TRG-AMR North America made a big statement in their debut in the Pirelli World Challenge today at Long Beach. Both Aston Martin Vantage GT4s showed fantastic speed, perfect reliability and drove up through the field in a solid display of racing excellence. It was a great first step for the team, Aston Martin, and the partnership with the new series while the race proved to be an exciting one across the board.
After a shortened qualifying session that saw the VIZIO/Hulu Plus No. 26 start in 17th, Damien Faulkner was a man on a mission, piloting the car all the way up to sixth by the end of the race, that finished under Yellow Flag. In the HP No. 27, two-time Long Beach winner Brandon Davis went from eighth to running much of the race in the top 5 and finishing an outstanding 4th in Class.
As the sun set on Long Beach, the track was slick, but the Vantage GT4s proved to be solid in the warm conditions, with both drivers actively conserving the tires to make a late run. The race ended under yellow, but the team was thrilled to get this result the first time out.
This was the first race in Pirelli World Challenge for both cars, and to come out with a strong showing was definitely important.
Brandon Davis on how the car felt:
“The Vantage GT4 felt pretty good, we were battling a bit of understeer during the weekend, but the crew were able to fix most of it by the time the race started, and the brakes were great. The car was very predictable, easy to drive and easy to be consistent which is what you need for the race.”
Brandon Davis on running at Long Beach in the Pirelli World Challenge:
“The deal here is that we’re running a series where people are prepping the whole year, and for us to come out here with relatively low track time says a lot about TRG-AMR North America and the Aston Martin’s quality right out of the box. The atmosphere is great, with so much going on. Even at the end of the day where the track is slick, we were able to persevere and move up after starting 8th.”
Damien Faulkner on the car:
“The car felt very, very good. I felt like the car had more than I was giving it, which was an excellent feeling, because I could keep pushing it. I was being smooth, conserving the tires so we could have something at the end. The car was very well-balanced, a dream to drive, really. I learned a lot today, the tires and car are different from what I’m used to, but I’m very happy to bring home a good result considering our disappointing qualifying.”
Damien Faulkner on the finish:
“To finish 6th is fantastic. There were some great drivers there, and the Pirelli World Challenge showed it’s got some great competition. It’s an awesome series and I’d love to be back.”
Kevin Buckler on the race and the next event:
“That was about as good as we could have hoped for, I think we really hit our marks. It’s a fantastic weekend for the Aston Martins to debut. Long Beach is such a great track, and the weekend is really alive with events. This is an exciting weekend for Pirelli World Challenge, and we were thrilled with where we ended up.
Representing such an amazing brand here in North America and showing the competitiveness of these race cars really made this weekend complete. A big shout out to our partners at VIZIO and Hulu Plus.
It is just awesome to have two cutting-edge companies joining us on this strong partnership with our Aston Martin Racing program. Also, the series was so welcoming and the fans were so excited to see the Aston Martins on the grid. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Looking ahead, we just made our three entries for COTA and we’re going to be selecting our drivers in the next week.”