HINDMAN: Good to the Last Drop

To be honest with you, I was preparing myself for this column to once again be about another unfortunate turn of events that would ultimately take us out of snatching a good result.

I cannot begin to describe to you how happy I am that I’m 100 percent wrong.

This season has been nothing but horrible, horrible luck for the VOLT Racing team but the crew just kept pushing forward. Finally. We finally got it done in probably just about the most dramatic way possible. Whatever, we’ll take it anyway we can get it.

I’ll dive a bit deeper into why I was mentally preparing myself for yet another tough race, as the reasons behind that thought process are quite plentiful yet justified.

Road America is not supposed to be a “Mustang” track, especially following recent performance changes. We more or less knew that and were expecting an uphill battle going into the weekend.

Along with this, Road America historically turns into a fuel mileage race due to the track being so long in terms of distance as well as the high speed nature of the circuit leading to extremely high fuel consumption.

I’d say the high fuel consumption is really what changes the dynamic of these races and nobody really sees a naturally aspirated, 5.2 liter DOHC V8 monster of a power plant as “fuel efficient”. Definitely not the first term that pops into my mind.

Testing, official practice, and qualifying showed that we were one of the quickest cars, as well as being one of the leading Ford’s over one lap.

However, similar to CTMP and Lime Rock we found ourselves in a scenario where our tire degradation was pretty extreme, even compared to the other Mustangs. This was a pretty major concern for the race, but unfortunately we ran out of practice time before we really had it sorted.

Alan’s opening stint saw him move from 14th to 11th, but it was one marred by lengthy full course cautions, the worst being an extremely significant impact in the Kink.

Nice to hear that the drivers involved are ok, but that’s absolutely the last thing you want to see happen before you get in the car. Such is life though, and the task at hand takes immediate priority.

Since that full course yellow was so long, it began before the driver change window opened and only ended with an hour and five minutes left on the clock.

Well short of a full fuel stint, but since we are so far out of the championship fight, Mike Johnson and the crew figured we go all in and give fuel saving to the end a shot.

We restarted the race P3 after an incredible stop by the VOLT Racing crew and started saving right from that moment on to the end of the race.

Constant communication with Mike, along with a ton of number crunching by our engineers Dave Bascombe and Chris Vallee, lead to a very low per lap fuel consumption number that needed to be achieved in order to make this work.

They had a rough idea of what others were running for strategy but it could not allow us to change our own. Making it to the end was priority No. 1, and if other cars were passing us left and right, so be it.

I had more and more confidence in the plan the deeper we went into the race. Watching other cars go around us, pull a gap, then only starting their attempts at saving fuel told me that we were on the right path.

I swear that those last three laps were the slowest of my life in a race. The fuel consumption target was getting more and more absurd, but whatever action that needed to be taken in order to achieve the target was done without hesitation.

That involved driving down those long, high speed straights known only to Road America at half throttle. Coming out of Turn 14 the final time, I knew we had enough to make it up the hill to start/finish, but I still had my foot over the clutch ready to kick it and coast if necessary.

Luckily that wasn’t the case, we were good to the last drop, and sweet, sweet victory was ours.

Back to running two championships this weekend, the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing’s runs in both Lamborghini Super Trofeo races were not quite as exciting, but equally as stressful.

We rolled off the truck with a very strong car and only made minor changes from there. One small error from me in qualifying cost us enough to be P2 on the grid for Race 1 by only four hundredths of a second.

This turned out to be a pretty significant factor for Jonathan and me in both races this weekend, as the ability to follow other cars closely with this new aero package at a high speed track such as Road America becomes a very complicated task.

Moving forward, it will definitely take some adjusting between the driving and set-up in order to work through traffic efficiently, but this is the way learning an extensively updated car goes.

We ended our weekend with very strong runs in both races; 2nd in Race 1 and 3rd in Race 2. I find solace in the fact that we know we can make strong improvements moving forward to VIR.

You know it was a good weekend when you find yourself on all three steps of the podium at some point, and that would not be possible without the effort and support of both VOLT Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing.

Thank you to Alan, VOLT Lighting, Trim-Tex, Prestige Performance, and finally the crews that really bust their asses in order to make it all happen. It’s always nice to repay their efforts with some hardware.

HINDMAN: When Life Gives You… Limes?

There’s gotta be some sort of relationship between the fact that we were at Lime Rock and it was once again a pretty sour weekend for the VOLT Racing team.

To be honest, it’s getting pretty difficult to write these columns now since we’re constantly finding ourselves in the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” type of situations.

I’m sure you’re all just as tired of reading about it as we on the team are also tired of the constant poor luck we’ve been having. But hey, we’ll keep on truckin’.

I love seeing the twisted facial expression people give me when I tell them that Lime Rock is one of my favorites, as I see that they’re trying their absolute damnedest to avoid making some sort of snide comment.

Fine by me – it doesn’t change the fact that this is a proper, old school cool racetrack where average lap speed is pretty high and the walls are close.

And oh, by the way, no worry of track limits BS here since there’s this fantastic new track limits marker called grass.

Either way, this tends to be our shortest race weekend of the year; in and out literally within 48 hours.

Two full practice sessions and a qualifying to get your stuff sorted for the race. Basically, if you don’t roll off the trailer well, you’re kind of screwed.

Luckily, we at VOLT Racing did roll off the trailer well! We opened the weekend P2 by only a few hundredths of a second in Practice 1, and despite the Ford’s taking a little bit of a BoP hit, we knew we had more to extract within ourselves which was all very encouraging.

As we continued running throughout the day with increasing ambient temperatures and a degrading track condition, we found that we were not as strong over a full stint as we felt we needed to be.

I think everybody between both GS and GTD were finding tire degradation to be very high, which is typical for Lime Rock.

However, one thing that did stick out to me during the track walk was the fact that the surface is much more abrasive than years past. That certainly played a roll into the fast drop off in tire performance, especially for the heavier cars in either category.

Alan had qualified 14th and ran in that position for most of his stint, which was solid enough as we were one of the few cars left with a clean nose in the first stint. But of course, here’s where the “unfortunately” starts to take its hold.

Roughly 40 minutes into the race, and about 10 minutes out from our full-service pit stop and driver change, Alan reported a flat right rear tire.

He was off pace coming into pit lane, the VOLT crew threw the thing up on the air jacks, and low and behold we have a broken right rear wheel hub with a few missing wheel studs as well.

That’s it really. Twenty-five laps later we found ourselves back on track just to finish the race and collect points.

We did our best to stay out of the battles for position that were happening around us, and disappointingly found that we had really good pace on old tires at the end of the race. Just a real shame.

We move forward to Road America with the same expectation to perform and try to snag a win or two before the end of 2018.

I think we can, as Alan and the VOLT crew are more than capable, but it’s just a matter of having things actually go our way for once.

Of course, the lack of results in the CTSC is disappointing and I really feel for those who continue to support us – VOLT Lighting, Trim-Tex… everybody.

We’ll take it on the chin like champions and keep pushing forward.

HINDMAN: Canada Dry

No, I’m not referring to the beverage. As a matter of fact, I’m referring to the dry spell from the podium that I’ve experienced in my entire time going north of the border in my sports car racing career.

Never have I encountered a track that I’ve loved so much, yet just cannot seem to pull through and get the job done.

If you read my last blog about VOLT Racing’s run in the CTSC four hour endurance event at Watkins Glen just a week ago, you understood some of the challenges and head scratching we had experienced throughout that weekend.

Now with two races back-to-back on consecutive weekends, there was certainly some level of apprehension heading up to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this year.

Again, this had been a track that treated me very well in my days driving single seaters along with speaking in terms of raw speed over the last few years, so expectations to capitalize on that speed were pretty high.

Steady improvements made to the car throughout testing and practice showed some gains on the time sheet, but unfortunately not the wholesale jump that we were looking for.

With that in mind, I turned my focus away from raw car performance and tried to figure out the best way Alan and I could adapt to the car we had underneath us with some changes in driving style.

This, in general, is not the most ideal route but it could lead to quick, short term gains in outright speed, although a little bit more risky.

Then again, the car is a calculator and the input you provide determines what you get out. Wrong input = wrong answer; I’ve bombed plenty of algebra tests in my day, I’ll put it to you that way.

Come race day, life was pretty hectic as Practice 3 and qualifying were only about four hours before the start of the race itself.

Making any more adjustments before and heading into the race essentially blind would not just risk performance but also take the team’s focus away from the immediate task at hand.

We wanted to put together a smart, strategic, and most importantly, clean race to achieve the best result possible.

Luckily the choice to focus more on race strategy and quality pit stops really paid off for us, since when it was time for Alan to pit for full service and driver change, we gained a significant amount of time on pit road, which was a huge boost for everybody.

From then on it was a very complicated race, as full course yellows were burning up time on the clock and the call was made that we were going to attempt to save fuel and not make a second run down pit lane.

Great strategic call, although it always seems to happen when you have a huge fight on your hands to try and gain or defend positions on track.

Hanging on to third position by a thread with two laps remaining, low fuel alarms were now pretty constant on the dash but despite that, I was still pretty hell bent on bringing it home to VOLT Racing’s first CTSC podium.

As quickly as I thought of that, it was snatched right out of my hands as a Mercedes and I made hard wheel-to-wheel contact at the apex of Turn 10 and it tore up my right front pretty badly with one lap remaining.

Fair game – I would’ve done the same thing if I was being held up for that long too. We limped across the line in fourth.

Not bad by any means, but disappointing to me since that dry spell from a podium finish in the CTSC now continues.

That being said, I also want to give a shout out to my former co-driver and great friend Cameron Cassels for allowing me to continue my streak of driving multiple cars per weekend and running in the Prototype Challenge LMP3 category with him.

I’ve got limited experience at best behind the wheel of prototypes, so this was a pretty massive learning curve for me… especially when having to jump out of a Mustang and hop into one of those things all in the same weekend!

I’d love to have a few more outings in the LMP3 car, as I feel that there’s some unfinished business there from my end.

Three consecutive weeks at the track with the VOLT Racing crew and this is really just the beginning of the “summer swing”.

The guys really worked their asses off these past two weeks in some pretty extreme heat to give Alan and me something to fight with – they’re the real MVPs.

Also, a big thanks to Alan, VOLT Lighting, and Trim-Tex, as well as Cameron and the Performance Tech team for a great weekend at CTMP.

We now have a full week to re-prep and re-focus for the lovely bull ring also known as Lime Rock, where I feel our chances at a win are stronger than ever.

HINDMAN: The Boiling Point

 

Unfortunately for you, if you enjoy my monthly rants, this one is bound to disappoint since there honestly isn’t too much to say. It was a pretty taxing weekend at Watkins Glen at best, both physically and mentally.

With no test day and Thursday being a total washout, Friday morning’s Practice 2 and 3 were our only real opportunities to get dialed in.

Within a few laps on new tires in Practice 2, it became pretty clear to me that we had a ton of work to do to the VOLT Mustang GT4. Changes made for the twenty-minute Practice 3 that was a few hours later showed only marginal improvement, so qualifying was pretty much a Hail Mary at that point in time.

Since our Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race was our second four-hour long enduro of the year, it was decided that I would qualify and start, Alan would run the middle stint and then I’d hop back in for the finish.

When this plan was initially dreamed up, I was pretty confident in our ability to take pole position… I was now second guessing that. Never a fun place to be heading into qualifying.

Of course our qualifying session was red-flagged before we were ever able to put a lap in, I mean, we at least want to make this as nerve-racking as possible, right?

So being released back on track with five minutes to go in qualifying meant that it was 100 percent maximum attack.

That paid off to a fifth-place spot on the grid. Not bad for only having a matter of hours to get our car somewhat balanced but there was still more work to be done.

 

At the drop of the green on Saturday afternoon, ambient temperature was well over 90 degrees with our in-car temperature being much higher; partly due to the actual weather conditions but mostly due to the fact that I was moving backward in a hurry and trying desperately to, at the very least, maintain position.

That was not the case and it quickly became clear to me that we were in trouble. This was going to be a long one.

And a long one it was, as our lack of speed just lead to bad luck and falling even further behind the leaders.

I think we managed to stay on the lead lap by a thread, but there was no silver lining to the result since we had some pretty high hopes heading into this one.

I was beyond frustrated but I’m just flat-out bummed for Alan and the entire VOLT crew. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort. Our shot at redemption is luckily only a few days away at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 

Speaking of redemption, the Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo squad were certainly looking for some following two very bizarre races at Mid-Ohio.

With not much running at all over the last six weeks, along with all of our practice being in the rain, qualifying was pretty much the first time we could even evaluate what we had shown up to the Glen with.

Jonathan and I qualified second for both Races 1 and 2, but we were quite a way off from where we needed to be.

Continuous grinding over the course of Friday for Race One paid off well with a third-place finish overall, still missing some speed for the win, but much closer than we were earlier on in the day.

Saturday morning presented Race Two and another opportunity to bring home a victory… and that we did!

 

It was gratifying since we won this one on raw speed and sweat equity invested by the entire WTR team for over a month leading up to this event. Jonathan and I are still 13 points outside of the Pro championship lead, but performances like this will continue to bring us closer to the Super Trofeo North America championship hunt.

The real warriors this weekend were the people busting their asses to get the cars prepped in the absurd heat.

They never once got a break in the action and kept their foot on the floor as hard as we did, so for that, a huge thank you is owed to everybody at Trim-Tex, VOLT Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing for making the most of not very ideal situations.

In the meantime, I look forward to celebrating America’s birthday at a Canadian racetrack.

HINDMAN: Sometimes You’re the Bug… or the Windshield!

Remember how in my last column I mentioned that the goddess of motorsport can be a real cruel (ad lib this one as you like) at times?

Well yeah, clearly she didn’t take to that lightly. This past weekend at Mid-Ohio was, let’s call it… character building.

The whole weekend was a challenging one for all teams and drivers, mainly due to the uncooperative weather conditions as well as the fact that IMSA has not run at Mid-Ohio since 2013.

Testing in the rain was high risk and low reward, as weather predictions stated that both Saturday and Sunday should be dry.

So all in all, good track time was scarce and the minuscule number of laps in mixed conditions made for a difficult time in obtaining usable data as well as finding the ideal balance for the car.

Luckily all teams and drivers were in this position, so the playing field was relatively level.

Fortunately enough, the call to run Lamborghini Super Trofeo with Wayne Taylor Racing and Prestige Performance came literally within a week of arriving in Ohio. This was a very welcoming proposition, as any opportunity to gain more time behind the wheel, as well as compete for wins, is one that I will always gladly take.

Between VOLT Racing with Alan Brynjolfsson and Super Trofeo with my new co-driver, Jonathan Cecotto, it was looking like a pretty promising weekend.

As mentioned earlier, quality track time in testing and official practice for both series was limited at best, but both VOLT Racing and WTR were looking strong going into race day on Saturday.

Alan qualified 9th in a very strong group of drivers in our Mustang GT4 for GS, whereas I ended up P2 in Trofeo Qualifying 1 and Jonathan P3 in Qualifying 2.

Fantastic results considering both Alan and Jonathan had never seen Mid-Ohio before. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with being P2 in Trofeo, but of course improvements can always be made.

Alan got off to a great start later on that afternoon in the CTSC race, maintaining position until the first and only full course caution of the day came out at about 20-25 minutes into the two hour long race.

Unfortunately this is where the race unraveled for us, as a series of minor errors during our first pit stop lead to spending almost two minutes on pit lane and receiving a drive through in the process.

The good news: Alan was still on the lead lap even following the drive through penalty.

The bad news: We developed a valve train issue that put us down to seven cylinders and then fell down the order due to the lack of power.

We finished, but not where we would have envisioned only two hours prior. That was a tough pill to swallow especially following VOLT Racing’s run at PWC VIR one week earlier.

It just went from bad to worse for us, as both Super Trofeo races came to a premature end for Jonathan and me with a pretty severe technical issue.

Pretty disappointing since we had good speed and expectations that we could challenge for victory, but alas, this wasn’t meant to be.

The WTR guys were immediately doing everything they could to find a solution to this issue, but it’s something that can only be analyzed once the cars are back at the shop.

I feel for them since they busted their asses this last week getting the No. 1 car ready for Jonathan and me.

There was one big positive to come out of all of this and that was watching my teammates, Alvaro and Katherine, in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 have a mega run for second in GTD, almost winning the damn thing at Acura and Shank’s home race!

I was a little bit worried to watch from the pit box, as I figured whatever black cloud was following me would somehow be passed along to Kat and Alvaro… luckily not the case and we hope this result will get the No. 86 NSX GT3 into the full season fight for the GTD title. That was a fun one to watch.

As usual, none of this could be done without the awesome teams of mechanics and engineers at VOLT Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing, as well as the people who support us most at VOLT landscape lighting, Trim-Tex, and Prestige Performance.

With just over six weeks until The Glen, it’s a long time to be thinking about the “what if” factors, but surely it’s a much needed reset for both teams following a difficult week in Ohio.

2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Season Announcement

Winner of Series-High Seven Championships, 2017 World Championship WTR Organization Looks to Continue To Build Legacy with Four-Car Program in 2018

BROWNSBURG, Indiana (April 26, 2018) – Coming off dominant back to back Championship seasons, winning seven titles in the past two years, Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) | Prestige Performance Racing announced today their driver line up for the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) North American Championship season. Four cars will compete in the 6-race North American Series which kicks off May 4th when the IMSA WeatherTech Championship returns to Mid- Ohio Sports Car Course.

World Finals and Pro-Class Champion Trent Hindman will once again pilot the No. 1 Prestige Performance WTR Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (PRO), with new teammate Jonathan Cecotto. Cameron Cassels will return in the #33 Wayne Taylor Racing ST Huracán to race as a single driver in the AM-Class Championship. Sheena Monk, coming off a first-ever podium finish at the 2017 World Finals in Imola, Italy, will commandeer the #7 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo in the series LB Cup. Drivers to compete in the No. 10 entry will be named in the near future.

“Wayne Taylor Racing is looking forward to building on its winning legacy in the North American Super Trofeo Series,” said Travis Houge, Team Manager, Wayne Taylor Racing of the 2018 season. “Our list of drivers is top notch and, as always, we have high expectations of them and our team. The competition has grown significantly and the introduction of the new EVO race car will bring its challenges, but we are steadfastly prepared and looking forward to getting on track.”

In 2017, coming off a very successful 2016 season where the team won a series high 4 Championship Titles, WTR and Prestige Performance Racing announced that it would field a four-car team to also include the series’ first-ever female driver pairing. The team went on to clinch the 2017 North American Lamborghini Super Trofeo PRO-Driver, Team and Dealer Championship titles for a second year in a row. Pro-Drivers and teammates Trent Hindman and Riccardo Agostini wrapped up their dominating season being crowned the overall 2017 Lamborghini Champions at the World Finals in Imola, Italy.

This year, the No. 1 Prestige Performance WTR Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo combines the legacy of Trent Hindman’s championship performances with another, teammate Jonathan Cecotto, son of Johnny Cecotto, the Venezuelan Formula One, German Touring Car star and Motorcycle World Champion. Cecotto will build on his own resume of success in German ADAC Formula 4 Championship (2015), Italian Tour Car Championship (2016) and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (2017) to hopefully repeat the team’s trip to Victory Lane.
The AM Category will be handled by veteran driver and family man Cameron Cassels in the No. 33 Prestige Performance Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo. This year, Cassels is also competing in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series in a Le Mans Prototype 3 car as well as running a partial season of kart racing, where he hopes to spend time with his four children as they learn about the exciting sport of racing.

Sheena Monk will take on the LB Cup for WTR in her No. 7 Prestige Performance Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo. After completing the 2017 Corso Pilota to obtain her racing license, Monk immediately flew to the final race of the North American Super Trofeo Championship, held in Imola, Italy. In her first race weekend ever, Sheena finished on podium, proving herself a future contender for 2018.

“We are so proud to again partner with Wayne Taylor Racing and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Series,” said Chris Turner, President, Prestige Performance Racing. “Together, we have built a winning platform that inspires racers, both professional and amateur, and customers alike. I am looking forward to furthering the momentum we have established these past three years.”

After the season opener at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (May 4-6), the 6-race North American series continues with races at Watkins Glen (June 28-July 1), Road America (August 3-5), Virginia International Raceway (August 17-19), and Laguna Seca (September 7-9). The final race of the series will again be held during The World Finals scheduled to be held in Italy (November 2018).

For additional information, contact Krista Elliott Riley at 508-560-1470 or email requests to krista@waynetaylorracing.com or visit www.waynetaylorracing.com
TRENT HINDMAN, No. 1 Prestige Performance Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (PRO):

On Rejoining the Wayne Taylor Racing |Prestige Performance Race Team for 2018
“Following such a successful Super Trofeo season in 2017 with Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing, I believe our goals are to defend both the North America and World championship titles, but I cannot say that we expect this to happen or magically come easier to us in 2018. The level competition continues to increase globally and that is what needs to drive us to continue finding performance in the cars, the team, and us drivers most importantly. The introduction of the Huracan Super Trofeo Evo is yet another challenge that will be thrown into our hands, but I believe the Wayne Taylor Racing | Prestige Performance team is more than ready to attack these challenges head-on. “

“I’ve been a very lucky guy over the last two seasons to have worked with and grown alongside the Wayne Taylor Racing crew. Just the opportunity to work closely with Wayne (Taylor) and Max (Angelelli) alone is special enough, but to be a member of the phenomenal team they have developed, now for the third season in a row, is something I’m extremely thankful for. We have a great partner in Prestige Performance on board with us once again. Overall, I’d say this team is as lethal as it has ever been for Super Trofeo competition.”

Where do you see the challenges coming for 2018?
“Following a somewhat disappointing performance at the 2016 Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final in Valencia, Spain, I knew I wanted to come back and have another shot at improving upon that World Final result for 2017. We had a team that was largely intact following that 2016 season, so the collective experience brought confidence moving into Super Trofeo NA last year. I had a great co-driver in Riccardo Agostini as well, and we were fortunate enough to bring home both the North American and World titles outright. With that said, there are still areas that I would like to improve upon even following the success that came in 2017. The chance to come back to the same great Wayne Taylor Racing | Prestige Performance team with the opportunity to continue working on becoming the most complete driver I possibly can be is something that I couldn’t say no to. Lamborghini Super Trofeo looks as though it may very well be as competitive as it’s ever been, but I am confident that the Wayne Taylor Racing team, my new co-driver Jonathan Cecotto, and myself will be more than ready to get the job done.”

Thoughts on the upcoming Season Opener at Mid-Ohio
The return to Mid-Ohio is a big thumbs-up from me; I love this track, I love the technical yet rhythmic nature of it, and the style of racing it creates. The Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo should be a phenomenal car to drive around here, especially since its being looked after by the best team in the paddock. As Mid-Ohio is quite a challenging track, it will take some work to get Jonathan acclimated, although he’s obviously very quick and should adjust quickly with the team we’ve got around us.”

For additional driver information, visit www.trenthindman.com

Double Top Ten for Michael Shank Racing at Sebring

Incredible team effort leads to strong run as both Acura NSX GT3 machines finish tough Sebring

Sebring, Fla. (17 March 2018) – After a whirlwind weekend for the Michael Shank Racing squad it seemed as though there wouldn’t be light at the end of the tunnel, but the hard-working crew never gave up.

Both the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 and the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 scored top-ten finishes at the 66th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday.

After a significant off-track excursion on Thursday nearly debilitated the No. 93 to the point of n

o return, the Michael Shank Racing squad’s heroic dedication brought the Acura NSX machine back to life in less than 36 hours. Not only did the No. 93 make a full recovery, Lawson Aschenbach posted the fastest time of the session in Saturday morning’s warm up.

With the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 piloted by Aschenbach, Justin Marks and Mario Farnbacher and the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 driven by Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente and Trent Hindman, the team was stacked for a solid result after 12 hours of racing.

Legge and Marks served as starting drivers and gave an excellent run in the early hours of the race, with Marks picking up 10 positions in the first hour and Legge leading the GTD field on Lap 14.

The pace was spot on for both Acura NSX GT3s with a combined 103 laps led and 212 combined laps spent in battling into the top three.

The team was well on its way to a podium finish until a series of incidents pushed both cars just outside of the top five. As Farnbacher and Parente brought home the No. 93 and No. 86 machines through the checkered, they had to settle with a seventh and eighth place result.

Despite a trying start to the weekend – rebuilding a car, starting last, and racing to a leading pace – the Michael Shank Racing crew showed the entire IMSA paddock that there is little limit to the amount of devotion and true passion the team has.

“The fight these guys put up today, I just couldn’t ask for more,” said Team Owner Mike Shank of his crew rebuilding the No. 93. “The result is a little disappointing because we ran so well but the cars were just beat to death at the end. All of the drivers did just wonderful, I couldn’t ask for any more from anybody. We will just take this result and roll on to Mid-Ohio.”

The third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take Michael Shank Racing to home soil for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Showdown, May 4th – 6th.

Driver Quotes:

Lawson Aschenbach, No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “I have to say hats off to everyone at Michael Shank Racing, Acura, Honda, HPD. To come back from that crash, make it to the race, have a flawless run with no issues, perform perfect pit stops, I am pleased with the result. Obviously, we are a little disappointed with the pace at the end and we have our work cut out for us. We will go back to the shop and think through this weekend because we have to work through the pace. All in all, I am really pleased with the weekend and where we came from and we will see what happens with the next race.”

Justin Marks, No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “Even though it’s not really the finish that we wanted today, the fact that we were even on the grid for this race is really a testament to how hard this team works. This car was completely destroyed on Thursday. They rebuilt it, and worked all night to get it on the grid. It had pretty good pace, I think there were some weaknesses to overcome in the long runs. Seventh place points isn’t terrible and we will regroup for the next one. We have some time to find more speed before we get to Mid-Ohio.”

Mario Farnbacher, No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “I’m not really sure what happened at the end there, but the car just fell off and I couldn’t really do much to save it. This car shouldn’t have even been on the grid, but the team worked so hard to get it here. We had good pace in the beginning of the race, I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t give the team a better result at the end.”

Katherine Legge, No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “We had a really great weekend and we had the pace to run up front. My first stint went really well and we were holding the car in the top three which was promising. Both Alvaro (Parente) and Trent (Hindman) did a great job and kept the car in podium contention, but unfortunately the car just got away from us at the end there. The next race for us will be Watkins Glen and hopefully we can continue to work on the car and get a good result next round.”

Alvaro Parente, No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “The end of the race really didn’t go as I had hoped. I wish I could have given it some more for the team because they worked so hard all weekend. We were running so great for the entire race, and to have it fall off at the end was disappointing. But the Michael Shank Racing guys gave us a great car and we had great pit stops so I have to thank them for their effort.”

Trent Hindman, No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3: “Some of these guys out here were setting some super quick laps, including my co-drivers and my teammates. The Michael Shank Racing crew gave us a great NSX GT3 all weekend long. It’s a shame with all of the yellows, I think that’s what really caught us out. Our car is phenomenal in clean air but as soon as we get in that dirty air we tend to struggle for bite. This was my first 12 Hours of Sebring and it was just an honor to be a part of it with such a great team and I certainly learned a lot and I hope I can come back in the future and have a shot at another one.”

HINDMAN: The Ups and Downs of Sebring

I think those of you who read these debriefs probably have an idea by now that I can ramble on for quite a long time… Normally, it’s all in an effort to give a behind the scenes look at how success was achieved on a given weekend.

This time, which might be the first, I’m actually left pretty speechless.

Going into a race weekend, I’ll generally have a pretty solid idea of how it will go. However, last week I was torn.

One side of me was saying that it was going to be a successful week, and the other side could not visualize or foresee a desired race result being achieved. That had me somewhat worried.

Following a very encouraging test in February with the VOLT Racing Mustang GT4 as well as the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, I was pretty confident that we were going to hit the ground running in both GS and GTD.

I’ve been to the Twelve Hours of Sebring in some form since my first ever Skip Barber National Series event here in 2011. The last three years I’ve watched from the sidelines, wishing I was in the show. Luckily that has since changed.

We had a very, very strong two days of testing here with the VOLT Racing Mustang and that immediately showed in Practice 1 Thursday morning when we ran below the previous GS lap record and three-quarters of a second quicker than anybody else at a 2:11.5.

Not that winning practice is anything to be proud of, but it certainly gave us the confidence moving forward that we had a good, consistent car and hopefully a shot at victory on Friday.

For the rest of the day we focused on our speed over the long runs in the hot, greasy track conditions as well as getting Alan [Brynjolfsson] acclimated to the car and track.

He’s proved to be very good at Sebring and it was my job to make sure he could take advantage of the pace he had going into the race.

Despite our speed in practice, I still was unsure of how we would ultimately run come race day. I know the entire team was confident in the speed of the car and in themselves when it would be time to go over the wall and service the car, but I just wanted to get to through that first stop in one piece and go from there.

Unfortunately, the race unraveled in pretty dramatic fashion on Lap 5. While having a very strong run in the top ten, Alan muttered the words “broken half shaft” on the radio coming out of turn 7. That was it.

I knew our shot at capitalizing on our speed and bringing home a win was gone and I just couldn’t believe it.

The VOLT Racing crew managed to get the car back to the paddock and got to work on replacing both half shafts, but, despite their phenomenal effort, our day was done.

I was fortunate enough to have another opportunity to race during the weekend. I’m even more fortunate that it would be in one of the most difficult yet prestigious endurance races in the world.

Following the disappointment that was our CTSC race on Friday afternoon, I knew I had to immediately get over it and focus on the next task at hand, which would be an attempt at winning the 12 Hours of Sebring with the MSR team.

Michael Shank Racing’s run in the Twelve Hours of Sebring was nothing short of eventful either, with our sister car, the 93, ending up hard into the T13 barrier during Thursday practice.

Luckily Justin [Marks] was ok, but watching the MSR crew pull together to A) not only support the 86 in our efforts to develop a potential race-winning car, but also B) essentially re-clip the entire front end of the 93 in about 36 hours time was pretty unreal.

Alvaro [Parente], Katherine [Legge], and I, along with our teammates in the 93, ran up towards the pointy end of the GTD pack until about Hour 11, when the final full course yellow packed the field together and we slipped back to P8.

Our NSX GT3 was strong for the entire day but not quite strong enough to push forward in heavy traffic, and in a field as competitive as GTD, that’s a death sentence.

Still, with all of that said, I was honored to simply be a member of such a great team and actually be in contention for a class victory in my first ever 12 Hours of Sebring. Hopefully we’ll have more opportunities to get it done in the future.

And that’s that. A pretty bittersweet ending to what was shaping up to be a successful weekend in terms of final race results, but unfortunately it was not to be.

Massive thanks to Alan and the VOLT Racing team, Mike [Shank] and the MSR crew, as well as my friends at Trim-Tex for making all of this happen. The goddess of motorsport can be a real cruel bitch at times, but it’s nothing that will deter me from coming back and trying again.

Michael Shank Racing Roar Wrap

Daytona Beach, Fla. (7 January 2018) – Michael Shank Racing continued to make progress this weekend in preparation for its two-car campaign in the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at the end of the month with three productive days of testing at Daytona International Speedway.

The team is competing with the Acura NSX GT3 in its second season of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, and debuted an all-new driver line up at the Roar Before the 24. Eight drivers took to the Florida circuit to work on developing the team chemistry and speed that will be required to win the twice around the clock classic.

The No. 93 entry driven by Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks, Mario Farnbacher and Côme Ledogar showed continued improvement as they rotated through the six sessions, with the entry setting the fastest time of the day on Saturdaywith a 1:47.425-seconds lap of the 3.56-mile circuit.

The No. 86 Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup entry driven by Katherine Legge, Alvaro Parente, Trent Hindman and AJ Allmendinger completed nearly 150 laps before taking to the track for Sunday’s qualifying.

To create an added bit of interest for race fans, IMSA established a 15-minute qualifying session to establish garage positions and pit locations for the Rolex 24 following the six practice sessions.

Parente, who took the No. 83 Acura NSX GT3 for his first ever IMSA WeatherTech qualifying run, set the 4th fastest lap time with a 1:47.605-seconds lap.

“I feel like this is a good start and we have had some really nice test days in preparation for the 24,” said Parente. “All of the guys have been doing well and we have all been having a lot of fun. We will continue to keep working to make improvements. The main thing is getting the car as stable and quick as possible for the race.”

After a strong two days of testing, Aschenbach clocked the 12th quickest time with a 1:47.905 in the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.

“We lost the balance a little bit from the first session, so that wasn’t really the time I think we were capable of today,” said Aschenbach. “The car just never really came to us like it had been the rest of the weekend. The Acura NSX GT3 is still pretty quick and Alvaro (Parente) put down a really good lap in for fourth. Now we will just need to look at data and see where things changed, and we will be fine for the race, I’m not too worried.”

Team Owner Mike Shank was happy to return for a second season with the Acura NSX GT3 as the team was able to start off the year with a strong knowledge base of the car.

“Everything has improved so much from last year at this time,” said Shank. “We have made huge gains with the car and I am very happy with it. Qualifying was pretty much where we thought we would be for right now so we are fairly pleased. The 93 car didn’t handle exactly how we thought it would but Alvaro (Parente) did a great job in the 86 and got us a good spot as far as where we will be set up for the 24. I feel very good about where we are and how much progress we’ve made.”

The team will return to Daytona International Speedway January 25-28 for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Michael Shank Racing Adds Trent Hindman and Côme Ledogar to Rolex 24 Lineup

Ledogar joins No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 as Hindman signed for No. 86 Acura NSX GT3

Pataskala, Ohio (18 December 2017) – Signing a young up and coming American talent along with one that has already seen success on the international stage, Michael Shank Racing has finalized its driver roster for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener at Daytona.

Côme Ledogar will combine with Lawson Aschenbach, Justin Marks and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 for the 2018 Rolex 24 At Daytona, while young Trent Hindman has joined the team to partner with Alvaro Parente, Katherine Legge and AJ Allmendinger in the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.

Ledogar, who will be making his IMSA racing debut at the Rolex, first forged his name in one-make competition, scoring the 2014 French Carrera Cup Championship with six wins and six pole positions. The Frenchman built on that success with an additional two championships in 2016, clinching the Blancpain Endurance Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Italia.

With a 2017 that included a run to the podium in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour event, Ledogar will look to get his 2018 racing season off to a fast start with Michael Shank Racing.

“I am really excited to be joining Michael Shank Racing,” said Ledogar. “Driving with MSR means a new challenge for me but with a very experienced team with one of the best reputations in the paddock. I think the Acura NSX GT3 will suit me well since it is a brand new mid-engine car; which is the same set up that I have been driving the previous two years.”

At only 22-years old, Hindman’s career has blossomed with a breakout year in 2017.  The New Jersey native scored victories in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition, clinched the Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) North American Championship as well as scored a major Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final win at Imola. He also impressed in his triple-duty weekend at VIRginia International Raceway, racing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, winning the LST race, and securing a podium finish in his first-ever IMSA WeatherTech GTD race outing.

With the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC) in his sights, Hindman will race the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 in the Rolex 24 as well as the Sebring 12 Hour, Sahlen’s Six Hour, and the Petit Le Mans.

“Michael Shank Racing is one of the elite teams in IMSA so it was an honor to be presented with this opportunity,” said Hindman. “Running with Mike (Shank) and the Acura NSX GT3 is really a chance that I think all drivers in general, not just younger guys like myself, would immediately jump into without any hesitation. I want to thank Mike, the entire MSR team, and Honda Performance Development for their faith in me as a driver and I certainly hope to deliver for them.”

Not only is Hindman looking to provide the team with results throughout the TPNAEC season, but he will also look to lessons learned from the many years of experience that the team has racked up.

“MSR is a team that’s got a fantastic history of helping young drivers recognize their full potential,” said Hindman. “I certainly want to take full advantage of that quality as well as hopefully being able to provide as much knowledge and experience as I possibly can in order to make the most of this program. I think it’s also very important to enjoy this opportunity as much as possible, as not many drivers get a shot like this.”

With the stacked lineup finalized, Michael Shank Racing is eager to set the pace for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, where the stable of eight drivers will challenge for a victory. The Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off on January 26th.

Driver Lineup

Lawson Aschenbach No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3

Justin Marks No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

Mario Farnbacher No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

Côme Ledogar No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

Alvaro Parente No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

Katherine Legge No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

Trent Hindman No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3

AJ Allmendinger No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 

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