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Grand-Am: Buckler pleased with `true TRG` effort.


The team may not have been able to repeat past glories at the Rolex 24, but TRG boss Kevin Buckler was just as proud of his charges as he would have had they won.

The #64 Porsche 997 of Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Johannes van Overbeek and Ralf Kelleners came out best of the five-car TRG line-up, finishing on the GT podium with a strong third place in a highly-competitive class to add another podium to Buckler's roll. van Overbeek took the chequered flag for the team, which performed steadily for the entire 24 hours without running into any major problems, weather aside.

“For me to come here to Daytona last year, in my rookie year, and finish the race was a feat in itself, but I can't describe the feeling of getting to the podium at the Rolex 24," Lowe admitted, "With about 90 minutes left to race, it occurred to me that we had a shot at it – Jim Pace, Johannes van Overbeek and Ralf Kelleners are exceptional professionals, and it was my job to get them the chance to win the race. I'm thrilled to have this accomplishment under my belt, and I can't wait for the rest of the season.”

The #67 TRG Porsche of Pierre Bourque, Tom Cloet, Michael Solley and Auston Harris finished twelfth in class after running a clean and solid race, allowing 16-year old Harris to become the latest graduate of TRG's young driver programme. The #65 entry of Michael Gomez, Murray Marden, Brent Milner and John Peterson finished 13th despite damage to the car's bodywork caused by a blown tyre midway through the race, while the #68 Porsche of Ted Ballou, Brad Jaeger, Rocco DeSimone and Chris Gleason finished 15th on the back of a trouble-free and relatively uneventful race.

The much-fancied #66 crew of Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, RJ Valentine, Mark Greenberg and team boss Buckler only finished 17th after a disappointing incident took them out of contention while running second in class in the 18th hour. Buckler had just received a full tank of fuel and a new set of tyres to start the second of his consecutive stints when he was hit from behind, destroying the right-rear suspension and requiring extensive repairs.

"We had a bit of a tough break in the #66 car - we were solidly in P2 when a prototype hit me, but that's racing," he reflected, "But we competed in true TRG fashion today – for all five of our cars to finish strong is a fantastic achievement.

"For our #64 guys in the JLowe car to lead the charge is a proud moment for the team and me. Jim Lowe, Jim Pace, Johannes and Ralf drove a very smart, very controlled race today, which is what's required to win here. I'm also proud of the #65, #67 and #68 guys - many of whom were rookies at Daytona. For us, as a team, to have all the cars finish is great.”


Related Pictures

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Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
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Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
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Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway

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