ST. PETERSBURG, March 10, 2016: This weekend, TRG-AMR returns to the beautiful yet harrowing street course at St. Petersburg, FL for the second round of races of the Pirelli World Challenge series. With the team’s three Aston Martin Vantages racing in two highly competitive classes, the festival-like experience at the famous Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be second to none. Multiple series, including IndyCar, will be out in full force at the historic track over three adrenaline-filled days.
The famed waterfront street course boasts some of the fastest racing on the planet, which will be balanced by TRG-AMR’s entertainment schedule of evenings filled with extravagant hospitality events. Opportunities to mingle with an elite racing fraternity will take place in multiple venues across the city. On Thursday, team guests are invited to a cocktail event at an Aston Martin dealership with one of TRG-AMR’s star race cars on display. Friday, gracious hosts Carlos and Beverly Yepes open their stunning penthouse overlooking the shores of St. Petersburg with a gourmet wine dinner. A custom painting by motorsport artist Simon Ward for Derek DeBoer will be on display, and will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to DeBoer’s charitable partner, Racing for Cancer. The Yepes’ have once again coordinated the premier race viewing and entertainment selection in the city, including covered trackside seating by The Dalí Museum, with private access to the facility and an elegant buffet for guests on Saturday and Sunday.
Drivers Duncan Ende, Sean Gibbons, Jason Alexandridis and Derek DeBoer will fight for the podium in their respective classes on this historically difficult street course. Ende will be looking to gain points in his No. 67 V12 Vantage after navigating through an aggressive GT Class at the Circuit of the Americas, while DeBoer and Alexandridis will share the battle in their No. 09 V8 Vantage. A notable addition to TRG-AMR for this race is friend of the team and longtime successful racer Sean Gibbons, competing in the GTS class with the No. 07 V8 Vantage.
“After starting things off in Austin with a lap 1 crash the goal for St. Pete is to bring home two solid finishes,” said Duncan Ende. “Jeff Milan and the guys did a terrific job getting the No. 67 car back together for our second race last weekend and I hope they have a bit less wrenching to do this time out. St. Pete is a really fun and challenging street circuit where we can look for a pretty good result if we can improve our tire wear from last time out.”
Derek DeBoer added, “St. Pete is one of my favorite events of the season and with the great start at COTA, I’m thrilled to be here. It’ll be another first for my team mate Jason and I know he’ll be right up to speed and run a great opening race for us on Friday. We have some great partners of the team that have a very full and exciting week in store for us so we’re pacing ourselves a bit and getting ready for the big show. As always, there has been so much belief and support in getting us here and for this season to come together. I’m truly grateful to the entire TRG-AMR family, my wife Brooke, teammate Jason, and of course BRM Chronographes, Pirata Della Strada, Racing for Cancer and Simon Ward. It takes an army and we have a pretty great one.”
Sean Gibbons is entering the race with a notably creative method: “I’ve been a friend of TRG for many years, but this is the first time I’m racing with Kevin and the team in the Pirelli World Challenge. Another great friend of the team, Carlos Yepes, came up with the idea to give race fans an opportunity to be a part of this weekend’s event by launching a crowdfunding campaign – for less than the price of a plane ticket, they’ll get their name on my Aston Martin Vantage and access to exclusive, live, behind-the-scenes content during the race. All you have to do is go to myracecar.club and learn more!”
“I am excited to be in St. Petersburg on a new track and also my first road course,” said Jason Alexandridis. “It’s great to come straight from COTA as I now have some recent time and experience in the car to call upon as I learn this course. Derek has been a great teammate and we have been working together analyzing video and discussing his experience on course from last year. We hope to post strong results this weekend.”
TRG-AMR CEO Kevin Buckler said of this big St. Petersburg weekend, “It is fantastic to have a powerful three car team heading into our huge event here at St. Pete. Jason and Derek did a fantastic job last weekend in the new car sharing model that PWC has put in place. Both of them drove brilliantly. They are both terrific drivers and close friends which makes it even more awesome! Having my friend and fellow racer Sean Gibbons in the car this weekend is a real treat. He has been one of the top aspiring racers up and down the East Coast and I am glad we can give him this opportunity — I know he will shine. Duncan Is going to rock it and is getting more and more familiar with the new Aston Martin V12 GT3. We have such a strong history together including several big GT class wins and several solid seasons, we’re looking forward to a long term racing partnership. Probably the most important thing to me is that these are also my friends and our “racing family”. We have close relationships with all of the drivers and their families — moms, dads, spouses and kids — and this makes the weekends just that much more special to look forward to. Debra and my daughter KT (who’s taking a little break from her busy DC college schedule and internship at the White House) will even be joining us this weekend.”