GM Racing Selects Team To Run Pontiac GTO.Rs Successful TRG team will campaign two production-based race cars MONTEREY, Calif. - Pontiac has chosen TRG, a successful California-based motorsports organization, to run the first two of its GTO.R...
GM Racing Selects Team To Run Pontiac GTO.Rs
Successful TRG team will campaign two production-based race cars
MONTEREY, Calif. - Pontiac has chosen TRG, a successful California-based motorsports organization, to run the first two of its GTO.R race cars in the GT class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. The production-based race cars were introduced at last November's SEMA show and have spent the last four months being designed, constructed, developed and tested by GM Racing. TRG will take possession of the cars in late May and will enter at least one of the vehicles in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on June 30.
"We've chosen TRG to campaign these Pontiac GTO.Rs because the team has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in Grand American road racing," said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing. "TRG has had strong performances in the GT class in the past, and their Pontiac-powered Daytona Prototype racers are very competitive this year. We felt that they had the experience and determination to back a program as significant as this one."
The production-based GTO.R uses the new 6.0-liter LS2 engine from the 2005 GTO with racing exhaust headers and the addition of a dry-sump oil system. Its output has actually been reduced by GM Racing engineers to comply with Grand American regulations. To stay within torque and power limits, a smaller throttle body was added as well as a reprogrammed engine management system.
The aerodynamic qualities of the car are such that little work was needed to modify the layout of the body for the race car. The dimensions of the GTO.R and GTO are the same; the body panels of the GTO.R are composite copies of the steel originals (with the exception of fender flares to fit wider wheels) fixed to a tube-frame chassis. Front and rear fascias are production parts as well as the mirrors, lamps and grilles. Brakes, suspension and other running gear consist of racing specific components.
"These new cars will give us the competitive edge and emphasize what Pontiac performance is all about," said Mark-Hans Richer, Pontiac marketing director. "We entered road racing last year to prove that Pontiac is a brand focused on performance. Our first season, we beat out such makes as Porsche, BMW and Lexus to win the engine manufacturers championship in the Daytona Prototype class. We'd like to show the world that we can do the same in the GT class, which is even more production-based than the DP class."
Four drivers will campaign the GTO.Rs for TRG: Jan Magnussen and Paul Edwards are sharing the driving of one car. Veteran driver Magnussen won the Le Mans GTS and Petit Le Mans GTS classes last year in a Team Corvette Chevrolet Corvette C5-R and is the most winning driver in the Danish Touring Car Championship of his native country. He also captured 14 wins for Paul Stewart Racing en route to winning the British Formula Three Championship, and has driven with the Stewart Grand Prix team in Formula One.
American Paul Edwards won the British Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series as well as the Formula Opel Winter Series. He has competed in the British Formula Three Series and British Formula Ford Championship recording numerous milestones including one win, eight top five finishes, two track records and Top Novice Driver award. Both Jan and Paul have been instrumental in the development of the GTO.R; having tested one of the cars at Sebring and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The other Pontiac GTO.R will be campaigned by TRG drivers Marc Bunting and Andy Lally. Bunting and Lally lead the Rolex Series GT championship with a win and two podiums in three starts this year in a Porsche 911. They won the Rolex Series SGS championship last year with four poles, two wins, and 11 podiums; Lally also won the 2001 Rolex Series SRPII championship with three wins including the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"All of us at TRG are so very excited to be the team that will be leading the Pontiac/GM Racing factory-supported program and their highly awaited debut of the GTO.R," said Kevin Buckler, owner of TRG. "It has been a long, difficult climb over the last 12 years but we have never wavered from our goal of becoming one of the finest teams in sports-car racing. I am truly honored to be running this program and will do everything in my power to make General Motors and Grand American proud."
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General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 324,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company's history. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.