TRG Looks to Defend Montreal Victory with Four-Car Assault PETALUMA, Calif.-The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 makes its lone visit north of the border this weekend, and it's a welcome trip for TRG as the...
TRG Looks to Defend Montreal Victory with Four-Car Assault
PETALUMA, Calif.-The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 makes its lone visit north of the border this weekend, and it's a welcome trip for TRG as the team looks for its first victory of the 2008 season.
TRG took the GT victory in last year's inaugural Rolex Series visit to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with Andy Lally and RJ Valentine charging through the field in the team's No. 66 Porsche. This year, Lally, Valentine, and the No. 66 machine are all part of a four-car entry from TRG.
"Montreal is one of the most prestigious tracks we go to with Grand-Am, and it was an honor for our team to win the first Rolex Series race there last year," said TRG owner Kevin Buckler. "Andy and RJ did an outstanding job, as did the whole team, so we've already proven we know how to win there. It's our job now to do it again this weekend."
Lally will be paired once again with MESCO Building for the Future Rookie of the Year leader Tim George Jr. in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3. In their first start together two weeks ago at Barber Motorsports Park, Lally and George earned a podium result with a third-place run.
It was the No. 67 team's fifth podium in 10 races and that impressive record has allowed George to extend his lead in the Rookie of the Year standings. It was also the fourth top-five performance in six Rolex Series starts for Lally and his second podium of the season.
Ted Ballou, who is just 11 points behind George in the race for Rookie of the Year, will share the No. 66 Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3 with Spencer Pumpelly. As it was for George and Lally, the event at Barber Motorsports Park was also their first race together, and the duo came home fifth. It was Ballou's fourth top-five result of the season and his seventh top-10 run, while Pumpelly owns five top-five results and seven top 10's this year. This weekend's race will be the first Montreal appearance for both drivers.
The other half of last year's winning driver combination, RJ Valentine, returns to the cockpit of the No. 68 CRG/Maxter/Rotax/MBA Group/F1 Air Porsche GT3 this weekend once again with co-driver Bryan Sellers. Both Valentine and Sellers own one top-five and one top-10 result from the season.
Being the series' only Canadian race, the fans will definitely be cheering on the No. 65 Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing/Total-R Insulation Solutions entry from TRG/Riegel Autosport with Canadian driver Hima Maher and 2005 Rolex Series GT champion Craig Stanton.
Maher hails from Calgary and is making his only Rolex Series start on home soil this weekend. It will be his sixth race of the year with TRG, and he has finished inside the top 10 in three of his five previous appearances this season. Stanton, meanwhile, saw his three-race streak of top-10 results snapped with a 16th-place result at Barber, but he has finished inside the top 10 in four of his six starts since joining TRG in May.
"We made some changes to our driver lineup prior to the race at Barber, and I think those changes paid immediate dividends," Buckler said. "I'm looking forward to taking the next step this weekend and getting one of our TRG Porsches into Victory Lane. I know we've got the right combination of drivers and team, and we're definitely optimistic going into this weekend."
The weekend schedule at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve calls for a series of practice sessions on the afternoon of Thursday, July 31. Friday will see the GT machines on-course for qualifying from 1:15 to 1:30 p.m. ET, with the race scheduled to take the green flag at 4:15 p.m. ET. The scheduled distance is 200 miles (74 laps around the 2.709-mile circuit) and the race is subject to a two-hour time limit.
SPEED Channel will offer tape-delayed television coverage of the race beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday night. Live Timing & Scoring data from every session will also be available on www.grand-am.com.