New TRG Koni Challenge Teams Taste Victory for First Time July 23, 2007 - Team TRG was the class of the field in Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series race at Barber Motorsport Park, posting their first GS-class Win of the 2007 season and also...
New TRG Koni Challenge Teams Taste Victory for First Time
July 23, 2007 - Team TRG was the class of the field in Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series race at Barber Motorsport Park, posting their first GS-class Win of the 2007 season and also earning another Top-10 finish.
The No. 41 TRG Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997 of Ted Ballou and Andy Lally dominated the 38-car field en route to the victory, much of the time leading the pack by well over 30-seconds on the twisting 2.3-mile Barber road course.
Ballou had an outstanding qualifying run to take the green flag from sixth on the starting grid. He delivered a terrific first stint to keep pace with the leaders and turn the car over to Lally in flawless condition. Lally entered the race in 16th-place and put forth a masterful effort to catch the frontrunners and claim the lead by the mid-point of the two-and-a-half hour contest.
The TRG No. 41 was never challenged during the final 30 laps of the race and would go on to claim the checkered flag by a comfortable margin of 31.199-seconds.
"Fantastic," said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "This is the first big win for our GS program after all the time and effort to build and develop these cars from scratch. Congratulations to Any and Ted. They drove an absolutely perfect race and the team did a great job in the pits. To handily win the race with a solid 30-second lead and with all four TRG cars finishing the race, it's a great weekend for TRG."
A strong result was also posted by the TRG No. 42 Maxwell Paper Products/Carlsen Porsche. Teammates Bryan Sellers and Andrew Davis rebounded from a questionable penalty that dropped them to 27th-place at the half-way point of the race to claim 10th-place in the final standings.
"No doubt the No. 42 car would have been running up front with Andy at the end," said Buckler. "Brian qualified on the front row & ran 2nd for much of the race but after a questionable penalty when we were forced to come in under green for a stop-and-go, there was just too much ground for them to make up. It's really a shame because Bryan and Andrew and the entire team did a fantastic job, but I'm really proud of them for coming from so far back to take that 10th-place finish."
The No. 39 car for TRG was the Carlsen Porsche/DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. Both drivers performed extremely well throughout the weekend, but one small incident causing a flat tire during the race took the duo out of contention. The setback dashed expectations of a top-five finish and the No. 39 ended the day in 15th-spot.
Rounding out TRG's four car lineup was John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder in the No. 40 Carlsen Porsche/CDI/Carrera Design entry. The tandem drove well but battled a gearbox gremlin that would hamper their performance. Bibbo drove superbly to stay on the lead lap, even after losing fourth gear. Schroeder had a lengthy final stint and had to deal with a lot of adversity, but persevered to do a great job and bring the car home in 17th place. It was good training for Schroeder as he moves his way up the TRG driver development ladder.
The strong showing at Barber raises TRG's total of Top-10 finishes in Koni Challenge competition for the 2007 season to 11. TRG will look to increase that number when the Koni series competes in the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres on August 19th in Quebec, Canada.