Birmingham: The Racers Group race report

Consistent Racing Brings Two More Podiums into TRG's 2006 Campaign Petaluma, Ca. (July 30, 2006) - The fourth win of the season for Marc Bunting and Andy Lally in the ...

Consistent Racing Brings Two More Podiums into TRG's 2006 Campaign

Petaluma, Ca. (July 30, 2006) - The fourth win of the season for Marc Bunting and Andy Lally in the #65 TRG/F1 Air Pontiac GTO.R came after a race full of yellow flags and patient, consistent racing at the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant. With thunderstorms looming over Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, TRG sent its three-car assault onto the track to continue a successful 2006 season in the Grand American Rolex GT Class.

Joining Bunting and Lally in the starting grid were Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards in the #64 TRG/iRise GTO.R and Marc Bullock and Mike Solley in the #44 TRG/Solley Motorsports Porsche GT3. All three TRG vehicles crossed the start/finish; the Pontiac GTO.R #65 in first place, closely followed by it’s sister car, #64, in third. The team Porsche, car #44, had encountered a slipping clutch early on, forcing the team to pit the car and undergo an entire clutch replacement. The focused crew completed the job in approximately one hour. In the end, the #65 victory stretched the team and driver championship lead for Bunting and Lally to 11 points, while the third place finish by the #64 gave TRG another two podiums to add to the 19 it has amassed thus far in 2006.

Bunting started the #65 in third and raced through two full-course cautions before handing the car to Lally on lap 22. The vehicle dropped as far as 12th, but Lally powered the LS2 equipped GTO through the field, finally taking the lead from the #72 NEC Porsche for good. Starting second on the grid was Collins, who, along with co-driver Edwards, pushed their sports car hard and fast, retaining 2nd place throughout most of the event. Crossing the line in third is a testament to their consistent pace throughout the 2006 campaign, as they have been on the podium in 9 out of 13 races.

"This current Podium run for us is absloutely incredible," commented team owner Kevin Buckler. “I think this is 17 in a row for the team. This is how you win championships. Our entire team is really switched on right now. At this point though, we only really care about 2 more."

The #44 Porsche (rebadged from #67) also ran a clean race and finished 15th in the GT class. Driver Mike Solley was joined this week by TRG driver Marc Bullock. Solley has been building his experience throughout the season with TRG and continues to improve. Buckler noted that "Mike qualified great! He was mixing it up with the big boys and really holding his own. I am sorry about the clutch but was blown away at how fast the guys got it fixed and got it back out there. Marc drove a marathon stint and did a fantastic job. It was really hot. I was proud of both of them."

The GT class will take a breather while the DP cars compete at Watkins Glen on the 11th of August. TRG racing returns to its home course, Infineon Raceway, for the next GT event on August 27th. SPEED TV will air live coverage of the race at 6pm EST (3pm PST).

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Kelly Collins , Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Marc Bullock