Daytona 24: TRG Pontiac preview

TRG GTO.Rs Prepped and Ready 24 at Daytona Petaluma, California m- TRG has completed an exhaustive rebuild of their two Pontiac GTO.Rs in preparation for the Grand American Rolex Series Presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona...

TRG GTO.Rs Prepped and Ready 24 at Daytona

Petaluma, California m- TRG has completed an exhaustive rebuild of their two Pontiac GTO.Rs in preparation for the Grand American Rolex Series Presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona to be run this weekend January 28th -- 29th .

The test days at the World Center of Racing three weeks ago proved the speed of the GTO.Rs, but now the team needs to prove the reliability. "We have a lot of experience running endurance races," said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner. "The new GTO.R is still a bit of unknown in a 24 hour race. I have a lot of faith in the car and especially the way we have prepared them. The drivers are all very experienced so we have our program all set to take on the twice around the clock affair this weekend."

Andy Lally has confidence in the team's preparation and his fellow drivers. "I have a good feeling going into the race. I am happy with the attitude of the team and the driver lineup. The car is bit of an unknown factor, however it has been good in every race last for us last year, so I am not all that concerned. TRG has put a lot into the program and has done everything to get it to the finish line. Traffic is always concern at the Daytona 24, especially when you are in the slower of the two classes, these is a variable that is out of our hands. We need to try and stay out of the way and keep the main goal in mind of taking the car to the finish and winning."

Paul Edwards in the number 64 car is excited about his chances in the race. "The Porsches are very fast around the oval. We are about 8 mph down on the oval. We are good through the infield, but that 8 mph is tough to make up. We have a good driver lineup and the car has been totally rebuilt for the race, so hopefully we can just focus on running a clean race. I think the GT race will be really tight for the full 24 hours. The key factor will be reliability and the ability of the drivers to keep it on the track and have no unplanned pit stops."

Marc Bunting is focused on having a clean race. "We need to have a clean race, the cars that finish the 24 Hour without panels hanging off and racer tape everywhere seem to finish up front. The cars have been gone over with a fine tooth comb and the team knows the strategy and what it takes to win at Daytona, so we are ready."

RJ Valentine has a lot of confidence in his new teammates. b^0x001cIt will be my 20th Daytona 24. We have as good of a chance as I have ever had of winning. We have the team the car, the drivers and the discipline. I have never gotten a high finish at Daytona by breaking a track record. You have to treat the car like a fine woman, with kid gloves. Keep the wheels turning and no unscheduled pit stops. I am excited to be driving with these guys, they have all done it before."

Kelly Collins, "I am able to only control what I do, and hope not to make too many mistakes. What I can't control is DP traffic, blown tires and car issues. Like we saw in the test, there were a lot of black flags, but the series will keep the race running and those guys will fall out. We have to be smart about our race, the only thing I see taking us out is human error on our part or someone else hitting us. We need to focus on being in the hunt and running Sunday morning so we can go racing to the end."

"The cars have been totally disassembled and gone over since the test three weeks ago," said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner. "If the three day test was any indication of the race to come we should have a great weekend in Daytona. The drivers are all ready and have a lot of faith in the car and the team. We are hoping to start the Grand Am year off on the top step of the GT podium come next Sunday at noon."

#64/TRG/iRise/Pontiac GTO.R
*Paul Edwards
*Kelly Collins
Jan Magnussen
Andy Pilgrim

#65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/iRise/Pontiac GTO.R
*Marc Bunting
*Andy Lally
*RJ Valentine
Johnny O'Connell

*Denotes season long drivers.

-trg-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Jan Magnussen , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Kelly Collins , Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Marc Bunting