Aston Martin fared well on the streets of Long Beach.
The "Roar at the Shore presented by Kia" race at the Long Beach Street Circuit brought featured hard charges by all the TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America (TRG-AMR) drivers on Sunday, April 13. With four TRG-AMR race cars in the 41-car Pirelli World Challenge Championship field, there were fantastic results and best finishes from the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 drivers and an unfortunate accident for the TRG-AMR team in the always tough GT class.
The three GTS class entries had their strongest runs on the 1.968 miles, 11-turn street course in Long Beach, Calif. TRG-AMR driver Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., started from the 10th class position and drove a hard-charge race to a sixth place in his No. 02 TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT4, delivering his personal best-ever finish.
Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., was a contender for the "Hard Charger Award", as he piloted his No. 34 Natural Cures Aston Martin GT4 from the 19th position on the grid in the GT class to a 10th place finish on the streets of Long Beach.
Pirelli World Challenge 2014 rookie, Jorge De La Torre, gave a stellar performance, racing from 20th to 11th place in his No. 04 TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT4. De La Torre also staged his personal best.
Local favorite, Tomy Drissi of Hollywood, Calif. started from the 19th grid position in the very competitive GT class and was moving up the timing charts before he was sidelined after another car slowed in front of him which caused too much front-end damage for him to continue. He was sidelined on Lap 26 of the 32-lap race and was relegated to an 18th-place finish.
Kevin Buckler, CEO, TRG-AMR North America, LLC recaps the run by the TRG-AMR drivers this weekend: "I'm proud of all the guys. Tomi ran with some of the fastest guys on the planet up there with those cars in GT (class). Even with the crazy start and the big crash, he stayed out of trouble. He got in a little mischief where he got into the back of another competitor as he as they were both going deep. The Spider-Man 2 car got such great publicity and coverage all week. We had more people look at that car than any car out there all weekend, so that was really awesome. The other three guys all had personal bests. Drew (Regitz) had a great run, finished P6 with no mistakes, drove super heads up and aggressive and the guys he's running with up front are pros so that's fantastic."
On the race successes: "We got Nick's car working finally and he did a great job, including clocking his fastest lap of the weekend. I'm proud of him because this is his home track so we want to give him a really good run and unfortunately we made him start in the back of the field because of a mechanical gremlin and he came charging through the field. Jorge had his absolute personal best. This is only the second event for him. This is the majors and I just told him on the radio that I'm proud of him. He took the car, brought it home and got his personal best lap time in the middle of the race. So everybody did well. We have a rockin' team and the guys did a great job all weekend."
Tomy Drissi, Driver, No. 15 "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", in theaters May 2/Drissi Motorsports/TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT3 on his late race incident: "I made a little mistake so I laid back and let people go by. It was no big deal but the Mercedes hit me pretty hard. I don't think he was paying attention. Then I passed another car, came back again and got up to him and he was slowing me up. I came down the front straight and he seemed to brake a lot sooner than he should have and I hit him."
On the weekend recap: "The Spider-Man 2 car was good. We had to fight against people who have so much more experience all weekend. The TRG-Aston Martin Racing team was really good. It was flawless and there were just a couple little things that kept us from running with the front guys. We laid down a couple of laps that showed we could go fast. At this level of competition you have to really be right there, so we were missing a little bit. Hopefully we'll get some more sponsorship and come back and race some more. I like the team a lot. Kevin Buckler and the entire team did a good job. Thanks to Spider-Man 2 on the car, Aston Martin and TRG." Drew Regitz, Driver, No. 02 TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT4 on his all time best finish: "I'm really excited about my finish. Finishing sixth place is a career best. Thanks to TRG and the whole team for the help and coaching this weekend. Everyone pulled it off."
"It's been a challenge so far this year, so it was nice to get a nice clean race in. I think we learned a lot in the sessions earlier in the weekend about the car, so today was almost like our practice and race combined into one. The car ran well and the guys worked hard to get us back on track for the race. I'm excited going into (the next race at) Barber. It's the only sportscar track in the United States I haven't raced at. I'm really looking forward to Road America and Mid-Ohio and getting our likes into the car and I think were setting the pace for podium finishes in the upcoming months."
Jorge De La Torre, Driver, No. 04 TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT4 on racing nose-to-tail in the GTS class: "At the restart of the race I knew I could catch up to the car ahead of me, so I took the dive in on Turn Six and I kept him behind me for most of the race. It was really exciting to keep him behind me. Then, coming up on the last lap through Turn 11, he dived by me on the inside. I was already mentally there, so next time I'm ready and will know where to watch and know how to spot the car behind me. Today was a great learning experience."
On what motivated him during race: "In the beginning we had a stalled car in front of me so I was really pushing and pushing the whole race trying to catch up with people. What motivated me was something my coach James said earlier in the weekend , 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink' and today I prepared myself mentally and used everything I've been taught and that's what really motivated me to push even harder and I'm very happy with my results. I'm looking forward to the next race."