PETALUMA, CA – November 22− After spending the past week in Florida conducting the preseason winter testing, TRG-AMR North America comes away from Sebring and Daytona with a high level of confidence and valuable information. The TUDOR United Sports Car Championship “Balance of Performance” tests allowed for all of the 2014 teams to test their cars and work toward a common 2014 rules package.
For TRG-AMR, this test was the perfect opportunity to run the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in a variety of testing configurations. Along with the new drivers and the 2014 crew, the multiday test format was designed to seek parity among the variety of sports car marques.
At Sebring, TRG-AMR utilized a combination of drivers to develop a baseline for the V12 Vantage GT3. They spent both days of the test experimenting with a variety of setup options for the car and came away pleased with the results.
All of the hard work by the team and drivers resulted in seeing the GT3 inch its way towards the top of the charts at the end of the second day. The results showed the Porsches, BMW, Ferraris, Audis and Aston Martin all sitting within one half second of each other as the checkered flag fell Sunday night and as usual the car performed flawlessly.
Daytona Beach was next on the agenda to examine the performance of the V12 Vantage GT3 on the high banks. The Daytona venue found an even larger contingent of GTD competition on hand to work through the Balance of Performance test time. The TRG-AMR team performed like a well-oiled machine and worked tirelessly during the two days of this test to determine a baseline for the early January Roar before the 24.
For this test, the team tested a variety of new drivers and both days saw Daytona 24 winner and team owner Kevin Buckler slip back in the seat. The drivers used both days to push the Aston Martin in a variety of scenarios that the team will encounter in 2014. As the drivers provided feedback, the crew worked efficiently to make changes to the car based on the feedback. This workflow went on through both Tuesday and Wednesday with the TRG-AMR V12 Vantage GT3 posting a time in the top five for the GTD class for the final day.
The series works very hard to try to achieve parity among the variety of marks and so far it looks like they are off to a good start. After such a positive week in Florida, the team looks forward to returning Daytona in January. This is a place that has been so successful for TRG in its 20-plus year history in professional racing. With the beautiful V12 Vantage GT3, look for TRG-AMR to again work toward the top of the time sheets.
Kevin Buckler on the No. 66 TRG-AMR Aston Martin
“It really was a fantastic two days of testing and allowed us to accomplish much of what we were after. We started with a very calculated plan with the current configuration on the car and used the “tools in our toolbox” to bring the car more into a current performance spec. The car is fantastic…. I mean really fantastic to drive. The handling and the aero… I was able to do things with the car I could never do before. We still have development to do in a few areas but the beautiful Aston Martin GT3 V-12 performed flawlessly the entire time and we are working closely with the series to perfect the package. These cars are winning major endurance races worldwide and overall reliability of the “package” is the best of any of the marques that we have ever raced. The car is just so easy to drive fast. Everyone who hopped in our car was really impressed, and all of the drivers did a great job. The car is so awesome and it just ran perfectly for four straight days of testing. We are all excited to return to Daytona in January and all of our focus is coming back to try to win the Daytona 24 again but with our new Aston Martin GT3.”