TRG's Lally and Valentine Win Rolex GT at Daytona Daytona Beach, FL, (July 3, 2010) - TRG's RJ Valentine and Andy Lally won this morning's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Cask No.16 Brumos Porsche 250 at ...
TRG's Lally and Valentine Win Rolex GT at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL, (July 3, 2010) - TRG's RJ Valentine and Andy Lally won this morning's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Cask No.16 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The win represents the third in as many races for TRG.
Valentine started the No. 66 Advanced Aerosol Acquisitions/TRG/Porsche and put in a strong first stint. Turning the car over to Lally, the Dacula, Georgia resident, proceeded to make his way to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 40. Ten laps later Lally reported a vibration. With the possibility of rain looming, team owner, Kevin Buckler called Lally to pit lane to change tires and get fuel, giving up the lead to the No. 94 BMW. Lally returned to the action some eight seconds down. He proceeded to take time off of the lead and got to the bumper of the yellow M6 on lap 74. The pair went side-by-side for two laps until he passed for the lead on lap 76 and cruised home to the checker seven laps later.
"It was a typical hot, greasy day at Daytona," Lally said. "We made a change on the car after RJs qualifying run and that it made it better. On that last pit stop we took four tires, the BMW took two and that helped me to charge and catch them toward the end for the win. I always have a good clean battle with Joey (Hand, BMW driver) on the track, it is fun. I also think he hit some traffic at some unfortunate spots on the track. When I caught Joey my tires were gone. We had a good battle. RJ took a year-and-a-half off and he jumped back in and drove some incredible laps. The team did a great job with the car and pit stops all day. It was a good points weekend."
"Kevin called me three weeks ago and asked if I wanted to do Daytona," Valentine said. "It has been a year-and-a-half since I have been in the car. Should I do this? One of my partners walked in and said go do it. I think I turned the fastest times I have ever run here. The car was really good and Andy does a great job to coach me around here. TRG always has a well prepared car and they really know their way around this track."
In the No. 67 Fisher Industrial/TRG/Porsche Peter Bassett and Spencer Pumpelly had a tough start to the day. In the early morning 15-minute warm-up, Pumpelly reported some shifting problems with the transmission. A rubbing tire forced a pit stop under green setting them back in the order eventually settling for a 13th place finish. The duo showed good speed all weekend shadowing the speeds of the 66 car, but ended up having a tough race.
"It was a great day for TRG with Andy and RJ winning," Bassett said. "In the warm-up Spencer was not happy with the transmission. The TRG guys took the car back to the trailer and changed the transmission in less than 50-minutes. Their hard work allowed me to take the green flag from pit lane and join the field. We really didn't miss a beat before the race. I had a great first experience."
"I went out for the warm-up and the transmission was difficult to engage, which usually means that it is going," Pumpelly said. "The guys did a great job to get the car to the grid so Peter could take the start without being down. When Peter came in and turned the car over we were looking good. I smelled some rubber in the car, I think we had a rub on one of the rear tires. So I had to pit and change tires, that put us back in the running order. As it turned out we had something rubbing, so we made the right choice."
Team owner Kevin Buckler celebrated yet another TRG win at Daytona.
"It is always exciting to win at Daytona," Buckler said. "We brought RJ back and he proved he was more than up for the challenge. He went out, after being gone for 18-months, and turned some of the fastest times he has ever run here. Andy did a great job to get the lead and then go back out and get it again. The car ran flawlessly and the guys really put together some strong pit stops. The 67 car had a tough morning. But once again the crew stepped-up, dug in and did a transmission change in about 45-minutes. Peter was able to take the green with the other cars from pit lane and he ran a really strong first stint. I was proud of him jumping in here and competing in his first professional race. He did a great job! Spencer had the pace all weekend, but we just couldn't put in a position to win today. We had a slight tire rub on the 67 with Spencer that put us out of sequence with the pit stops with those guys. It is too bad. I think we could have had them on the podium as well."
The next Rolex Series event will be run at New Jersey Motorsports Park, July 16 - 18.