Watkins Glen International
TRG Heads to Watkins Glen Looking for Another Endurance Win
Petaluma, CA, (June 1,2011) - TRG will be running this weekend's Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 Sahlen's Six-Hour at The Glen with a powerful line-up for the team. Rolex 24 Hour winners Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly are joined by Ryan Eversley in the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy/TRG/Porsche Saturday's race that will take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. ET.
TRG is looking to add another victory at the Six-Hours at The Glen to their Rolex 24 Hour endurance trophy case for 2011. The team has a strong racing history at Watkins Glen. As a driver Kevin Buckler logged many miles around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn long course. The team has posted four wins at The Glen in 2010, 2007 and two in 2005, including an epic one-two finish in the Daytona Prototype class in 2005. Beyond the Six-Hours at The Glen, the team has raced to several other milestones, like handing General Motors their first ever victory with the Pontiac GTO.R program on the "short course." In addition the team has witnessed success in NASCAR at The Glen as well with Andy Lally placing in the top 10 in the Nationwide Series race in 2007. Lally then went on to qualify 14th and finish 18th two years later in the Sprint Cup Series race. The team is excited to exercise their Porsches around one of the most famous natural terrain road courses in the world.
Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly, have had a solid season so far driving the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy/TRG Porsche GT3 Cup. The duo has demonstrated fast race laps at each event and both have shiny Rolex watches from the team's win at the Rolex 24 Hour in February. Ryan Eversley, who also drove for TRG at the Rolex 24, took an impressive eighth place in his debut with the team. Eversley is a full-time competitor in the Grand Am Continental Tire Challenge Series where he took a victory two-weeks ago at Virginia International Raceway.
"Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca and Road America are my three most favorite tracks," Bertheau said. "All three are fun and fast. This track has character, history and attitude. If you don't believe it about the attitude, remember those blue guard rails on both sides of the track are only a few feet from your race car. The keys to a successful six-hour race are preparation, strategy, a strong team both in the car and in the pits and having no mistakes. The car, the drivers, and the crew all have to be in top condition and mentally ready. Having the car set-up properly for the Esses is important. Gears are important, brakes are important and so is courage."
Spencer Pumpelly has three wins at The Glen, two in the six-hour and is ready for another one.
"I have three wins, two of which were in the six-hour and too many podiums to count," Pumpelly said. "It is probably my most successful track on the schedule. The Glen is my favorite track. I like the high-speed turns. It is a throwback to an era when it was OK for race cars to go fast. The town has a lot of history and beauty making it one of the best events of the year. To be successful at The Glen you need speed. If Daytona is no longer an endurance race, but rather a long sprint, The Glen's six-hours has become even more so. With the new asphalt, the old asphalt, and the rippled concrete patches the set-up is always a compromise. We need a decent car everywhere as opposed to a great car in some places and a bad car in others."
Ryan Eversley will be making his first Rolex Series Watkins Glen GT start on Saturday. He has a second place finish in the Continental Challenge Series at The Glen, so he knows his way around the circuit.
This is a huge event for us.
"I've never raced in the Rolex Series at The Glen before, but I finished second here in Continental Challenge ST last year," Eversley said. "The Glen is probably in my top three favorite tracks behind VIR and Road America because it is high speed and requires courage as much as technical skills. Plus the six-hour is a historic event and I can't wait to race it. The key to Steve, Spence, and I being successful is getting comfy with a set-up we all like. I'm a bit of a chameleon so I'll drive it however Spence and Steve think is best and just do my job as the third driver. Also, understanding the yellows and the wave-by's is super important. Having Kevin on the box will be great. Key turns are the Esses for sure since they are the fastest turns on track and the entire Boot. Another key is getting maximum exit speed out of the Laces, the Toe and the Heal because they are all great passing zones going into the following corners."
Kevin Buckler, team owner, is coming off recent knee surgery and will be restricted to the pit box.
"This is a huge event for us and for sportscar racing in North America," Buckler said. "We have a really strong history at The Glen. I had to somehow slip in this surgery on my knee. I think I have used up my allowable quota for knee abuse on tennis courts, moguls and wakes, so I needed to get it done. There is never a good time because of the recovery period and crutches, but oh well. I am going to hobble up there and I am really looking forward to being with the team. When you are on one leg, San Francisco is a long way from Watkins Glen. Steve has been working so hard on his driving and we just had an amazing couple of days testing. He rocked! Having Spense and Ryan on board is strong and we are coming back as the defending race champs. The Porsche should be on a more level playing field here, but we are still struggling to keep up with the tube frame cars on most tracks. Whatever changes the series throws at them they just seem to go faster. Strategy plays a really important role at The Glen and I am glad I can lend a hand, and leg, to support the boys."