The Racers Group launches into the 2021 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint X season as GT4 America switches exclusively to the SprintX Class format. The strong lineup of TRG veterans—Derek DeBoer,Spencer Pumpelly and Dr. Jim Rappaport—is enhanced by the addition of 2 drivers. Robert Orcutt, an experienced driver, coach and mentor to Dr. Jim, and Todd Hetherington, an experienced club racer beginning his first season of racing with Team TRG.
DeBoer and Pumpelly partner together in the TRG’s historically-numbered #66 / LaSalle Solutions / FASTLIFE.TV / BRM / AutoLeadStar / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Dr. Jim and Orcutt will be at the wheel of #17 TRG /Silver State Medical Consultants / LienStar / Westpark Capital / LaSalle Solutions / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport at Sonoma Raceway. Todd Hetherington will join Dr. Jim later in #17 at COTA in April.
BRINGING BACK THE FUN! The Racers Group anticipates un-masking their famous hospitality train later this season for guests and team supporters alike. Watch for an exciting calendar of race-weekend entertainment provided by the TRG business and hospitality crew when the time is right. Whether it’s an Adobe Road Wine Dinner or an opportunity to see the new RACING SERIES “pop-up” winery, this experienced team truly knows how to throw a party!
SPRINTX SEASON BEGINS IN TRG'S HOME TRACK: After a “season like no other” in 2020, Team TRG is stoked to begin the 2021 season on home terrain at Sonoma Raceway—a location that holds some terrific memories. The liveries of both car #66 and #17 have undergone significant changes and will be unveiled at Sonoma Raceway. On the down-low: both designs reflect the lives and experiences of their primary drivers. #66’s livery has visual tie-in to FASTLIFE,Let’s go Racing, a children’s book written by Derek DeBoer’s wife, Brooke and his daughter, Paige. Meanwhile, #17’s colors reflect Dr. Jim Rappaport’s pride in our nation for its indefatigable optimism for a future that is, as of yet, difficult to envision. Both teams aim to make some new memories next weekend as the green flag waves over 2021’s GT4 America SprintX Series.
“I’m not sure there could be a better way to be entering my 9th season with TRG and the awesome Porsche Cayman GT4 platform —pairing up with Spencer Pumpelly in the iconic #66 is very motivating and if we execute like I know we can, there should be some victories in our future. The entire team has become like family so I’m super grateful to be getting back together and getting the season underway!
It’s also exciting to welcome Todd Hetherington to the team, and again be working alongside my co-driver from the last two seasons, Dr. Jim Rappaport. We are also launching a new family project: FASTLIFE, Let’s Go is our new Children’s book, written by my wife Brooke and illustrated by my daughter Paige. We are very thankful for everyone involved in the project and are anxious to get the heartwarming story into many hands! More information at www.fastlife.tv”
Derek DeBoer will be driving #66 / LaSalle Solutions / FASTLIFE.TV / BRM / AutoLeadStar / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport with co-driver Spencer Pumpelly.
BIO: Derek’s racing career began 21 years ago at Laguna Seca with Skip Barber in a Formula Dodge. Derek has raced in the competitive Formula Renault open-wheel series and spent several years in the ST class of Grand Am. No stranger to the world of endurance racing, Derek won at the 2015 LeMans Aston Martin Festival race, and placed in the top 10 at his first shot at the Rolex 24 at Daytona the same year. Derek has raced multiple times in the 25 hours of Thunderhill and competed in multiple Continental Tire Series and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races. READ MORE
"This season will have a new look for me as I enter the SprintX championship and I couldn't be more excited to be joining Derek Deboer and LaSalle Solutions for this new challenge. Derek and I have been working together for the past few years under the TRG tent but this will be the first season for us as co-drivers. In SprintX the races are short so you need a teammate that can qualify and race well because there is no time to make up lost ground. Derek is definitely up for that challenge. The support we get from TRG crew and LaSalle Solutions will also be a huge factor in the season to come."
Spencer Pumpelly will be driving #66 / LaSalle Solutions / FASTLIFE.TV / BRM / AutoLeadStar / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport with co-driver Spencer Pumpelly.
BIO: Spencer Pumpelly was introduced to racing at a young age while watching his father contest the IMSA GTP Championship in a Ford Prototype during the late 1980s. In 1995 he enrolled in the Skip Barber Racing School and has since raced in many classes of cars successfully. He is a twenty-six year veteran of professional sports car racing and a two- time class winner in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 2016 Continental Sportscar Challenge ST champion. He holds multiple victories in IMSA and SRO competition including class victories in six major IMSA endurance races and has appeared in the24 Hours of Le Mansfour times. READ MORE
“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of (perfection and speed) Happiness. Thank goodness for the opportunity to be on this great team with this great organization that has made this racing season possible in this great country of ours.
This year comes full circle. I started my racing career in 2017 at Sonoma Speedway and was fortunate to win my first two SCCA GT-2 races there. I’ve gone on to have the opportunity and privilege of racing with TRG for four seasons now, resulting in several wins, 25 podium finishes, SRO GT4 P3 Driver championship in 2019, and GT4 SprintX P2 Driver Championship in 2020. I finished last season on a high note at the Inaugural GT4 Global Championship 8-Hour Endurance Race. I’m looking forward to returning to Sonoma Raceway where it all began a few years ago, driving with my coach and current co-driver, Robert Orcutt.
For the remainder of the season I’ll be racing with TRG's new driver, Todd Hetherington. I anticipate a fantastic racing experience with Todd to close out the series."
Dr. Rappaport will be driving #17 TRG /Silver State Medical Consultants / LienStar / Westpark Capital / LaSalle Solutions / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, with co-drivers Robert Orcutt and Todd Hetherington.
BIO: Dr. Rappaport’s passion for motorsports racing comes from his appreciation of the beauty of the cars, fascination with the technology and the challenge of perfecting every detail to win. He approaches racing with the same dedication, focus and hard work that has made him such a sought after Spinal surgeon for the past 36 years. His experience as a university faculty surgeon and as U.S. Ski Team physician further prepared him for competition at the national level in a team environment. READ MORE
"Another great opportunity comes my way! Racing again and with TRG is a highlight on any driver's resume! And, to pair with my really good friend and coaching client, Doctor Jim Rappaport as my co-driver, and with Kevin Buckler on the radio!! I'm so looking forward to this coming Sonoma SRO GT4 America race weekend. Such a great combination of elements....Sonoma, Porsche, Doctor Jim, TRG, the Bucklers Kevin and Debra, the Adobe Road Winery! I can't wait to get racing!!! And then I'll have a lot of thank you notes to write. This will be so fun."
Robert will be driving #17 TRG /Silver State Medical Consultants / LienStar / Westpark Capital / LaSalle Solutions / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, with co-driver Dr. Jim Rappaport.
BIO: Professional driver coach and TRG Driver, Robert Orcutt, has a long and illustrious partnership with TRG having driven professionally alongside Kevin and the team back in IMSA GT in the early 2000’s. Robert is one of the most dedicated and hard-working professional driver coaches on the circuit and is a welcome return and partner with TRG.
“I’ve found that opportunity is all about the conversation. Without that conversation, where does life take you? Last August, at Road America, my 11-year-old daughter, Brooke, started a conversation with Violet and Steve Robb of LaSalle Solutions, sponsors of The Racers Group. Moments later, I was meeting Kevin Buckler, Derek DeBoer, Dr. Jim Rappaport and Spencer Pumpelly. I realized that my desire to become a professional racecar driver was about to come true. I’ve always loved Porsches and spent many hours riding the turns at Road America as a club driver. Suddenly, there I was, on my home turf, glimpsing my future. 6 months later, with the incredible support of my wife, Wendie, and my kids, I’m taking one more step toward living the dream. I’m thrilled to begin my journey with Team TRG and the skilled drivers I met that day. My goal this year is to bring synergy and dynamics to this talented team and support both my co-driver, Dr. Jim Rappaport, and TRG #66’s drive to the SprintX championship!”
Todd will be driving #17 TRG /Silver State Medical Consultants / LienStar / Westpark Capital / LaSalle Solutions / Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, with co-driver Dr. Jim Rappaport.
BIO: Todd Hetherington fell in love with Porsches as a boy when his father’s friend let him sit in his 1984 Porsche 944 Turbo. He thought it was the coolest thing ever and vowed to own one. A few years later, after entrepreneurial success, he bought his first Porsche, a 2004 911 Carrera S, and rolled it onto the track at Road America. Then came a few more Porsches as Todd explored the club circuit. He was bitten with the race bug, but as a CEO, Husband and father, his top priority was to support his young family in their endeavors. READ MORE
Going into our 28th season of Professional Motorsports, it is with great pride to announce that we are back to racing with a strong SRO program in 2021, and, at our home track at Sonoma!! The return of the #66 car running for a championship is going to be exciting for all. TRG team drivers, Derek DeBoer and Spencer Pumpelly will be running for the championship this year in Sprint X. I could not be happier to have Derek back. Professional Motorsports, in today’s day and age, has become so complex. It requires drivers who are adept at many things both in and out of the car, and Derek is truly one of the best in the business. His driving and race craft has have continued to impress and he is running at such a high level. We are proud to have him driving for us and representing our team this year in fabled #66.
Spencer has evolved into such an amazing driver and teammate, and I know he and Derek are going to rock. I used to a race against Spencer in the #66 back in the day, and he has amassed an incredible record in motorsports. It seems like a natural evolution to have these guys, take it to the next level.
Dr. Jim Rappaport and the #17 car continues to have us shaking our heads and smiling. Here is a gentleman driver, at the top of his game in modern-day profession that requires extreme skill and precision…Spinal Surgery! I always joke with him that my favorite drivers are surgeons and pilots…because their day job has consequences!! He has evolved into a terrific driver and a fantastic teammate. Dr. Jim has taken this so seriously and his progress has been methodical and clean. He is driving this weekend with his professional driver and coach, Robert Orcutt, and it’s going to be really cool to have them in the same car. Robert has helped Jim in his “driving journey” from the beginning, and now they are driving together. He was also one of TRG’s professional drivers back in the day and it’s great to have him back in the seat! Dr. Jim will also be doing some races with our newest driver and teammate, Todd Hetherington. Todd comes with a strong competitive and Club Racing background and we have been so impressed with his approach. More importantly, he really fits our “team” dynamic and is a fantastic teammate. I’m looking forward to supporting him on his racing journey! They are all terrific drivers, and we are all friends, which makes it even more awesome!
I often get asked what I love most about racing and why I keep doing this. I tell people that the most important thing to me is all of the people who are with us throughout the year are our friends and our “racing family;” from our drivers, sponsors and guests, to our team members who keep things running behind the scenes. We have close relationships with all of the drivers, partners, sponsors and their families — moms, dads, spouses, and kids — and this makes the weekends just that much more special to look forward to. TRG is Racing, Winning and Family!
"Over a half a decade ago LaSalle Solutions and TRG formed a marketing partnership leveraging the racing program and Winery. As with everything we do, our expectations were high, but I would not have imagined how successful the program has worked out for us. LaSalle has not only stood on the podium, competed for championships and brought a unique experience to our customers, prospects and partners, but we have also been featured in the NY Times and numerous forms of media. The icing on the cake was to be associated with an Amazon Prime show FastLife.TV and have customers and partners comment after binge watching the racing reality TV show.”
— Steven Robb, President Solutions Group at LaSalle Solutions
We are all very excited to be racing the entire season withPirelli GT4 America. The Series has put together an awesome schedule that makes it easy for us to compete and to put together the budget. I have a strong personal relationship with most of the staff and they make you feel like “family”. The series has really grown through the acquisition and vision of Stéphane Ratel and SRO, and with Greg Gill’s leadership and tenacity, these guys are here to stay and are only going up! I really respect what the Series is doing and will make my home there this year.
TRG could not do any of this without the fantastic support of Porsche and Porsche Motorsports. A big shout out to Daniel Armbruster and his team at PMNA for another awesome Porsche racecar and the ever present professional support that we receive. This is our 28th year in motorsports — most of it with Porsche. I have seen all sides of how the different manufacturers provide support and work with their teams, but there’s just nothing like the family that Porsche has created and the results that we have seen together. Sometimes I look back and almost shake my head at some of the things that we have accomplished together but it is all part of the 4 letter word I love to use….TEAM. We are all part of this winning team and we could not do it without our friends and family at Porsche and Porsche Motorsports.
Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.