TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Exercise at Homestead Homestead, Florida -- TRG's GTO.Rs participated in the winter testing program at Homestead Miami Speedway this past Monday and Tuesday. Drivers Andy Lally, R.J. Valentine, Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen...
TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Exercise at Homestead
Homestead, Florida -- TRG's GTO.Rs participated in the winter testing program at Homestead Miami Speedway this past Monday and Tuesday. Drivers Andy Lally, R.J. Valentine, Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen were on hand to exercise the GTO.Rs with a look toward the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve feature event and 2006 season opener, the Daytona 24 Hours.
The circuit located inland from Miami played host to two days of Hoosier Tire Testing on the 2.3-mile modified oval road course. TRG utilized the valuable off-season testing time to fine tune the GTO.Rs setup and evaluate updated components with an eye towards Daytona in less than seven weeks.
"The team had a plan to work on some new parts and pieces as well as do some long runs," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "We drove the cars hard for two days. The team has put a lot of good miles on the GTO.Rs throughout our abbreviated race schedule in 2005, but nothing that will compare to the rigors we will face at Daytona in less than 50-days."
"The crew made good use of the time at Homestead to work on top speed; we are still about 6 to 8 miles an hour down on speed to the Porsches around the oval per our radar gun. The guys did a good job to setup the car and we were quick through the infield. We also had some new GT competitors show up at Homestead, the Mazda looked very strong! I welcome the competition and with the GTO.Rs, the usual heard of Porsches, a couple of Vettes sprinkled in there as well as the new Mazdas, the GT class is looking to be more competitive than ever. We are looking forward to a hard fight next season and I applaud Grand Am for their efforts in bringing new competitors to the series."
"Jan, Paul and Andy were doing the heavy lifting of testing the new pieces and performing the long runs. The guys were able to post times that were at the top of the timing charts, but we will have to see how we do when all the competition is on hand. I am very proud of the way the team is working together. It is starting to feel a bit like our Cinderella year in 2002, but we have a long way to go before Daytona. We came away from Homestead with confidence in our advances since Mexico City as well as a list of things we need to fix for the early January test day. After that we won't have a lot of time to get the cars ready for the 24 hours."
"With the driver lineups in the GTO.Rs as yet to be finalized for Daytona, the team is pleased to announce that long time friend and TRG driver R.J. Valentine will be driving with us again this coming season. R.J. did a great job getting familiar with the GTO.R and turned in fast, consistent lap times."
The team also tested Pro Mazda front runner Adrian "Ace" Carrio on Tuesday afternoon. "We were looking for an opportunity to put a hot youngster in the car for some testing and other possibilities in the future. It really fits with our team's image to bring on young talent. Ace immediately came to mind as he was one of the drivers in our Team 16 program earlier this season at Daytona. Just like before, he was very impressive and followed our instructions to the letter. We think Ace has a real future in professional motor racing," continued Buckler.
TRG is finalizing its driver parings for Daytona and will be announcing those as well as several sponsor initiatives within the coming weeks.