TRG Ready to Follow-up Rolex 24 Win at VIR Petaluma, Calif (April 21, 2009) - TRG is looking forward to backing up their one - two finish at the season opening Grand-Am Rolex Series Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona with another good run this...
TRG Ready to Follow-up Rolex 24 Win at VIR
Petaluma, Calif (April 21, 2009) - TRG is looking forward to backing up their one - two finish at the season opening Grand-Am Rolex Series Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona with another good run this Saturday at Virginia International Raceway.
The team will field the top two cars from the GT race at Daytona with Justin Marks and Andy Lally driving the No. 67 Construct Corp/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/Kartel Motorsports/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche, while Daytona runner-up drivers Ted Ballou and Spencer Pumpelly will be in their No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber/TRG Porsche. TRG regulars Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder will be driving the No. 68 Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche and John Potter and Craig Stanton will be putting their No. 65 Riegel/Stanton/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/65 Roses/Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3, bringing the TRG count at VIR to four Porsche GT3s.
Marks and Lally come into the second race of the season, some three months following Daytona, on top of the GT points standings.
"Since Daytona it's been like another off-season so I have been doing a lot of physical training and continuing to rehab my back," Marks said. "We had a good test at Homestead so really just trying to prepare for VIR. I think the car is going to have to really be well rounded and good in a lot of different situations. VIR has everything, long straights, slow corners, high speed sections, so we're going to have to have a good balance and be consistent. I'm still a little green in the series. I know the TRG Porsches were fast there last year so hopefully it'll be the same. I think VIR is awesome. It's a really rewarding track. There are technical sections and you have to take some risk to be fast which is great. When you put it all together and throw down a good number, it's a good feeling. Plus it's a beautiful setting and a nice race weekend."
Spencer Pumpelly finished second last year at VIR and is looking to get up on the top step of the podium.
"I have been doing some private coaching and work with Skip Barber since the Rolex. We also had a KONI race in Miami which was a good way to break up all the time out of the car. I have been running a lot trying to stay in shape during the break and I have also been flying helicopters as much as I can. VIR is tied, with Watkins Glen, for my favorite track. It has a good mix of high and low speed turns with good passing opportunities. The esses are probably the most demanding corners we see all season because they add speed, elevation, and transition all at once. We have similar configurations at other Grand-Am tracks, but not at 150 mph. VIR is tough on rear tires so we will need a car that can keep them from blistering. Saving the rears will prove to be the deciding factor. Anywhere where we spend some time in sixth gear we have an advantage over the Pontiacs, but the RX-7s are faster on the straight-aways and 500lbs lighter than we are so they are tough to beat anywhere we go."
Josemanuel Gutierrez has been busy during the break, running additional races and keeping himself fit. He is joined by Scott Schroeder in the No. 68 Cohen Financial/TRG Porsche.
"I did a PCA Sebring event in early February and since then I haven't been in a race car, however I have been keeping fit, swimming, hiking and working out at the gym," Guitierrez said. "I have got the race bug, bugging me constantly. I am glad the waiting is almost over. The No. 68 crew does a superb job making sure the car is 'good'. I don't worry about the car being ready the least bit, it's me who I have to work on and get the most out of that car. I have been racing Porsches for a few years now and Porsches have been, year after year, very fast and reliable race cars always matching up to the competition. All we have to do is to perform as well as we did at the 24 Hours at Daytona, and we will all be fine. I have never raced at VIR before, however, all I have heard about VIR are good things, technical, fast, elevation changes, blind turns, pretty - scenery - I can't wait."
Team owner Kevin Buckler is ready to get the sports car season really going.
"We are bringing a lot of momentum to VIR," Buckler said. "We went one - two in the Rolex and are leading the points. The cars are all fresh and the guys still have a skip in their step about winning the big one in February. We now need to focus on winning at VIR and keeping our strong start going."
Buckler will be splitting his attention this weekend. The organizations NASCAR Sprint Cup team will be competing at Talladega Superspeedway.
"We will be running five cars in two different states," Buckler said. "Along with our four Porsches at VIR, David Gilliland and the American Monster/TRG Motorsports Chevy will be at Talladega. We will be focused on the VIR event with one eye on what is happening in Alabama until Sunday when we go over there. We have great people on both teams and we will are looking to have a very successful weekend at both events."
Round two of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series to be run at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, April 25th will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 2:30 p.m.