SCC: Birmingham: TRG preview

TRG GOES TO BIRMINGHAM RIDING WAVE OF FOUR-WIN SEASON IN GT AND A STRONG KONI CHALLENGE TEAM PERFORMANCE PETALUMA, Calif., (July 19, 2007) -- Team TRG looks to continue its GT-class dominance as the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown ...

TRG GOES TO BIRMINGHAM RIDING WAVE OF FOUR-WIN SEASON IN GT AND A STRONG KONI CHALLENGE TEAM PERFORMANCE

PETALUMA, Calif., (July 19, 2007) -- Team TRG looks to continue its GT-class dominance as the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve visits Birmingham, Alabama for the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park and Round Eleven of the 2007 schedule.

On the strength of a mid-season surge, TRG has posted four GT-class wins in the past six races, including victories at Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Iowa Speedway. The California-based team has also posted a remarkable six Top-five and three Top-three finishes in the GS-division of the Koni Challenge Series.

In each Rolex Series GT win, it has been the driver duo of Andy Lally and RJ Valentine piloting their TRG No. 66 CRG/Maxter Porsche GT3 to victory. In doing so, the tandem has vaulted to second-place in the Driver Points Championship, a scant 10-points out of first place.

Lally and Valentine will co-drive the same No. 66 during Saturday's two-and-a-half hour race at Barber, but with the added incentive of a repeat win as this same pair joined forces to stand atop the podium following last year's race. The task will not be easy however, with stout competition coming from several other team cars.

Another strong TRG GT-class entry is the No. 65 Maxwell Paper Products Porsche GT3 driven by teammates Ross Smith and Dan DiLeo. Smith and DiLeo have already run several races for TRG during '07. The driver duo is anxious to compete on the 2.3-mile Barber road course and the chance to duplicate their terrific podium finish at Laguna Seca earlier in the season.

Rounding out TRG's three-car line-up is the No. 67 NETTS/Louis Boston Porsche GT3 entry of Spencer Pumpelly and new TRG driver Tim George. Pumpelly has been a front-runner all year and George is a top level driver in the Koni Challenge series. George tested well with the team earlier this month and TRG expects a strong performance from both drivers in Birmingham.

"We're expecting a great weekend at Barber Motorsports Park," said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "We tested here recently and we won here last year, so we approach this event with a lot of confidence. The light weight of the Mazdas and excellent handling of the Pontiacs have us at a distinct disadvantage - but with the high caliber of our team this weekend, including the experience level of our drivers and crew, TRG should definitely be one of the favorites."

Victory at Barber will not only boost their season win total to five, but will increase TRG's Rolex Series-leading total of Grand-Am victories which is currently at 24.

TRG EXPECTS KONI CHALLENGE SUCCESS IN BIRMINGHAM

Looking to add to their impressive nine Top-10 finishes this season, TRG will field four cars in the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series race at Barber Motorsport Park and expects its impressive collection of drivers to make a strong bid for TRG's first Koni Challenge win of 2007.

The No. 39 car for TRG is the Carlsen Porsche/DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. The pair ran several successful early season events for TRG, including leading their first race while at Lime Rock. More recently they mixed it up with the leaders all the way to the checkered flag to post a solid fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen. Expect them to run up front.

Driving the No. 40 Carlsen Porsche/CDI/Carrera Design entry for TRG is John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder. This season-long duo has had flashes of speed and brilliance since the beginning, also leading the Lime Rock race for quite some time and posting a Top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio.

In the third TRG entry, the No. 41 TRG Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997, will be Andy Lally and Ted Ballou. Lally and Ballou are always in the hunt, earning a strong second-place finish at Mid-Ohio. They are capable of winning at any given event and are expected to be strong contenders at Barber.

The final pairing for TRG will be the No. 42 Maxwell Paper Products/Carlsen Porsche of

Bryan Sellers and Andrew Davis. Sellers drove for TRG with Spencer Pumpelly in last week's Iowa Speedway GT-class event to record a fourth-place finish following an unbelievable pre-race engine change. Andrew Davis brings his skills as a professional driver and lead instructor at the Porsche Driving Experience at the Barber race track. The expertise that Sellers and Davis have with both the Porsche 997 and the Barber track should make them formidable competitors in this very strong Maxwell Paper Products entry.

"We continue to improve our new Koni Challenge program every race," said Buckler. "We're consistently running either at, or toward the front, every weekend. I expect some really strong finishes from our solid group of drivers on the Koni side. This is a big weekend for us and we come here well prepared."

-credit: trg

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Spencer Pumpelly , Andrew Davis , Grant Maiman , Bryan Sellers , Ross Smith , Duncan Ende , Ted Ballou , Scott Schroeder , John Bibbo