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TRG GTO.Rs 2nd and 21st at 12 Hour Mark

Daytona Beach, Florida -- TRG is currently running second and 21st in the 44th Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The Pontiac GTO.Rs are running strong with the number 64 car falling back and the 65 car moving up.

On lap 246, while leading the race in the GT category, Kelly Collins had a wild ride through turn one. “I was going into turn one and I hit the brake and it just snapped around on me, I think some thing came loose or broke in the right rear. There was no warning, no vibration, just came around and sent me through turn one spinning, I just missed the tire wall.” The car returned to the fray on lap 232 and was back in the garage later to change the steering rack, a further result of the original problem.

Johnny O’Connell is turning consistent laps and is happy with the number 65 GTO.R. “The car started out loose, but it came to back me and was actually pretty nice to drive toward the end of the stint. The track seems to be pretty good as far as grip. There is a lot of rubber laid down now and the usual spots are slippery like the Bus Stop where cars bring dirt onto the track. I am having a little problem with the brake pressure, it takes a big foot to stop the car.” Team owner Kevin Buckler, having won here overall as a driver in 2003, knows the trials and tribulations of the 24 at Daytona. “It’s a shame what happened to the 64 with Kelly. We were leading, up by a lap and we had a suspension issue. We work hard to be perfect and then this happens. The drivers were doing a flawless job and we were settling in for a good run. The guys in the 65 car will have to carry us the rest of the way.”

Speed TV is broadcasting more than 14 hours of the 24 Hours at Daytona. The first segment will air with the start of the race on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. EST and run air until 6:00 p.m., they will return at 8:00 p.m. and run until 11:00 p.m. On Sunday the show will resume at 8:00 a.m. and run the finish at 12:30 p.m.

#64/TRG/iRise/Pontiac GTO.R

*Paul Edwards

*Kelly Collins

Jan Magnussen

Andy Pilgrim

#65/TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/iRise/Pontiac GTO.R

*Marc Bunting

*Andy Lally

*RJ Valentine

Johnny O’Connell

*Denotes season long drivers.

© 2002 Auto Racing Daily, LLC​

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5,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Daytona 24: GM Racing hour 16 report

Daytona 24: GM Racing hour 16 report
Racing series GRANDAM

Date 2006-01-29

Rolex 24 16-Hour Report: #65 GTO.R Still Leading GTs

#65 TRG GTO.R Locked in Heated Battle for First With #36 TPC Racing Porsche; Two Pontiac Daytona Prototypes Remain in Top Ten

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - For the last four hours, the #65 TRG GTO.R of Andy Lally, Marc Bunting, R. J. Valentine and Johnny O'Connell has been in either first or second in the GT class, more often than not leading the field throughout the first half of the third quarter of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The production-based Pontiac race car is almost neck-and-neck with the #36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup and has occasionally broken into the top-ten cars overall.

"Our #64 GTO.R is holding ground after being damaged earlier," said Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner. "We had to come back in to repair some damage that was caused by the suspension failure. The #65 car has been right up at the top and I'm really proud of those guys. I hope they can hang in there and I really hope they can get ahead of that #36 car."

In the Daytona Prototype class, two Pontiacs remain in the top ten but one recently headed to the garage to look at what driver Jorg Bergmeister narrowed down to a gearbox problem.

"I had problems in the first three gears," said Bergmeister. "I found myself having to use the clutch to upshift and the car didn't want to stay in gear. I hope our mechanics can figure it out quickly. Right now we haven't lost much ground yet but if we're in the garage much longer we will."

The other Pontiac DP still in the top ten is the #7 CITGO Racing by SAMAX and it has stayed in the 10th position for roughly an hour.

"Our Daytona Prototype effort has been hampered by accidents and some mechanical problems but our remaining cars are persevering," said Jim Lutz, Grand American program manager for Pontiac. "Many of our top teams from last year have withdrawn but we still have eight of thirteen cars still on the track. With more than seven hours of the race still remaining, anything can happen and we're still optimistic."

-gm racing-
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