SONOMA, CA, August 31, 2012 –TRG-Aston Martin Racing extends its winning ways by bringing six Aston Martin Vantage race cars to the Sonoma Grand Prix and delivering a win in the GTA class and 2nd place in GTS class in the Pirelli World Challenge series.
The team kicked off the Pirelli World Challenge weekend by hosting an exquisite Thursday evening private wine dinner for technology executives and a private equity firm at the team’s headquarters in Petaluma. The dinner, racing facility tour, and special wine tasting inside the Adobe Road Winery production facility and tasting room, provided attendees with a behind-the-scenes view into the world of sports car racing and corporate relationship building. The following evening, TRG-AMR hosted a party for over 100 Pirelli World Challenge team members and corporate VIPs.
On Saturday, it was all business as TRG-AMR fielded five V8 Vantage GT4 race cars in the GTS class and a single V12 Vantage GT3 in the GTA class. The team also hosted one of the largest VIP gatherings of the 2015 season, including private hospitality for partner LaSalle Solutions as well as groups from Silicon Valley Bank, Indycar sponsors and additional team guests and partners. Adding to the excitement all weekend was the stunning new lineup of current Aston Martin streetcar models on display courtesy of Los Gatos Luxury Cars and Aston Martin Walnut Creek.
The team started off Saturday morning with a solid GTS race with all five cars finishing and looking for even stronger performance for Sunday.
TRG-Aston Martin Racing delivered on Saturday afternoon as Christina Nielsen brought home her first 2015 season victory by fighting off a hard-charging Mercedes SLS AMG in the final laps to take first place in GTA class. It was one of Christina’s finest driving performances as she took the lead in her #7 Royal Purple Vantage and delivered the win. Sponsors and VIP guests were able to share in the celebration in victory lane as the champagne flowed and the media converged on the Christina and the team.
Following up Saturday’s winning performance, the team went back to work making critical setup changes to its V8 Vantage GT4 cars in preparation for Sunday’s GTS race. On Sunday, the team’s five GT4 race cars were engaged in fierce battles from the front back to mid-pack where cars were changing positions and managed to avoid an early race crash between one of the Ford Boss 302R cars and a Kia entry. Kris Wilson drove his #07 LaSalle Solutions V8 Vantage to the front of the field and battled for the lead with a pair of Camaros and ended up finishing 2nd in the GTS race, for TRG-Aston Martin Racing’s second podium finish of the weekend.
TRG-AMR team driver Derek DeBoer delivered another impressive finish bringing home a strong top 10 for the team and battling hard during the entire race. As usual, Derek was fast and smart and drove his car up through the field. He has done an amazing job with the team all year both on and off the track and is crafting a strong with the team for 2016.
Longtime TRG driver and friend, Peter Ludwig delivered an outstanding performance after literally just jumping in the Aston Martin Vantage for the first time on Friday. Peter was coming off of a big win in the previous Sunday’s F3 race and was able to show some tremendous experience and race craft. Even more importantly Peter spent an amazing week of quality time engaging in activities throughout Northern California with his 15-year-old son Petey.
TRG-AMR Driver and partner Jeff Huber made his debut professional race this weekend and came away exactly what he set out to do delivering outstanding results and bringing home a solid top 15 and also some incredible lap times amongst his fellow competitors. With Jeff’s background, he approached this weekend with complete focus and executed on his plan, delivered the result and made the team proud.
Newcomer to the TRG-Aston Martin team was Jason Alexandridis (#75 Rebounderz of Rohnert Park). A most impressive performance from Jason, as it is his first professional race and he showed nerves of steel and composure after being taken out early in the race by a fellow competitor and then turning around and charging back through the field for a strong finish. Jason was joined by friends and family throughout the weekend and it ended up truly being a “family affair”.
“I am so happy to be able to stand on the top step of the podium after so many 2nd and 3rd place finishes this year,” said Christina Nielsen, TRG-AMR driver. “We had a huge audience of sponsors, VIPs and team guests attending and I wanted to show that I can fight for the win in Pirelli World Challenge series. I thought I had the skills and the car, but I just needed the race to come to me and it did. On Sunday, I was ready to deliver the team’s first back-to-back GTA win when I had to deal with a multi-car crash that cost us a few positions and resulted in a 5th place finish in our second race. I am looking forward to Laguna Seca in two weeks where I am confident I can deliver another winning performance.”
“After Christina delivered such a strong performance on Saturday, I really wanted to back that up by delivering a win on Sunday,” said Kris Wilson, TRG-AMR Driver. “The Camaros showed incredible pace but patience and smart driving allowed me to put my #07 LaSalle Solutions Vantage on the podium with a strong 2nd place result. I’m very happy for the LaSalle Solutions VIPs and all of our corporate guests that we were able to deliver a strong result.”
“I am so proud of our entire team this weekend from our race competition guys to our hospitality and marketing staff,” said Kevin Buckler, Chief Executive Officer at TRG-AMR. All six drivers did a fantastic job throughout all of the racing and at all of our events and as I have said many times, it makes it even more special to be doing it with your friends. It was also a very special moment to see Christina take her first win. We’ve come so far together and I was just personally really proud.”
“We set out to execute a very ambitious schedule over four days including executive networking dinners, fielding six race cars in two race classes, and we had some distinguished executives visit our paddock and hospitality operations to evaluate how they can become involved in what we are doing. We have always been about winning– both on and off the track— and we have always believed that the key to long-term success is demonstrating ROI for our sponsors and corporate partners as well as our drivers. This weekend afforded us the opportunity to connect investment banks, technology companies, entrepreneurs, auto dealership groups, financial services companies, and especially other drivers and teams wanting to join our program. We deliver a “full service” program to all of our drivers and teams and it is definitely attracting attention. Our sport has grown and this is the way the professional teams should be operating and offering these opportunities to their drivers to help with funding solutions. I can’t recall a time when there has been more interest in what we are doing. We have a busy September as we close out the Pirelli World Challenge and head into the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and we are 100% focused on winning a championship and expanding our corporate relationships. It’s a great time to be in sportscar racing and representing a brand like Aston Martin.”
Additionally, TRG-Aston Martin Racing and team owner Kevin Buckler, took a special moment after the race to recognize several of its Aston Martin Le Mans Festival drivers that were in attendance this weekend at Sonoma and awarded a beautiful trophy to each of the individual drivers. The trophy was done with a stunning black background and plaque and a special carbon fiber design that represented the actual 24 hours of Le Mans circuit.