TRG-AMR produces strong two-car finish at Sebring

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Riddle, Wilson lead team in 4th place in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

TRG-AMR just missed the podium in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race Friday, March 14 at Sebring International Raceway, as the team of Max Riddle and Kris Wilson finished fourth in the No. 07 Residences at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4.

Kenneth Greenberg and James Davison teamed up to finish 14th in the No. 09 Residences at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 in the 59-car race.

Still, those finishes were deceiving. The two-hour, 30-minute race was slowed by numerous caution periods. The final 23 minutes of the race on the 17-turn, 3.74-mile Sebring circuit took place under caution because of an accident.

#009 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage: Kris Wilson, Max Riddle, Brandon Davis
#009 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage: Kris Wilson, Max Riddle, Brandon Davis

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

"Both cars finishing on the lead lap with a big track and a big race like this was fantastic," TRG-AMR CEO Kevin Buckler said. "The opening drivers did great. Kenneth was up there hanging with all these young bucks and did a fantastic job. And Max kept the car mostly in the top 10 the whole time. I was really proud of him. Kris and James did such a great job at the end.

"It doesn't seem there was any reason why the track couldn't go green at the end. We came here to race. Any time they can throw the green flag, they should. So I really disagree with that decision. Having said that, I'm proud of my team. The crew and guys built one hell of a program over the last few months, and it really showed."

Pit strategy and smooth driving helped Riddle take the lead during the opening stint of the race after starting 11th overall and in the GS class before handing the V8 Vantage GT4 to Wilson in the top 10. Wilson sliced through the field up to fourth and was ready to put TRG-AMR on the podium before the race ended with the long caution.

"If the race ended under green, we would have been on the podium, for sure," Riddle said. "It would have been great to put this TRG-Aston Martin on the podium. We'll come back next time and make sure we do."

Said Wilson: "I thought we were going to do at least a last-lap shootout, maybe two laps. The track was all cleaned up and ready to go. The top five or 10 cars, we were all warming the tires, scrubbing the tires and getting ready to go. And then we saw the pace car stay out, and we were like, 'What?'"

TRG-AMR co-owner and partner Greenberg continued to benefit from seat time by turning competitive lap times during his opening stint. He fell one lap down just before handing the car to Davison, who regained the lap under caution.

"I just felt I had a good run," Greenberg said. "I'd rather chase than be chased. It gives me something to shoot for. That way I don't have to look in my mirrors and worry about who's coming where. I had my butt in the seat. If I had it in any longer, who knows what would have happened? I'm not going to be right up there in front, but I could give somebody a good run for their money, and I did. It was fun."

Numerous and lengthy cautions prevented Davison from ever establishing a rhythm and showing his speed and the car's performance.

"You just have those days in racing," Davison said. "It could always be worse. The car could be crashed. It's in one piece. We'll just regroup and go to the next one."

The next race is May 3 at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., near the team's home base in Petaluma, Calif.

Max Riddle (No. 07 Residences at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4): "Our race at Sebring went really well. My first stint was pretty good. I kept the car clean, kept the car pretty much right up front doing good fast laps. I handed off the car to Kris, and Kris did a great job. Unfortunately, the race finished under yellow. If the race ended under green, we would have been on the podium, for sure. It would have been great to put this TRG-Aston Martin on the podium. We'll come back next time and make sure we do."

Kris Wilson (No. 07 Residences at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4): (About race ending under long caution): "I thought we were going to do at least a last-lap shootout, maybe two laps. The track was all cleaned up and ready to go. The top five or 10 cars, we were all warming the tires, scrubbing the tires and getting ready to go. And then we saw the pace car stay out, and we were like, 'What?'" (About Max Riddle's early laps): "He was doing great. He got up in the lead. We had some pit strategy and stuff like that, but he was leading the race and getting some TV time. There's nothing wrong with that."

Kenneth Greenberg (No. 09 Residences at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4): " I just felt I had a good run. I'd rather chase than be chased. It gives me something to shoot for. That way I don't have to look in my mirrors and worry about who's coming where. I had my butt in the seat. If I had it in any longer, who knows what would have happened? I'm not going to be right up there in front, but I could give somebody a good run for their money, and I did. It was fun."

James Davison (No. 09 Residences at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4): "We got the lap back. Unfortunately there were a substantial number of substantial crashes that led the race to be run under caution for the very vast majority, so I never got the chance to move forward. You just have those days in racing. It could always be worse. The car could be crashed. It's in one piece. We'll just regroup and go to the next one." (Were you surprised there was no restart after the last crash?): "To be honest, I was, especially on the last lap because the whole track was clear. They could have restarted the race. I don't understand why they didn't."

Kevin Buckler (CEO, TRG-AMR): "Both cars finishing on the lead lap with a big track and a big race like this was fantastic. The opening drivers did great. Kenneth was up there hanging with all these young bucks and did a fantastic job. And Max kept the car mostly in the top 10 the whole time. I was really proud of him. Kris and James did such a great job at the end. It doesn't seem there was any reason why the track couldn't go green at the end. We came here to race. Any time they can throw the green flag, they should. So I really disagree with that decision. Having said that, I'm proud of my team. The crew and guys built one hell of a program over the last few months, and it really showed."

TRG-AMR

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Series IMSA
Article type Race report
Tags james davison, kenneth greenberg, kevin buckler, kris wilson, max riddle, sebring, trg-amr