PETALUMA, Calif. – The Racers Group (TRG) will bring three entries to the annual Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series “Roar Before the 24” at Daytona Int’l Speedway in January.
“There isn’t much of an off-season for our group here at TRG,” said team owner Kevin Buckler. “We’ve all worked tirelessly to make this incredible feat happen and it started 2 months ago. The Rolex 24 has been our signature event for more than the last decade, and we’ve been successful because of our team’s dedication, and we’re glued together by one thing – we like to win, especially here – and we deliver.”
The No. 66 Porsche 911 GT3 will set the bar high with the lineup of Ben Keating, Porsche Factory driver Jorg Bergmeister, Dominik Farnbacher, and Kuno Wittmer, open wheel and sports car sensation. Keating and Farnbacher drove the 66 at Daytona in 2011 and 2012, qualifying on the pole in 2011 and having strong runs in the races. Bergmeister is no stranger to victory lane, previously winning the 24 Hours at Daytona with TRG 3 times. Keating and Bergmeister also drove the inaugural Indy Grand-Am event in 2012 where they were charging for a podium in the final minutes of the event.
Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson return to TRG’s No. 67 Porsche after partnering with the team on a successful DP program that saw historic runs throughout the 2005 season, culminating with an incredible 1-2 victory at the Watkins Glen Six Hour. Joining the team will be Porsche superstar, Emmanuel Collard, who has driven for the team multiple times at the Rolex 24 and Petit Le Mans with strong podium finishes.
Jim Michaelian returns to Daytona once again to run in TRG’s No. 68 Porsche GT3. Michaelian, one of the longest tenured TRG drivers at Daytona and the President of the Long Beach Grand Prix Ass’n, will be teaming up with newcomer (and Cars 2 director) Brad Lewis who has been solid in testing during the offseason. Also joining the team will be Dutch Race Car driver and second year Daytona participant, Ronald van de Laar.
“It is really nice to be back with Ben in the 66 car and the amazing driver lineup we put together here,” said TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. “This is a formidable car. It’s fantastic to have Dominik back again and our new addition with Kuno. Also Jorg is back. We have had some amazing runs together since 2002, sharing 3 Daytona victories. Joining forces with Tracy and Nic again is going to be fantastic in the 67 car. We had such a strong run together on the DP program and many other races that we’ve done. We have added Emmanuel Collard as well, and are waiting to nominate the final superstar to round out the team. Tracy likes to win and so do we and that’s what we’re setting our sights to accomplish. It is really great being back with Jim in the 68 as well as the addition of Brad and Ronald. This is going to be a solid car and we will be finalizing our lineup in the next few days.”
“It is really nice to be back with TRG for our 3rd Daytona 24 together,” said Keating. “This is my 3rd year racing with Dominik and we have been so close here – with a really fast car and a great team behind us so we feel this year we are really ready and gunning for the victory. TRG puts together an amazing effort at the Rolex 24 and combined with this solid Porsche racecar and this amazing group of drivers, we are doing everything possible to be standing on the top step of the podium.”
“That darn watch has eluded me and this year we are after it,” said Krohn. “Kevin and I and all of the TRG team have had some great runs together so this year we have combined our efforts to put together a fantastic run at the Rolex 24. Nic and Emmanuel will make great teammates here with their years of experience and I can’t wait to get the test days.”
“This will be my 8th year running the Rolex 24 with TRG and every year it seems to get just better,” said Michaelian. “I am really looking forward to running with Brad as it was just a few years ago that he put his car on the pole in our Toyota Celebrity race at Long Beach, and adding Ronald to our lineup with his endurance racing experience will help to round out the car.”
“We are proud to once again be driving and representing, these amazing Porsche race cars at one of the toughest endurance races on the planet,” Buckler said. “It is really an event like no other and we take pride in being the lead dog on this one so we always give it our best. I am also really excited and proud to be associated with Grand American and the merger with ALMS. This is going to yield some amazing results in the elevation of professional sports car racing in North America. It has been a long time coming and with the incredible schedule and super experienced management team that will come of this—the future looks extremely bright for our sport.”