TRG-Aston Martin Racing has completed their race weekend at Daytona, marking 21 consecutive starts at the legendary race for the team and CEO Kevin Buckler. In that time, they ran hundreds of clean laps and led the GTD class at several points, all while being cheered on and supported by nearly 100 VIP guests, including sponsors, family and friends.
One notable guest was team partner Sergio Pérez, the hugely popular Mexican Formula 1 driver, who was there to support his brother and TRG-AMR driver Toño Pérez. His presence, which was also key to strengthening relationships between Mexican businesses and TRG, generated remarkable interest from both the media and fans with interviews being televised nationwide. Escuderia Telmex and Telcel provided Spanish-language race coverage to a huge network of international followers. Drivers Ricardo Pérez de Lara and Santiago Creel also brought distinguished guests from their home country of Mexico, including Senator Santiago Creel Miranda.
Before the race weekend, TRG-AMR hosted its annual elegant dinner featuring Adobe Road Wines at the hallowed grounds of golf and the home of the PGA, the Tournament Players Club in Sawgrass, FL. On Thursday evening team supporter and former Senator Jeff McWaters of Virginia hosted an intimate reception at his motorcoach featuring both Adobe Road and Angela Estates wines. Later in the week, guests enjoyed a fun and lively event at a beautiful yacht harbored at the Halifax River Yacht Club, where a multi-course wine dinner was hosted that evening. More than 70 notable attendees enjoyed dinner, including TRG-AMR drivers, sponsors and partners as well as politicians from both the US and Mexico. That same evening, Kevin Buckler was honored at the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence alongside Chip Ganassi, Bobby Rahal, and Bill Riley. The ceremony honors team owners based on their performance in the prior season and their ongoing contribution to the sport. The TRG-AMR hospitality events were fun and sophisticated evenings leading up to the most important and difficult race of the year: the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
TRG-AMR was pleased to welcome LaSalle Solutions for another year as the title sponsor, with their friends and partners cheering the team on from trackside. A select group of guests watched the race from the TRG-AMR Royal Purple suite at Daytona’s 500 Club. Guests were also escorted around the track with private golf cart tours, taking in the sights of the famous ferris wheel and newly-remodeled facilities.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage was a formidable contender in its class, and the team, crew and drivers handled the car with no mistakes for more than 14 hours of racing. James Davison led the GTD class for some time, and Lars Viljoen ran his fastest laps in his second stint, putting down a consistent set of laps that matched the leaders’ times. Toño Pérez and Ricardo Pérez de Lara both put in amazing double stints late in the evening keeping the car on the lead lap with the leaders. Early on Sunday morning, the #007 was involved in an unfortunate side-to-side incident in the bus stop on lap 371 and was unable to continue. The team was down, but determined to work hard for the next race. This is what makes up a championship organization.
“I’m looking forward to a successful partnership between TRG-Aston Martin Racing, myself, and many powerful Mexican alliances,” stated team partner and Formula 1 driver Sergio Pérez. “I see the potential to support new, great Mexican talent in international categories, and I’m excited about the opportunities that are yet to come for my brother Toño and many other drivers.”
“First of all, a big congratulations to every single person on the TRG-AMR team,” said Kevin Buckler. “Our hospitality and guest entertainment was second-to-none, and it was so satisfying to see smiles all around from our sponsors, partners and friends who came out with us this weekend. The competition guys did a stellar job preparing the car and we ran a flawless race. Not one single mistake or penalty, and the drivers rocked it on this huge stage. I was really proud of them and I think they surprised a lot of people. We had an unfortunate incident in the bus stop chicane, which took us out. Although it’s disappointing to all, I still have to say how proud I am of everybody on the team. Running these endurance races is crazy tough! You have to be ready for both the highs and the lows. We’re already starting to work on our next race and thinking about how to do it even better.”
Next up, TRG-AMR will be hosting a two-day testing and track program at the beautiful Circuit of The Americas, followed by a return to Florida for WeatherTech Championship test days ahead of the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, then on to Pirelli World Challenge races at Austin and St. Petersburg.