TRG LEAVES TEST WITH HIGH CONFIDENCE Daytona Beach, Fl (January 11, 2010)- In what was universally regarded as the coldest series of test days anyone can remember, TRG leaves this year's Roar Before the 24 with high confidence heading in to ...
TRG LEAVES TEST WITH HIGH CONFIDENCE
Daytona Beach, Fl (January 11, 2010)- In what was universally regarded as the coldest series of test days anyone can remember, TRG leaves this year's Roar Before the 24 with high confidence heading in to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Following a weekend that including sub-freezing temperatures, a canceled practice session, and a little bit of snow, all five TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing cars ran with minimal problems and competitive lap times.
Spencer Pumpelly's No. 71 closed the weekend with the fastest of the TRG armada, and third fastest on the weekend with a 1:49.700. "We made good progress all weekend on where we need to be, and I'm confident that we have a strong car headed in to the race," stated Pumpelly. "My teammates did a great job getting up to speed, and I think we have a great shot." Indeed, Spencer Pumpelly's teammates for the weekend, Tim George Jr. and Bobby Labonte, turned very impressive times considering both of their stock car backgrounds.
Tim George, Jr., now entering his second season in stock car racing, was second and third in the previous two years at the Rolex 24, and was able to set lap times on pace with the rest of the field. NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, who has never raced in a Porsche nor in the Grand-Am GT category, impressed everyone on the team by setting times within a second of the lead times after only a handful of laps in the car.
Next among TRG's Porsche armada was the No. 67 TRG/Flying Lizard machine. After setting the fastest time on Friday, the team continued a solid weekend of testing and development to end the weekend with a quick time of 1:49.730. Finishing the weekend fourth overall in GT, drivers Seth Neiman, Johannes van Overbeek, Patrick Long, and Joerg Bergmeister are prime contenders for the race.
Also setting competitive times was the No. 66 AXA machine of Andy Lally, Ted Ballou, Pat Flanagan, Kelly Collins, and Wolf Henzler. Concentrating primarily on race set-up over lap times, the team ran numerous stints and long runs to get the car on a good race pace, and will definitely be ready for the race. Turning a fastest lap of 1:50.067, driver Andy Lally feels very confident. "The AXA Porsche is going to be in the hunt for sure," claimed Lally. "There are a lot of really competitive cars with some stout drivers so we have our work cut out for ourselves, but we've won this race before and the team knows how to do it."
With a fastest lap time of 1:53.434, the No. 63 Future Electronics/ Polizei144/ Remington/ M3LRacing.com/ Freescale Semiconductors Porsche had a solid weekend with no major hiccups. Focusing primarily on seat time and gaining experience for drivers Henri Richard, Zak Brown, Rene Villeneuve, Mark Thomas and Richard Dean, the weekend went incident free and with no mechanical hiccups. With a strategy of running clean and consistent, the No. 63 could be the surprise of the race weekend.
Rounding out TRG's weekend was the No. 18 Guardian Angel Motorsports Porsche of Bruce Ledoux, David Quinlan, Peter Bassett, Travis Hill, Tom Sheehan and Bob Doyle. Turning a fastest lap of 1:54.219, the team was primarily focused on seat time and getting all drivers familiarized with the car. Despite a few minor incidents throughout the weekend, the team walked away with a solid driver lineup with Ledoux, Sheehan, Quinlan, Doyle, and Dan Watkins returning for the race, all with high expectations.
For Team Owner Kevin Buckler, the opportunity to show up with five cars at this weekend's test, and run fairly incident free, is a big testament to the team. "I can't believe how smooth this weekend went for our guys, but it's all down to our preparation," stated Buckler. "I'm really proud of all of our drivers and how they did. Spence proved once again why he's one of the best drivers in GT, and I'm honestly not surprised that Bobby got up to speed so quickly. Tim George Jr. was rock solid, and I can see that he wants this watch as badly as I do. The No. 67 will be a real threat for the race. Patrick and Joerg did their usual solid job, Johannes was steady as always, and Seth seems to be right where he needs to be as the team leader. The No. 66 and AXA should definitely look forward to a strong race. Andy, Wolf and Kelly got the car perfectly dialed in, Ted and Pat were turning really impressive times. The No. 63 machine is a quiet contender after seeing them this weekend. Henri didn't show up until Sunday yet was instantly on pace, Rene drove his usual heads-up stints, meanwhile Zak, Mark, and Richard all did really solid jobs. The key for the 63 will be running without incident and I think they can do that. The No. 18 and Guardian Angel Motorsports are a really fun group and I hope they're having the experience of a lifetime. Bruce and David are strong and consistent drivers, and the emphasis for Bob Doyle and Tom Sheehan just needed to be about seat time. I really enjoyed bringing Travis Hill in to our mix, and I hope he can be a bigger part of our future. We have a couple weeks now to get this whole program in perfect shape for the race, and I believe that with this crew we can do it. It's going to be a great race and a huge event for everyone involved with TRG. We have been preparing for 2 months and it is a real testament to the strength and solid footing of this organization to be able to field 5 strong cars."
With two weeks to completely prepare and get the cars ready, everyone at TRG will be hard at work as they look forward to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.