The Racer's Group finalizes driver lineup

SONOMA, Calif. (March 05, 2004) -- The Racer's Group today announced its final driver lineup for the 2004 Rolex Sports Car series following a podium finish and two top-10 showings at last weekend's Grand Prix of Miami. The Air/Gleason Group TRG...

SONOMA, Calif. (March 05, 2004) -- The Racer's Group today announced its final driver lineup for the 2004 Rolex Sports Car series following a podium finish and two top-10 showings at last weekend's Grand Prix of Miami.

The Air/Gleason Group TRG No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 RS will be driven for the season by longtime sports car racers RJ Valentine, of Braintree, Mass., Chris Gleason, of Johnstown, Pa., and Team Lexus factory driver Ian James, of Kissimmee, Fla.

The trio has more than 50 years of top-level racing experience, spanning such major American series as Grand American, Trans-Am, IMSA, WSC, ALMS, Formula Atlantic, Formula Vauxhall and British Touring Car. They teamed together for the 2004 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and earned a ninth place finish in class. The drivers finished sixth in the GT class at the Grand Prix of Miami.

"I'm excited about the season, because I think we put all the right pieces together for a really strong team," Gleason said. "We're driving the No. 66 car, TRG's newest GT3 RS, signing Ian James up to drive with us bolsters our driving lineup in a big way and Lars [Giersing, Crew Chief] and his merry band taking care of the car, well, they're first class. We have all the pieces in place to do well, and now it's up to us to execute."

American Liz Halliday, an accomplished sports car racer and equestrian competitor, has signed with The Racer's Group to drive the TRG Porsche No. 67 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. She will partner with team owner and driver Kevin Buckler.

Halliday made her American sports car racing debut last weekend at the Grand Prix of Miami, where she recorded her first podium finish, driving with Buckler to place third in the GT class. Last August, Halliday became the first woman to win a round of the British GT Championship, teaming with Amanda Stretton in a Porsche GT3 to win the GT Cup class in the Spa 1,000 km race in Belgium.

"TRG is one of the best and most professional teams I've ever worked with," Halliday said. "I sensed that from the minute that I met everyone for the first time, and Homestead is proof of that. Over the course of the weekend, there wasn't one single problem with the car, and the crew had everything perfectly organized. I wasn't expecting this opportunity this year, so it's very exciting for me to put something of this magnitude and quality together."

"Two races into the season, our team has nothing but top-10 finishes," Buckler said. "The progress that Chris, Ian, RJ and Liz have demonstrated to date is excellent, and as usual, our crew has things in perfect order. Technically, we've advanced to a point where we have to consider ourselves podium challengers every weekend, and I think that the combination of the team's skill and driving talent bode well for our championship hopes this season."

The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Returns to action next month in the Phoenix 250 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 8-10. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com.

For additional information on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , Chris Gleason , Amanda Stretton , Liz Halliday