BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 27, 2014) – TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America (TRG-AMR) scored another top-seven finish Sunday in the second round of this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Barber Motorsports Park presented by RECARO with series veteran and TRG-AMR driver Nick Esayian finishing seventh in the popular GTS class.
Forty-three cars gridded for the standing start of the 50-minute Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) sprint, Round Five of this year’s GTS championship, but six competitors fell victim to a first turn, first lap melee, including PWC rookie and local Auburn, Ala. driver Mikey Taylor, who started seventh on the grid but sustained damage on the front left in the incident which resulted in issues to both front tires.
Also, Drew Regitz, who started eleventh position in class in the No. 02 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4, endured a setback when he suffered a flat Pirelli P Zero tire, attributed to debris on the track from the first lap accident, which forced him to the pits. After starting to work his way up through the field, a second flat tire that damaged the brake line ended his day.
The two other TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4s of Nick Esayian and Jorge De La Torre managed a clean race start that drew the only full-course caution flag of the 30-lap race with its Turn One start incident.
Esayian, who started in the twelfth position due to his eighth-place finish in Saturday’s Round Five race, drove a hard charge to get his seventh-place finish. Once he got in the Top-10 with his No. 34 TRG-AMR Natural Cures Aston Martin Vantage GT4, he never relinquished.
Jorge De La Torre, a PWC rookie, finished 13th in the competitive GTS class with a solid drive in his No. 04 TRG-AMR race car. After a 16th-place finish in Saturday’s round four of the Pirelli World Challenge, he managed an improved drive in just his second road race of 2014, including breaking into the Top-10 during today’s race, his highest position of the year.
Nick Esayian, Driver, No. 34 TRG-AMR Natural Cures Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 7th):
“Man, the way this race started you could have created a lot of [Detroit] crash parts. Fortunately, unlike yesterday, I got through all that mess okay. Our set-up today was spot on. I caught something on the track into the race and got a little vibration but it wasn’t an issue. I thought I might be able to make a run on the car in front of me. I caught him in the corners, but didn’t want to stick my nose in too far and risk both of us. The TRG guys did a great job today.”
Jorge De La Torre, Driver, No. 04 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 13th):
“It was a little hectic in the beginning….lots of mayhem. I managed to push the entire race. I think I had my fastest lap of the entire weekend about midway through the race. We made a lot of progress on the car since yesterday even. I did get hit by one of the Mustangs late in the race which created a bit of an oversteer, but overall a good run I think. I want to thank the whole TRG crew and staff for their support and the great experience I’ve had so far this season. I’m going to be really pushing for Detroit.”
Drew Regitz, Driver, No. 02 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 22nd):
“Just can’t seem to get a break. Two flat tires today. The last one broke the brake line and we were done. After the first flat, I was working my way back up through the crowd with a pretty good car.”
Mikey Taylor, Driver, No. 09 TRG-AMR State Traditions/National Bank of Commerce Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (DNF):
“For the second straight day guys overcharged into the first corner and I got hit (by a Mustang) on my left front. What a shame. After we made a few changes last night, I really felt like I had a podium car. The TRG team did an amazing job all weekend long. I want to thank my supporters, too, this race and hopefully we’ll all be at Road America later this year. I think my run back from 21st to seventh yesterday shows what we are capable of, and I felt that we had a win in us today if we hadn’t gotten caught up in that Turn One deal.”
Kevin Buckler, CEO, TRG-AMR North America:
“Hats off to all the guys. The crew and drivers worked their butts of this weekend. We had some great drives and had to overcome some pretty crazy stuff early in both races. Jorge keeps getting better and better. He keeps a cool head and drives clean. Nick was fantastic and had his best run of the season and looks like he’ll be dialed in for Detroit. Drew, man, what can I say? The guy drives wheels off the car and is so fast right now but things out of his control keep happening to him. His time is coming! And Mikey Taylor proved in practice, qualifying and the races, that he is a talented up-and-coming driver and can compete with the top professionals here in this series. We’re eager to see more of him.”
Where: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.
Track: 2.38-mile, 15-turn road course
On NBC Sports Network, Saturday, May 10th at 3 p.m. CDT.
The next round of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship heads to Detroit, Mich. on May 30-June 1 during the Detroit Belle Isle Grand prix weekend. Check out more information at www.world-challenge.com.