MONTEREY, Calif. (May 2, 2014)-TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America (TRG-AMR) takes to the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) this weekend with a field of three Aston Martin Vantage GTs and are seeking to put on a good show for their hometown fans and new sponsor, Silicon Valley Bank. TRG has an extremely strong history at this world class facility with numerous wins and poles in a variety of classes.The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix race weekend will feature two TRG-AMR entries in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) on Saturday, May 3 and one TRG-AMR entry in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Challenge (TUSCC) on Sunday, May 4.
The No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 at Daytona, January 2014
The Petaluma, Calif. based team brings its 007 Aston Martin Vantage GT Daytona (GTD) entry with drivers James Davidson and Al Carter to the famous Northern California circuit to battle in the two-hour TUDOR Championship sprint race, which will feature the Prototype Challenge (PC) class racing alongside the GTD cars. After a respectable showing in the GTD class at the last event in Sebring, Fla., Davison will be driving double duty this weekend, as the Australian-born California resident will also compete with TRG-AMR in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race with teammate and TRG-AMR driver, Derek DeBoer.
Derek DeBoer, driver, No. 09 (CTSCC-GS) TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4
DeBoer, of Oregon, whose history at Laguna Seca goes back 15 years to Formula Dodge and Formula Renault, has successfully tested with TRG-AMR in the V8 Vantage GT4 multiple times over the last year. He will be competing, in partnership with TRG-AMR and the Black Rider Racing Group, at selected events for the balance of the 2014 season and beyond.
In 2013, TRG-AMR Aston Martin North America qualified on the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Brandon Davis at the wheel of the GT4. In 2011 and 2012, TRG scored impressive back to back victories in the ALMS GTC class in the six-hour endurance race classic.
This season, the 07 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 placed 12th at Daytona and fourth at Sebring in the Grand Sport (GS) class. Drivers Max Riddle and Kris Wilson, who is a driver instructor at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will compete in a 61-car CTSCC field in this weekend’s race.
Kevin Buckler, CEO, TRG-AMR North America on his home track: “Laguna is where we first started our racing journey. This track and I share a lot of memories going all the way back to when we lived directly across the street and we were working out of our garage. Fast forward to now and it always feels so good coming back here to race, remembering all of the great memories, and now we have this fantastic Aston Martin Racing of North America program and it’s growing.”
“This is a completely different race than Daytona or Sebring – – with just two hours of racing, it’s going to be a street fight the entire time. We have a new partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and Black Rider, so we’re excited to give them a terrific show. We have a strong history of winning here and we are coming in confident in our entire team.”
James Davison, driver, No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (CTSCC) and No. 09 TRG-Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (TUSCC) on MRLS from the driver’s seat:
“Laguna is a great track with generally high downforce and there’s a lot of big commitment areas on the track. There are also a lot of slow areas where you need a lot of patience, and you have to be very precise. Those elements really make it a great track. It’s difficult to find a lot of opportunities to pass, but with tire degradation and the other factors, there will be those opportunities. The corkscrew is a unique characteristic of the track that is world-renowned. I’m really looking forward to getting back there after three years; the last time I raced here was with Michael Shank in a Daytona Prototype in 2011.”
Al Carter, driver, No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on competing in first sprint race for TUDOR GTD and his first chance starting in the 007: “The first track I ever drove was Laguna Seca, and it’s still the track I enjoy racing the most. The elevation and uniqueness of its charismatic turns just make it fun from the drivers seat. That is, until you add 20+ GTD cars screaming downhill for the brake zone on the first lap trying to take your lane away. The IMSA GTD is ultra competitive in 2014 and our TRG-AMR Aston has been right there so far this year. That racing competitiveness and lack of racing luck have been the only things that have prevented good finishes in our first two endurance races. But I’m looking forward for my first chance to start the 007 in the 2014 sprint race formats, and also to have James and I battling for a spot up front where this Aston Martin and TRG-AMR team deserve to be.”
The No. 07 Aston Martin GT4 of Max Riddle and Kris Wilson
Max Riddle, driver, No. 07 TRG-AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on driving for a winning team at Laguna: “I can’t wait to drive the TRG Aston Martin Vantage around Laguna Seca! Laguna is my favorite track and it’s where I learned how to drive race cars back when I was racing at Skip Barber. On top of Laguna being my favorite track, I think we are going to have a big advantage over the rest of the field because the Aston is such a great handling car. Laguna is a technical track and for the Aston, that’s a good thing. The TRG Aston Martin gets faster and faster every time we drive it. We were only one spot off of being on the podium at Sebring, so I’m feeling very confident about this weekend. I know that everyone at TRG-Aston Martin Racing is going to make sure Kris and I have a race car that can win this weekend, so we will be aiming for the top spot on podium!”
Derek DeBoer, driver, No. 09 TRG-AMR, Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on joining TRG-AMR this weekend in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race: “I am thrilled about this opportunity to represent TRG and Aston Martin and for the beginning of my relationship with the Black Rider Racing Group. This is a very big race and I’m honored to have been chosen to share the 09 car this weekend with James Davison. Thank you to Kevin with TRG and Shane [Sterling] with Black Rider for opening this door. It’s also a special race as we are honoring my close friend, Greg Mills, and the ‘We fight for Greg’ campaign. Greg is a warrior and is in his fight to survive liver cancer- he and his family are a real inspiration. I also want to thank my wife and girls for their support in my crazy racing aspirations. We have an amazing team, an amazing car, and I’m excited about our odds here- we’ll be pushing hard!”
Kris Wilson, driver, No. 07 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on the challenges at MRLS: “This is my home track where I teach so I can drive it in my sleep. The challenge will actually be that I don’t fall asleep while driving it. No, but really the sheer number of cars on the track is going to be the biggest challenge, I think.”
In Other News
In advance of the main races taking place this weekend, the team also participated in a fan-packed event in the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose on Wednesday. This Mini Grand Prix around the square garnered much excitement for the weekend’s festivities, and gave TRG-AMR drivers James Davison and Derek DeBoer a chance to interact with fans and media before they take to the 2.238-mile track in the hills of Northern California.
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge: The green flag will drop on the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at 12:45 p.m. PDT on May 3. Tune in to FOX Sports 1 at 10:00 a.m. EDT on May 11 to watch the action unfold.
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship:
For the first time in the TUSCC, qualifying for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda will be streamed live on IMSA.com. Qualifying begins at 4:55 p.m. PDT with a 15 minute session for the GT Daytona class.
The green flag will drop on the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda (PC/GTD) at 10:15 a.m. PDT on May 4. Tune in to FOX Sports 1 for LIVE coverage of the race beginning at 10:00 a.m. PDT.
Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America is a seven-event, multi-round series that competes on some of the finest road courses in North America and is filled with the prestigious, world-renowned spirit of the Aston Martin brand. The series, owned and operated by TRG-AMR North America, starts May 16-18 at Watkins Glen International and ends Nov. 21-23 at Sebring International Raceway.
Aspiring competitors will drive the evocative Aston Martin GT4 Vantage cars they have acquired, with order options available from TRG-AMR for interested drivers who do not own a GT4. Comprehensive leasing and testing arrangements on a race-by-race or seasonal basis also are available through TRG-AMR or one of its authorized partners or Aston Martin dealers around the United States and Canada.
Entry forms for the 2014 Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America can be found at www.trg-astonmartinracing.com/gt4challenge.
2014 Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America Schedule
May 16-18 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y.
June 6-8 Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va.
July 25-27 Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Aug. 29-31 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.
Sept. 12-14 Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, N.Y.
Oct. 10-12 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Nov. 21-23 Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Fla.