TRG OVERCOMES ADVERSITY TO POST STRONG FINISH AT MOSPORT Bowmanville, Ontario, June 16, 2007 -- Battling very limited practice time and lots of on-track contact, Team TRG overcame adversity to post strong finishes with three of the four team...
TRG OVERCOMES ADVERSITY TO POST STRONG FINISH AT MOSPORT
Bowmanville, Ontario, June 16, 2007 -- Battling very limited practice time and lots of on-track contact, Team TRG overcame adversity to post strong finishes with three of the four team cars at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, following round six of the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series.
Lining up eighth on the starting grid, Ted Ballou took the green flag in the No. 41 TRG Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997 and ran very strong overall until being hit in the back by one of the Mustangs. With concerns about damage from the contact, Ballou brought the car in to be checked by the veteran TRG crew. With no serious damage found, Ballou turned the car over to teammate and multiple Mosport race winner Andy Lally.
Re-entering the race in 24th-place following the pit stop, Lally utilized his experience on the 2.459-mile road course and once again demonstrated his precision driving skills to whittle his way back toward the leaders. Lally would climb all the way to sixth-place by the 90-minute mark, fall back to 15th during his final pit stop, then ultimately battle back to claim the Sixth-place finish at race end as well as posting the fastest race lap of the entire field.
"Those guys did a super job," said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "Ted had a great beginning of the race until being hit and forced to bring the car in. After getting the 'all clear' from the crew Andy took over and as usual, drove the wheels off the car to get us back to sixth (place) and keep us in the championship points chase."
The No. 39 car for TRG was the Carlsen Porsche/Adam's Polishes/Digitrust entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. Ende would start the race but suffer a broken radiator when he was involved in a multi-car skirmish on lap six. The dedicated TRG crew worked feverishly to repair the damage, eventually allowing Maiman to re-enter competition. Unfortunately, an apparent brake issue would result in Maiman crashing in the closing minutes of the race. Maiman was uninjured and the No. 39 would post a 28th-place finish.
"Without a lot of practice both Duncan and Grant had the car really going well," commented Buckler. "The first accident was one of the unfortunate 'accordians' in a break zone, but the second crash was scary. I'm glad that Grant was okay. I have high hopes for these guys and am really looking forward to running Mid-Ohio with them. We were testing there several weeks ago and they were very very quick."
Driving the No. 40 entry was the duo of John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder in the TRG Cohen Financial/CDI/Carlsen Porsche 997. Bibbo started from 23rd-spot and ran a great stint before turning the car over to Schroeder who would gain eight positions and pilot the car to a strong 15th-place finish.
"We had a drop link issue and the car was getting loose and greasy in the heat," Buckler said. "John and Scott really persevered to run as strong as they did, finish well, collect a few points and bring the car home unscratched and ready for the upcoming race at Mid-Ohio. Scott really pushed the car and was running laps with the leaders for most of the race."
The final pairing for TRG was the No. 42 Carlsen Porsche of Serge Glazunov, Jr. and Ludovico Manfredi. Manfredi had never been to Mosport but drove a strong race and improved his lap times by over 10-seconds over the course of his stint. Glazunov ran equally strong and posted some incredible lap times for a strong, clean finish.
"Ludovico and Serge did a great job, especially on an unfamiliar track," Buckler said. "They both ran strong and kept the car out of trouble. I'm very proud of how they drove in the race, especially after having some gremlins in practice."
The Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series next competes at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, June 23rd.
"We're really looking forward to the race at Mid-Ohio because we tested there," said Buckler. "We had some curve balls thrown at us at Mosport, but that's racing. You have to catch 'em and throw 'em back, but we really feel ready to compete at Mid-Ohio and look forward to the upcoming race there."