TRG Heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for KONI Challenge Round Two Petaluma, Calif., TRG is headed to Homestead-Miami Speedway for round two of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge schedule. TRG will field the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's...
TRG Heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for KONI Challenge Round Two
Petaluma, Calif., TRG is headed to Homestead-Miami Speedway for round two of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge schedule.
TRG will field the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Fox River Coffee Racer's Roast/TRG Porsche 997 for Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly. In addition, John Potter and Andy Lally will pilot the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997.
The 2.3-mile, 11-turn modified oval road course will be a challenge for the TRG Porsches. The tight infield will allow the Porsches to showcase their handling while that advantage will be mitigated quickly on the long oval run to turn one.
Ende and Pumpelly finished eighth in the season opening Fresh from Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway two months ago.
"Homestead is not the most Porsche friendly track we're running this season, but it should be a bit better for us than Daytona," Ende said. "The circuit has a lot of straights coming out of slow corners, which is where we really lose out to the V8s and the super high revving M3s. We should be quite strong through the first few corners of the infield and there are a few really heavy braking zones which let us make some ground back up on the Mustangs. The track is a pretty entertaining one as far as rovals go, but it doesn't exactly stir the soul the way a track climbing hills and twisting through trees does. Of course, with the airbase right by the track we do get constant fly-overs instead of just one at the start of the race, which is pretty cool for a while, but distracting."
Pumpelly will be relying on the braking and handling of the TRG Porsche come Sunday.
"Homestead will be a better track for our Porsches, because there is really only one long straight," Pumpelly said. "At the same time we have a big deficit in the horsepower department to the Mustangs. Until the rules change I am not sure which track will be a strong track for us. We will do the best we can. We are really at the mercy of the rules. The infield is very tight, it is tough to pass. There was a time when we had better brakes and handling, but everyone has caught up. We will have to drive smart and take advantage of every opportunity and play our strategy a little better than everyone else."
In the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 Potter and Lally will be looking to have a better run than they did at Daytona when they were sidelined early due to a transmission problem.
"I think our Porsche will do well," Potter said. "I was very happy with how the car performed at Daytona (except for a mechanical problem that has been solved by now) and am looking forward to this event. I am not sure that we have any specific strengths but a good all around car. We certainly don't have the power of the Mustangs for example but I believe that Andy and I should do well. I haven't been to homestead in a few years and it should be interesting going back. After driving the big oval of Daytona a smaller one might be fun."
Lally knows the challenges facing TRG and their Porsche GS cars.
"The car will be stronger than most under braking," Lally said. "TRG has done everything that they can to maximize the performance of these cars and it shows up in the handling and braking. Homestead is probably one of the best rovals I've ever been to. The road course section is set-up properly, well thought out and it doesn't look like a parking lot like many of the oval/road courses that we go to. It's also challenging enough that it is not just a follow the leader kind of place. There are good passing zones and that makes it a lot of fun."
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, knows the team will need some luck and strategy to come out on top this weekend.
"Homestead will be another tough track for us," Buckler said. "We will be strong through the infield and then when we make that left hander out on to the banking we will be six car lengths back on the Mustangs by entry of turn one. We need a little help with the rules balance so we can help Grand-Am make it an exciting show for the fans at the front of the field."
The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will have the ST and GS classes running separate races with the ST cars competing on Saturday, March 14th, followed by the GS race on Sunday, March 15th at Homestead-Miami Speedway.