Birmingham: TRG qualifying report

All four TRG drivers post personal bests in qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park TRG Finished 1-2 at Laguna Seca Last Year BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After two days of practice and set up, it appears that the team has got it right as all four drivers...

All four TRG drivers post personal bests in qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park

TRG Finished 1-2 at Laguna Seca Last Year BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After two days of practice and set up, it appears that the team has got it right as all four drivers posted personal best times for the weekend in qualifying. TRG driver Tim George Jr. led the charge as the fastest of the four for tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park.

Driving the No. 67 Johnny Love Vodka/944 Magazine/Gleukos Porsche GT3 Cup, George fought a vibration in the steering wheel during his qualifying run, but still turned the ninth quickest lap of 1:29.910 (92.092 mph). George will co-drive with 2006 and 2004 Barber race-winner Andy Lally.

"We had a slight vibration in the steering wheel that appeared on the second lap," George said. "I just went for it and threw it in. I had another good lap going and then had some traffic, but that is the way it goes. I am happy with the top-10. We are the only TRG car in the top 10. I am looking forward to running with my new teammate Andy Lally in our TRG/Johnny Love Vodka/ 944 Magazine Porsche."

Ted Ballou also has a new teammate this weekend, Spencer Pumpelly. Ballou will start the No. 66 Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3 Cup from the eighth row after turning a qualifying time of 1:30.780 (91.210 mph).

"The car was good," Ballou said. "Spencer set it up well. We have a great car for the race. I made a little bobble on my fast lap and wasn't able to get the most out of it. We are solidly in the field and we will see how the race goes. The weekend looks good so far."

Hima Maher will start alongside Ballou in row eight after qualifying his No. 65 Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing/Total-R Insulation Solutions Porsche GT3 Cup for TRG/Riegel Autosport with a time of 1:31.791 (90.205 mph) around the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course. Once Maher's stint is over he will turn the car over to 2005 Rolex Series GT champion Craig Stanton.

"There were some things we needed to work on before qualifying and one was settling the car down under braking so we could turn the car in quicker," Maher said after qualifying. "We accomplished that and it allowed me to pick up my time everywhere. I think if we look at the data it will show it. So, we went out with a plan and it worked. I am really stoked because I am three seconds faster than this morning."

Josemanuel Gutierrez will start right behind Ballou in the No. 68 CRG Porsche GT3 Cup after setting his fast qualifying lap of 1:31.794 (90.202). Gutierrez will co-drive with Scott Schroeder.

"My qualifying went pretty well," Gutierrez said of his qualifying effort. "I had little trouble with my driver ID so I had to come in during the session to fix it. When I went back out, I was able to turn my best time of the weekend. I am very happy with the car. It is running well and it is fast. The crew has done a great job with this car. Now, we are going to make a couple of changes before the race. But, I think we have a good chance to be in the top-10 tomorrow."

"Qualifying went well," Team Owner Kevin Buckler said. "All four guys set really fast times. They dug down deep. I am really proud because the crew really put a good setup on these cars for qualifying. We set them up for the long race strategy. We are just trying to avoid any problems with the cars. Knowing that we have good cars for the race and that all of the guys drove their personal bests, I am pretty excited about tomorrow's race. Unfortunately, there are three Mazdas and two Pontiacs in the top-five, which is not good for the Porsche camp. Hopefully, maybe, we can outlast them."

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Spencer Pumpelly , Hima Maher , Ted Ballou , Scott Schroeder , Tim George Jr.