George paces TRG Porsches in EMCO Gears Classic qualifying at Mid-Ohio TRG looks to defend its GT race title from a year ago LEXINGTON, Ohio - TRG driver Tim George Jr. will start Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic from the fifth row ...
George paces TRG Porsches in EMCO Gears Classic qualifying at Mid-Ohio
TRG looks to defend its GT race title from a year ago
LEXINGTON, Ohio - TRG driver Tim George Jr. will start Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic from the fifth row following today's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 GT qualifying at Mid-Ohio. TRG also looks to defend its Mid-Ohio race title from a year ago when Andy Lally and RJ Valentine brought home the win.
Piloting the No. 67 Porsche GT3 Cup, George turned a fast qualifying time of 126.343 (94.145 mph) on the 2.258-mile road course. George will share the driving duties with teammate Spencer Pumpelly, as the duo continues their charge towards a GT championship.
"This was my first top 10 qualifying effort of the season," George said. "Leading the TRG team in qualifying is good. I love this track. I did well here in KONI Challenge last year during my stint. I raced here in Skip Barber and was also on pole for one of those races as well." Ted Ballou needed most of the 15-minute qualifying session to turn his fastest lap of 1:26.678 (93.782 mph). Ballou will co-drive the No. 66 Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3 Cup with defending race winner Andy Lally. "We struggled a little with the car off of the trailer this morning," Ballou said after qualifying. "Andy did a great job of getting the car sorted out with our engineer. They did a great job of getting it set up for qualifying. I got up to speed pretty good and we are looking forward to a good race tomorrow."
Driving in just his second race with TRG, Mexican racer Josemanuel Gutierrez put together a nice qualifying effort with a 1:27.896 (92.482 mph) in the No. 65 Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing/Total R Insulation Solutions Porsche GT3 Cup for TRG/Riegel Autosport. Once his stint is over, Gutierrez will turn the car over to his co-driver 2005 Rolex Series GT champion Craig Stanton.
"It was much better than I expected I would do," Gutierrez said of his qualifying effort."This is my first time in the Rolex Series and actually I did one second better than my last session. I am learning the car. The Porsche is completely new to me and the track is pretty new. This is my second time at Mid-Ohio. I hope to chop off another second. The TRG crew and engineers have given me a great car, very easy to drive."
Valentine, who won this race last year, will look to replicate that effort in the No. 68 CRG/Maxter/Rotax/MBA Group/F1 Air Porsche GT3 Cup. His fastest qualifying lap was set late in the session with a 1:28.298 (92.061 mph). Although Valentine will not have the same co-driver (Lally) from a year ago, he looks for the same result with co-pilot Bryan Sellers.
"The car is good," Valentine said. "I am nibbling away at it here and there. I did a 1:28 and I was looking to do a 1:27. I did consistent 1:28.3s. I think I did three of them in a row.A race like this it is about consistency and staying out of trouble. I will do that and then deliver it to the master with a lot left. Bryan knows this place and is really good here."
"Tim did a great job to get the 67 in the top 10," Team Owner Kevin Buckler said. "That is a good effort as he and Spencer need a strong finish to stay up in the points. Ted is looking strong and he and Andy will be a definite threat tomorrow afternoon. RJ pounded out some very consistent lap times and he and Bryan will be there in the race.Jose for his limited time in a Porsche improved a full second over his practice time which is huge here. The entire team has done a great job and the cars are looking great for the race tomorrow."