but Andrew did a great job all weekend long and kept getting better and better. He has the potential to become a real top level GT driver!"

Last Updated (Tuesday, 14 May 2013 19:54)

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