The Racers Group races on home turf this weekend as the team returns to Sonoma Raceway for Pirelli World Challenge competition September 15-17. Coming just a few days after taking home two first-place trophies at Circuit of the Americas, TRG driver Derek DeBoer shifts to the challenging GTSA field in the TRG 007 LaSalle Solutions | BRM Chronographes | AutoLeadStar | Castrol | FastLife TV Aston Martin GT4 in this penultimate PWC race of the 2017 season.
For TRG, one of the most successful sportscar racing teams in North America, Sonoma Raceway is special — it’s a challenging course and a place where the team can join with fans, supporters, sponsors and partners each year to create a truly electric atmosphere. Technically, the circuit will test each race car this weekend with its blind turns, fast corners and impressive braking areas. The TRG Aston Martin GT4 has a strong history here with a fantastic victory at this event back in 2015.
That TRG #007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage will compete in the GTSA class at the circuit, which is just 20 minutes from the team’s Petaluma headquarters. This PWC Sonoma Grand Prix weekend promises a full schedule of sportscar racing, entertainment, wine and camaraderie in store for the team’s many guests, who will enjoy the spectacular wine country scenery — and racing — from their private LaSalle Solutions hillside executive hospitality venue.
Networking and expanding business opportunities, while rewarding key customers inside the paddock, are important components of any race weekend for long-time TRG partner LaSalle Solutions. “LaSalle Solutions is excited to partner once again alongside The Racers Group in Wine Country with Derek Deboer behind the wheel,” says Steven Robb, President of the company’s Solutions Group. “This event with the team is one of our favorites and we look forward to sharing all the excitement of the weekend with our customers, employees and TRG.”
Derek DeBoer makes the leap to standalone GTS competition this weekend, after securing a second-place tie in the PWC SprintX Am/Am drivers championship with his double-victory at COTA. “I’m really looking forward to jumping into the deep end of the pool with this hugely talented field — they’ve been battling hard all year long. Our focus is always to put the car on the podium and, as usual, TRG has really given me the tools with the 007 Aston Martin and the crew to get the job done. And I couldn’t be more excited to be racing a full GTSA weekend with the support of LaSalle Solutions in the paddock. Plus, BRM Chronographes, AutoLeadStar and Castrol are all an integral part of my team. All I can say is, ‘Let’s get racing!’”
“For us, Sonoma Raceway is our home track as our racing headquarters and winery are located just 15 minutes from the track” says Kevin Buckler, TRG’s CEO and a LeMans and double Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona champion. “We have had an incredible history here starting with our first big win back in 1995 and our most recent one in 2015 and everything in between. Sonoma has been our physical and our spiritual home circuit since the beginning of time with the company. I will never forget working so hard for that one year in 1994 when I was offered the opportunity to run my first professional race through my friend Mike Cobler from Togo’s. We put together the very best program we could and we prepared in every way for that previous 12 months and I was about to make my professional racing debut. I will never forget how nervous I was in front of the local media, my home crowd and many of my heroes were driving in the race.. but once the green dropped it was game on and we ended up on the top step of the podium for our first ever professional race. I always feel like we can claim this track as our own. It is one of the most physically challenging circuits in racing, especially when you are trying to squeeze out those last few tenths — this place is crazy. I am looking forward to giving Derek every possible advantage this weekend and confident that we’ll have strong finishes from the entire team. I’m also very excited to have our longtime partner LaSalle Solutions here with us in such an extraordinary way and all of our other guests in the paddock. We have Maglock Air joining us as a first-time sponsor and they are debuting a revolutionary new product and we are proud to be involved. Special? That’s Sonoma Race Weekend.”
Finally, the team’s annual party, a private affair at its Petaluma headquarters, is geared to show appreciation to all of TRG’s 2017 partners and the PWC series and other VIPs, as well as a chance to relax before Saturday and Sunday’s races. LaSalle Solutions, BRM Chronographes, Castrol and many more guests will try the latest award-winning Adobe Road wines, while mingling and networking amongst new friends at the team’s race shop and private tasting room. The winery’s new multi-million dollar Petaluma Riverfront tasting room, event complex and car museum project will also be highlighted. “We are looking forward to this amazing weekend at Sonoma,” Buckler goes on to say. “There is so much going on here and we are showing the world that motorsports is just a fantastic place to do business and build fantastic, long-term and profitable relationships! Hats off to Pirelli and to the Pirelli World Challenge series for continuing to innovate and deliver and offer a fantastic product to all of the race teams and drivers as well as all of their partners and sponsors. PWC rocks!! We’re having a great time, getting deals done and continually seeing strong growth & ROI for all of our partners. We are in a magic moment right now and the growth of the sport and we love that we are leading the charge!”
Schedule (all times Pacific Daylight Time):
Saturday, September 16
GTS Qualifying: 9:15 a.m.
GTS Race 1: 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, September 17
GTS Race 2: 1:30 p.m.
Watch the races live online: motortrendondemand.com/watch-live. Go to www.world-challenge.com for live timing and scoring, and for more information.