Watkins Glen II: The Racer's Group preview

TRG Racing in the Rain at Watkins Glen Watkins Glen, NY -- August 12, 2004 - The two-car Porsche team of The Racer's Group hit the ground running in Watkins Glen, NY Tuesday the scene of this Friday's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race.

TRG Racing in the Rain at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, NY -- August 12, 2004 - The two-car Porsche team of The Racer's Group hit the ground running in Watkins Glen, NY Tuesday the scene of this Friday's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race. The team scored its sixth podium finish of the season last weekend in Mid-Ohio, and co-drivers Chris Gleason, RJ Valentine and Ian James will look to close the gap on GT points leaders Bill Auberlen and Boris Said in Friday's 200-mile race. The trio is currently in third place in the GT driver's championship, and aim are targeting another podium finish this weekend.

"It's been a great season so far," said RJ Valentine, driver of the #66 F1 Air/Gleason Agency Porsche 911 GT3 RS. "We've had a string of quality finishes, and are looking to put a cap on the season in the next few races. I've been thrilled with the whole season so far -- we get tremendous support from Kevin and TRG. I believe that Kevin's years of experience pay off, and that our cars are the class of the field. The team understands all the nuances of racing -- they provide us drivers with in-car video from each track we go to, they know ahead of time exactly what gear ratios to run. Aside from that, the team and drivers have great chemistry -- it makes coming to the races each week like coming home again. My driving has picked up this season, and I've never been so excited about it -- two days after one of the races, I find myself back on a shifter kart trying to learn technique and get even quicker. Having four podium finishes so far has been a milestone, but the season's not over and we're still eager for more top finishes."

Valentine's co-driver Ian James has had an incredibly busy season, racing in three separate championships -- the Grand Am Rolex and Cup series, as well as the American Le Mans Series. In the ALMS, he finished in 2nd place at last weekend's event in Mosport, distancing himself from challengers to his LMP2 driver's throne. He is currently leading that particular championship with three races left, and is among the top three drivers in both the Grand-Am Rolex and Cup series. Having made several dashes back and forth across the Canadian border to run three races last weekend, he found himself with two days to recover in Watkins Glen before this Friday's race.

"I feel great," Ian said, "having a couple of days off helped me recover, and I'm full of confidence for this weekend's race. We need to keep finishing high in the standings. One DNF by either of the two GT leaders blows the points chase wide open again, so I'm excited to take the fight to them."

Team owner Kevin Buckler arrived in Watkins Glen Monday night from Mosport, and had a couple of days to recover and catch up on work. He commented, "It's cool to run with the Nextel Cup guys again, it's nice to have them around to bring the crowd to the race. Our team got here straight from Mid-Ohio, so they had a couple of days to prepare the cars and as usual, have them in great shape for the race this weekend. With the wet weather here today, we're working on finding the right setup for both wet conditions and dry. We've got a good handle on it, and thankfully we have two long sessions yet today to get find the ideal setup."

The Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series will race in support of NASCAR in the Sahlen's 200 this week. The race will be broadcast on Speed Channel at 10pm ET on Friday, August 13th. -trg-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Bill Auberlen , Kevin Buckler , Ian James , Chris Gleason