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Apr 27, 2014 - 04:46 PM
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TRG-AMR Race One Recap from Barber Motorsports Park
Posted by: newsla on Apr 27, 2014 - 04:43 PM
Sports Cars
TRG-AMR Race One Recap from Barber Motorsports Park

TRG-Aston Martin Racing North America (TRG-AMR) raced to a pair of hard-earned top-eight finishes Saturday in the opening round of this weekend's Pirelli World Challenge Barber Motorsports Park presented by RECARO where series veteran Nick Esayian was eighth and debuting driver Mikey Taylor finished seventh in the highly-competitive GTS class.


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The 50-minute sprint, round four of this year's GTS championship, was a wild and frenetic race from the start. All four TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4s, including Esayian's and Taylor's teammates Jorge De La Torre and Drew Regitz, moved quickly off the line in the series' signature standing start, but no less than three other competitors stalled and log-jammed the field.

Esayian, who started 11th, and Taylor, starting eighth, both sustained front-end damage in the skirmish and lost two or three spots, but still managed to join De La Torre and Regitz in getting away cleanly.

Esayian earned his solid top-10 showing with a smart and on-pace drive that saw him avoid the mistakes that befell several competitors. He steadily improved, never dropped more than a couple of positions out of the top-10 and raced to as high as seventh in the No. 34 Aston Martin in the laps just before the checkered flag.

Taylor, making his first career Pirelli World Challenge race start, charged back to eighth and was on the move in the first quarter of the race only to encounter some problems of his own. The contact incidents in the early stages littered the track with debris that cut down a Pirelli P Zero on Taylor's No. 09 Aston Martin. He fell to as low as 21st after a pit stop for a replacement and his climb to seventh by the checkered was easily the unofficial hard-charger performance of the race.

A Pirelli World Challenge rookie like Taylor, De La Torre also turned in a steady and heads-up performance in his No. 04 Aston. He started 22nd but kept it clean, competitive and out of trouble in a race that was far from free of it to finish 16th in his first road race of the year.

After qualifying a team-high sixth on Friday, Regitz clearly had the pace to challenge for a top-five finish. His race was short lived, however, and ended just over 15 minutes in when a hydraulics issue sidelined his No. 02 Aston with related transmission and clutch problems.

Race two of the Pirelli World Challenge Barber Motorsports Park Presented by RECARO Doubleheader, Round Five of the 2014 GTS championship, begins tomorrow, Sunday, April 27 at 10:40 a.m. CDT/11:40 a.m. PDT. Live streaming is available at www.world-challengeTV.com.

Nick Esayian, Driver, No. 34 TRG-AMR Natural Cures Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 8th): "It was a rough and tumble start. You would think we were running for the championship today the crazy way it started. TRG had made some great changes after qualifying yesterday that allowed me to move up pretty quickly but I got some car damage from the Lap 1 incident in front of me, but I know I have a car that can make a run at the podium tomorrow".

Mikey Taylor, Driver, No. 09 TRG-AMR State Traditions/National Bank of Commerce Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 7th): "That was a tough run. It was a race of attrition more than raw speed. I think I ran over something in one of those accidents in front of me and I had a tire go down, but the crew did a great job getting me back out and got me back in the race. It was a tough fight back to seventh."

Jorge De La Torre, Driver, No. 04 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Finished 16th): "That was insane! This was my first road course this year and it was fun all the way. I had a lot of battles with those Porsches. The car was perfect. I know I can push more and I will tomorrow."

Drew Regitz, Driver, No. 02 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Placed 25th): "We ran great in qualifying and started the race sixth. We had great set up and were ready for a super strong run today. Then we had an issue with a hydraulics line running to the transmission and that was it. I had to bring it in."

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