TRG (The Racer's Group) press release
TRG Claims Victory in the Fastest Rolex Series Race of All-Time
Watkins Glen, NY (August 13th, 2011) - Proving that hard work and great pit strategy pays off, TRG moved up through the pack Saturday for a huge win at the Grand-Am Rolex Series Watkins Glen 200. Starting from the 18th position, TRG’s No. 67 Sargent & Lundy Porsche GT3 Cup car piloted by Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly secured one of the Series’ most dramatic GT wins of the season.
With a qualifying session cut short due to on-track incidents and limited practice time, the team battled several obstacles to claim victory in the fastest paced Grand-Am race of all time.
Bertheau, winnner at the Daytona 24 earlier this year, was only able to get one flyer in during qualifying but managed to put down one of his best laps of the weekend. Meanwhile, TRG’s sister car, the No. 66 Racer’s Roast/Fox River Coffee/TRG Porsche GT3 was qualified by driver Duncan Ende, who handled marvelously a car that was a bit off its sister’s car pace.
"We knew we had some work to do on this one," said TRG team owner/CEO Kevin Buckler. "We didn’t qualify as well as we had wanted, and definitely had our hands full with an ill-handling 66. Duncan is a pro and played the cards out the best he could. We managed the strategy to death and knew we had a real shot early on with 67. If there’s a group of guys who can overcome adversity and get the job done at the end of the day, it’s our guys, and I am really proud of them today."
The team seized the opportunity of a caution early to get all of its pit stop duties out of the way for the No. 67. This strategy paid dividends in the end. Bertheau nailed his performance and handed the car off to Pumpelly, the seasoned veteran. Pumpelly put on an outstanding drive, moving into the lead in the last 10 minutes then masterfully saved fuel to bring it home to the checker for his third professional sportscar win in a row.
"Strategy, a great crew and a fantastic co-driver, that’s what makes you win," said Bertheau. "Kevin and Greg [Jones] were managing our time and fuel strategy from the drop of the green."
The No. 66 Racer’s Roast/Fox River Coffee/TRG Porsche GT3 started 15th but thanks to Ende’s great start and consistent lap times continued to battle within the pack all day long.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Andy Lally took over midway through the race from Ende and continued to set consistent lap times but with 10 minutes to go ran into tire problems and landed in P15.
"Unfortunately, we struggled to find pace early on," said Ende. "These guys give me great cars time and time again. We just weren’t able to nail down this No. 66 chassis this weekend. I’m really looking forward to Road America, just a week away." Ende said.