After spending some time away, The Racers Group is jumping headlong back into IMSA competition. On Wednesday, TRG announced that in addition to their full-time Porsche 911 GT3 R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the team will enter an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge’s (CTSC) Grand Sport (GS) class full-time in 2017. The new Aston Martin entry will carry No. 03.
The drivers for this effort are both well-known to TRG. Kris Wilson, who won two races for TRG (Kansas and VIR) in 2014, has been confirmed as one of the team’s regular drivers. Wilson will be joined by Craig Lyons, who has raced for TRG in the Pirelli Porsche GT3 Trophy Series. He made his debut in the Aston Martin at the Pirelli World Challenge season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back in October.
Wilson last started a race in the CTSC at Daytona in 2015, where he partnered with Max Riddle to finish seventh at Daytona. He’s quite excited to return to the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on a full-time basis.
“I’m stoked to be back with TRG, Aston Martin, and all our great partners along with my new teammate Craig Lyons,” Wilson stated in a press release. “I’m looking forward to our chances moving back into IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. The series has made a new GT4-homologated Continental tire which should make our Aston Martin even better. The last time we ran in Conti was 2014 and we had two wins that year, so I’m looking to build on our past success in the series.”
As for Lyons, Daytona will mark his debut in the CTSC. He only has one race weekend with the Aston Martin under his belt, but appears confident.
“Next season is going to be great!,” Lyons exclaimed in TRG’s press release. “I’m moving up to Conti with Kris Wilson as my coach and co-driver in this awesome Aston Martin V8 Vantage! It will be good to continue with TRG for another year.”
TRG’s press release indicates that the No. 03 entry for Lyons and Wilson will be full-time, but that it might not be all we see from the team. The release indicates that “[TRG will] return to the fold with at least one of these powerful and elegant Aston Martins.”
As a result, there is the possibility of a second car at some point during the season. The introduction of full GT4 rules for the Grand Sport (GS) class makes it much easier for a team like TRG to bring cars built for Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS class and race them in GS.