A determined showing from the TRG team in their first GT World Challenge America race from Sonoma

Monday, April 03, 2023

This weekend saw The Racers Group debut their new Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 within the GT World Challenge America Series with long time team driver Derek DeBoer joining forces with AMR factory driver Ross Gunn for at least part of the 2023 season at least.

Thanks to the unfortunate coinciding of events for the team stateside and Gunn’s existing racing commitments upon either side of the Atlantic, neither had had the chance to come together before the opening testing sessions to this opening race weekend so the squad were always to be on the ‘back foot!’.

Featuring like the Ian Lacey pairing of Drew Staveley and Frank Gannett of the last two seasons, the #007 TRG car would compete within the Pro-Am class amongst the eighteen entries listed as running.

Poor weather conditions during the earlier testing sessions changed their available data again as the conditions at least improved from wet to dry but then, the temperatures still stayed low which has become the latest issue for the new specification Pirelli tyre.

Saturdays opening ninety-minute race had DeBoer starting P16 before two early spinners saw and some good clean driving had seen him progress up to P11 before the end of his GT3 debuting stint at the halfway mark.

Benefitting by the fact of the pit window opening up first to the midfielders, Gunn would quickly be pushing even harder upon his new tyres in his first competitive venture around the Sonoma Raceway. Climbing as high a P5 in class, the blue Aston would eventually lose out to one of the newest Porsche’s before the pair eventually claimed P7 in class at the end.

Sunday’s second race would fair much the same for a team with an unfamiliar car with a driver pairing who had never worked together before now. In addition to that, they had an unfavourable Balance of Performance in the car which clearly lacked the grunt of similarly engineered cars up ahead that simply drove away from the midfield each time of asking.

With Gunn this time starting from nineth, the Vantage GT3 again struggled against the outright pace of the Mercedes AMG, Porsche 911, Acura NSX and the brand-new BMW M4 GT3’s and soon dropped a couple of positions before holding his own – again at the rear of the midfield.

Handing over to DeBoer from P11 in class, the American soon made some opportunities of his own against some more inexperienced racers than him to push the sveltely liveried car up to P6 in class by the close of play.

Clearly with anything new, you must start with what you have and the lack of time together pre-event was evident in comparison with their peers. With some decent running data now to work from and some pointers from Gunn in the set up and running condition within their chassis, hopefully some more improvements can be made before the next round of the Series from Nola Motorsport Park in just under a month’s time.

For Gunn – he is of course pre-occupied with the opening round of the British GT Championship from Oulton Park this weekend!

Photo credits – Team / social media / GTWCA

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes