TRG's Bunting and Lally Win GT at Miller and Championship Win Team Championship, Win Manufacturer Championship Tooele, Utah m- TRG's Marc Bunting and Andy Lally won the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve GT ...
TRG's Bunting and Lally Win GT at Miller and Championship
Win Team Championship, Win Manufacturer Championship
Tooele, Utah m- TRG's Marc Bunting and Andy Lally won the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve GT drivers championship today with a first place finish in their Pontiac GTOR. TRG also won the team championship and carried Pontiac to the GT manufacturer title.
Andy Lally started the number 65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/Pontiac GTO.R and drove consistently throughout his nearly three-hour stint to run strong in the top five. Lally had intermittent steering issues throughout his time that were cured when the TRG crew made quick work of a hose change and topped the fluid off in the GTO.R.
Marc Bunting took over from Lally on lap 59 and proceeded to run in third place. Bunting turned over to newcomer Spencer Pumpelly who proceeded to further improve the cars position to run in second during his stint.
The race win and championship were sealed when the 72 car had an extended pit stop for brake repairs, putting the TRG number 65 car up a lap. A solid drive by Lally, Bunting and Pumpelly along with excellent pit strategy and car preparation by the TRG crew secured the win and the three championships for the team.
The race was not so smooth for teammates Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins and Kris Wilson in the number 64/iRise/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R. As Edwards pulled away from the garage for the parade lap he noticed an issue with the power steering. He returned the GTO.R to the garage and the TRG crew made quick work of a steering rack change. Edwards joined the race some nine laps down for an eventual eighth place finish on the day. The duo of Collins and Edwards finished the season with three wins and six other podium finishes.
TRG's dream season has been comprised of Lally and Bunting's five wins with 10 total podium appearances on the year. Edwards and Collins have won three races bringing the TRG total to seven wins and 19 podium finishes between the two cars. TRG is also riding a 22 race podium streak.
Andy Lally, 65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/Pontiac GTO.R: "What a day, what a win, what a season. I heard every creak, thump and thud going around the track. I spent a lot of time in the car and was really worried early on in the race with the power steering. As usual the TRG guys made a quick diagnosis and fix and we really did not lose that much ground. Marc did a great job to keep us up at the front and Spencer even managed to move us up a few positions. It was great to win the championship that we deserved last year."
Marc Bunting, 65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/Pontiac GTO.R: "I had no real issues during my time in the car. The track is very busy with all these turns while dueling with the DP cars and GT traffic. The preparation of the car and the performance of the team during pit stops and strategy was all right on today. Andy and Spencer really made it look easy. It was a great way to end a championship season- with a win."
Spencer Pumpelly, 65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/Pontiac GTO.R: "My stint was pretty clean. The car really ran well and I had no issues in traffic or anything weird with the car. I was able to help the guys move the car up the field and I just wanted to support Marc and Andy as best I could in their quest for the championship. I book ended the season with wins, the first at the Daytona 24 Hour and the last one here at Miller."
RJ Valentine, 65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/Pontiac GTO.R: "What a great day! Andy and Marc did a really great job all season. TRG and Kevin Buckler prepared the car for a championship run. We were able to run second at Daytona and win my home race at Lime Rock. For a 61 year old man who has been in racing for 20 years it doesn't get any better than this. The exposure we received for F1 Air was phenomenal and to win the championship is the icing on the cake."
Paul Edwards, 64/iRise/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "I got in the car in the garage and started it up and the power steering issue turned-up. We never even made it to the grid. By the time the guys changed the steering rack we entered the race some 32 miles down. After that the car ran great and we were able to make a little charge back up the order. It was a tough way to end the season Kelly and I."
Kelly Collins, 64/iRise/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "When you start the race seven laps down it kind of turns into a test session for the '07 season. Toward the end of my first stint I felt the car start to really get squirmy. I just thought the tires were used up. I turned it over to Kris and he had the same problems. On my second stint the car ran great, no issues. It is a difficult way to end a season that was really up-and-down for us."
Kris Wilson, 64/iRise/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R: "I took over from Kelly and inherited his understeer. I knew right off there was something wrong. So I did nearly the full stint when I came in to have the crew take a look, it turns out that one of the bolts on the rear sway bar came loose. When the TRG guys made the repair I was able to really drive the thing and it was fun. I had hoped for a better finish, but I was satisfied with my run today."
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner: "This was a great day for whole organization. Marc and Andy with the help of Spencer raced as carefully and as fast we dared today. We were going to be satisfied with doing just enough to win the championship, but to win the race was really very satisfying. Three titles on the season for drivers, the team and Pontiac is unbelievable. Paul, Kelly and Kris had a tough go, but those guys had a good season."