The Racers Group (TRG) revs up for full-throttle racing action this weekend at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA), as the team returns to this quick and challenging circuit, ready to tackle Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX and Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy competition in the Grand Prix of Texas September 1-3. It’s hard to find a team with more success than TRG at this 3.4 mile road course that features an exhilarating mix of some of the best straights and corners in motorsports. With multiple wins, poles and podiums, TRG is eager to extend its winning tradition at COTA with a four-driver line-up that includes Craig Lyons, Kris Wilson, Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons.
Lyons and Wilson team up for SprintX competition in the TRG #03 Stor-it | Mobettah Aston Martin Vantage GTS. Lyons pulls double-duty, also piloting the #3 TRG Stor-it | Mobettah Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4 in Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy racing. DeBoer and Gibbons are set to co-drive the TRG #09 BRM | Frog | Auto LeadStar | Castrol | FastLife TV Aston Martin Vantage GTS, also in SprintX.
TRG is one of the most successful teams in all of sportscar racing, and that track record of achievement certainly extends to Circuit of the Americas, a circuit that is both a fan and team favorite. The team had an epic GT win in 2013 with Porsche and also saw the GTD Pole position in 2014. Kris Wilson achieved pole at COTA in 2015 in his TRG Aston Martin Vantage, turning his front row start into a victory in GTS class. The team has achieved numerous wins and podium finishes across many series at the challenging circuit including top finishes in Pirelli World Challenge, Pirelli GT3 cup where Craig Lyons celebrated victory last year in his last race of the season, two second-place finishes for Derek DeBoer in Lamborghini Super Trofeo last year and a top-ten finish in last year’s Lone Star Le Mans race at the circuit.
Craig Lyons and Kris Wilson
Craig Lyons and Kris Wilson team up for the first time this season in SprintX GTS competition, sharing driving duties in the TRG #03 Aston Martin V8 GT4 Vantage. COTA is a track Lyons favors and he garnered first and second-place wins over a double-header weekend racing a 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport at COTA. Most recently, Lyons piloted the #3 Aston Martin in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing with his co-driver and driving coach, Kris Wilson.
Kris Wilson has raised a trophy on the top step of the SprintX podium this year, notching a hard-fought victory at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in the first race of the season, along with a second place finish He was part of TRG’s 2016 championship-winning SprintX GTS team. He’s also raced in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge this season in the TRG #3 Aston Martin GT4, and as fans have come to expect, anytime Wilson gets behind the wheel of a race car, wins and podiums are well within his reach.
Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons
Fan favorite Derek DeBoer returns to COTA in the TRG #09 Aston Martin V8 GT4 Vantage. DeBoer had a breakout 2016 season with two wins and multiple podiums and took a hotly contested overall SprintX GTS driver championship down to the wire before ultimately finishing second, helping TRG to the 2016 PWC SprintX GTS title. Last year at COTA, DeBoer scored two second-places last in Lamborghini Super Trofeo racing action.
His co-driver, Dallas’s Sean Gibbons, is no stranger to the podium, having achieved top three finishes in close to 70 percent of his races. He made his PWC debut this year at St. Petersburg, breaking into the top 10 in both Florida contests, winning the Hard Charger award along the way. Gibbons, an executive at Sirius XM when he isn’t in a race car, is eager to team with DeBoer and challenge for the win at COTA.
“I couldn’t think of a better group of drivers and friends to bring to COTA,” says LeMans and 24 Hours of Daytona race-winning driver and TRG CEO Kevin Buckler. “Craig and Kris are always an awesome team and Derek and Sean are going to be incredible together. All four of our drivers have really been gearing up for this weekend and always give it their best. The guys have been working so hard back at the shop and these cars are perfect. We’re really bringing it to COTA and hope to deliver. We have a fantastic group of partners and sponsors that we will have the honor of entertaining throughout the weekend to show them the power of motorsports. All of the elements are in place for us to have a stellar race weekend and we can’t wait for the green flag!”
The weekend begins with a series of special events, designed to highlight TRG’s radical shift in event marketing and B2B opportunities. First up on Friday, September 1 is an Adobe Road Winery Paddock Party from 6-8 p.m. Get an insider look at sportscar racing and analysis and meet all four drivers: Lyons, Wilson, DeBoer and Gibbons. Free.
Next up is an exclusive Adobe Road Winery Winemaker Dinner at Austin’s III Forks on Saturday, September 2. This event, features exquisite wine and food pairings, kicking off with a wine reception at 7 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. VIP guests will enjoy a wonderful evening of wine and food, camaraderie and networking, designed to enhance and activate business around motorsports.
“Many of our team partners and sponsors will be activating with us at this race, highlighting our ability to provide top shelf experiential marketing and B2B opportunities like business activation opportunities, full track access, trackside hospitality and Adobe Road Winery wine dinner combined with several other events,” says Kevin Buckler, TRG CEO. “We work hard to be the leader both on and off the track.”