Montreal: TRG's Potter, Gaughan qualifying report

TRG's Potter and Gaughan Qualify Strong at Montreal Montreal, Canada, (August 28, 2009) - TRG's John Potter and Brendan Gaughan qualified strong for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series race to be run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in...

TRG's Potter and Gaughan Qualify Strong at Montreal

Montreal, Canada, (August 28, 2009) - TRG's John Potter and Brendan Gaughan qualified strong for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series race to be run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Gaughan posted a time of 1:41.400 in the No. 66 South Point Casino/AXA/TRG Porsche that will see him start from the fifth row in GT. Teammate Potter, from Salt Lake City, Utah, ran a time of 1:42.051 in his No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche that will see him start next to Gaughan on the fifth row.

The 2.7-mile, 15-turn Gilles Villeneuve island circuit is similar to a closed street course offering very little run-off and tight racing.

Gaughan, from Las Vegas, is making his first Grand-Am Series start with Andy Lally, this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona winner. Gaughan is going through the standard TRG process of educating new drivers with data and the coaching of Andy Lally and three-time Daytona 24 Hour winner and team owner Kevin Buckler. That has shortened the NASCAR Nationwide driver's learning curve this weekend.

"The Porsches wheel base feels like a go kart to me," Gaughan said. "We are doing about the same lap time as the Nationwide car, but it does it in a totally different way, same time, but nothing else the same. I am really enjoying myself. It has been 12 or 13 years since I have been in a sports car or rear engine race car. My goal is to be within a second of Andy's time. In the last practice I was exactly one second back, to me that is a huge victory for the day. Andy is a champion in this series and to be within a second of him made me happy. I approached the day like I did with the old Petty car. I took it one step at a time and looked at the data. TRG has great data on the track and the car. We went through all of the braking spots, throttle positions and where I could shave a tenth or two here and there. I could see where Andy was going deeper into a corner and back on the throttle. I was able to make up a lot of time in the last practice."

Gaughan will also be competing in his regular ride, the No. 62 USfidelis Chevrolet, in the Nationwide race at Montreal this weekend.

John Potter and his year-long teammate Craig Stanton are putting their No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 through the paces in Montreal.

"The track is not one of my favorites, but it is an interesting circuit," Potter said. "The speed differential is pretty amazing. Coming into the last turn you go from about 160 mph down to about 35, it's fun. There are a lot compromise turns, real quick in succession rights to lefts. You don't see those combinations at any other of the tracks we run. It is really not too tough to find a rhythm. We have a good setup on the car and TRG has a lot of data on the track and we unloaded really close to what we needed. We had a lot of track time today and Craig and I were able to get faster every session."

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, has his total team approach in full affect at Montreal.

"We have the TRG system really working this weekend," Buckler said. "We won the first Grand-Am race here with Andy three years ago, so we have a lot of data and video on this track. With two drivers like Brendan and John who have never raced here before we have the opportunity to give them an idea of the flow of the track and what to expect before they even turn a lap. That is an advantage where you have to run to a two day schedule. Brendan is showing his talent. He is a pro all the way and is very coachable and is really enjoying his time with us. John amazes us once again with his lap times and continual improvement. Craig and John have really jelled over the season. Craig is the consumate pro and really knows how to setup the car and help John with data and the nuances of finding speed."

-credit: trgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Gilles Villeneuve , Craig Stanton , John Potter
Teams TRG Motorsports , Magnus Racing