TRG placed 2nd and 11th at Homestead TRG Continues Podium Streak at Homestead Homestead, Fl. (March 24, 2007) - The ...
TRG placed 2nd and 11th at Homestead
TRG Continues Podium Streak at Homestead
Homestead, Fl. (March 24, 2007) - The #66 CRG Karts/TRG Porsche 911 GT3 of R.J. Valentine and Andy Lally scored a season-best 2nd place today, finishing less than one second behind the winning Mazda RX-8 of Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham. In doing so, TRG extended its podium streak at Homestead to 8 races. Winners at Homestead in 2004, 2005 and 2006, TRG's repeated success at Homestead in 2007 means the team has finished on the podium in 26 of the past 27 Grand-Am races.
In a race that saw nine caution periods, TRG made excellent pit strategy calls to keep in touch with the faster Mazda, and Lally drove a typically brilliant closing stint, swapping the lead back and forth in the closing minutes of the race. 2007 has seen the regular emergence of the Mazda leading the field, adding competitive pressure to the Porsches, Pontiacs and BMWs, Mustangs and Nissan 350Zs that comprise the GT class. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Mazda has been granted a 300lb. weight advantage, allowing the cars to out-sprint the competition on long straights.
Team owner Kevin Buckler said, "R.J. and Andy did an absolutely fantastic job. We couldn't have expected anything better given the conditions; the drivers were fantastic, the pit stops and the strategy were perfect. We're clearly down on power to the Mazda, even though we have them outgunned in handling. There's just no way to win at a 300lb. weight disadvantage."
"We had a really good car and by far the best Porsche in the field, hands down," Lally added. "We did a decent job with it. We came up just a little bit short, and that's a little bit disappointing. I wish we had a little more for those guys at the end, but I don't think we could have planned out the race any better than we did."
Valentine said, "It was my job today to give the team a good chance to win, and the team made the call to get Andy in the car at the first caution period - who'd have thought there would be nine yellow flags today? Andy almost closed the deal there, he's an amazing driver and a great teammate."
Scott Tucker and Ed Zabinski finished 11th in the #67 TRG Porsche, from a field of 25 GT class cars. The duo made their first start with TRG, and did team owner Kevin Buckler proud.
"Huge congratulations to Scott and Ed for a fantastic run in their first race with TRG. Scott did a great job on the start dicing it up with the pros, and kept his nose clean and the car on the lead lap. He handed it over to his co-driver during one of the cautions and Ed just drove the wheels off the car. The drivers made no mistakes and the team made a couple of good calls. What a great run for these guys."
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races next at Virginia International Raceway on April 28, 2007, in the first split race for the GT and DP classes.