April 10, 2004:
On a mild desert day, the two blue and yellow Porsches of The Racer’s Group qualified 5-7 in class for Saturday’s Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series Phoenix 250. Team owner Kevin Buckler qualified the #67 Porsche 911 GT3 RS in 5th position on the GT grid for today's race. Boston area entrepreneur and longtime sports car racer RJ Valentine qualified the #66 F1 Air/Gleason Agency Porsche 7th in class, and set his fast lap of the weekend in the process.
”Our weekend is going very well,” said Valentine, “and qualifying is proof of that. Despite the heat and the slick track, our crew gave Ian, Chris and me a great car to race tomorrow. I’m looking forward to starting the race, and our plan is to work our way up the field and stay out of trouble. It’s going to be crowded out there, so we’ll play it smart and look for a great result.”
Valentine’s teammate Chris Gleason agreed with RJ’s assessment. “The #66 car is the best I’ve felt it. It’s amazing how much easier it is to drive a perfectly set-up car quickly – the car is so responsive and user-friendly. We know clearly where the car’s limits are, which allow us to drive very fast.”
Kevin Buckler said: “I feel good with my time. As always, the qualifying time is faster than the race pace, and our car is nearly perfect – most definitely race ready. Liz [Halliday, Buckler’s co-driver] acclimated very quickly to the circuit, and cranked out some really good laps in today’s practice session. And RJ Valentine! Unbelievable times out of him today – he’s up there mixing it up with the young pros at the front of the field! We’re looking forward to a strong race tomorrow.”
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Phoenix 250 will be broadcast live on Speed.
For the latest news and event photos, visit www.theracersgroup.com
Photos from previous race - courtesy of Bob Chapman