HINDMAN: COTA Debrief
Being the only FIA 1 track in the U.S., Circuit of The Americas will always be a special event on any series calendar.
With a very fast and flowing sector one and a third sector that has the feel of essentially a giant autocross, the drivers get to experience a bit of everything within 3.5 miles of tarmac.
This is a course that has a very technical style to it. Designed to show off the capabilities of a Formula 1 car, it is easy to feel slightly out of place at times in such a massive expanse of pavement (track limits, hooray!).
Austin itself is an amazing town but I’m certainly a bit more partial to spending quality time in the race car, at the race track. It’s truly a beautiful place, aside from the insane Texas heat of course! Minor detail I suppose…
Since our WEC brethren made their one and only American appearance this past weekend, quality track time was certainly at a minimum in both the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Championship and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
This was the perfect scenario to show off the quality of work and long hours spent back at both the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing and Bodymotion Racing shops in preparation of the equipment.
If you did not roll off the trailer with a competitive package from the get-go, you were more than likely going to have a very, very difficult weekend playing catch up with no time to do so.
Luckily for Craig Duerson and me, the Prestige Performance/WTR crew did an amazing job re-prepping our Huracan Super Trofeo and we had absolutely no issues.
We had worked hard throughout testing and even through qualifying to find the right balance with our car, but at the end of the day we were a little bit tentative to change anything major just keeping in mind how much the track was going to change throughout the weekend.
Between the intense heat and number of cars laying down all different sorts of rubber, it was damn near impossible to predict exactly what was going to happen. All we knew was that it was going to be greasier than ever.
Race 1 was late Thursday evening and although temperatures had cooled down quite a lot, the track was still extremely slippery.
We had a good effort for 3rd place during qualifying and I wanted to be aggressive and get to the lead at the start, which we were able to do.
Our car was working brilliantly and a gap started to open up during those first few laps, then came the one and only full course yellow. Once you build some temperature and pressure in those Pirelli tires, you certainly do want to let that go, but in a case like this you just have no choice.
After the race went green again we still hung on to the lead but not by much. I really would have liked to give Craig some more breathing room coming into our pit stop but roughly a second was all I could manage after the yellow.
The Prestige Performance/WTR guys gave us a killer pitstop as usual and Craig came out of the box in third overall, first in the Pro-Am class, which is ultimately where we finished!
Friday was race day for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as well as race number two of the weekend for Super Trofeo.
After finishing race one less than 12 hours prior, our second Trofeo race of the weekend was early in the morning and this time I would be closing out the race.
Our engineer David and I had made some solid progress on the car for race one and we had made a few more small changes for race two that Craig and I were really excited to try.
Unfortunately hopes for another overall podium and/or class win were dashed when Craig was hit by another driver at the apex of Turn 13. With that said, we were able to continue running, off the pace, but finish the full race distance and collect points to maintain our lead of the Pro-Am championship.
Titles are won not on the good or great days, but in the races that are the most difficult. It is so easy to throw your hands up and give in when you’re just driving around, laps down and off pace, but ultimately every single point matters.
I am very proud of Craig for continuing to push on, as well as the Prestige crew for their efforts in getting us across the line at the end of 50 minutes with a damaged race car.
Race 2 of the day was the hottest yet of the weekend but the Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport was really hooked up for Cameron Cassels and me, so we were excited to go after it and try to earn our fourth win of the season.
I know I say this every time I write to you, but Cam really put together his most solid stint yet and all of us at Bodymotion are extremely excited to see that kind of effort and performance coming along from him.
We had set the pace in practice one on Wednesday, so I knew that we had a very fast car in the hot, greasy conditions that we would see at the end of our two and a half hour event.
With no full course yellow to pack up the field in the final stint, we settled for a solid, but distant, second place finish. The Bodymotion Racing crew absolutely nailed our two pitstops and I for sure am super proud of everybody’s effort in the near unbearable heat.
Three unbelievably hot and hectic days were over in a heartbeat but I am definitely glad to have walked away with some additional hardware and two mostly intact race cars.
I would like to apologize to the poor souls who had to sit next to me on my flight back to Newark Liberty International for the horrible stench of stale champagne and sweaty race gear, but I suppose that is the smell of victory… or at the very least a successful weekend.
As always, a big thank you to Craig, Cameron, Joe Koenig and Trim-Tex, Bodymotion Racing, and Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing for every ounce of effort that went into our weekend.
Next up for us at Bodymotion is our season finale at Road Atlanta in about ten days time.
On the flip side, it’s going to be some time until Craig and I are back behind the wheel of our Huracan Super Trofeo at the Lamborghini World Final in early December.