SCC: Laguna Seca: TRG race notes

TRG Dominates At Laguna Seca The TRG team took the top two spots in GT as well as a second place podium in GS at last weekends US Sportscar Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in an dominant show of racecraft, ...

TRG Dominates At Laguna Seca

The TRG team took the top two spots in GT as well as a second place podium in GS at last weekends US Sportscar Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in an dominant show of racecraft, teamwork and force . Coming back to the track where it all began the TRG racing team put together an outstanding home coming race with their Porsche Race cars.

Weather for Saturdays GT race was another spectacular Monterey day, cool and sunny horsepower weather! The track was in top shape the facilities were awesome. Plenty of rubber had been laid down on the track from the previous days practice & qualifying and the circuit was in excellent condition.

Prior to coming to the track the TRG team spent weeks preparing for the 4 car effort, and the hard work paid off as they crossed the start finish line to take both of the top 2 spots. With this win Lally and Valentine record their first Rolex Series GT Class Victory of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"It is a huge deal," Lally said. "The really cool thing is, this is my first win here. I've had two second-place finishes in Rolex and I had a third-place finish here in Barber Dodge a long, long time ago. I just mentioned to (team owner) Kevin (Buckler), we've got two seconds and a third, and we really need a win here. It was wonderful to come through. It's one of those things where it clicked just right, and our guys just did an awesome job.

"It's obviously a privilege at my age," Valentine said. "You begin to wonder, 'The older you get, the faster you was.' Having Andy as a teammate is a real privilege. To have the guys around me with TRG and all the group of people that prepare the car, sometimes it looks easy just driving. The reality is, you can't drive something if it's not set up properly."

The 2nd place TRG/Maxwell Paper car 65 piloted by Ross Smith and Dan DiLeo worked their way up through the pack using solid driving and good strategy calls to capture the victory in the 2 hour and 30 minute race.

"It's a great feeling," DiLeo said. "To do this in our second start is definitely an accomplishment. We came in this weekend and, like the trend has been, every time we get in this car, Ross and I get a little quicker. To be second in our second start, I don't think it's too shabby. To do it on such a great track like Laguna Seca with one of my best friends here beside me is a special feeling.

"We started out in the race with a phenomenal car," Smith said. "It was very, very good. We got the 'Lucky Dog' and got the lap back and we got on the podium. This is the best feeling to me. Dan did a great job, as did our whole team - TRG and Maxwell Paper Products.

TRGs two other Cars 64 with Jim Lowe and Jim Pace and 67 piloted by Bob Heniff and Spencer Pumpelly finished a respectable 11th and 13th. TRG is the defending GT class Rolex Series Champions for the last 2 years so Excellence Was Expected but a 1-2 finish is really something special.

I am so proud of the effort and of course the results, said team owner Kevin Buckler. A 1-2 finish is almost unheard of in todays ultra competitive racing environment so we couldnt be happier. The team has some big future plans in the works and this really helps to lay the groundwork for those plans and to show that this team is a championship team in whatever racing discipline and with whatever Marque that we decide to compete.

With Saturdays outstanding victory in GT , team TRG was looking forward to the Grand Am Grand Koni Challenge GS race Sunday, again fielding 4 cars, with hopes of carrying the momentum to achieve yet another victory.

Sundays Koni Challenge GS race a podium for Lally and Ballou.

The second-place performance for Ted Ballou and Andy Lally and his Carlsen Porsche/ Mitchell Global No. 41 capped an outstanding weekend for the TRG team at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. After running as far back as 26th at one point in the race, Ballou and Lally made up valuable ground with excellent driving performances a great work by the team.

It was nice to give the home state a good showing," Lally said. "Ted was running laps faster than what we qualified, and he moved up about six or seven spots from his starting position in the first half hour. I was pretty psyched because I knew the car was pretty good and Ted was on a roll and didn't put a wheel wrong. It was good for us to finally get on the podium. We got that monkey off our back, so we'll just keep it up, see what we can do in the points, and just try to keep winning races."

Ballou, who hails from Corona del Mar, Calif. and is in his first full season of KONI Challenge Series competition in the Carlsen Porsche/ Mitchell Global No. 41 Porsche, started 12th and drove the first stint before handing over the controls to Lally. It was the best KONI Challenge Series result of the season for Ballou and Lally, eclipsing a previous best run of fifth at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"There was a lot of tough driving out there today," Ballou said. "It was exciting, no doubt. We got to follow a few people in the dirt at times, and it was overall exciting at the beginning of the race."

Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman piloted the Carlsen Porsche/ Digitrust/Adams Polish No. 39 ran an outstanding race but a slight miscue, took the car back and it finished 23rd out of a 41 car field.

TRGs Carlsen/CDI car no. 40 piloted by John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder retired early after having been forced off the track and developing a radiator leak. The TRG/Carlsen/Matt Harris Racing car No. 42 piloted by Serge Gazunov and Matt Harris lost a clutch after the first driver change ending their smooth run. Local Nor Cal resident Serge Glazunov, put in a stellar driving performance running for a while in the top 10.

Team Owner Kevin Buckler had this to say. What a terrific finish for one of our Koni Challenge cars. We have worked SO hard on these cars, having developed them from scratch and finally feel that we have turned the corner in terms of knowing that each of the 4 cars are competitive enough to win on any given weekend. Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman were flying all weekend and Duncan was running in the top ten before a small spin. John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder had a great racecar and also drove very, very well. Serge and Matt were equally fast and Ted and Andy finished 2nd. Our Grand Am Cup program is now ready to win races.

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Spencer Pumpelly , Jim Pace , Grant Maiman , Corona del Mar , Ross Smith , Jim Lowe , Duncan Ende , Ted Ballou , Scott Schroeder , John Bibbo