Daytona II: TRG race report

TRG Hampered by Tough Luck at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (July 5, 2007) -- Team TRG had a rare off-night during Thursday evening's Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona and Round 10 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal ...

TRG Hampered by Tough Luck at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (July 5, 2007) -- Team TRG had a rare off-night during Thursday evening's Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona and Round 10 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve 2007 schedule.

Battling an uncharacteristic spell of bad luck, TRG team cars soldiered through the adversity to post respectable GT-class finishes as the Rolex Series competed on the 3.56-mile road course configuration at Daytona International Speedway.

With recent GT-division wins at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio, TRG carried the two-race win streak and a ton of positive momentum into Daytona. The northern California-based team was looking to make it three-wins-in-a-row and a total of four wins in five outings including their victory at Laguna Seca in May.

Looking for that third consecutive win was the No. 66 CRG/Maxter GT3 driven by the tandem of RJ Valentine and Andy Lally. Valentine qualified well and drove a great first stint, staying on the lead lap until handing over the controls of the No. 66 to Lally during a full course caution. The veteran sports car ace was steadily climbing the scoring pylon until suffering a flat tire near the halfway point of the race. The ensuing pit stop for new tires would result in a pit lane penalty and the two setbacks effectively removed the car from contention. Despite the hardship, however, Lally persevered to make it a decent run and salvage a ninth-place finish.

The stars of the team at Daytona were definitely Jim Lowe and Jim Pace in the JLowe Racing TRG No. 64 entry. Dr. 'Ironman' Lowe as he is called by teammates, drove a brilliant stint-and-a-half, never putting a wheel off course and handing the car over to Pace in excellent condition. Running steady and consistent laps, Pace matched times with the leaders to earn a well-deserved 12th-place finish.

It was a tough event for the No. 67 TRG entry, having suffered a fire during testing last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The car was to be driven at Daytona by teammates Scott Tucker and Ed Zabinski. A myriad of electrical gremlins lingered however, as a result of the effort needed to extinguish the test-session fire. Although it was the first time in history that a TRG entry was unable to take the green flag, repairs are nearly complete and the team will be back with a strong three-car lineup for the upcoming race in Iowa.

Despite the challenges of the event, TRG drivers Valentine and Lally are sixth in the Grand-Am Championship standings -- only 17 points out of first-place.

TRG next competes at Iowa Speedway on July 14th during Round 11 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. The race can be seen on SPEED Channel -- check local listing for start time.

-credit: trg

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Lally , Jim Pace , Jim Lowe , Scott Tucker , Ed Zabinski