TRG-AMR will race next at the Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2014) - TRG-AMR's two Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s posted a strong debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, one of the most challenging endurance races in the world. The race is held Jan. 25-26 in Daytona Beach, Fla., and is the biggest event for the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 driven by James Davison, Al Carter, David Block and Brandon Davis finished 22nd, while the No. 009 driven by Jonny Adam, Calum Lockie, Pete McIntosh II, Rob Nimkoff and Max Riddle ended up 26th in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway.
Both cars were being raced for the first time in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the most grueling, challenging event of the season. Hard work by the team during an offseason of change, combined with its experience gained through a record 19 consecutive Rolex 24 appearances and four Rolex 24 victories, led to a satisfying debut.
"Even though the end result wasn't there, we had a fantastic Rolex 24, and it was a great start with the new Aston Martin GT3 race cars," TRG-AMR CEO Kevin Buckler said. "I am so proud of the TRG-AMR team and all of our drivers. The crew has been working for months to put this together, and I feel like we have the best chemistry on this team that we've ever had. We have a lot of positive mojo, and it feels like we can do almost anything right now.
"The Aston Martin GT3 cars were incredible. They were competitive, and other than a few things that were out of our control, we hit all our marks. Our drivers gained a ton of experience under their belts, which is great because we're thinking about championships and collecting points. I'm so proud of the team and our drivers. It felt like everyone was out there setting personal bests, and I was proud to be part of it. I think we accomplished a lot of our goals. It was a fantastic launch for the Aston Martin GT racing program here in North America."
Davison took the lead about eight hours into the race, fighting back after the team was three laps down early in the event. But he then received a technical penalty under caution. Davison returned to the track, two laps down in 13th place, after serving the penalty in the pits. He then immediately resumed the pace that brought the car to the front, showing the true competitiveness of the V12 Vantage GT3.Rolex 24
But trouble struck again about two hours after the penalty when the No. 007 was forced to the garage to repair a radiator damaged by hitting debris in traffic. Strong work by the crew got the car back on track, and the drivers began the work of clawing back lost ground as the sun started to rise over the 3.56-mile circuit.
But the No. 007 was forced to the garage again later in the morning, where continued diligent, disciplined pit work allowed the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to return to the track with two hours remaining and run strongly to the checkered flag.
"We got a solid start in the No. 007 and maintained our top-five position," Davison said. "After a few driver cycles, we lost a few laps. From 9 p.m. to midnight, I did a triple stint, and we were able to get two laps back. We drove all the way to the class lead in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 car, which was really gratifying. It's great to know that we're competitive and that we will be wherever we go this season."
The talented TRG-AMR crew also was forced into quick action for repairs on the No. 009 during the overnight hours. But the V12 Vantage GT3 was back on track before sunrise and was solid to the finish to help seal a successful debut for the team in the Rolex 24. Rolex 24
TRG-AMR will race next at the Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. It's the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
KEVIN BUCKLER (TRG-AMR CEO): "Even though the end result wasn't there, we had a fantastic Rolex 24, and it was a great start with the Aston Martin GT3 cars. I am so proud of the TRG-AMR team. The crew has been working for months to put this together, and I feel like we have the best chemistry on this team that we've ever had. We have a lot of positive mojo, and it feels like we can do anything right now. The Aston Martin GT3 cars were incredible. They were competitive, and other than a few things that were out of our control, like someone dropping the hood off of their car and us running over it, we feel like we got a good result. A lot of our drivers got a ton of experience under their belts, which is great because we're thinking about championships and collecting points. We learned so much, and now we're ready to move on to Sebring. It's sort of a cruel joke that this 24-hour race in Daytona is our first event of the season and not our last with the huge level of difficulty. But I'm so proud of the team and our drivers. It felt like everyone was out there setting personal bests, and I was proud to be part of it. I think we accomplished a lot of goals. It was a fantastic launch for the Aston Martin GT program here in North America."
CAR NO. 007 DRIVER QUOTES:
DAVID BLOCK: "I've been coming to the Rolex 24 as a spectator since 1996, so I've really wanted to be in this race for a long time. I worked hard the last few years to help prepare myself for this huge feat, and it turned out to be an unbelievable experience. We made it all the way through, and I got to drive for six hours as the night wore on and the morning came. TRG-AMR prepared a great car for this amazing race, and I feel fortunate to have been part of the team."
AL CARTER: "We didn't quite get the result we were hoping for, but TRG-AMR showed great promise. Kevin Buckler and the whole crew came here with amazing preparation. We were ready to win; we just had a few unfortunate events that happened during this long race. We lost a radiator because we were racing for position, and things like that are bound to happen. But when we were running, we were able to lead laps, and to kick the first big event of the season off like we did shows huge promise as we move forward from here. James (Davison) is going to be an awesome co-driver for the season, and we're already meshing really well together. I guarantee you that we are going to have some podiums this year in this No. 007 Aston Martin GT3 car."
BRANDON DAVIS: "The car was very strong, and obviously the Aston Martin brand is proving to be a great match with this team. Unfortunately, some things beyond our control took us out of (contention in) this 24-hour race, but I feel like we had the pace and the driver lineup to be competitive. We were leading at one point during the night, so we know we have what it takes. It's the little things that come to bite you that make winning this race so difficult. Sometime you're just unlucky, and that was the case for us today. I'm really proud of the guys for not giving up, and overall it was a good day. You come here to win, but we walk away from here learning a ton."
JAMES DAVISON: "We got a solid start in the No. 007 and maintained our top-five position. After cycling through a few driver cycles, we lost a few laps. From 9 p.m. to midnight, I did a triple stint and we were able to get two laps back. We drove all the way to the class lead in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 car, which was really gratifying. It's great to know that we're competitive and that we will be wherever we go this season. At one point, we hit some debris on the track, which punctured the radiator, and that was the biggest thing that took us out of the race. We lost 30-plus laps out of that incident when we had to repair the car in the garage. Everybody drove the car, and we were able to finish with the car in one piece. We're ready to put it all together next year here at Daytona and in the immediate scenario for the rest of the season."
CAR NO. 009 DRIVER QUOTES:
JONNY ADAM: "The car ran really well through the first part of the race, but then we had a small transmission issue. We were able to fix it and move forward, but then we had a bigger issue when a power steering hose was cut, and we had to stay in the garage for a long period of time, losing a lot of laps. But throughout these issues, the Aston Martin GT3 car was so fast. It's unfortunate that we got bit by bad luck because I don't think the result showcases the effort TRG-AMR put forward this weekend."
CALUM LOCKIE: "The big highlight of my fourth Rolex 24 and 17th 24-hour race of my career was that I was working with TRG-AMR. Kevin Buckler and his crew are absolutely incredible, and they really push hard. They do a great job and are all focused on the same thing. Unfortunately we didn't get the win this time, but I'm quite confident that wins will be coming the TRG-AMR way soon. Driving the car was fantastic - what a car! Lap highlights for me were in Turn 1. Braking is so late into Turn 1 here, and you're doing it at really high speeds. The brakes were awesome all the way through the race. They did not alter. I hope I can come back and do more with TRG-AMR in the future."
PETE McINTOSH II: "The race didn't go as expected when we encountered some mechanical issues, but the crew worked really hard to get the car back out on track for us. We came here to finish this 24-hour race, and that's what we did. I want to thank the TRG-AMR crew and all of the other drivers. The drivers did a good job keeping the car clean, and the crew did a great job keeping the car running despite the issues we had. I want to thank my family and sponsors and everyone who made this happen."
ROB NIMKOFF: "This was my first Rolex 24, and my overall experience was a complete 'wow,' learning experience. Moving into the big leagues is nothing like I've ever experienced before. On one hand, it was an honor to be on track with all of these famous drivers who know what they're doing. On the other hand, it makes you realize that they're going through the exact same thing you are. This race helped me realize what my limits are and how much more I have to grow in my own racecraft. To have a car like the Aston Martin GT3 was a massive opportunity. It's so safe, it's so quick, it's so reliable. Running in this classic event with a top-notch team with a great car was a total bucket list check-off for me. I hope to come back again!"
MAX RIDDLE: "This was my first Rolex 24, and running with TRG-AMR was an amazing experience. Unfortunately we had some transmission problems with the car so we ended up losing a lot of laps in the garage. I got to see the race from all perspectives, though, and had a lot of time in the car. I learned so much in the past 24 hours, and I'm just so happy to be here."