TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Head for Barber Petaluma, California -- TRG is ready to put their two Pontiac GTO.Rs into competition for only their second race next weekend in round eight of Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250 Presented by Bradley ...
TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Head for Barber
Petaluma, California -- TRG is ready to put their two Pontiac GTO.Rs into competition for only their second race next weekend in round eight of Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250 Presented by Bradley Arant race to be run at Barber Motorsport Park on Sunday, July 31st.
The first outing for the TRG/GTO.Rs rendered mixed results. A top ten qualifying effort by Paul Edwards and the 65 car of Marc Bunting and Andy Lally running as high as fourth were all positives for the maiden race for the new GT series entries.
Barber Motorsport Park was one of the tracks on the GTO.R development program and the first time that the two cars ran together in full race trim a month ago. "The car works well where there a lot of corners," said Paul Edwards. "We were able to get a good base setup on the car at Barber last month. The restrictor should not be as big a factor as other tracks. I am told we have five bell housings in the truck now, so the car will be in this race. The track is pretty narrow and has blind corners and is built on rolling terrain, so we will have to be up on the wheel all race and stay out of trouble."
Teammate to Edwards in the number 64/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R is Jan Magnussen who will run at the 2.3-mile, 16-turn track for the first time, "it is a bonus that the team has tested there recently," said Magnussen. "I will look at the data from the test, get a download from Paul and go there and find my way around. Paul and I are ready to race the thing. We have done a lot of miles and Daytona was a disappointment not being able to race. The track map looks challenging and of course there will be lot traffic, but it also looks fun."
Bunting and Lally are currently fifth in GT series points. The duo are 29 points out of the lead. "We will have a good baseline at Barber as a result of Marc and Paul's test there," said Lally. "We have made some changes since Daytona to the car. I really like the track; we won there last year and came second in '03. Contrary to the way it looks on paper, I think it has a lot of passing zones. We took a points hit at Daytona. We just have to come out of the box strong at Barber and have a good run. August will be a key time in our run for the championship as there are a lot of races this month."
"When we tested there in June, I was still getting comfortable in the car," said Bunting. "The biggest advantage was to get familiar with what the car wanted at that track. The field is going to be big next weekend, the track is wide, but not very long, so it will be awfully busy. There will be a lot of yellow flags and a good bit of contact as well; I hope the DP guys bring a lot of patience. I think that Barber will suit the GTO.R a lot better than Daytona. Daytona was all about straight-line speed. Barber is tighter and will reward a good handling car that can get off the turns and transition well."
"When we tested at Barber in June it was an opportunity to get the cars under the TRG tent for a full day with the drivers and the crew," commented team owner Kevin Buckler. "I even did a few laps. It was also an opportunity to get a good baseline setup under the car for that circuit. The track is so tight that with prototype and GT traffic it will be difficult to focus on a good setup because the drivers will have trouble getting a clear lap. We have remedied the problem that kept the 65 car out of Daytona and we should be very competitive next weekend."
Round eight of the Grand American Rolex Series will be run at Barber Motorsport Park on Sunday, July 31st and televised live on the Speed Channel at 1:00 p.m. EST.