Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT Ready for SPEED World Challenge GT at Autobahn Mooresville, N.C. (July 22, 2009) - TRG Motorsports and Circle B MotorCars of Texas are ready for the No. 71 Circle B MotorCars Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT to...
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT Ready for SPEED World Challenge GT at Autobahn
Mooresville, N.C. (July 22, 2009) - TRG Motorsports and Circle B MotorCars of Texas are ready for the No. 71 Circle B MotorCars Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT to make its North American racing debut in round six of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Series at Autobahn Country Club Sunday, July 26.
TRG's Spencer Pumpelly will pilot the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR 722 GT this weekend at the 3.56-mile, 21 turn Autobahn Country Club circuit located in Joliet, Illinois. This will be the first visit to this circuit for the series.
"The car is a lot of fun to drive," Pumpelly said. "I am looking forward to my first World Challenge race and to see how the SLR GT stacks up against the competition. The TRG Motorsports guys have done a tremendous amount of work to get the car ready for this weekend."
Autobahn is new to each competitor, so the playing field will be level.
"The track is new to everyone. It helps us that all of the competitors will be new to the track. They just can't unload with the setup they ran last year. We are new to the car and to the Toyo tires. We ran the tire recently and I was surprised by the amount of grip it has. It is a lot like the Hoosier we used to run on our GT cars.We should have a good crowd there to debut our new ride. The long layout of the track will suit the car. Long straights with the restrictions we have will hurt this car, like at Road America. The car has great brakes and we will get it handling, so the tighter and more turns, the better the SLR GT will be."
Pumpelly has done nothing but endurance racing for the last eight years. A 50-minute sprint race is a welcomed new element to his resume.
"The last time I ran a race this short was in the Skip Barber Series in 2000. When we run the 24-hour in the TRG GT cars our mentality is to run flat-out the whole time. That is also how I am going to approach this weekend."
The drama infused standing starts will also be new to the driver from Atlanta.
"We have not been able to practice any of the standing starts. My first ever effort at a standing start will be on the grid, on TV Sunday in the Autobahn race."
The team has realistic expectations for the car headed into this weekend.
"I want to be competitive and be able to run with some of the regular competitors. We have a lot of restrictions on the car so there is really no telling how far off of the cars real potential we will be in the race. I have a great chassis underneath me and great team behind me."
Car owner of the No. 71 Circle B Motorcars SLR 722 GT, Peter Blom, is ready to see the car race.
"We have been working toward this weekend for the better part of six months," Blom said. "What better place than Autobahn Country Club to debut the SLR GT? We have had the opportunity to test it three times to see exactly what we have. The series is very competitive and we are hoping to have a successful first run with the car. Spencer has done an excellent job getting an initial setup on the car and Bill (Rader, TRG SLR GT team manager) will take care of the rest once we get it on the track on Friday."
TRG owner Kevin Buckler is ready for the team's first race in SPEED World Challenge.
"The guys have done an awesome job preparing the SLR GT for this weekend," Kevin Buckler, TRG owner said. "It is tough to bring a new race car into a series when their schedule is halfway completed. Spencer is ready and we have modest goals going into this weekend. The track map looks like it will suit the SLR GT. There is a nice mix of fast stuff and challenging turns. I can't wait to see and hear it on the track. We have long term plans for the SLR program including starting a strong club following as well as a place to service, drive and race these great cars. We want to put our money where our mouth is and showcase the capability of the car and TRG Motorsports and start by building and racing the GT."
The team has committed to four races in the series including this weekend at Autobahn, Mid-Ohio, Road America and Road Atlanta.
The Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda SCCA Pro Racing GT race will take the green flag on Sunday, July 26 at 3:10 p.m. The 50-minute race will then be televised on the SPEED Channel, Tuesday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m.