SCC: Trois-Rivieres: TRG race report

TRG Earns Second and Ninth-Place Finishes at Trois-Rivieres Team TRG once again ran strong to post second-place and ninth-place GS-Class finishes when the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series contested Round 10 of the 2007 schedule through the streets...

TRG Earns Second and Ninth-Place Finishes at Trois-Rivieres

Team TRG once again ran strong to post second-place and ninth-place GS-Class finishes when the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series contested Round 10 of the 2007 schedule through the streets of beautiful Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.

Leading TRG's four-car contingent on the tricky 2.521-mile Le Circuit du Trois-Rivieres street course was the No. 41 Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997 of Ted Ballou and Andy Lally. Continuing the duo's season-long success, Ballou qualified a solid 12th and ran a strong first stint before turning the car over to Lally in perfect condition.

True to form, Lally picked his way through the field and with 20 laps to go was nipping at the heels of race leader Bill Auberlen. Lally would pull alongside Auberlen several times in the final minutes of the two-hour race, but unable to execute a clean pass he decided not to force the issue and secured the second-place finish.

"The No. 41 with Ted and Andy was fantastic," said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "Ted qualified well, drove a flawless race and turned the car over to Andy in perfect condition just like he's supposed to. As usual, Andy just sawed through the field and had a stellar battle with Bill Auberlen for the lead. Andy could have stuck his nose in there to make something happen, but being the professional he is, he drove a clean race and put the second-place finish in the bank."

Ballou and Lally have now claimed three second-place Koni Challenge finishes for TRG in addition to their race win last month at Barber Motorsports Park.

Also running well for TRG was the No. 39 Carlsen Porsche/DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. Despite receiving repeated hard contact in the early laps, Ende remained focused and skillfully climbed into the top-10 before Maiman took over just past the midway point of the race. Maiman closely matched lap times with the leaders and brought the car home with a well-earned ninth-place finish.

"The No. 39 car of Duncan and Grant had a great drive finishing in the top-10," said Buckler. "Duncan got banged around pretty good by a few errant drivers in the beginning but he really kept his cool and drove well. Grant got in and drove the wheels off the car to post some of the fastest laps of the race toward the end."

It was an eventful race for the TRG No. 40 Carlsen Porsche/CDI/Carrera Design entry driven by John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder. Bibbo took a solid hit early on and the car had to be trailered back to the paddock for repairs. The dedicated TRG crew worked feverishly to return the car to race form and get it back on track.

"Today was a real challenge for the No. 40 car," said Buckler. "John was slammed hard early on and the car was brought to the paddock on a flatbed. The team did a fantastic job to effect repairs and get the car back in competition. Scott was able to finish in fine form and get some more needed experience and laps. It was a tough weekend for these guys, but good to see the car finish."

The TRG No. 42 Maxwell Paper/Carlsen Porsche 997 driven by team owner Kevin Buckler and Bryan Sellers had a great run going until a broken fan belt forced them from the race. Buckler qualified seventh and ran a stellar first stint, mixing it up with the leaders throughout his stint prior to the fan belt issue.

"I was so happy to be able to drive the Maxwell Paper car with Bryan Sellers this weekend," said Buckler. "My friend Rod Smith put this deal together for the two of us to drive and unfortunately we didn't have the chance for Bryan to get in there and show his stuff. He's an awesome teammate and a fantastic pro driver and with Maxwell Paper on board this team will be unstoppable."

"Overall, it was a great weekend for TRG and our Koni Challenge program which just continues to get stronger and stronger," stated Buckler. "We love coming to Trois-Rivieres, not only for the racing, but the French-Canadian people are really nice here and the scenery is beautiful. It's a wonderful event and we all really enjoyed our visit. The city of Trois-Rivieres and the Grand-Am Series all deserve a big applause for putting on such a great event."

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Grant Maiman , Bryan Sellers , Duncan Ende , Ted Ballou , Scott Schroeder , John Bibbo