Race Weekend Central

TRG Returns to IMSA Full-Time in 2017

Thursday evening, The Racer’s Group (TRG) announced its full-fledged return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting with the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

In addition, TRG is returning to Porsche after running Aston Martins since 2013 in Grand-Am.  The team has acquired a Porsche 911 GT3 R and will campaign the new car in the GT Daytona class.

Team owner Kevin Buckler said he is glad to be back in endurance racing full-time with Porsche.

“Well, I don’t think it gets much more ‘full-circle’ than this,” Buckler said in a press release.  “I was a fan of the brand back in high school and bought an old ‘73 911 in the early ’80s. Since then I always had a Porsche in the garage and many times on the autocross track up until my first track day at Road America in 1988.

“The entire team at IMSA has just done an amazing job building this motorsports platform. I’ve been beating the GT drum for 25 years and was with them in the beginning, and it has not been easy. I’m pleased and honored to be part of their history and heritage and now we’re back running full-time in WeatherTech. They’ve assembled a stellar team of individuals and their procedures and processes are strong. The real proof is the strength of our class in terms of drivers, teams and manufacturers.”

TRG has been very successful in sports car racing, winning the 2003 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall, the first time that a car from the slowest class pulled off that feat.  The team also has three more class victories, the most recent coming in 2011 with Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and Brendan Gaughan.  TRG has one GT class win at Le Mans (2002) and one Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship with Lally and Marc Bunting driving.

The team has sponsorship from previous backer LaSalle Solutions, in addition to RingCentral and CrowdStrike.  All three of these companies are based in California’s Silicon Valley.

The IMSA operation is not designed to replace anything on TRG’s current docket.  The Aston Martin program will continue in the Pirelli World Challenge series, in addition to Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Porsche club racing.

A driver lineup for the team was not announced Thursday.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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