TRG-Aston Martin Racing extends Championship Points Lead

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In what might be described as one of the best “feel good” racing stories of 2015, a strong independent GT team partnered with one of the the last remaining independent luxury brands in the world, now sits squarely on top of the GT championship dominating over its enormous automotive rivals and brands. TRG and Aston Martin sit solidly in the lead of the GT Drivers and Team Championship and after a solid 2nd place finish at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday have now extended their lead even further over their 2nd place Ferrari rival. And leading that charge is the Danish sensation and professional driver, Christina Nielsen along with her co-driver, the current reigning GTLM Champion Kuno Wittmer in the #007 Aston Martin GT3.

The TRG team came into the weekend leading the GTD class points championship by a slim margin over the #48 Audi and the #63 Ferrari. The paddock was buzzing with interest to find out how Christina and co-driver Kuno Wittmer would handle the pressure of leading the points championship and also deal with this ultra-competitive class at this incredibly challenging and world class facility, Virginia International Raceway.

During Saturday qualifying, Christina set a blistering lap time early in the session settling in at P2 but while pushing for the pole, had a slight off-track and was forced to park the car for the rest of qualifying. As competitor lap times improved, the 007 Orion/Royal Purple/LaSalle Solutions/Passtime USA/Mellow Mushroom V12 Vantage slid down the qualifying order to start fifth in Sunday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix.

Sunday’s race proved to be drama-filled as the #48 Audi R8 jumped out to an early lead but Christina drove her 007 Vantage into third place in a battle with the #73 Porsche. It was the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari that would play spoiler for the #48 Audi R8 by chasing them down and ultimately passing them for the GTD class lead. After the #73 Porsche retired from the race and the Audi was forced into a mistake, Kuno Wittmer held onto a solid 2nd place finish in the 007 V12 Vantage.

The result was that TRG-Aston Martin Racing did exactly what Christina and team owner Kevin Buckler stated as their missions: drive clean, drive smart, and extend the GTD class points lead. For the #48 Audi R8 team they not only lost a chance to retake the GTD points lead, but their fifth place finish has seen them slip to third in class while the #63 Ferrari is now within 6 points of TRG-Aston Martin Racing with only two races left in the season. This sets up the September 17-19 race weekend at the Circuit of the Americas and season finale Petit Le Mans endurance race as a shootout for the GTD class championship.

“While it was my first time to race VIR, I showed pace very early in qualifying and we pushed hard during the race. I gained two positions by time I had given the car to Kuno so I feel that I did a good job of rebounding from Saturday’s qualifying error” said Christina Nielsen, TRG-AMR driver. “This is the third consecutive podium for Kuno and I, and consistency is really important in a tight points race.” ”Having raced a lot of laps at VIR, I felt confident that I could preserve our P3 position when Christina handed me the car” said Kuno Wittmer, TRG-AMR driver. “While the Ferrari showed incredible pace today, our primary goal after the driver change was to chase down the #48 Audi and secure P2 and that is exactly what we were able to do. I’m very happy for Christina, the team and of course my performance.”

Source material & photo credits - TRG-AMR

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