TRG Looks for Fourth Rolex Series GT Win at Homestead with Three Porsches and Six Drivers No. 61 TRG KONI GS Porsche PETALUMA, Calif. - TRG has earned the distinction of being the winningest team in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by...
TRG Looks for Fourth Rolex Series GT Win at Homestead with Three Porsches and Six Drivers
No. 61 TRG KONI GS Porsche PETALUMA, Calif. - TRG has earned the distinction of being the winningest team in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 history, owning 23 class victories.
The three-car team returns to the site of three of those victories this weekend as the 2008 Rolex Series resumes after a two-month break with Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. TRG will field the No. 66 Mitchell Rubber/Marquis Jet/Elf Oils/IPS Porsche GT3 for co-drivers Bryce Miller and Ted Ballou, the No. 67 Gleukos Porsche GT3 for Tim George Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly, and the No. 68 CRG/Maxter/Rotax/MBA Group/F1 Air Porsche GT3 for RJ Valentine and Bryan Sellers.
All six TRG drivers find themselves within just seven points of the GT class lead heading into this weekend's Round 2 of the 13-race season and TRG's two full-time teams, the No. 66 and No. 67 operations, are within five points of the lead in the team championship.
"In the final hours of the Rolex 24, we found ourselves in a situation where it made sense to be conservative with our cars in order to get them to the finish," said team owner Kevin Buckler. "As difficult as that decision may have been at the time, the fact that our cars and our drivers are so close to the top of the championship standings heading into Homestead proves that it was definitely the right call. There aren't many tracks that have been better to our team over the years than Homestead-Miami Speedway, so I'm extremely confident that we've got a great shot to win this weekend."
TRG has placed at least one car on the GT class podium in each of the last six Rolex Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The run includes victories by Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins in 2006, Marc Bunting and Andy Lally in 2005, and Buckler's most recent Rolex Series victory as a driver in September, 2004, which came alongside co-driver Tom Nastasi and led a 1-2 sweep for the team.
In fact, TRG has finished inside the top four in all eight of its Rolex Series appearances at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has been on the podium in seven out of eight races at the South Florida speed plant.
The team certainly has the driver lineups in place to continue its run of success this weekend. Thanks to a second-place performance in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, No. 66 co-drivers Miller and Ballou find themselves just three points out of the class points lead heading to Miami. While it will be Ballou's first Rolex Series appearance in Homestead, Miller finished third in the GT class last year.
Similarly, in the No. 67 machine, George will be making his first Rolex Series appearance in Homestead, while Pumpelly owns third-place class results in his last two Rolex Series starts at the track in 2005 (GT) and September, 2004 (SGS). George and Pumpelly are just five points back of the GT points lead owing to their third-place run in the Rolex 24.
Not to be outdone is the No. 68 pairing of Valentine and Sellers. Valentine owns four class podium results at Homestead, including a second-place performance one year ago for TRG alongside co-driver Andy Lally, as well as seconds in September, 2004 with co-drivers Ian James and Chris Gleason, and in 2003 with Buckler as his co-driver. Sellers, meanwhile, picked up his first and only Rolex Series GT class pole position in his series debut at Homestead in 2005.
Sellers is also five points out of the GT class lead, as he finished third in the Rolex 24 alongside George, Pumpelly and Porsche factory drivers Emmanuel Collard and Romain Dumas. Valentine is seven out of the class points lead with a fourth-place outing in the Rolex 24 co-driving the No. 64 TRG/J Lowe Racing Porsche GT3 with Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Tim Sugden and Johannes van Overbeek. Sellers and Valentine are slated to share TRG's No. 68 Porsche in eight races this season.