PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA (December 24, 2015)- TRG-Aston Martin Racing is proud to announce their partnership with Formula 1 star, Sergio Perez, and an international driver lineup for the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 30-31, 2016. The team will compete in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in a full factory, collaborative program with Aston Martin Racing.
Sergio “Checo” Perez is a hugely popular Mexican driver in Formula 1 and is interested in promoting Mexican drivers seeking to compete in sportscar racing in North America. Perez’ decision to partner with TRG could not have been a better fit, as the team is one of the most successful GT teams ever to compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona, with 4 class wins (once overall) and 13 podiums. The resurgence of Mexico’s influence on motorsports has been prominent with the return of the F1 Mexican Grand Prix in 2015 and an inaugural WEC race in 2016. The TRG-AMR entry will feature Mexican drivers Ricardo Pérez de Lara, Antonio Pérez, Santiago Creel, and the team will also be joined by British endurance driver Lars Viljoen. This partnership is the first in a series of moves by the Californian race team to partner with Mexican drivers seeking a North American home in sportscar racing.
TRG-AMR will compete alongside the Aston Martin Racing factory entry from the UK in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class for a strong two-car program. This announcement is the first in a series that TRG-AMR is expected to make regarding its 2016 GTD season, further weaving the story of the marque’s racing heritage for a global market.
“I’m proud to put this team of strong drivers in the hands of TRG-Aston Martin Racing for one of the biggest sports car races of the year,” said Sergio Perez. “Our sponsors will love this new exposure, and I know the Mexican fans will be cheering our guys through all 24 hours!”
“On behalf of everyone here at TRG, I am thrilled to be making this announcement regarding our partnership with Sergio Perez and the outstanding driver lineup that we have assembled,” stated Kevin Buckler, CEO of TRG-AMR. “This has been a long-term project as we have been working on putting together this type of Mexican driver program since our first Daytona 24, with Carlos Slim and Jimmy Morales in partnership with the team in 2005. We want to offer Hispanic drivers an opportunity to compete in sportscar racing at the highest level, and look forward to developing this program further by creating opportunities for companies with U.S. and Mexican business interests via the exposure of motorsports. Our competition team is strong and our business development team specializes in putting together these types of win-win programs. TRG’s goals are to attract additional drivers and business partners, to compete in a full season, and to win.”
Ricardo Pérez de Lara recently was named 2015 Champion of the Súper Copa Telcel Trucks series and World Champion of the 2014 Ferrari Challenge AM World Final in Abu Dhabi. He’s also the three-time champion of the Súper Copa Telcel Mexican Touring Car Championship.
Antonio Pérez, brother of Checo, was 2015 Champion in the Super Copa Telcel, in the Super V8 category, 3rd in the 2014 Mexican Touring Car Championship, and took 1st in the 2008 NASCAR Mexico Corona Series. Both Ricardo and Antonio are currently sponsored by Mexican wireless communications company, Telcel.
Santiago Creel is reuniting with TRG after a brief stint with the team in the 2014 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as well as the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge. He also competed in and was consistently a front runner in both the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Canada series. He finished in third at Virginia International Speedway in the U.S. series and at Toronto in the Canadian series. He has also participated twice in the Dubai 24 hour race finishing in the top positions of his class.
Also joining TRG-AMR for Daytona is Lars Viljoen. Since winning both his first ever Karting and single-seater Formula Ford races, Viljoen has competed in the British Touring Car Championship, Formula 3, and from 2010 has been racing sports prototypes and GT cars in multiple European series. Lars is an endurance racing specialist and is sponsored by Angela Estate Winery and Gainesway.