Birmingham: TRG preview

TRG Ready for Rigors of Barber Petaluma, Calif., (July 14, 2009) - TRG is headed to Alabama's Barber Motorsport Park for round eight of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union. The 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course...

TRG Ready for Rigors of Barber

Petaluma, Calif., (July 14, 2009) - TRG is headed to Alabama's Barber Motorsport Park for round eight of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union.

The 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course rolls through a park like setting offering nearly every kind of turn. Combine the rigors of 16-turns with near 100-degree heat, throw in a chance of rain and TRG's drivers will be challenged all weekend by the competition and Mother Nature.

Spencer Pumpelly, in the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3, is looking forward to Barber, a home race for the Atlanta resident.

"Barber should favor cars that are easy on tires," Pumpelly said. "It is almost all corners so keeping the tires alive in the Alabama heat is going to be the key. Barber has big useable curbs so the car needs to be able to take full advantage of them and settle back down quickly. Barber is the closest we race to my home in the Atlanta area so I have lots of friends and neighbors planning to make the trip. Until Grand-Am runs Road Atlanta this is my home race."

Justin Marks and Andy Lally in the No. 67 Construct Corps/Kartel Motorsports/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 are coming off of a third place finish at Daytona and looking to make the finish at Barber two steps better on the rostrum.

"The Porsche is typically good off the corners with forward bite, which is what you need for a circuit like Barber," Marks said. "Honestly, much of the advantage of long straights will be gone this weekend so we'll really have to maximize the balance and running a clean, smart race. I expect to have to fight hard against the Mazdas and Pontiacs this time. Barber is a technical and diverse track. You need a good overall balance, but we have to be able to get the power down out of the corners. We have to get the car handling well and rely on some race-craft to win. I've run two Rolex races at Barber and won both of them. I have great memories from this track. It's one of my favorite places to go and always a lot of fun."

"Barber is a great track and it seems like you are constantly turning," Lally said. "The track is wide and smooth and there are many off-camber turns and quick transitions. Putting the power down coming off of the tight corners as well as the ones that are off-camber is usually our biggest challenge. It is a little bit of a compromise because you need to be good in the fast stuff as well. I won there in 2004 and 2006 in Rolex and the KONI Challenge in 2007. The Rolex wins were both pivotal in winning the championship in each of those years. Barber certainly is a favorite circuit of mine. It's also only a couple hours away from my house in Atlanta."

John Potter and Craig Stanton had their No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 at the front of the field through most of the day at Daytona, until an electrical problem thwarted a strong finish. The duo will be looking to carry their practice speed through to the race this weekend.

"We had the strongest start to a race weekend all year at Daytona two weeks ago," John Potter said. "In the race we had an electrical problem that had us hanging on for the finish. Barber is a tough track and we will need to get the setup just right. We have three teammates to compare notes with and a lot practice time as well as the KONI race to get the cars just right."

Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder put their No. 68 Cohen Financial/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche in seventh at Daytona, the pair's best finish of the season. Barber will challenge the Mexican and young Californian to better that place on Sunday.

"The carousel after the front straight, for me, is the hardest turn to go fast around, the turn goes on and on forever," Gutierrez said. "You have to carry good speed well into the turn, and then at the right spot, get back to gas, however if you are not careful enough the car will tend to push horribly."

Team owner Kevin Buckler knows Barber is a good track for his Porsches.

"We have done very well here in the past," Buckler said. "The track lends itself to a great handling car and we can usually get our Porsches right-on for this race. There are no big rewards here for high horsepower, just handling, smart driving and good strategy. We will need to keep a close eye on our tire wear as it will be hot and all of the turns can eat up the rubber in a hurry. We will need our drivers to be conservatively aggressive this weekend."

The Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union from Barber Motorsport Park will be televised live on the SPEED Channel, Sunday, July 19 starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.

-credit: trg

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Justin Marks , Spencer Pumpelly , Craig Stanton , Scott Schroeder , John Potter