Daytona24: TRG hour 18 report

TRG Leads After 18 Hours at Daytona; TRG 66 first, 67 third Daytona Beach, Florida, TRG is currently leading the Grand-Am Rolex Series Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona GT race with six hours remaining. Ted Ballou, Tim George Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, ...

TRG Leads After 18 Hours at Daytona; TRG 66 first, 67 third

Daytona Beach, Florida, TRG is currently leading the Grand-Am Rolex Series Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona GT race with six hours remaining. Ted Ballou, Tim George Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, Emmanuel Collard and Richard Lietz are driving the GT class leading No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3. Teammates Justin Marks, RJ Valentine, Andy Lally, Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister are running in third place.

Three Porsches have been swapping the lead of the GT race all night. Depending on when they pit and when the yellows fly it has been either the TRG No. 67 or 66 leading the way in a three car battle with the No. 86 997.

Ted Ballou, Tim George Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, Emmanuel Collard and Richard Lietz have driven the No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3 strong all night. The result has is taking the class lead as the sun rose over NASCAR turn two.

"The race is going good," Pumpelly said. "The top three cars have been swapping the lead depending on when the yellows come out and when the pit stops happen. The car has gotten better since my first stint. We are looking good so far."

The No.67 Construct Corps/CRG/No Fear Energy Drinks/K1 Speed/Voodoo Ride/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 has been running fast laps all night. Each driver has done a double stint taking advantage of the rhythm of the night around Daytona.

"The car is really solid," Long said. "Butch Hylton brought over some of his NASCAR strategy which has been to work on the car for the first half of the race getting it ready for the run to the finish. We were leading when the sun came up."

The No. 65 Riegel/Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/Marquis Jet/Resorts International/IPC/Total Lubricants/RSS Road Sport Supply/TRG Porsche GT3 with John Potter, Bryce Miller, Craig Stanton and Marco Holzer has been retired. During the night the team had issues with the throttle linkage as well as some on track contact resulting in a tire rub which cost valuable laps to fix. In the early morning hours Potter was making the turn onto NASCAR one and got caught up in a crash which forced the team to withdrawal the car after completing 379 laps.

"Early in the morning, around 5:00 a.m., we were having throttle issues," Stanton said. "It was sticking then we couldn't get full throttle and there was some play in the linkage. The car was handling good. We were able to run consistent 52s, so we were focusing on keeping the car on track and out of the paddock. It was too bad for John. We were just starting to get some laps back when he got collected."

The No. 68 James Farrell & Co./Pallis Properties, Inc./COLO Columbia River Logistics/Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche GT3 driven by Josemanuel Gutierrez, Steve Miller, Chris Pallis, Duncan Ende, and Scott Schroeder is currently being shown in 19th. Ende took the wheel of the 68 in the morning only to fight two flat tires. The debris on the track from 18 hours of racing cost the 68.

"I had a good stint this morning," Ende said. "During my first double stint the car was really responding well. It felt solid and was fast. I then had a flat tire and had to pit under yellow. We then got a penalty for working on more than the tire. During my second fuel run I had another tire go down. It would have been nice keep going with a splash of fuel."

The No. 63 Guardian Angel Motorsports/Children's Hospital Boston/ jetblue.com /Cavallino Group/www.guardianangelmotorsports.com/TRG Porsche GT3 of Bruce Ledoux, David Quinlan, Dan Watkins, Steve Zadig and Kurt Kossmann had a tough start to the race. The team was able to get into an on track rhythm and go through the early morning without incident. The 63 guys are now focused on completing as many laps as possible in their quest to raise money for Children's Hospital Boston.

"Our entire team has been running good times," Quinlan said. "The car has been in the wall and back to the paddock a couple of times to have repairs, but we are still turning laps. My runs have been drama free which is the way that I hoped it would be. I don't like drama. We are hoping to do 650 laps on the weekend. That will help us to make maximum dollars for Children's Hospital Boston."

-credit: trg

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