Road America: The Racer's Group qualifying report

TRG Qualify 4th for Road America 500 Elkhart Lake, WI -- August 21, 2004 - Patrick Long qualified the ...

TRG Qualify 4th for Road America 500

Elkhart Lake, WI -- August 21, 2004 - Patrick Long qualified the #66 New Century Mortgage/Monster Cable Porsche in 4th position in the GT grid for tomorrow's race, lapping the ultra-quick Road America course in 2:09.330. The team experimented with suspension and brake setups throughout Saturday's two practice sessions, and settled on a configuration that will provide reliability as well as ultimate race pace.

Long, the American Porsche works driver, felt that he let it all hang out in his qualifying session. "Cort and I are happy with our result!" he said. "Personally, I felt that it was my most impressive qualifying session of the year, because at some of the other tracks I feel like I made slight mistakes that cost me a tenth of a second here and there. Today, I hit all of my marks and used the car to its full potential, and in a car that we feel is perfectly set up for the race -- the #66 car was dancing through some of the corners, which tells me that we've got it right! We have a good margin between us and some of the other competitive cars in the class, so we're most definitely in the hunt for the race."

Eight of the 12 GT cars which qualified today had fast lap times of within one second of each other, a testament to the quality of the field and the level of competition among the teams. The slight differentials in times was not lost on team owner Kevin Buckler, who said, "It was a great qualifying session here, and the field is as tight as I've ever seen it. Both cars are in great shape for the race, and I'm proud of our drivers for getting around this place so quickly. The team did a great job of getting both cars out of the trailer and immediately into a well set-up platform, and we'll have a good run tomorrow."

Cort Wagner, who finished 2nd in last year's Road America 500, commented on the dynamics of the track. "It's a unique track to set up for," he said, "because a good lap here requires a lot of rhythm and momentum. When we try setup changes, like the new brakes or suspension tweaks like we did this morning, it takes a couple of laps to understand the effect that those changes have. As usual, though, TRG put together a great race car for Patrick and me, and we're excited to get out there tomorrow."

The #67 Flamingo Resort/TRG Porsche qualified in 2:12.027, and will start tomorrow's race on the 11th row. Pierre Ehret, who will co-drive with Philip Collin, commented about the car and track. "The car is well set up, and feels very balanced, which inspires confidence. Philip is a very competitive driver, and I think that together we'll make a good duo in the race tomorrow."

TRG will look to score its first podium finish of 2004 in the Road America 500. The race will be televised live on Speed Channel on Sunday, August 22 at 2pm ET.

-trg-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Pierre Ehret , Patrick Long , Cort Wagner