South African Driver Dion von Moltke and TRG Take a Commanding 1-2 At Lime Rock
Northeast Grand Prix at the famed Lime Rock Park circuit, the third round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series.
- (1888PressRelease) July 14, 2011 - Lakeville, CT - Following a highly competitive race that featured everything from off-setting pit strategies to come-from-behind drives, TRG took a commanding first and second place finish in the GT-C category of this year's Northeast Grand Prix at the famed Lime Rock Park circuit, the third round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
Coming from more than a lap down and driving brilliantly to take a thrilling victory on the final lap, Dion von Moltke managed an overtaking move on Spencer Pumpelly to put the no. 68 South African Airways / Analog.Man / PR Newswire Porsche GT3 Cup car in first place, with Pumpelly nursing worn tires to bring the no. 66 Fox River Coffee / Racer's Roast Porsche home in second. This would be the first victory in the ALMS for von Moltke (a multiple race winner in other race series), as well as for teammate Mike Piera, who was also driving in his first ALMS race!
Following some small handling issues for both the 68 and the 66 in qualifying, the race would start out with Piera, who lives just minutes from the track, and Duncan Ende in the 66 taking the green from the middle of the field.
As the opening laps unfolded, Duncan Ende took a commanding charge in the no. 66 machine, passing several cars and putting the 66 in a strong position to lead the race. Piera, meanwhile, made good on a solid ALMS debut by never putting a wheel wrong, driving very smart, preserving his car, handing the car over to Dion during an the yellow.
As the race unfolded, Ende would control the race, and hand the leading no. 66 machine over to Pumpelly, who continued to show the strength of the team and car by running quick times while continuing to maintain his tires. Dion von Moltke, meanwhile, was doing an impressive job of charging through the field from 6th place and a lap down.
After a late full course yellow, von Moltke was quickly able to make work of the third place No. 23 and second place no. 54 cars, and was now hot on the tail of Pumpelly in the no. 66. Pumpelly, an experienced veteran and expert at preserving tires while maintaining race pace, did a masterful job of holding von Moltke off. However on the final lap Dion was able to make good use of the situation and made a perfect dive inside of Spencer that would hand the no. 68 the lead as they raced to the checkered flag.
For Dion von Moltke, a surprise victory was exactly what he needed to boost his season.
"What an amazing race," stated von Moltke, driving under the South African flag. "The guys at TRG have given us a great car at every event, and I'm glad we were finally able to showcase it. Mike Piera drove a great opening stint, and we're lucky that the strategy worked as well as it did, it was just incredible."
For TRG Team Owner Kevin Buckler, who was in Monterey during the same weekend at another event, another Lime Rock success is exactly what the team needed.
"To have as many programs as we had across the country this weekend, and to go out and defend our victory last year and to finish with a resounding 1-2 is a great sign of the entire team's strength and depth," stated Buckler. "The guys have worked so hard to get all of these programs prepared and ready, a win was deserved. I'm absolutely thrilled to see Dion and Mike take their first victory together. This was Mike's first race with us and he did a fantastic job and also got a peek of just how TRG operates. Dion and the von Moltke family have worked incredibly hard to get to this point in his career, and it's great to see him get this win.
He drove absolutely brilliantly. To come from behind and pass the drivers he did is no easy feat, and I hope he enjoys this one for a long time. The 66 boys also did an outstanding job. Duncan was absolutely on fire during his opening stint, and to grab the lead and hand it to Spencer like that is a great testament to his ability and one of his best drives. Spencer, as expected, did a fantastic job of maintaining speed, driving smart while nursing his tires, and being a terrific teammate to all."
The next round of the ALMS will take place in two weeks' time at the historic Mosport circuit near Toronto, Canada, and will feature live coverage on ESPN2 on Sunday, July 24 at 10PM ET.
TRG is a full-service motorsports company offering a total driver ladder approach, as well as comprehensive sponsorship and business opportunities. For drivers, this approach starts with track days, goes to club events, up into street stock series and culminates in the ultimate goal of professional motorsports. For sponsors and business partners, this method starts with everything from executive events, to traditional sponsorship models, all the way to comprehensive business-to-business opportunities and experiential marketing. With facilities in Petaluma, California and Mooresville, North Carolina the team can offer turn-key marketing programs as well as arrive-and-drive support.
The company's NASCAR operations are headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina. The team fields a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry and has the capacity to run ARCA, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. The Racer's Group was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing. The team boasts Rolex Series GT championships in 2005 and 2006 and holds the record for the most wins in Grand-Am with 32. The team's resume is highlighted by five championships, four Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona victories, and a Le Mans 24 Hour win. For more information and sponsorship details, please email info ( @ ) theracersgroup dot com. Detailed team info can be viewed at www.trgmotorsports.com and www.theracersgroup.com.