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TRG Wins ALMS at Laguna Seca

66_laguna_2012Coming back from an early three lap deficit, the No. 66 TRG 911 GT3 Cup Porsche, driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, Bret Curtis and Emilio Di Guida charged back through the field, took the lead just after the fifth hour, and never looked back.
Details to follow. 
 

TRG - Kevin Buckler interview with Big Rick Stuart



Big Rick Stuart is a radio personality on KFOX (98.5 FM and 102.1 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area). Here's his interview with TRG owner Kevin Buckler.
They cover TRG history, the races this weekend, and Adobe Road Winery. 
 

TRG Takes on New Jersey and Laguna Seca

TRG Takes on New Jersey and Laguna Seca
Petaluma, CA (May 1, 2012) – Between the two biggest sports car racing series in North America, occasionally there are weekends where TRG needs to be in two places at the same time. Next weekend has the team on both coasts with GRAND-AM at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the Global Barter 250 and the ALMS at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the American Le Mans Series Monterey, Presented by Patrón.
TRG comes into the weekend off two stormy weekends in Long Beach and Miami. The most recent race, the rain-shortened Miami Grand Prix, was bittersweet, as both cars showed that they were the fastest in the field. The inexplicable decision to cut the race short left many scratching their heads, wondering, “What if?”.
“We really were disappointed at Miami, but in this business you need to move forward and get on to the next race,” said team owner Kevin Buckler. “We’ve shown all year that we have what it takes to run up front. Now we’re ready for a good run at New Jersey. Steve and Spencer have been fast at every event this year and we’re hoping for lots of sunshine and green flag racing!”
TRG won on New Jersey’s 14-turn 2.25-mile circuit in 2008 and followed it up with a second place finish in 2009.
“I know going into every race that TRG crew will nail the set-up,” said Steve Bertheau. “The car will be ready to win. We’ve had the fastest car in GT at nearly every race. It’s time for a few breaks to go our way.”
“This race weekend really shows what kind of organization we’ve been able to build,” continued Buckler. “We’re running a car at New Jersey for a 2:45 race, and a car at Laguna Seca for six hours. We are actually used to these kind of tricky logistics and we have the best crew in the business. The cars will come out of the trailer ready to win.”
When Buckler first started The Racer’s Group, Laguna Seca was his home track. His familiarity with the beautiful and sinuous 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit is evident in TRG’s outstanding record at this iconic track. Ten podiums, with three wins, including last year’s victory by Spencer Pumpelly, Duncan Ende, and Peter Ludwig, show that the careful attention to detail and understanding of this course has paid off time and again.
“This place is very special to me,” says Buckler. “Although we always want to win, it just seems a bit more personal here. Laguna has always been good to us, and we’re back with great group of drivers and a car that has shown good speed all year. We will be strong here.”
With two full-season Grand-Am entries in New Jersey, Buckler has gone to old friend and fellow pilot Tracy Krohn to headline his driver lineup for Laguna Seca. Joining Krohn will be Mike Hedlund, who has driven with TRG the last several years at the Daytona 24, and Supercup ace, Nick Tandy.
“It will be nice to be back with Kevin and TRG”, stated Tracy Krohn. “We had a great run back in 2005, when we ran the DP’s together for the season. I love Laguna Seca and look forward to this weekend and a potential win.”
“I consider Laguna Seca my home track,” said Hedlund. “I’ve had great results here, including winning my first IMSA start. Having friends and family in the stands, an absolutely EPIC track to drive, combined with the beautiful Monterey weather and scenery make this race the perfect place for my rookie ALMS start. We’re looking good for a great result.”
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Laguna Seca,” said Tandy. “It’s a circuit I have watched many races on and I can’t wait to get there! To be doing the race in one of Porsche’s finest teams, TRG, means we should have all the tools necessary to have a great weekend.”
Recognizing that the last ALMS weekend in Long Beach brought its share of moisture (qualifying was rained out), Buckler admitted, “I’m just hoping for a little sunshine.” No doubt he means literally and figuratively.
110917_Laguna_Regis_51R1383Petaluma, CA (May 4, 2012) – Between the two biggest sports car racing series in North America, occasionally there are weekends where TRG needs to be in two places at the same time. Next weekend has the team on both coasts with GRAND-AM at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the Global Barter 250 and the ALMS at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the American Le Mans Monterey, Presented by Patrón.

TRG comes into the weekend off two stormy weekends in Long Beach and Miami. The most recent race, the rain-shortened Miami Grand Prix, was bittersweet, as both cars showed that they were the fastest in the field. The inexplicable decision to cut the race short left many scratching their heads, wondering, “What if?”

67_miami_traffic“We really were disappointed at Miami, but in this business you need to move forward and get on to the next race,” said team owner Kevin Buckler. “We’ve shown all year that we have what it takes to run up front. Now we’re ready for a good run at New Jersey. Steve and Spencer have been fast at every event this year and we’re hoping for lots of sunshine and green flag racing!”

TRG won on New Jersey’s 14-turn 2.25-mile circuit in 2008 and followed it up with a second place finish in 2009.

“I know going into every race that TRG crew will nail the set-up,” said Steve Bertheau, who shares the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with TRG’s veteran Spencer Pumpelly. “The car will be ready to win. We’ve had the fastest car in GT at nearly every race. It’s time for a few breaks to go our way.”

“This race weekend really shows what kind of organization we’ve been able to build,” continued Buckler. “We’re running a car at New Jersey for a 2:45 race, and a car at Laguna Seca for six hours. We are actually used to these kind of tricky logistics and we have the best crew in the business. The cars will come out of the trailer ready to win.”

TracyKrohn-HSWhen Buckler first started The Racer’s Group, Laguna Seca was his home track. His familiarity with the beautiful and sinuous 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit is evident in TRG’s outstanding record at this iconic track. Ten podiums, with three wins, including last year’s victory by Spencer Pumpelly, Duncan Ende, and Peter Ludwig, show that the careful attention to detail and understanding of this course has paid off time and again.

“This place is very special to me,” says Buckler. “Although we always want to win, it just seems a bit more personal here. Laguna has always been good to us, and we’re back with great group of drivers and a car that has shown good speed all year. We will be strong here.”

Buckler has gone to old friend and fellow pilot Tracy Krohn to headline his driver lineup for Laguna Seca. Joining Krohn will be Mike Hedlund, who has driven with TRG the last several years at the Daytona 24, and Supercup ace, Nick Tandy.

hedlund“It will be nice to be back with Kevin and TRG”, stated Tracy Krohn. “We had a great run back in 2005, when we ran the DP’s together for the season. I love Laguna Seca and look forward to this weekend and a potential win.”

“I consider Laguna Seca my home track,” said Hedlund. “I’ve had great results here, including winning my first IMSA start. Having friends and family in the stands at an absolutely epic track to drive, combined with the beautiful Monterey weather and scenery make this race the perfect place for my rookie ALMS start. We’re looking good for a great result.”

Nick_Tandy_headshot“I’m really looking forward to racing at Laguna Seca,” said Tandy. “It’s a circuit I have watched many races on and I can’t wait to get there! To be doing the race in one of Porsche’s finest teams, TRG, means we should have all the tools necessary to have a great weekend.”

Recognizing that the last ALMS weekend in Long Beach brought its share of moisture (qualifying was rained out), Buckler admitted, “I’m just hoping for a little sunshine.” No doubt he means literally and figuratively.
 

TRG Has "Only If" Day at Homestead

 

Petaluma, CA (April 30, 2012) – As TRG discovered this past weekend at Homestead, making all the right calls and having the two best GT cars on the track sometimes isn’t enough. TRG had a real chance to win but was tripped by the crazy weather and the even more bizarre decision by Grand-Am officials to end the race before its allocated 2:45 time. More laps were completed under the yellow flag than under green, authenticating the foul weather, but the rain eventually subsided late in the afternoon which could have allowed to race to continue, but officials had already made the call.
Brilliant first stints by both of the opening drivers, kept the cars in contention from the beginning. Strong driving by TRG drivers Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup saw them storm through traffic, mirrored by Emilio Di Guida and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 68 Grupo SK18, ADE Cargo, Solar Cargo, Venezuela, Avior Air Lines 911. Picking off cars with ease, the TRG team cars seemed to get even better as conditions worsened. With each passing lap, as others spun off course, the team cars remained glued to the road.
About halfway through the race, Pumpelly had worked the No. 67 in second position and Bleekemolen was in third. When the next (and soon-to-be-last) caution came out, Buckler called the cars in for fuel and tires, ready to pounce when the green flag waved. But it never did, and the two cars settled into fourth and eight places respectively.
“The call by the officials to end the race early was one of the most bizarre, frustrating and unfortunate things we have seen”, stated team owner, Kevin Buckler. “Yes—the conditions were difficult, but really no more difficult than we had been racing in all day. When the rain got too heavy, the tower would go full course yellow, and we would circulate around until it was raceable again. All that was fine but to actually END the race early is absolutely ridiculous. That is what we have a Red Flag for!!”
Driver Spencer Pumpelly echoed his team owner’s sentiments: “With that much rain, I can understand why the race would be red flagged but never actually ended early. Why!?," said the veteran sports car driver. "It’s a shame because the car was amazing! The crew absolutely nailed the set-up. We had the fastest car on the track. If the race had gone the distance, we really had a shot at winning.”
“We spent nearly six days in Florida for this race with our two cars and entire crew and drivers,” continued Buckler. “There were thousands of fans that braved the weather and wanted to see a race. Twenty minutes after they ended the race and while we were still within the original race time, the rain eased up and the sun even came out. We have two cars that were capable of winning and would have had an incredible race at the end. Steve and Emilio were awesome in their opening stint and Spencer and Jeroen were on fire. What a shame….”
“I can’t believe how perfect the car was for these conditions," raved Bleekemolen."We were able to keep charging forward when everyone else seemed to be spinning off into the grass. We had a winning car if we had been able to continue the race. Great job by Kevin and the guys on the setup and the team was awesome all week.”
The next Rolex Grand-Am race is scheduled for May 13 at New Jersey Motorsports Park … hopefully sans rain.
67_miami_trafficPetaluma, CA (April 30, 2012) - As TRG discovered this past weekend at Homestead, making all the right calls and having the two best GT cars on the track sometimes isn’t enough. TRG had a real chance to win but was tripped by the crazy weather and the even more bizarre decision by Grand-Am officials to end the race before its allocated 2:45 time. More laps were completed under the yellow flag than under green, authenticating the foul weather, but the rain eventually subsided late in the afternoon which could have allowed the race to continue, but officials had already made the call.

Brilliant first stints by both of the opening drivers, kept the cars in contention from the beginning. Strong driving by TRG drivers Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup saw them storm through traffic, mirrored by Emilio Di Guida and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 68 Grupo SK18, ADE Cargo, Solar Cargo, Venezuela, Avior Air Lines 911. Picking off cars with ease, the TRG team cars seemed to get even better as conditions worsened. With each passing lap, as others spun off course, the team cars remained glued to the road.

68_miami_sideAbout halfway through the race, Pumpelly had worked the No. 67 in second position and Bleekemolen was in third. When the next (and soon-to-be-last) caution came out, Buckler called the cars in for fuel and tires, ready to pounce when the green flag waved. But it never did, and the two cars settled into fourth and eight places respectively.

“The call by the officials to end the race early was one of the most bizarre, frustrating and unfortunate things we have seen," stated team owner, Kevin Buckler. “Yes, the conditions were difficult, but really no more difficult than we had been racing in all day. When the rain got too heavy, the tower would go full course yellow, and we would circulate around until it was raceable again. All that was fine but to actually END the race early is absolutely ridiculous. That is what we have a Red Flag for!!”

67_miamiDriver Spencer Pumpelly echoed his team owner’s sentiments: “With that much rain, I can understand why the race would be red flagged but never actually ended early. Why!?," said the veteran sports car driver. "It’s a shame because the car was amazing! The crew absolutely nailed the set-up. We had the fastest car on the track. If the race had gone the distance, we really had a shot at winning.”

“We spent nearly six days in Florida for this race with our two cars and entire crew and drivers,” continued Buckler. “There were thousands of fans that braved the weather and wanted to see a race. Twenty minutes after they ended the race and while we were still within the original race time, the rain eased up and the sun even came out. We have two cars that were capable of winning and would have had an incredible race at the end. Steve and Emilio were awesome in their opening stint and Spencer and Jeroen were on fire. What a shame….”

68_miami“I can’t believe how perfect the car was for these conditions," raved Bleekemolen."We were able to keep charging forward when everyone else seemed to be spinning off into the grass. We had a winning car if we had been able to continue the race. Great job by Kevin and the guys on the setup and the team was awesome all week.”

The next Rolex Grand-Am race is scheduled for May 13 at New Jersey Motorsports Park … hopefully sans rain.

 

Last Updated (Monday, 30 April 2012 22:29)

 

TRG - Magic in Miami - Ready for the Grand Prix of Miami

Petaluma, CA (April 23, 2012) - The Racer's Group heads back to Florida this weekend for The Grand Prix of Miami, the third round of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and one of the most successful circuits ever for TRG.
TRG tackles Homestead Miami Speedway, a 2.3 mile, 11 turn "roval," a combination road course and oval, with high banked turns and a flat infield section. Set-up and race strategy are critical everywhere, but even more so at a track that has such a variety of corners. TRG has proven that it excels at both. The team hopes that the speed it has shown both at the season opener in Daytona and at the second round at Barber Motorsports Park, will once again put TRG in position to win.
"This has been a magical place for us in the past," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "We have had four poles, three wins and ten podiums here. We know going in that we have two very fast cars and four fast drivers. The team is ready to show, hopefully once again, what we can do here in Miami."
TRG's three wins came in consecutive years from 2004 to 2006.
"We have had a really fast car this season," said Steve Bertheau, driver of the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. "The team really comes prepared. We're ready to show just how good this Porsche really is!"
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do on this Grand-Am circuit," said Emilio Di Guida, who pilots the No. 68 Porsche. "With each race, I'm getting more familiar with the team and the car. This is a bit of a home race for me, so I'm ready to show what we can do!"
Bertheau teams with sports car vetern Spencer Pumpelly, while Di Guida brings Porsche ace Jeroen Bleekemolen as his teammate. SPEED will telecast the race live at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
033112_barber_bc321Petaluma, CA (April 23, 2012) - The Racer's Group heads back to Florida this weekend for The Grand Prix of Miami, the third round of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and one of the most successful circuits ever for TRG.

TRG tackles Homestead Miami Speedway, a 2.3 mile, 11 turn "roval," a combination road course and oval, with high banked turns and a flat infield section. Set-up and race strategy are critical everywhere, but even more so at a track that has such a variety of corners. TRG has proven that it excels at both. The team hopes that the speed it has shown both at the season opener in Daytona and at the second round at Barber Motorsports Park, will once again put TRG in position to win.

033112_barber_bc296"This has been a magical place for us in the past," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "We have had four poles, three wins and ten podiums here. We know going in that we have two very fast cars and four fast drivers. The team is ready to show, hopefully once again, what we can do here in Miami."

TRG's three wins came in consecutive years from 2004 to 2006.

"We have had a really fast car this season," said Steve Bertheau, driver of the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. "The team really comes prepared. We're ready to show just how good this Porsche really is!"
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can do on this Grand-Am circuit," said Emilio Di Guida, who pilots the No. 68 Porsche. "With each race, I'm getting more familiar with the team and the car. This is a bit of a home race for me, so I'm ready to show what we can do!"

Bertheau teams with sports car vetern Spencer Pumpelly, while Di Guida brings Porsche ace Jeroen Bleekemolen as his teammate.

SPEED will telecast the race live at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
 
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