ATLANTA GA (Tuesday, January 12, 2021) – Team TGM’s success for its debut assault on the Rolex 24 might come down to having the right partner…or in this case, the Wright partner.
Not only is Team TGM making a return to Michelin Pilot Challenge competition in 2021 with two Chevy Camaros, the Ted Giovanis-owned squad is taking the next step by making its debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona – its first start in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Before taking the huge step of becoming one of the first teams to tackle both championship races on the same weekend, Team TGM kicked off a search to find a partner with experience in both the Rolex 24 and the Porsche 911 GT3 R – joining forces with Wright Motorsports.
“After we won the Michelin Pilot Championship in 2018, I started thinking about doing some of the bigger races, not just in the U.S. but internationally,” Giovanis said.
“My first step was to race in Monza (Italy) in 2018. It was a challenging track and a great experience so naturally being a sportscar driver, my thoughts went to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the discussions began.
“But while contemplating the enormity of undertaking a 24-hour race across the globe, I was invited to watch the Rolex 24 race from a suite the day after competing in last year’s Michelin Pilot race.
“It occurred to me while watching that I knew the track well, my team and co-drivers were very familiar with the circuit and certainly the cost would be a fraction of taking the car and team to France.”
The next step in the process was to select the race car, which came easily to Giovanis who has long driven Porsche street and race cars.
“We considered several marques eligible to compete in the GTD category at Daytona this year, for a single event. Porsche has always made a competitive and reliable race car and I’ve driven them for years, this really seemed like the right fit for entering the Rolex 24.”
However, the team knew they would need help. This is where Team TGM Director of Competition, Joe Varde was invaluable. Varde, a multi-championship winning driver who enjoyed a long and successful racing career in IMSA, SCCA, Grand-Am and NASCAR, now handles the competition side of Team TGM.
Varde had a long-standing relationship with John Wright working with him on several projects through the years and introduced Wright to Ted Giovanis.
“John (Wright) is synonymous with Porsche and has been for decades. He’s been involved in ten driver and eight team championships, all with Porsches,” Varde said.
“I knew he had a talented crew and would give us the best opportunity for success racing our first Rolex 24 as a team. John’s years of experience have already been priceless in race prep and testing. Going into the Roar we know we’re in the best hands with Wright Motorsports combined with our Team TGM crew.”
As the old racing saying goes, ‘to finish first, you must first finish’ and Giovanis knows the challenge they are facing at Daytona.
“Our partnership with Wright Motorsports, the Team TGM crew, and the drivers are all in place to give us successful results in the Rolex 24,” he said.
“Everyone involved knows how to win, knows what it feels like to step onto the podium after putting everything you have into a race and we can’t wait to pull under the tunnel and into the infield at Daytona next week to take this adventure, that actually kicked off two years ago in Monza, to the next step.”
The Roar Before The 24 will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 22-24, with practice and qualifying, followed the next week by the season-opening Michelin Pilot Challenge race on January 29 and Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 30-31.