Phoenix: The Racer's Group race report

TRG Finish 3-4 at Phoenix 250! Phoenix, AZ -- April 10, 2004 -- In a carnage-filled Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the two Porsches of The Racer's Group ran perfectly, finishing the race 3-4 in class, without a scratch on either car. The ...

TRG Finish 3-4 at Phoenix 250!

Phoenix, AZ -- April 10, 2004 -- In a carnage-filled Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the two Porsches of The Racer's Group ran perfectly, finishing the race 3-4 in class, without a scratch on either car. The #66 F1 Air/Gleason Agency Porsche, driven by RJ Valentine, Chris Gleason and Ian James started from 7th position and stayed out of trouble while steadily outpacing most of the field to finish 3rd in class.

RJ Valentine, who qualified and started the #67 car, was elated. "Right off the bat, in the first turn, there was destruction -- three cars spun out in front of me -- but I soldiered on, came in on a yellow and gave the car over to Chris, who ran an exceptional stint. It's a great result, our first podium of the year. We stayed out of trouble, the crew and my teammates were great -- what else could you ask for?"

Ian James was pressuring the #06 Corvette for 3rd positon in GT, and gaining 3-4 seconds per lap when a late yellow came out. The team splashed a few seconds worth of gas into the car and James rejoined the field. Shortly thereafter, the Corvette had a hard wreck, putting the #67 car in 3rd position for good.

He said, "The track was very dirty offline, so we all had to drive very precisely not to get into trouble with the debris and rubber on the surface. RJ and Chris gave me a great position in the car, and TRG worked incredibly hard to put them there. I'm glad to put it on the podium."

Liz Halliday and Kevin Buckler followed their 3rd place finish at the Grand Prix of Miami with a strong 4th place in the #66 TRG Porsche today. Halliday received the car in 6th position from Buckler, who had qualified and started the car. She took over just over 45 minutes into the race, and ran with a rapidly emptying drinks bottle for the remaining two hours of the race.

"I feel good!," she said, "Long stint! I had a bit of difficulty with the handling of the car -- it was so dirty offline that every time I got in traffic, the tires picked up some junk. The crew was wonderful, as was my co-driver. I'm very pleased with the weekend."

Team owner Kevin Buckler was thrilled with his team's result. "Everybody did an excellent job," he said. "For us to finish 3-4 at this track, with this much traffic and what, 8 yellow flags? That's fantastic. I'm glad to see RJ, Chris and Ian take the podium this race, and I'm proud of Liz for driving almost two hours in such a challenging environment. In a place that punishes you for making mistakes, she drove a very 'heads up' race, kept her composition, and brought the car home for a great finish."

The Racer's Group and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race next at le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, outside Montreal, on May 23, 2004.

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The Racer's Group is a manufacturer and distributor of high performance Porsche parts, an engine and chassis building and tuning facility, a full service Porsche prep facility, and a professional race team. Additionally, they provide electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and "arrive and drive" services. The Racer's Group is based at Infineon Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Ian James , Chris Gleason , Liz Halliday