The Racer's Group (TRG)
TRG wins Third in a Row at ALMS Mid-Ohio Race
Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ended guided TRG's No. 66 Racer’s Roast/Fox River Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to the team's third consecutive victory in GTC class Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Championships. It was Ende handing the car to Pumpelly for the final portion of the race where the Atlantan was challenged repeatedly by several teams, all of whom were never able to get by the veteran sports car driver.
TRG's No. 68 PR Newswire/South African Airways car piloted by Dion von Moltke and Marc Bunting had an absolutely stellar run and unfortunately was a victim of a mix up on the IMSA pace car situation. Bunting had driven an incredible first stint and had turned the controls over to von Moltke who had the race solidly in hand and was holding off the hard charging Leh Keen when it was assessed a disputed stop and go penalty, eventually finishing seventh in class.
The race ended under red flag after a three-car incident sent the Flying Lizards' Patrick Long off the track and into a gravel trap during a heavy rain. All cars were directed into the pits with about six minutes left in the race because of standing water on the track which was making driving conditions treacherous.
"It was a good win," said Pumpelly. "There was really not a lot of drama for us at the end except wondering if we were going to go green or not. The win was already ours when Duncan handed it over. He did a good job hanging on to the lead. And thanks to [winning GT Falken driver] Wolf [Henzler]. I was just following him most of the time. I was just lifting on the straight-aways because there was so much water."
"The TRG guys gave us a great car," said Ende. "During the race we had a bit of a mix up with a back GT car, but about 45 minutes into the stint I begin to feel it like we had the hardware to stand it."
I was just lifting on the straight-aways because there was so much water.
"This was definitely not the result we were hoping to have," said von Moltke "We struggled a bit on pace but the team worked extremely hard all weekend, and we found the pace we needed right in the race. I actually think we had a car to contend for a podium shot. We will take everything we learned, and take it to Road America where we will look to get back on form."
Teammate Bunting expressed similar sentiments: "The start did not go well after I inadvertently hit the pit speed limiter, and we went to the back of the field. After that I was able to gain back positions and turn the car over to Dion in first but with a three-minute penalty - the reason for which I am still am not clear - it became difficult to climb back."
The third consecutive win comes after Pumpelly and Ende's recent victory at Mosport. Its sister No. 68 car won at Lime Rock with vonMoltke. The victory increased TRG's lead in ALMS GTC class to five points over Black Swan Racing with four races remaining in the American Le Mans Series season. In addition, Pumpelly and Ende, who are in second place in the GTC driver standings, gained four points on Black Swan's Tim Pappas whose lead has been reduced to seven points.