TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Take on Watkins Glen Short Course Petaluma, California -- The TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs are coming off of encouraging finishes at Barber Motorsport Park and will take on the short course at Watkins Glen for round nine of the Grand ...
TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs Take on Watkins Glen Short Course
Petaluma, California -- The TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs are coming off of encouraging finishes at Barber Motorsport Park and will take on the short course at Watkins Glen for round nine of the Grand American Rolex Series COMPUSA 200 at the Glen.
The team will field the new GT entries for the first time at the historic sportscar course. The series will run the short version of the track measuring 2.45-miles in length with 11-turns. The abbreviated course is a result of running in support of NASCAR.
The GTO.R has received a restrictor reprieve from the Grand American officials, increasing in size from a 58 millimeter opening, to a more generous 62 millimeter hole. This change will give the GTO.R drivers extra horsepower, and allow them to be a little closer to the GT pace on the straights at the Glen.
Following a fourth and fifth place finish at Barber, the progression of the GTO.R to the front of the GT field has been exciting. Marc Bunting and Andy Lally in the number 65/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R are in the hunt for the series title, for the second season in a row. They currently lie fourth in points with 195, just 33 out of first place with six races remaining.
"I have run the short course a number of times," said Marc Bunting. "Watkins Glen is my home track. The GTO.R should be really good on the NASCAR course. Our weak link has been the horsepower, the help on the restrictor side is welcome, but I am not sure if it is enough. Setup will be different because we are losing the slower tighter turns in the Boot. We will need to focus our handling efforts to suit the faster turns. We need strong finishes and we have to get back on the podium. Stanton has a good lead and they have not had any bad luck or made any mistakes. We are not out of the running for the championship, our goal is to win every race."
"I have driven the short course numerous times," Lally said. "It is very fast. Coming out of the outer loop and not having to turn into the Boot takes some getting used to. The gear ratios on the car maybe different, you are tempted to run less wing, but you have to tell yourself you have to get through the Bus Stop. We are in a do or die situation with the points chase. We need to go for wins. One more bad finish like at Daytona could end our hopes. I believe we can carry over our good run from Barber into Watkins and get the car on top of the podium."
Having just joined the series at Daytona two races ago, the duo of Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen, driving the number 64/TRG/Pontiac GTO.R, are happy to have a race under their belt in the GTO.R. "It was nice to be competitive and finish at Barber," said Magnussen. "The Glen will be fun, the short course will be a nice change of pace. The horsepower adjustment on the motor will help us get up the hill and through the esses faster, which will also help us in traffic. We are looking to be even more competitive next week than we were at Barber."
Paul Edwards returns to the Glen, this time in a GT entry. "Last time I was at the Glen I handed the number four DP car off to Butch Leitzinger with the car in the lead. I am looking forward to running the short course. We thought Barber was going to be a traffic jam but, everyone seemed to behave. Watkins maybe a bit more busy with the DP traffic as it is a high speed layout. The turns that remain are fast, we have a little less of a restrictor so we should be that much better."
"The reduction in the engine restrictor will be a help at Watkins Glen," team owner Kevin Buckler. "We were really suffering down the straights. The crew and drivers are getting more comfortable with the car with each on track session. We were able to run at the front at Barber and both cars performed well. The short course at the Glen will be fast, combine this with an abbreviated weekend and that makes for exciting racing."
Round nine of the Grand American Rolex Series will be run at Watkins Glen on August 12th and be televised the same evening starting at 10:00 p.m. EST on the Speed Channel.