TRG adds drivers
In a series of late developments, TRG heads in to this weekend's Roar Before the 24 with more cars entered in the race than any other team in the paddock. With a solid five-car lineup, the reigning Rolex 24 at Daytona GT winners look set to take their fourth victory at the historic race.
Following some recent sponsorship signings, TRG has managed to add to its already strong roster of talent, as well as make a few last minute adjustments to car numbers and driver lineups, as the team tackles this weekend's test to prepare for the race.
Starting with TRG's No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the re-signing of AXA and Brent Koch as the primary sponsor has meant the return of many familiar names to the car. As previously announced, Andy Lally will be placed in the No. 66 to join forces with his old Continental Challenge Series co-driver Ted Ballou, who together garnered a win in 2007. The duo will be joined by Porsche veteran Pat Flanagan, series veteran Kelly Collins, and Rolex 24 winner Wolf Henzler.
TRG's partnership with Flying Lizard Motorsports, meanwhile, will now move to No. 67. As the two most successful GT-category Porsche teams in recent years, Flying Lizard has partnered with TRG for this one-time event as a compliment to their full season effort in a different series. The car will be driven by Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard team principal, as well as long-time driver Johannes van Overbeek, and reigning Rolex 24 winners Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister.
TRG's most recent announcement comes in the addition of Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas to the newly added No. 71. As the dedicated car number to TRG's sister company, TRG Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the 71 Porsche is hoping to make a little history of its own. Bernhard is a two-time winner of the race with TRG, including their overall win in 2003, and Dumas has been one of Porsche's lead drivers through many of their recent prototype campaigns. Additionally, the team will continue on with Tim George, Jr. who is looking to top his previous third and second place finishes, as well as Spencer Pumpelly who will be with the team full-time in 2010. Finally, TRG's No 71 would not be complete without their full-time driver under the same car number, NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte. Labonte will be making his debut in the GT category of the Rolex 24, facing the challenge of a Porsche's unique handling characteristics.
Similarly, TRG is proud to announce the signing of a new car to the team, the No. 18. Re-joining the team will be two drivers who had made their debut with the team in 2009, Bruce Ledoux and David Quinlan. Both hailing from Boston, Ledoux and Quinlan look forward to continuing their Guardian Angel Motorsports brand of racing for charity. Joining the team for 2010 will be a number of Daytona newcomers, Peter Bassett, Bob Doyle, and Tom Sheehan. All three drivers come from a variety of sportscar backgrounds, and the team as a whole looks towards providing a consistent, and most importantly enjoyable, event.
Finally, car No. 63 will continue as previously announced with drivers Henri Richard, Zak Brown, René Villeneuve, Mark Thomas, and Richard Dean. All five drivers come to Daytona with a very positive attitude and strong desire to succeed, and look forward to seeing the checkered flag on January 31st.
For Team Owner Kevin Buckler, the opportunity to provide five cars during trying times is a testament to the team's hard efforts.
"To come in to this year's race, which is arguably under the most challenging economy the series has ever seen, with five cars is a victory in itself. I have personally been on the phone for weeks on end trying to make all of our programs work for everyone and their sponsors, and I'm proud to say that we're coming in to this year's race with such a solid lineup. To have this many cars come in with such a solid group of drivers is a great testament to not only the last few months, but really the last two decades of everything we've worked for to make sure we have a solid organization."
Whatever the outcome when the checkered flag falls, TRG's unmistakable drive will probably be more evident than ever at this year's race.
TRG was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing ever since. The team has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with 26, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance racing parts. The group specializes in engine and chassis tuning as well as full service professional race car preparation. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive opportunities. TRG is based in Petaluma, California, near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The company's NASCAR operation is based in Mooresville, North Carolina and a new state-of-the-art facility is coming on-line at New
Jersey Motorsports Park in 2010.