TRG Grabs First Place Points at Mid-Ohio ...Amid Confusion
PETALUMA, CA (August 6) - TRG came away with everything it wanted in its quest to close the points race for the GTC championship in the American Le Mans Series Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ... well ... almost. While the Northern California team came away with first place points to close unofficially to within 11 points of the class lead, the No. 66 B+ Adobe Road Winery Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Spencer Pumpelly and Al Carter finished second behind the No. 11 JDX car.
Confused? You weren't the only one. As Pumpelly battled Jeroen Bleekemolen for the outright lead and win, IMSA, the sanctioning body for the ALMS, reported that the minimum drive time was not met by the opening driver of the #11 car. Initially, it disqualified the JDX entry, then after review of rules language, reinstituted it as the winner of the race but declared that first place points would go to TRG.
"The way the race developed with so few cautions," said Pumpelly, "we ended up having to do two full stops under green, while the No. 11 used a different 'strategy' to go for the win. Fortunately, we ended up with the all-important first place points which keeps us in the hunt for the championship."
Carter started the race from the number three GTC position and battled to keep TRG in position to go after the win.
"The car was good," said Carter. "The crew was great. Spencer did a fantastic job, and I'm really happy that in my first ALMS race I was able to help TRG get first place points and move closer to a the class lead."
TRG's next ALMS race is August 18th at Road America in a four-hour endurance race where points become more plentiful than in the standard 2 hour 45 minute sprint race.
"Our goal every year is to run for a championship and win races and today was a great day," said Buckler. "Al did a ROCKIN' job of leading off the race and kept pace with the leaders and put us in position. Spencer went out and closed the deal and we are zeroing in on the championship lead. We've had great success in the ALMS over the year and with 3 first place points over the last 4 events and our track record at Road America, we are squarely focused on that end. There are some very good teams in GTC class, so it won't be an easy task, but everyone on the team knows what our mission