TRG Announces 4-Car Koni Challenge Team for 2007 Season
Petaluma, Ca. (December 14, 2006) -TRG, who swept the Grand-Am GT team, driver and manufacturer's championships in 2006, today announced its intention to compete in the 2007 Koni Challenge. The team, operated out of its state-of-the-art facility in Petaluma, California, will campaign four new Porsche 997 Carreras in the rejuvenated 12-race Koni Challenge series. The team recently took delivery of four new 997s, and before putting a single road mile on any car, began the laborious process of converting each of them to comply with Grand-Am's safety and competition regulations.
TRG Team Owner Kevin Buckler said, "I couldn't be more excited about this development for our company, or more excited for our drivers. Big time kudos to Koni for stepping up as the series sponsor. This s a really important partnership that TRG will do its best to support. Grand-Am has clearly demonstrated excellence in the way the Series has been run in years past, and we're excited to bring four new cars to the series. It has become home to some great racing, with a bunch of ‘name' drivers racing alongside sportsmen - and it provides a logical step up for some of our existing club and pro-am drivers as well as a few new hot-shoes."
Car #39 will be driven by IMSA Lites standout Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman, the latter a former Red Bull Driver Search finalist in 2003. Longtime TRG racer John Bibbo joins Formula BMW driver Scott Schroeder to drive the #40 Porsche 997; Bibbo has raced for the past two years in the IMSA GT3 Cup Series with solid results.
Current Grand-Am Rolex GT Series driving champion Andy Lally returns to the TRG fold for 2007 as well, partnered with California's Ted Ballou, a veteran of the series last year. Serge Glazunov, Jr. will pilot the #42 "House Car" for five of twelve races; seats are available to qualified drivers for the remainder of the season.
Lally, who partnered with Marc Bunting to sweep the GT championships in 2006, spoke of his role on TRG's Koni Challenge team. "This will be my 3rd season with TRG and it was very gratifying to sweep the GT championships last year. I'm excited to be racing with Ted in 2007 in this fast growing and ultra-competitive series, and I know we are in good hands with TRG. These guys have worked for months to build these cars properly and although a four car assault is a big challenge, I have seen Kevin pull it off before. These guys do it right and know how to win. This is going to be good."
Buckler again commented," Working with some of these new hot-shoes in terms of driver development and race-craft is going to fun and challenging. Duncan Ende is new to this series but is not new to being at the front of a grid. I think he and Scott Schroeder will really turn a few heads this year. Serge Glazunov is also new to the series but has tested well with us and is really looking forward to the Daytona debut. John Bibbo did a fabulous job in IMSA Cup last year and Ted Ballou really stepped up his game throughout the season last year and is coming back this year looking to run for a championship. These guys are all my friends and I really am looking forward to the upcoming season."
The 2007 Koni Challenge opens for practice at Daytona International Speedway on January 4-7. The first race of the season will be held at Daytona on January 26, 2007.