TRG Pontiac GTO.R Wins Phoenix GT Phoenix, Arizona -- TRG drivers Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen posted their second victory for the new Pontiac GTO.R in round eleven of the Grand American Rolex Series race run at Phoenix International ...
TRG Pontiac GTO.R Wins Phoenix GT
Phoenix, Arizona -- TRG drivers Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen posted their second victory for the new Pontiac GTO.R in round eleven of the Grand American Rolex Series race run at Phoenix International Raceway this evening. Teammates Marc Bunting and Andy Lally, driving the number 65/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R, came home in fourth.
Under the lights at the desert modified oval Paul Edwards started his GTO.R from the pole position for the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race. He was able to lead early until dropping to second briefly on lap 27. The young Californian was able to manage his tires and get back by on lap 48 to resume the lead. On lap 80 he pitted and turned the wheel over to Magnussen. The Dane left the pits some 10-seconds down to the new leader. On lap 101 he was able to pass for the lead and never looked back.
Marc Bunting started the number 65 car from the fourth row and maintained a steady pace before handing off to Andy Lally on lap 65. The car returned to the battle one lap down and stayed there eventually finishing in fourth. The finish only improved the duos points standing position by two, leaving more work to do for the season ending championship.
Paul Edwards, #64/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "I started the race on the tires that I qualified on, everyone else was on stickers. I ran them pretty hard early on and then wanted to cool them down. I think stickers at the start would have been a better call. I got caught in traffic and that put me to second for a few laps before I could get back by. Once I got by and was in clean air and had clear track I could focus on consistent lap times."
Jan Magnussen, #64/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "Paul did a good job to deliver the car to me in the lead. We fell out of the lead for a while as the pit stops shuffled. I was able to run fast laps on the new tires and catch the 21 car for the lead. The race ran without a caution so the field was really spread out, this made it very easy to run fast times. The car was really setup well, it was easy on tires and nice to drive. It is nice to win one by not lucking into it off of some other team's strategy mistake."
Marc Bunting, #65/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "I had a good run. I wanted to conserve my tires at the beginning, but I think I did a little too much. The race ran without any caution periods to bunch the field back up so Andy could not get us back into contention. We made up only two points on the championship so that puts some added pressure on us for the next three races."
Andy Lally, #65/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "Half way into my stint the Corvette dropped all kinds of oil in turn one. I went through there and got sideways and was able to gather it up. That was about the only excitement in my stint. The car was real good, I needed a caution or two to get us closer to the front."
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner: "Phoenix turned out to be a good track for the car. The oval wasn't quite long enough to harm us with our restricted motor. The lack of grip on the track I think actually favored our car. Both crews and drivers did a great job to get the cars setup for this circuit. The second win for the 64 car and the 65 car is still in the championship hunt, a good day!"
The Grand American Rolex Series will return to Watkins Glen International for round twelve on September 24th.