Daytona 24: The Racer's Group race report

TRG's JLowe Racing Porsche 3rd at 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona Daytona Beach, Fl. (January 28, 2007) - The ...

TRG's JLowe Racing Porsche 3rd at 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona

Daytona Beach, Fl. (January 28, 2007) - The #64 JLowe Racing/SRS/Globus Medical Porsche 997 of Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Johannes van Overbeek and Ralf Kelleners finished a strong 3rd place at the 45th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona today, adding another podium to TRG's strong history at the World Center of Racing. Johannes van Overbeek took the checkered flag for the team, which performed steadily for the entire 24 hours, enduring nasty rain squalls and constantly changing conditions.

Jim Lowe said, "This feels fantastic. For me to come here to Daytona last year in my rookie year and finish the race was a feat in itself, but I can't describe the feeling of getting to the podium at the Rolex 24. With about 90 minutes left to race, it occurred to me that we had a shot at it - Jim Pace, Johannes van Overbeek and Ralf Kelleners are exceptional professionals, and it was my job to get them the chance to win the race. I'm thrilled to have this accomplishment under my belt, and I can't wait for the rest of the season."

The #67 TRG Porsche of Pierre Bourque, Tom Cloet, Michael Solley and Auston Harris finished 12th in the GT class today, running a clean and solid race. 16-year old Auston Harris became the latest graduate of TRG's young driver program, driving a mistake-free race and impressing many in his Rolex Series debut. His teammate Pierre Bourque said, "This was the most awesome experience of my racing career. Kevin and the team impressed me with the organization and professionalism, and they have a compelling will to win."

The #65 TRG Porsche of Michael Gomez, Murray Marden, Brent Milner and John Peterson finished 13th in the GT class today, despite damage to the car's bodywork due to a blown tire midway through the race. Crew Chief Tommy Sadler said, "We had some small problems early on with the #65 car, and had a fairly big issue when the right front tire blew up - it took out a radiator and the bumper, but we were able to fix it with minimal time lost in the pits. The drivers did a great job, especially given the fact this was the first time out at Daytona for all them."

The #68 Mitchell Global/Gleason Porsche of Ted Ballou, Brad Jaeger, Rocco DeSimone and Chris Gleason finished 15th the GT class today, on the back of a trouble-free and relatively uneventful race. Ted Ballou said, "We had a great race - we're a fairly inexperienced team with the exception of Chris, who's been driving professionally for almost 20 years - to run mistake-free and avoid trouble was a good situation. We did blow a tire, which put us down about 20 laps with repairs, but the car stayed on the track for entire weekend. We had such a good time we're already talking about doing it next year."

The #66 CRG Karts/iRise/TRG Porsche of Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, RJ Valentine, Mark Greenberg and Kevin Buckler finished 17th in class today, after a disappointing incident while the team was running 2nd in class in the 18th hour. Kevin Buckler had just received a full tank of fuel and a new set of tires to start the second of his consecutive stints when he was hit from behind by a passing prototype, destroying the right-rear suspension and requiring extensive repairs in the garage.

Team owner Kevin Buckler summed up the race. "We competed in true TRG fashion today - for all five of our cars to finish strong is a fantastic achievement. For our 64 guys in the JLowe car to lead the charge is a proud moment for the team and me. Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Johannes and Ralf drove a very smart, very controlled race today, which is what's required to win here. We had a bit of a tough break in the 66 car, we were solidly in p2 when another prototype hit me, but that's racing. I'm so proud of the 65, 67 and 68 guys, many of them were rookies at Daytona, and for us as a team to have all the cars finish is great. It's going to be a long season, but we relish the challenge."

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races next in Mexico City on March 3rd, 2007, at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Television coverage will be on Speed Channel.

-credit: trg

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Series GRANDAM