The Racer's Group (TRG) press release
The Racer's Group Announces Five Car Lineup For The Rolex 24 December Test
Petaluma, CA (November 30th, 2011) - The Racer's Group announced today that it will return to Daytona Beach International Speedway with five cars and 14 drivers for the Rolex Grand-Am Series' December 6-7 winter test in preparation for the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Team owner Kevin Buckler indicated that he is expecting another stout group to embark on the 24-hour endurance classic for its historic 50th Anniversary celebration. Last year, TRG fielded five cars and won the GT class for the 4th time in Daytona 24 History. Buckler anticipates a similar showing with five cars again scheduled to take the green in 2012.
TRG will take a multifaceted approach to their first test of the 2012 season, using the track time to test parts, dial in set-ups, closely study the new tires and the two brand new 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars just delivered from Weissach, Germany. Buckler indicated that while this isn't the final driver lineup, it is an important opportunity to prepare to make those decisions and allow some new drivers time to get used to the high banks of Daytona.
"This test is huge!" said Buckler. "We are 5 cars strong-all filled with great guys. In this sport, track time is invaluable especially with our upcoming Super Bowl, so-to-speak, and also having it be the first race of the year. Excellent job to Grand American on arranging this test for us. We have a great group of drivers coming down to help us dial in these cars and to be sure we are on top of our game with the 2012 rules and regulations - not to mention testing parts and theories that our engineers have spent countless hours developing this past year. We're really excited to begin to get to our final driver lineup for these five cars. We are very fortunate to have such a deep pool of talent to work with. We hope to make a final driver race announcement in the coming weeks."
For the Dec 6-7 test, defending Daytona 24 victors, Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly will once again be teammates as the two hope to build off of their 2011 successes. The pair also shared a Grand-Am GT win at Watkins Glen International in August.
Ben Keating, fresh off of his 2011 Dodge Viper Cup championship, will be back in Daytona for the 24 with TRG for the second straight year. Ben will work alongside GT3 Challenge driver Carlos Gomez who also enjoyed several successes in 2011 season with podiums in Canada and at Laguna Seca in the IMSA GT3 Cup Series.
Michael Waltrip, team co-owner Rob Kauffman and their co-driver Rui Aguas will join TRG for another test. Kauffman and Aguas most recently drove a Ferrari at Petit Le Mans after all three took an outing to France for a drive in the heralded 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Venezuelan touring car champion Emilio Di Guida will return to a TRG seat after three late season runs with its ALMS GTC program. Emilio will be joined by Bob Doyle and Jack McCarthy. Doyle, a long time professional motocross rider and Ferrari Challenge driver, returns to the 24 for the second consecutive year. McCarthy will drive with TRG for the first time after honing his skills in the Porsche Club of America with several successful seasons
Dr. Ron Yarab, a Daytona 24 veteran known for fast and consistent lap times, will certainly be a stable asset for the December test alongside another GT3 Challenge series winner Mike Hedlund. Hedlund, a rising talent in his early career, will drive with TRG for the first time on the Daytona Roval.
Returning to the the team is Formula One racing veteran Eliseo Salazar who will be sharing track time with fellow Chilean drivers Sebastian de Carcer, Eduardo Costabal, and Patricio Bornand.
Last season was another landmark year for TRG. The trip to victory lane at one of the world's most famous endurance races to launch the 2011 season was not unprecedented. TRG has won the 24 hour American race four times including one overall from GT class in the now famous Monster Cable Porsche which will be taking it's place among the honored winners at this years Historic celebration.
Following the December 6-7 test the team will participate in the January 6-8 "Roar Before the 24" event at Daytona International Speedway. A full driver lineup is expected to be announced prior to end of the year.
TRG is a full-service motorsports company offering a total driver ladder approach, as well as comprehensive sponsorship and business opportunities. For drivers, this approach starts with track days, goes to club events, up into street stock series and culminates in the ultimate goal of professional motorsports. For sponsors and business partners, this method starts with everything from executive events, to traditional sponsorship models, all the way to comprehensive business-to-business opportunities and experiential marketing. With facilities in Petaluma, California and Mooresville, North Carolina the team can offer turn-key marketing programs as well as arrive-and-drive support.
The company's NASCAR operations are headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina. The team fields a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry and has the capacity to run ARCA, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. It also competes in America's two leading sports car series - the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Grand-Am Series.
The Racer's Group was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing. The team boasts Rolex Series GT championships in 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most wins in Grand-Am with 32. The team's resume is highlighted by five championships, four Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona victories, and a Le Mans 24 Hour win