SCC: Utah: TRG preview

TRG HEADS TO UTAH SEEKING THIRD STRAIGHT GRAND-AM CHAMPIONSHIP AND SECOND KONI CHALLENGE SERIES WIN FOR 2007 PETALUMA, Calif., (September 10, 2007) -- Team TRG is poised to stake claim to its third consecutive GT-Class Championship when the ...


PETALUMA, Calif., (September 10, 2007) -- Team TRG is poised to stake claim to its third consecutive GT-Class Championship when the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve competes in the Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on Saturday, September 15th.

TRG's fast-developing Koni Challenge Series teams will also be at 'Miller' looking for a repeat of their GS-Class victory in late July at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

In the Rolex Series, TRG is in position to claim two prestigious season-long crowns, including the GT-Class Team Championship and the GT-Class Drivers Championship. Both titles will be decided during a grueling seven-and-a-half hour marathon in this season finale on the demanding 4.5-mile, 24-turn serpentine road course at Miller.

Battling for top Team honors, TRG is currently tied with Farnbacher-Loles Motorsports for first place in the championship race -- both with 340 points. If successful, TRG will add to its consecutive team championships in 2005 and 2006, thus completing the cherished 'three-peat.'

Contesting top Driver honors are TRG pilots and five-time 2007 GT-class race winners RJ Valentine and Andy Lally. The duo is a scant five points out of the lead for the Drivers title and has the track-record, both in '06 and '07, to warrant cautious optimism that they will uphold TRG's championship tradition. In addition to Valentine and Lally claiming five wins in '07, they captured the season-ending Sunchaser 1000 at Miller last year en route to helping claim the Driver and Team titles for TRG in '06.

"Nobody has the depth that TRG has to draw from," said Lally. b^0x001cOur crew has been on top of this car from the day we got it and they have applied the same dedication and professionalism that TRG is known for having throughout the entire squad. RJ has been absolutely great all year long. He has been a rock and we have been able to rely on him to start this car every race and not put a scratch on it."

"This has been a year beyond belief," said Valentine. "The TRG 'magic touch' that you hear about - well let me tell you, it's for real! Andy (Lally) has been the perfect co-driver all year and has done the lion's share of the driving duties. I love being a part of this organization and they have delivered 100% for me. To be this close to a Championship -- well, I can almost taste it. This has been a dream year for me."

"Obviously we can't predict what will happen in this final race, but I do know that it will be very very exciting," assured TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. "One side of me wishes we had a comfortable lead and all we have to do is take the green flag - but the other side says, let's get it on!!! Grand-Am has put together great racing all year and most all of our competitors have raced us clean. To have it come down to the last race like this is spectacular."

"RJ and Andy have been simply tremendous. RJ has been fantastic. He has qualified and started 10 of these races this year. He has driven well, driven smart and turned the car over to Andy in perfect shape.JThat was his job and he nailed it all season long. Andy has been absolutely flawless and seems to have ascended to a new level as a driver."

As they have throughout the season, Valentine and Lally will wage battle at Miller from the cockpit of their TRG No. 66 CRG/Maxter Porsche GT3 along with TRG regular and Rolex Series front-runner Spencer Pumpelly.

TRG's second entry is the No. 64 JLowe Racing/SRS Porsche GT3 with drivers Jim Lowe, Jim Pace and John Potter. Lowe and Pace are a great combination with tremendous experience in both wet and dry conditions.JPotter joins the veterans as a Rolex Series rookie but ran well for TRG earlier this season at Watkins Glen.

Another strong TRG GT-class entry is the No. 65 Maxwell Paper Products Porsche GT3 driven by teammates Ross Smith, Dan DiLeo and Bryan Sellers.JThe trio has run several races for TRG during '07, posting a terrific podium finish at Laguna Seca earlier in the season and they have done a great deal of the team's development work.

New to TRG at Miller is the roster of Peter Ludwig, Quentin Wahl and John Mayes in the No. 67 Porsche GT3. Ludwig is a proven winner in the Koni Challenge Series, Wahl is experienced in the Ferrari Challenge Series and Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and Mayes has competed in 24-hour races at N0xbca2urgring and Daytona in '07.

SPEED Channel is scheduled to carry two Live! broadcasts of the Grand-Am Rolex Series 'Sunchaser 1000' at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, September 15th, with Part I airing at 1 p.m. EDT and Part II airing at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

"I am really proud of our GT line-up for this coming weekend," commented Buckler. "Having Jim Lowe and Jim Pace back with us is fantastic. They ran a strong race here last year. Rod Smith's boys in the No. 65 car should be a real force this weekend. They have really helped us get this car dialed in and we are all working well together. I am also really excited about the No. 67 line-up. These are great guys with a ton of racing experience and they should do a really good job."


Building on the success of its race win at Barber Motorsports Park in July and second-

place finish at Trois-Rivieres in August, TRG looks for even more success from its

highly competitive and rapidly improving Koni Challenge Series line-up.

TRG will field four cars for the two-and-a-half-hour race at Miller, each being fully capable of claiming the top step on the podium in Victory Lane.

Leading the charge will be the TRG No. 39 Carlsen Porsche/DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes entry of Duncan Ende and Grant Maiman. The pair has mixed it up with the leaders throughout the season, posting a solid fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen and surviving repeated hard contact in the early laps at Trois-Rivieres to claim a well-earned ninth-place finish. Expect them to run hard and run up front.

Driving the No. 40 Carlsen Porsche/CDI/Carrera Design entry for TRG is John Bibbo and Scott Schroeder. This season-long duo has displayed great form since early in the season, leading the Lime Rock race for 21 laps and posting a Top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio. Bibbo has driven superbly, including in times of adversity, and Schroeder continues to climb the TRG driver development ladder.

The third entry is that of July race winners Ted Ballou and Andy Lally in the TRG No. 41 Mitchell Global/Carlsen Porsche 997. Ballou and Lally contend for the win at every venue on the Koni Challenge schedule and they are expected to do the same at Miller. In addition to the victory at 'Barber,' the No. 41 car has five podium finishes and a total of six top-five finishes.

TRG standouts Dan DiLeo and Bryan Sellers will drive the No. 42 Maxwell Paper Products/Carlsen Porsche 997. In addition to Lally in the No. 41entry, DiLeo and Sellers will also be pulling double duty on race weekend at Miller by competing in both the Rolex Series GT and Koni Challenge events for TRG. Both drivers contribute to the team's developmental program and are quite capable of delivering a winning effort in Utah.

TRG team owner Kevin Buckler said, "I am very excited to have this strong of a line-up for the upcoming event. Our Koni Challenge program is getting better and better, and with the testing and development we did here earlier, I know we will be competitive with all four cars. This is going to be a good race for us."

-credit: trg

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Spencer Pumpelly , Jim Pace , Grant Maiman , Bryan Sellers , Ross Smith , Peter Ludwig , Quentin Wahl , Jim Lowe , Duncan Ende , Ted Ballou , Scott Schroeder , John Bibbo , John Potter