TRG announces GT Daytona 24H lineup

TRG Launches 5-Car Assault for 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona Petaluma, Ca. (December 15, 2006) - TRG, two-time class and 2003 overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winners, today announced a five-car assault on the 2007 Rolex 24. The team, which swept the ...

TRG Launches 5-Car Assault for 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona

Petaluma, Ca. (December 15, 2006) - TRG, two-time class and 2003 overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winners, today announced a five-car assault on the 2007 Rolex 24. The team, which swept the Grand-Am GT team, driver and manufacturer's championships in 2006, returns to its roots by fielding five Porsche 997's in the classic endurance race. Team owner Kevin Buckler expects the team to go from strength to strength at this year's race.

"As a product of an enormous amount of work, proper planning and incredible drivers, our team has historically had big success at Daytona. We're excited to start our 2007 season, and I'm thrilled about the car and driver combinations that we are fielding this year. Coming off our championships last year in GT, we thought what better way to come back than in a dominant, battle-hardened product like a Porsche 911. For more than 40 years, Porsche has been developing a race-bred car, and at TRG we've been racing them professionally since 1995. Porsche is our core business, and we're excited to take it back to the track. Yes - we're back!"

Car #64 will be driven by returning TRG drivers Jim Lowe and Jim Pace. The duo competed several times with TRG in 2006, and looks to extend their success in the series at Daytona this year. Pace, a Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring winjimlowe,jimpace,ner, will join Lowe and sportscar stalwarts Ralf Kelleners and Johannes van Overbeek.

Buckler commented, "I do not know that in all my days, I have seen someone approach 1 single race with as much foresight and discipline as has my friend Jim Lowe", commented team owner Kevin Buckler. "As one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the Northeast, Jim started preparing for this race last year and did his "warm-up" run at last years 24 and continued with an extensive racing and testing program throughout the year. His progress and pace has been excellent. I am proud to be working with him on this. Jim Pace is and has always been one of the worlds best endurance drivers and round that out with Johannes and Ralf and I would say we have a strong team."

Car #65 features Michael Gomez, Murray Marden, Brent Milner and John Peterson, who race under the tongue-in-cheek moniker "the Muffin Tops". "These four are a hoot and forget the nickname - they are all business. We have done an intense amount of preparation and testing for this event and they have improved at every turn. I have been very impressed with these guys. Watch them climb the leader board."

Car #66 - TRG's traditional number - will be driven by two-time Grand-Am driving champion and Rolex 24 winner Andy Lally, as well as returning veteran RJ Valentine, a stalwart to sportscar fans. Valentine will make his 22nd consecutive Rolex 24 start in 2007, and will also share driving duties with Spencer Pumpelly. The fourth driver of the #66 car is yet to be named.

Car #67 will be driven by successful Canadian Racer Pierre Bourque, European 24 hour veteran Tom Cloet, TRG team driver Michael Solley, and Auston Harris. Harris, of Hayward, California, will make his Rolex 24 debut, little more than 30 days after turning 16.

Buckler said, "This is a strong car and funny how it all came together. We have strengths coming from many areas. Mike Solley had competed successfully in the Rolex series and the 24 last year and is one of my favorite drivers - really a heads up guy. Pierre has a wealth of experience driving most recently with the Busch series in Canada and I think Tom Cloet as done every 24 hour race in the world and is a competitive Porsche driver in Europe."

Buckler continued, "In 2005, we ran a ground-breaking effort called ‘Team 16' with three talented 16-year old kids behind the wheel of one of our Porsches. The three of them have gone on to have some huge success - Colin Braun of course in the Daytona Prototypes, Brad Coleman has now signed with a Busch Series team, and Ace Carrio is moving up to Atlantics next year. I feel strongly that Auston Harris is a very talented driver, and deserving of the chance to prove his chops at this level. He's got all kinds of speed and determination and I am confident he will do well."

Rounding out the 2007 lineup, car #68 will be driven by Grand-Am Cup veteran Ted Ballou, Pro Mazda Star Brad Jaeger, open wheel competitor Rocco DeSimone, Jr., and longtime TRG driver Chris Gleason.

"This is my "sleeper car" and I mean that in a good way. These guys are all quick and all experienced. Seriously - watch this car," Buckler commented.

Buckler's summarized, "To say this is a huge deal for us would be an understatement. You can't believe how hard all the guys on the team have been working. We have several of the cars capable of running at the front and all the cars will be prepared and driven well. We are coming to Daytona to show that TRG is back in a big way with its longtime partner at Porsche and we are coming here to win."

Test days for the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona kick off on January 4-6, 2007, and the race will run on January 27-28.

-credit: theracersgroup.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Colin Braun , Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Johannes van Overbeek , Chris Gleason , Spencer Pumpelly , Jim Pace , Brad Jaeger , Tom Cloet , Murray Marden , Jim Lowe , Michael Solley , Ted Ballou , Pierre Bourque , Brent Milner , Michael Gomez , Auston Harris