A new team brought some levity and irreverence to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Verizon Festival of Speed. Team Polizei 144 is running its first ever race, and if things go well, it could run future selected races. Team Owner, ALEX ROY, has aligned himself with TRG, a multi-car, multi-series race operation run by KEVIN BUCKLER. Roy’s premises is to use viral marketing to be as interactive as possible with the fans, utilizing and employing less traditional methods.

Roy, an underground legend and icon to a certain subset of fans, is known as author of the book “Driver” which tells of his experiences as a record-breaking long distance driver in cross country speed events known as Cannonball or Gumball Rally. His record is 2811 miles – New York to LA – in 31 hours and 21 with no tickets or accidents. His co-driver, DAVID MAHER, is still with Team Polizei 144. Roy started competing in 2003 and competed in/trophied in seven Gumballs and Bull Runs, covering more than 25,000 in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Team Polizei 144 is running No.63 Porsche GT3 Cup in the Rolex Series GT class. The drivers are RENE VILLENEUVE and HENRI RICHARD. Villeneuve, a distant relative of the famous Canadian racing driving family, is a driving instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and also does private coaching. Richard, who comes from the Ferrari Challenge Series, was a student of  Villeneuve. Roy met Villeneuve at a New York auto show, and Villeneuve introduced him to Richard. The three all got together and here they are. This weekend was the first time either driver had been inside, much less driven a Porsche. Villeneuve calls Roy an ‘accidental genius.’

Villeneuve qualified the car fourteenth in class and started the race. 

The team’s irreverence is best displayed in their show car, fashioned after a fake German police car. It’s a blue BMW, covered with all kinds of stickers and graphics. 

The interactivity this weekend manifested itself in a large merchandising booth with five large computers with video games racing Roy. At previous events, this booth was used to find fans who could beat Roy at the video game, the prize being part of Roy’s pit crew at the race. Team Polizei 144 has a large merchandise component, and one can design a personalized jacket or driver’s suit choosing from an amazing selection of patches including a TRG patch. LIZ MOSES is the CFO and Chief Cat Herder for the outfit.

Moses and Maher knew Buckler, made introductions, and Roy and Buckler hit it off immediately. One of Buckler’s three favorite movies is Gumball Rally and the poster adorns his office wall. Within the past few weeks the race team idea gelled and Team Polizei 144 was formed. The car number was one assigned to Roy on one of his Gumball runs, when the promoter was using artificially high numbers to inflate the entry.

Roy’s philosophy is that a car is just a brick unless there’s a driver behind the wheel. He wanted to do something that no one else had ever done. Roy comes from the Mel Brooks school of racing.

Roy and his drivers are “having a blast.”