The Racers Group (TRG) returns to Pirelli World Challenge SprintX competition this weekend at the challenging Virginia International Raceway (VIR) for the Grand Prix of Virgina. Drivers Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons are partnering to compete in the #66 TRG Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. Both drivers have years of experience in multiple racing series and platforms and the team is excited to support them as TRG continues its SprintX championship campaign. VIR is a track where TRG has enjoyed immense success over the years, including an exciting win last year, and the team is eager to get back to the track this weekend.
DeBoer and Gibbons are tackling this this challenging 17-turn road course, with its elevation changes, tricky and rewarding uphill “esses,” tight turns and 3/4 mile back straight for the very first time.
DeBoer had a breakout 2016 season with two wins and multiple podiums and took a hotly contested overall SprintX GTS driver championship down to the wire before ultimately finishing second, helping TRG to the 2016 PWC SprintX GTS title. He also scored two second-places in Lamborghini Super Trofeo racing action. Last year at COTA, DeBoer teamed up with Gibbons to win both SprintX GTS races and finished the season with a stellar four wins, two second-place finishes and a third place.
“I’m always excited to tackle something new and VIR is no exception,” DeBoer says. “VIR is such an epic and historic track. I can’t wait to get the TRG Porsche Cayman out there. Sean and I have been spending countless hours on the simulator and are planning on all of that work translating into a short learning curve this coming weekend. There is a lot of grassy real estate out there and I hope I’ve got all of my “lawn mowing” out of the way on the sim. It’s a tricky place and I can’t wait!”
His co-driver, Dallas’s Sean Gibbons, is no stranger to the podium, having achieved top three finishes in close to 70 percent of his races and is a top contender in everything he drives. He’s also a proven winner with two SprintX victories last year with DeBoer here at COTA. He made his PWC debut in 2017 at St. Petersburg, breaking into the top 10 in both Florida contests, winning the Hard Charger award along the way. Gibbons, an executive at Sirius XM when he isn’t in a race car, is eager to team up once again with DeBoer.
“VIR is such an iconic track,” says Gibbons. “I am excited to make my first visit to the track this weekend in the #66 TRG Porsche Cayman as Derek and I look to continue building on the strong start to the season we had coming off of a good weekend at Circuit of the Americas.”
TRG has a remarkable history at VIR in Porsche, Pontiac, and Aston Martin. Andy Lally and Marc Bunting led the team to a historic Pontiac 1-2 finish in the 2006 Grand-Am VIR 400. In 2008, the Porsche driven by Spencer Pumpelly and Tim George finished in 2nd in GT. In 2010, the team was victorious in GT with Andy Lally and Ted Ballou and again in 2012 in GTC with Damien Faulkner and Ben Keating. Most recently, in 2014, TRG-AMR drivers Kris Wilson and Max Riddle won the Continental Tire SportsCar Championship race in their Aston Martin V8 Vantage and in 2015 Christina Nielsen and Kuno Wittmer finished 2nd in GTD to take the championship lead for the hotly contested IMSA class. Last year, the team took home top honors at VIR in PWC GT competition.
“It’s great to be back at VIR in our #66 Porsche Cayman,” says TRG CEO Kevin Buckler. “VIR is one of our favorite road racing circuits in North America. I raced here multiple times in the old days and that was in my old #66. I wanted to get Derek and Sean some in-car footage, but I had to get it off of an 8mm videotape and, of course it, was with all heel and toe H-pattern shifting!”
Kevin couldn’t be more thrilled to be back at VIR with such a solid SprintX team in Derek and Sean. “They’ve put in a ton of preparation getting ready to race on this amazing track for the first time and I know they’re going to be ready to go. We all really enjoy racing at VIR and admire the work that Connie Nyholm and her staff have done to maintain it as a premier facility. We have an incredible history here over the years and plan on adding to that history this weekend!”
Source. The Racers Group