TRG FINISHES KONI CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT WITH STRONG RUNS AT VIR ALTON, Virginia (October 7, 2007) -- Despite the challenges of unseasonably hot weather conditions, Team TRG concluded a very successful development year when the Grand-Am Koni...
TRG FINISHES KONI CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT WITH STRONG RUNS AT VIR
ALTON, Virginia (October 7, 2007) -- Despite the challenges of unseasonably hot weather conditions, Team TRG concluded a very successful development year when the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series ran its season finale at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday.
In just its first season of Koni Challenge Series GS-Class competition, California-based TRG started from scratch to build a very competitive four-car team and post one win, five podium and nine top-five finishes.
"We knew 2007 was a development year," said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "I feel the team did a fantastic job of always putting our cars in a position to battle for the win or strong podium finishes. Today was no different and except for the extreme heat issues we faced, our cars were right there with the leaders again."
TRG's strong season-long performance continued at VIR with two of the team cars leading significant portions of the race before being hampered by the 90-plus-degree temperature at the scenic 3.27-mile Virginia road course.
The No. 39 car for TRG was the Carlsen Porsche/DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. The pair has mixed it up with the leaders all season long and had their usual great run going when a gearbox problem knocked them out of contention and into an 18th-place finish.
In the TRG No. 40 Carlsen Porsche/CDI/Carrera Design entry was John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder. The season-long duo did a great job of being in or near the top-10 until having a problem with the cool-suit. Both drivers delivered some of their best laps of the year, especially Bibbo who performed extremely well. The duo was definitely a shining star for TRG with a team-best 11th-place finish on the day.
The third TRG entry was that of Ted Ballou and Andy Lally in the No. 41 TRG Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997. The 'Ted and Andy Show' provided their usual charge through the field to the front until the engine suffered overheating just 20-minutes short of the checkered flag. Having led 20 laps of the race, the July race winners were confident of earning either a race win or second-place finish had they made it to the end.
The final TRG entry was the No. 42 Maxwell Paper/TRG Porsche 997 car with Ross Smith, Dan DiLeo and Bryan Sellers. A major highlight of the weekend for TRG, Sellers led nearly the first full hour of the race until it too succumbed to engine overheating issues just past the halfway point of the event -- relegating the trio to a 29th-place finish.
"The final results of the six-hour race at VIR are definitely not what we hoped for," said a disappointed Buckler. "The team did a great job of putting four very competitive cars on the track and all our drivers drove some of their best laps of the season this weekend. We've been fighting temperature issues all year, but in a long endurance race in the heat of the day we had some gremlins we couldn't overcome. We know the source of today's overheating problems and already have it figured out for next season, so we look for a heck of a good run in 2008 with this solid team and driver line-up. Our Development year was all that we could have hoped for. Next year---we are running for Championships."