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Grand-Am: Pontiacs riding high in GT.
CRASH EXTRA News Thursday, 23rd March 2006


Kevin Buckler's The Racers Group team are on a roll as the team heads to round three of the Grand Am Rolex Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Marc Bunting and Andy Lally, driving the #65 Pontiac GTO.R, are leading the GT points battle. Teammates Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins, piloting the #64 Pontiac GTO.R are coming off of their first win this season at Mexico City and currently sit second in the driver's points standings.

In addition to leading the points, Bunting and Lally are the defending GT race champions at Homestead. The duo will welcome back teammate RJ Valentine for the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute race around the 2.3-mile 11-turn track located just outside of Miami.

Lally will be looking for his second win at the track. "We won there last year and we are leading the points, I like our chances. We did the test there in December, so we have a good baseline set-up for the car. We should be able to unload a fast and predictable car. RJ and Marc have both driven the track in the GTO.R and I am looking forward to having a good outing."

Bunting is ready to go back to the sight of his first GT win last year. "We are going in with the points lead and being last years winners. I have yet to drive the GTO.R at Homestead. Andy has driven it there and so has RJ, so we should be fine with the cars set-up. I find Homestead a little more interesting than Daytona, a little more challenging to go flat-out around the banking. The infield is one of the better-modified oval infields that we run. We hope to stay in the lead in the points and even add to that total this weekend."

Valentine is ready to get back behind the wheel. "We had a good run at Daytona and I missed Mexico City, so I am ready to get back at it in Homestead. I have been to Homestead many times in a lot of different kinds of cars, I like the track. We tested there and the car did really well and I felt comfortable. I was able to get up to speed with the car around there so we don't have that learning curve this weekend. The infield is our strong suit with the Pontiac. If we can get the run on our competition onto the banking we will be fine."

Edwards has a lot of laps around Homestead, but this will be his first race. "We did a lot of the early development work on the GTO.R at Homestead, so it is a circuit that the engineers and I are very familiar with. We also have done two or three full race distance simulation runs there, so we have the set-up and understanding of gas mileage as well. The track is similar to Daytona where a few tight infield corners are surrounded by a good part of the oval. We had a good car at Daytona and we are coming off of our win at Mexico City, I am excited."

Collins is looking to improve his record at the south Florida track. "I finished second there in '04 in a prototype and last year I got crashed out. I have tested the Corvette there a lot and the team has done some time there in the GTO.R. The track is a few drag strips with a couple of corners in between. Homestead is pretty close to Daytona layout. The GTO.R is stable on the fast banking so we should be able to go flat out around there, we should be strong. This is a similar situation we that will see again at Phoenix. I hope we can get around the oval faster than the Porsches."

"We have a good start to the season with Marc and Andy leading the points and Paul and Kelly logging a win at Mexico City," said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, "I am really looking forward to having RJ back with us, he did a great job when we tested there in December. Homestead is a track very familiar to the team, we have a lot of laps there, a win, plus a good book of notes for the GTO.R. We are going there to win."
 

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I was in Daytona for the 24 Hours. Man they really looked good. So good in fact, I bought a Team TRG GTO-R dual layer jacket with the logos on front and back! I would attach a pic, but can't seem to! Not sure why, but if I get it figured out, I will post later.
 

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marathonman said:
I was in Daytona for the 24 Hours. Man they really looked good. So good in fact, I bought a Team TRG GTO-R dual layer jacket with the logos on front and back! I would attach a pic, but can't seem to! Not sure why, but if I get it figured out, I will post later.
They have the attachment option disabled the last time I checked, you need to upload the pics to your gallery and then attach from your gallery.:cheers
 
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