MONTEREY, Calif. (May 2, 2014)-TRG-AMR driver Max Riddle managed to solve the complexities of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track and a crowded 60-car field by qualifying the No. 07 TRG Racing Aston Martin Vantage car fifth for Saturday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race.
During Friday’s qualifying session, Riddle, who will be the starting driver with co-driver Kris Wilson, first sat idling in the pits for the 15-minute GS class qualifying as the other cars started, then roared down the racetrack’s famous curves, hills and corkscrew to immediately jump into pole contention. His best lap was his fourth of six laps as he set a time of 1:36:160. That was close to the pole-winning time of 1:35.948 to make a top-five start in the third round of the CTSCC series.
The team’s second car, the #09 Aston Martin driven by Derek DeBoer and James Davison, was unable to qualify due to an issue with the drivetrain, which had to be replaced after the earlier practice session. The hard-working TRG-AMR crew was unable to change the drivertrain in time for qualifying and will start from the rear of the grid in the two hour and thirty minute race.
Teammates, James Davison and Derek DeBoer, No. 09 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 at the day’s activities at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
© 2014 Nate Napierala
Max Riddle, driver, #07 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4:
“The TRG Aston Martin is handling great this weekend. This track really suits the car, so I think we’re going to do really well here. Qualifying fifth is the best we’ve qualified so far. I know the car could’ve been on pole though, so I’m a little bit upset about that. Kris and I are going to have a really good race tomorrow and we’re going to try and win it.”
James Davison, driver, #09 (CTSCC/GS) TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4:
“We had a bit of an up and down day today. We were very competitive in practice, however didn’t have the opportunity to take part in the second practice session and qualifying due to a mechanical gremlin. But, with that said, I’m very confident for the race. Derek is already fast. Having lost a practice session and the opportunity to qualify, he’s already quick enough to be competitive. He’s only going to get better as he does laps in the race and ultimately just needs to hand the car to me on the lead lap and have some fun himself, of course. Then it’s up to me to drive the car through the field. Based off our speed in practice, I’m certainly confident we can do that and a win is absolutely my goal tomorrow.”
Steve Cameron, team engineer, TRG-AMR North America:
“Qualifying went well, so we’re starting fifth which is Max’s best qualifying position. We made a lot of gains on the car, so I think we’ve got a good car for the race. Tire wear is good, so tomorrow should be a good day. The 09 will be fast. Unfortunately, we lost a motor this morning and we’re changing it now. Sometimes starting from the back is a good strategy. We’ll come in early, get some fuel in it and look for some opportunities that way.”
In Other News
There’s a bit of Sonoma Wine County tasting taking place in the TRG paddock this weekend as the team is hosting a California-style party for new partner Silicon Valley Bank. TRG is hosting members of the bank at its transporter in the Laguna Seca Paddock, where people can get up close to the cars and meet the team members and drivers. The wine being served is from TRG’s own award winning Sonoma County Adobe Road winery.