Schroeder and Lally Bring KONI Challenge Victory to TRG in Iowa No. 41 Porsche PETALUMA, Calif. - It was a dream Sunday at Iowa Speedway for TRG and No. 41 Carlsen Porsche/Cohen Financial Porsche 997 co-drivers Scott Schroeder and Andy...
Schroeder and Lally Bring KONI Challenge Victory to TRG in Iowa
No. 41 Porsche PETALUMA, Calif. - It was a dream Sunday at Iowa Speedway for TRG and No. 41 Carlsen Porsche/Cohen Financial Porsche 997 co-drivers Scott Schroeder and Andy Lally, as Schroeder opened the day with his first career Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series pole position and left the track later that evening with his first victory trophy as he and Lally combined to take the victory in the Casey's General Stores Race.
Schroeder-who broke the KONI Challenge track record in qualifying with a lap at 49.302 seconds (94.925 mph)-took full advantage of his pole position and led the first 49 laps of the race before pitting to turn the car over to Lally. The three-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion would lead three different times for 61 laps and came out on top in a battle with his TRG Rolex Series teammate Craig Stanton and sports car ace Bill Auberlen to bring TRG its second victory in KONI Challenge competition and the team's first since Lally combined with Ted Ballou to win at Barber Motorsports Park last year.
"Coming into the race, my goal was to keep the lead," Schroeder said. "Joe Foster raced me really clean on the start and I managed to maintain my lead. Around the 45-minute mark, I pitted to hand the car over to Andy. From there, Andy did a great job setting fast laps while conserving gas. Andy had a great race with Stanton in the closing stages of the race but managed to keep the lead all the way to the checkered flag. Big thanks to all the TRG guys. They work extremely hard and they definitely deserve this one."
"We had a good run and we had a great car," Lally added. "When you roll off here with a good car, you don't have to make too many changes. You can concentrate on where you want to make your passes and find those spots instead of worrying about just the speed. Once we got out there, I had a good feeling about where we were strong. I just had to wait to see the weakness of the guys we were racing. You have to be patient here. If you just start charging, charging, charging, you'll, one, just slow you and the guy you're racing down and, two, it's never going to be a surprise when you are coming. If you hang out, jump when you find a weak point, that's the way to do it."
While the No. 41 teammates celebrated in Victory Circle, it was a tough day for No. 39 Carlsen Porsche/The DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Fox River Coffee Porsche 997 co-drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly. The No. 39 machine made it just 35 laps in the race before being forced to retire due to power steering problems. The car was classified 17th in the final race standings.
"Scott and Andy drove the wheels off the No. 41 Porsche," said TRG team manager Jason Myers. "It was truly fantastic driving coupled with an incredibly-prepared car. The car had no issues and ran the race flawlessly. This was a well-deserved win for Scott and Andy, and a well-deserved win for the entire TRG team. Expect to see TRG make many more podium appearances this season!
"The No. 39 Porsche was forced to retire from the race early due to a power steering malfunction. It is definitely a weak point on the car and one that needs to be addressed. Duncan and Spencer drove well all weekend and would have been battling with Craig and Andy at the end."
Next up for the TRG KONI Challenge team is the annual visit to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on Sunday, August 17.