home track TRG drivers Marc Bunting and Andy Lally would appreciate some repeat action during the six-hour Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on June 12. Bunting, of Monkton, Md., and Lally, of Dacula, Ga., won the SGS...
TRG drivers Marc Bunting and Andy Lally would appreciate some repeat action during the six-hour Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on June 12. Bunting, of Monkton, Md., and Lally, of Dacula, Ga., won the SGS class at Watkins Glen in 2004, took the standings lead and went on to win the class championship. They're hoping for the same results this year in the No. 65 Auto Gallery/TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car they drive in the GT class. A win would be especially sweet for Lally, who was born in Northport, N.Y., and has a host of wins on the historic New York road course.
"This is formerly, but still in my heart, my home track. Growing up in New York, this was always one of my favorite places to race -- and still is," he said. "I like the rhythm, I like the transitions, I like everything about it. It's got some really cool, challenging, high-speed corners. We won last year, took the points lead and never relinquished it after that. We obviously want to repeat and come back and win it again."
Marc Bunting savors victory as much as any driver, but he has his eye on a bigger prize -- the Rolex Series GT championship. He believes smart racing is the key.
"That's how we won the championship last year. We didn't win the most races, but we were more consistent than the other guys," he explained. "There's a time when you have to think about the overall picture. Everyone wants to win every race but, at least for us, our goal is the championship."
Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., and Robert Nearn of London, England, have teamed up for most of the remaining 2005 Rolex Series races, driving the No. 88 Comfort Systems USA Porsche. Nearn thinks the 3.37-mile grand prix course at Watkins Glen is a great place to start their driving partnership, although he expects tough competition.
"There's a lot of change in elevation and two parts of the track have pretty high speed, which makes the overtaking slightly easier. There are a lot of intricacies where the tarmac changes grip, so some corners have more grip than other corners. Sometimes you're braking uphill, sometimes downhill, off-camber. There's just a lot going on with the track that keeps you interested and keeps you challenged," he said.
"The top five in the class are pretty competitive, so to have a podium, you're going to have to have a trouble-free run -- nothing mechanical, no accidents, just plenty of reliability."