Birmingham: TRG race report

TRG Puts Three in Top Ten at Barber Birmingham, Ala, (July 19, 2009) - TRG put three of its Porsche GT cars in the top ten today at the Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union run at Barber Motorsports Park. Craig ...

TRG Puts Three in Top Ten at Barber

Birmingham, Ala, (July 19, 2009) - TRG put three of its Porsche GT cars in the top ten today at the Grand-Am Rolex Series Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union run at Barber Motorsports Park. Craig Stanton and Iron Man John Potter led the TRG brigade with an eighth place finish.

John Potter pulled triple duty today behind the wheel of the No. 41 Magnus Racing Porsche KONI Sports Car Challenge car, the No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3 as well as the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3. Potter and teammate Craig Stanton took the "Buckler Cup" as the top placing TRG GT car today coming home in eighth.

"It was a lot of fun today driving three cars," Potter said. "I was a little nervous in the GT race because the 66 and 65 cars are slightly different. Craig and I had a really good day in the 65 car with an eighth place finish. We have been able to put together a string of good finishes the last few races. The 66 car was good as well and I finished behind myself in ninth in that car."

"Andy and Spence are gentleman," Stanton said. "The three of us were running together for the last ten laps and they raced us clean and helped us to a good finish. The 65 team is gaining momentum every outing. John Potter is getting better every race. He took Iron Man status today. He likes to drive a lot and that is good. The car was good today. The tires would hang in there for 20 laps and then give up pretty quickly. I was able to manage them all of the way and then used them up to stay ahead of Andy and Spencer at the end."

Spencer Pumpelly had the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3 as a high as fourth today. Sharing with John Potter, Pumpelly was able to bring the car home in ninth.

"We had a pretty extreme tire situation today," Pumpelly said. "As a result we went with a pretty extreme setup. It was a gamble. I think we went too far over the edge with it and it affected the speed of the car. We are hanging in there. It was a tough day for all of the Porsches. The tires wouldn't last a fuel stint. The guys with the freshest tires won the race today. Pretty disappointing when it comes down that aspect."

Justin Marks started the No. 67 Construct Corps/Kartel Motorsports/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 and was able to move up to seventh during his stint. On lap 16 he reported contact in the rear from a DP car. This eventually manifested itself into a flat rear tire that he had to nurse all the way around from turn one. Andy Lally got in the car and was able to make-up time and bring the 67 car home in tenth.

"The Prep 1 cars were able to dominate today," Lally said. "The guys with those chassis were able to dial their cars into the track and the tires. Porsches are favored when we have extended length straight-aways of 150 mph plus. Combine no long straights with an abrasive track and that is tough for us. I think we had the best Porsche in the field today. Justin got punted by a DP and had the flat at totally the wrong spot in turn one. We got two laps down and made the best of it. The best part about the end of this race is we're that much closer to Watkins Glen."

Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder had a tough outing in the No. 68 Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche. Gutierrez started the car and immediately experienced a mis-fire from the motor. The team diagnosed the problem as a bad throttle position sensor, a fix that would have sidelined the car. Schroeder tried to keep the car on the track to end, but fell a few laps short when he was forced to park it at the exit of turn five during the last caution on lap 91.

"It was a tough way to end the day for us," Gutierrez said.  "The car was
really good and then we had that problem with the sensor.  The motor
issue was there from the very beginning and progressively got worse.  We
just kept loosing speed.  When Scott got in they tried to fix it and then
it just kept getting worse and he had to pull off the track.  That is how
racing is.  We are looking forward to Watkins."

"When I got in the car we had a slight miss, a problem with the throttle control sensor," Schroeder said. "With the car like that it slowly got worse. The guys were able to diagnose the issue, and determined it was not going to hurt the motor so we continued and eventually had to park it with a few laps to go. No damage done. It was one of those couple dollar pieces that ruins your day. The guys worked hard this weekend and I am looking forward to Watkins Glen."

Team owner Kevin Buckler knew the Pontiacs and Mazdas would be tough to beat today.

"With the tire situation it was a tough day for our Porsches," Buckler said. "It is really ludicrous that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a weekend like this, prepare four immaculate cars, bring 50 crew and eight drivers, but the tires Pirelli gives us won't even do a full stint. We have been battling this crap for two years. Whatever tires we ran today, they were not the same tire we raced at the last race or the ones we spent the last two months setting our cars up for. This is truly amazing that it is tolerated by the series. Why even test? It is all for naught if the tires can't hold out. We don't deserve this. We could hang with them for about 10 or so laps and then just fall back. John Potter was our Beast today, running three different cars. He and Craig did a great job in the 65. Justin had some tough luck early with contact, but Andy was able to put it in the top ten at the checker. Josemanuel and Scott tried to soldier on with a bad throttle position sensor, but that just wouldn't go to the end. Spencer had a decent run with John Potter, but it just wasn't a Porsche type day."

Round nine of the Grand-Am Rolex Series will be run at Watkins Glen International Raceway on August 7th with NASCAR.

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Justin Marks , Spencer Pumpelly , Craig Stanton , Scott Schroeder , John Potter
Teams Magnus Racing