The Racers Group raced on home turf June 7-9, 2019 as the team returned to Sonoma Raceway for the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint and SprintX West races. Coming on the heels of an amazing weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where driver, Spencer Pumpelly, regained the Sprint PRO Championship lead, and with 3 cars and 5 drivers running in two classes, and lots of sponsors, friends and family in the paddock all weekend long, Sonoma Race Weekend promised to be action packed... and it was.
And we didn’t stop there either. Having made an amazing showing on the track at the Sonoma Speed Festival (also at Sonoma Raceway) just the weekend prior, Founder and CEO, Kevin Buckler, got talked into diving back into the fray to join driver, Spencer Pumpelly, for the SprintX races in the 2016 (#68) Porsche Cayman GT4. All that excitement provided the perfect opportunity to co-host a race weekend kick-off party with the SRO and Pirelli GT4 America teams and also debut our new wine brand, The Racing Series, at our TRG Headquarters here in Petaluma, CA.
OFF THE TRACK
The weekend definitely started off right with an incredible party attended by the series, team owners, drivers, sponsors, friends, family, local and National media, and quite a few of our local dignitaries as well. We are so appreciative of all of the partners and vendors who made this event so unique and successful including; SRO Motorsports, Pirelli GT4 America, LaSalle Solutions and Porsche Marin.
AT THE TRACK
Well, Friday started off a little rough and, unfortunately, a crash with the #17 car really threw some challenges into the mix. With Dr. Jim and Derek Deboer both having a large contingent of family and guests in town, Kevin made the decision to step out of his #68 car (soon to be #17) to provide them with a racecar.
Saturday started off with strong qualifying sessions, and that momentum continued throughout the day ending in 2 podium finishes. Spencer Pumpelly took P3 in Sprint Race 1 in the #66 TRG / LaSalle Solutions Porsche Cayman GT4 and Chris Bellomo and Kevin Woods took P2 in SprintX Race 1 in the #67 Porsche Cayman GT4. The #17 had a significant crash that prevented co-drivers, Dr. Jim Rappaport and Derek DeBoer from completing race 1.
Rallying back in true TRG fashion, race weekend concluded on Sunday with 3 podium finishes which our drivers, sponsors, family, and friends celebrated together with lots of champagne spraying and cheering. Congratulations to Spencer Pumpelly for his P3 finish in Sprint Race 2 in the #66 TRG / LaSalle Solutions Porsche Cayman GT4, Chris Bellomo and Kevin Woods taking P3 in SprintX Race 2 in the #67 Porsche Cayman GT4 and Dr. Jim Rappaport and Derek DeBoer for coming back strong in SprintX Race 2 to grab the P2 spot in the #17 Passtime / LaSalle Solutions Porsche Cayman GT4.
FROM KEVIN BUCKLER
For all of us here at TRG, Sonoma Raceway is special — it’s a challenging course and a place where the team can join with fans, supporters, sponsors and partners each year to create a truly electric atmosphere. The circuit tests the race cars, and especially the drivers, with its blind turns, fast corners and some incredible banking and this weekend was the perfect example of that. We had some challenging moments, but I could not be more proud of our crew for getting those cars up and running again, our drivers for getting back out there and giving it everything they had (and coming away with podiums across the board on Sunday) and our friends, family and sponsors who kept up the positive atmosphere all weekend long spurring us all on as we continue to drive towards our Championship goals.
It takes more than just a team to be successful in this sport. It takes family and I would not trade ours for anything.