Petaluma, 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?”
“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.”
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.”
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 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.”
“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.