Trent Hindman gains experience, points at Skip Barber National opener
A typical Sebring morning fog delayed the start of qualifying for Round One, with the session ultimately being reduced from the scheduled 30 minutes down to an eight minute shootout. With enough time for an out lap and two fliers, Hindman clocked in with a best lap of 2:24.285, placing him fifth on the grid; .638 sec. behind pole sitter Scott Anderson.
“Fifth was a good starting position all things considered”, recalled Hindman, who was as high as second on the time sheet early in the session. “From fifth at the start, I was able to get to the front and into a three-car breakaway with Thomas (McGregor) and Scott (Anderson). We were able to put a gap on the field until the full course yellow came out.”
An incident in Turn 17 brought out the race’s only full course yellow, packing Hindman and the rest of the field behind the pace car. When the green flag came back out, McGregor was able to break free from the pack while inHindman was swallowed up by the field after mistiming the restart.
“I didn’t expect the leader to go as soon as he did”, Hindman continued. “I started driving defensively and I dropped back to seventh or eighth before I gathered it back up.”
McGregor went on to pick up his first Skip Barber National win while Hindman worked his way back up to fifth at the finish.
“In the end I was happy with a fifth. It was a solid finish and it gave me confidence going into Friday.”
Friday’s fog burned off a little sooner than Thursday’s, which allowed for a full qualifying session. Hindman took full advantage, battling with and ultimately taking pole from Brandon Newey and Scott Anderson with a 2:21.886 lap.
“Jonatan (Jorge, Trent’s driving coach) and I worked on a plan on how to take advantage of the draft at just the right time. I swapped the quick lap with Brandon and Scott. With two laps to go in the session I was able to string all my segments together and capture the pole.”
From the start, Hindman found himself dropping back into the field, dropping five positions on the opening lap and running as low as eighth half way through the race.
In a repeat of his Round 1 performance, Hindman gathered himself up and with Jonatan Jorge in his ear he started a march toward the front. Battling first with Sebastian Ordonez and then Remo Ruscitti, he worked his way back into the top five, and with two laps to go Hindman was back up to second behind Newey.
The last laps proved to be his undoing, as other drivers worked the draft a bit more effectively and while Brandon Newey picked up his first career Skip Barber National win, Hindman settled for his second top five finish in as many races, which puts him fifth in the championship.
“My car just didn’t have quite enough pull. I could stay with the pack in the draft but I never had quite enough to be able to get a run”, concluded Hindman. “I will learn from this week, take the points and come back stronger next month at VIR.”
The BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda next visits Virginia International Raceway April 30-May 1 with the Skip Barber Summer Race Series for Rounds Three and Four of the 2011 season.