Watkins Glen: TRG qualifying report

TRG Shows Promise in Qualifying at The Glen Watkins Glen, N.Y., (June 5, 2009) - TRG's three Porsche entries will have some ground to make up early in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen to be run tomorrow, Saturday, June...

TRG Shows Promise in Qualifying at The Glen

Watkins Glen, N.Y., (June 5, 2009) - TRG's three Porsche entries will have some ground to make up early in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen to be run tomorrow, Saturday, June 6.

In yesterday's practice, the No. 67 Construct Corps/CRG/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 of Justin Marks, RJ Valentine and Andy Lally showed a lot of speed, ending the day in third on the GT time sheet. In today's practice, Valentine's first lap proved to be the last of the day for the No. 67. Valentine was entering turn 11 when he was hit by the No. 20 DP car. The severe damage to the Porsche resulted in the team performing an engine extraction and sending the tub off to a local frame shop for repairs. The team will work around the clock tonight to reassemble the car in time for the morning warm-up at 8:30 a.m. before tomorrow's race.

The new TRG driver pairing this weekend of John Potter, Craig Stanton and GT series point leader Spencer Pumpelly will start from the seventh row in the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3. Potter posted a lap time of 1:56.00. The trio has worked hard this weekend doing small adjustments on the car for the six hour run. Pumpelly currently leads the GT points standings by just one point.

"The car is running really well, really the best all weekend," Potter said. "We made some changes in qualifying to the car that have really paid off. We didn't make big changes, just small things here and there. It settled the car down in the higher speed stuff and that makes it a lot more confidence inspiring."

Josemanuel Gutierrez, Duncan Ende and Scott Schroeder will go away from the grid in their No. 68 Cohen Financial/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche from the seventh row. Gutierrez qualified the car with a time of 1:56.521. The team had a short day yesterday with some driveline issues, but rebounded well this afternoon to post a very competitive qualifying time.

"We had some issues with the gearbox yesterday and missed some practice time," Gutierrez said. "We haven't had a lot of laps today, but our luck has turned around. We put a completely different setup on the car for qualifying and it is pretty fast. I was able to improve my lap times a lot. I feel very comfortable in the car. The track has a lot of grip and I am happy with the effort so far. We are going to take an Iron Man approach to the strategy and drive two hours each in the race."

Valentine, Marks and Lally will have to start at the back of the field for tomorrow's start.

"I was coming into turn 11 and was just rammed from behind by the 20 car," Valentine said. "I am not sure if he didn't see me or what happened. I was pushed into the wall and hit pretty hard. It is really too bad. We have a very fast car and we were running around toward the top of the time sheet yesterday looking forward to a good qualifying effort and a great race tomorrow. Now we have a lot of work ahead for the guys and have to start at the back of the field."

Team owner Kevin Buckler is ready to get his three cars up the order tomorrow.

"We have had a bit of a tough start to the weekend so far," Buckler said. "It was crazy what happened to RJ. There is really no call for that in practice. The guys will put the hours in and do everything possible to get it back to speed for the race tomorrow. Josemanuel, Duncan and Scott are doing a great job. They are going to do the tough guy stints of two hours apiece in the car tomorrow. John, Craig and Spencer will surely be up to the challenge. Spencer is leading the series points and we hope to leave here with that in tact on Saturday evening. We came here to win and we have three good shots at it."

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Spencer Pumpelly , Craig Stanton , Duncan Ende , Scott Schroeder , John Potter
Teams Magnus Racing