NASCAR's Brendan Gaughan to Run Rolex 24 Hour with TRG Petaluma, CA, (November 24, 2010) - TRG announced today their third strong entry in the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona.
NASCAR's Brendan Gaughan to Run Rolex 24 Hour with TRG
Petaluma, CA, (November 24, 2010) - TRG announced today their third strong entry in the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona. The three-time Rolex 24 winners will field the TRG/HP/South Point Casino/Porsche 997 with drivers Steve Bertheau, Brendan Gaughan, Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, and a Porsche Factory Driver to be named later, for the twice around the clock race to be run at Daytona International Speedway on January 29th.
Bertheau and Gaughan will be taking part in their first Rolex 24 Hour race. Bertheau is a product of the TRG driver ladder competing in Continental Challenge and Rolex Series GT events over the last 18-months. Gaughan is a seasoned NASCAR competitor. Gaughan raced a sports car with TRG at Montreal in 2009, ran the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last weekend at Phoenix and is looking forward to his first Rolex 24 Hour.
"If you're talking sports car racing and you say TRG it is a very powerful name," Gaughan said. "I did the Montreal race two years ago with TRG and Andy as my co-driver. My whole goal was to get within a second of Andy's time. I did get within a second of him and I was really happy with my drive. Andy and I attended driver's school together in the 90's so I know how good he is with endurance racing. I've known him a long time. I love the sports cars. I drove them early in my career and that is where I was going. Once we had the relationship with Kevin Buckler and Andy, I have been thinking of doing the 24 Hour race for a few years. The timing is right. I told Kevin if I do it I want the best, I want to run with Andy and Spencer. We have Steve, Andy, Spencer and a Porsche Factory driver. This is a team that can win the 24 Hours at Daytona. I will make sure I do my job, give the car to Andy and Spence and say here you go guys, I didn't hurt it for you."
Bertheau will run his first Rolex 24 Hour as a part of the TRG driver ladder program.
"I think that we have an incredible team set-up for the 24 hour race," Bertheau said. "Spencer and Andy are past 24 hour race winners, incredible drivers and communicators and work extremely well together. Brendan is very fast, has experience with the track and has great skills driving fast through traffic. The Porsche factory driver will bring us a wealth of knowledge, experience, and driving skill. We have the TRG GT crew that always does magic with the car, and then of course we have Kevin who brings his multiple endurance race winning experience for developing and modifying our strategy as things unfold throughout the race. You never want to over predict anything because it is a long race and anything can happen, but the strength of this team along with our brand new 2011 Porsche Grand-Am car certainly gives us a great starting point. My approach to running my first Rolex 24 hour race is to be a sponge and soak up all the experiences of our incredible team. Getting a lot of seat time in the practices and working with the team will be the key for me. I need to have fast consistent laps, keep the car safe and reliable for my teammates, and be error free on the track and in the pits."
Lally is a two time Rolex 24 winner wearing the watches from 2009 and '01.
"I'm stoked about our chances for the 24 with our driver line-up this year," Lally said. "This will be the first time in four years that Spence and I will be back together in a car at Daytona and last time we ran together we led a huge portion of the race. Having Brendan on board is really cool as well because even though the guy has raced just about everything in the world, as well as won in it, this will be his first time at the 24 and I know he is psyched to get at it. Having Steve with us will be cool as well, Steve will be our newest guy on the team and this will also be his first 24, but he has been doing very well with us at all the other Rolex events he has done. I'm looking forward to working with him to produce a solid, fast and smart performance"
Pumpelly won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2006 in a Porsche.
"I am really excited to be co-driving with my good friend and longtime teammate Andy," Pumpelly said. "Though we have been teammates at TRG for several years we have not had the opportunity to be in the same car very often and when we have it has been quite successful winning three of the five times we have run Rolex endurance races together as well as helping to clinch the championship in the season finale in 2006. Steve Bertheau has been an integral part of our team for several races now and should be up to speed in short time. I am looking forward to meeting and working with Brendan who brings a lot of professional racing experience to our team."
This entry will give TRG three cars, so far, for 2011 and a record 64th entry in the Rolex 24 Hour. The team that has traditionally prepared strong multi-car programs for the race has several more announcements pending.
Team owner Kevin Buckler continues to expand his footprint in the Daytona garage area for the 2011 race. Buckler is a two time winning driver in 2002 and 2003, winning the race overall in '03, as well as directed his team to a one-two finish in '09.
"This is flat-out a great driver line-up," Buckler said. "We have two seasoned pros and past Rolex winners with Andy and Spencer. We bring in two strong Rolex 24 newbie's with Steve and Brendan, but both very competent behind the wheel and both are fiery competitors. The coaching and experience by the whole TRG clan will help to raise the game for all of our drivers. Steve has been a fantastic team member over the last two seasons and seeing him develop as a professional driver has been rewarding for me. Brendan is about as diverse a driver as there is having competed at the top levels of NASCAR and with a great history in off road racing as well. His off road endurance experience at night will really help the team. These two guys are my friends and are very fun guys who love to race. I am very pleased the way the whole team has come together and we are putting our heads down now and going to work. We want to win this race!"
TRG Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona entries:
TRG/Racing for Research/Porsche
TRG/HP/South Point Casino/Porsche