Two-Car TRG Team Kicks Off Second Half of 2008 KONI Challenge Series in Iowa No. 39 and 41 Porsches PETALUMA, Calif. - Although the calendar has now flipped to August, the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series is just kicking off the second half...
Two-Car TRG Team Kicks Off Second Half of 2008 KONI Challenge Series in Iowa
No. 39 and 41 Porsches
PETALUMA, Calif. - Although the calendar has now flipped to August, the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series is just kicking off the second half of its 10-race season this weekend at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa and TRG will be there with a strong pair of entries.
Continuing their full-season campaign in the team's No. 39 Carlsen Porsche/The DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Fox River Coffee Porsche 997, will be co-drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly. For the first time since the season-opening race at Daytona in January, Scott Schroeder will be paired with co-driver Andy Lally in the No. 41 Carlsen Porsche/Cohen Financial entry. Both cars will compete in the Grand Sport (GS) class.
Pumpelly and Ende head into the weekend in Iowa tied for ninth in the GS point standings with 99 points apiece and with plenty of time to make a run at the title. The duo finished three of the first five races of the season inside the top 10, with a best run of second coming in Round 2 at Lime Rock Park in May. It will be Pumpelly's first KONI Challenge start at Iowa, while Ende is making his second series appearance at the venue, albeit he will be looking to improve significantly this time around. Last year, Ende retired from the race after just 13 laps and was credited with a 31st-place result.
"Iowa will be a challenging race with 50 cars on the track," said Pumpelly. "We will need to be very conservative right until the end to make sure we can race the closing laps. TRG has been giving us great cars so hopefully Duncan and I can ease through the ST traffic and on to a win."
Schroeder and Lally, meanwhile, have been reunited for the first time since they finished eighth together in the season-opening Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway in January. Since then, Schroeder has shared the No. 41 Porsche with Peter Ludwig and has finished inside the top 10 in two of his five starts this season and is tied with Andrew Davis for 17th in the GS championship with 86 points. Schroeder's best result of the season was his eighth-place performance at Daytona, and he also finished ninth alongside Ludwig last time out at Barber Motorsports Park.
Lally, meanwhile, will be making his fourth KONI Challenge start of the season and heads to Iowa riding a three-race streak of top 10 finishes. He finished inside the top five in each of his last two series starts while driving for another team, and is looking for his first KONI Challenge victory since taking the maiden series win for TRG alongside co-driver Ted Ballou at Barber last year. Lally and Ballou finished 23rd in last year's KONI Challenge race at Iowa, while Schroeder and John Bibbo drove a TRG Porsche to a 13th-place result.
"These last few races have been less than optimal for us," said TRG team manager Jason Myers. "We obviously have podium capable cars and drivers, but racing luck has not been kind to us as of late. We have been doing a ton of developmental and engineering R&D and it has paid off in every aspect but finishing positions, which is obviously the most pertinent and important. I think that we are strong and we still have half the season in which to prove ourselves. We are TRG. We don't do anything less than 110 percent and we will prove that in the remainder of the 2008 season."
After a promoter test day on Saturday, August 9, the TRG team will be on course for practice bright and early on Sunday morning from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. CT. Qualifying for the TRG Porsches will run from 8:45 to 9:00 a.m., and the drivers will participate in an autograph session from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.