TRG/iRise/F1 Air Enters Final Stretch Leading Championships Petaluma, Ca. (June 20, 2006) - Ask TRG owner Kevin Buckler if he is sleeping well with the lead in all three Rolex Series GT Class championships, and he will probably tell you that he...
TRG/iRise/F1 Air Enters Final Stretch Leading Championships
Petaluma, Ca. (June 20, 2006) - Ask TRG owner Kevin Buckler if he is sleeping well with the lead in all three Rolex Series GT Class championships, and he will probably tell you that he doesn't ever sleep. But he will also tell you that there is no time to rest when it comes to planning and executing the success of a multi-car racing team.
The challenges this year in putting this program together have been immense", commented Buckler. "All of the normal issues that we have to deal with seem to become enhanced when you run up front and are chasing 3 championships. We are really having to raise our game to keep up with the politicking by other teams. We are about to receive our 3rd or 4th penalty for performing well this year. It has been a challenge, but one that I am 100% confident will yield the objectives we set out to accomplish, and we couldn't do it without all of our partners, especially our friends at iRise."
With only five races remaining in the 2006 season, Buckler and his teams- the #64 iRise/TRG Pontiac GTO.R driven by Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards, and the #65 F1 Air/TRG Pontiac GTO.R driven by Marc Bunting and Andy Lally- are holding onto their leads in the series with a tight grip. In both the driver and team championships, Bunting and Lally lead with 342 points, while Collins and Edwards follow closely in third place at 326 points.
Sandwiched in between the two TRG teams is the #72 NEC Porsche, which has kept pace all year. With a win two weeks ago at The Glen, the Porsche has pulled within striking distance of the top step for the season. Competition has gotten fierce as the season has gone on, and the success of the GTO.R program has managed to frustrate other drivers. Grand Am has modified the rules throughout the season, working to even the playing field and enhance the competition, but Buckler insists that it is not weight and rules that will allow the other teams to be more competitive, but cleaner racing, better strategy calls, and smarter track management.
"There are a whole of good teams out there racing in the series but it seems that our team is really on our game," continued Buckler. These are basically the same guys that ran and won all the big 24 hour endurances races with us, have been working together for years and ran both our winning programs last year in DP and GT. These guys are good. The drivers are all top notch and we are prepared for most situations. The Pontiac GTO has been a fantastic car, especially in the reliability department. We prep and test and don't make a lot of mistakes. Thats why we are winning and we will just put our heads down and keep pushing here in the final stretch of the season. Thats the only way we know how to do it."
Lally and Bunting are in the midst of a tight points battle for the third consecutive year in the Grand Am Rolex Series. "This is always a stressful time of the year if you are in a fight for a Championship," said Lally. "It is so important to be strong through the string of races in the summer months in order to be able to contend. Right now Marc and I are just trying to focus on getting the job done. I love Mid-Ohio and always look forward to going there. We finished 2nd last year in the GT race and I won the Grand Am Cup race here as well."
Get into all the action of TRG racing as they continute their sprint for the podium at Mid-Ohio's Emco Gears Classic on June 25th. SPEED TV will begin coverage at 3:00pm EST (Noon PST).