HINDMAN: Sebring Debrief
The last few times I have reported to you all, the results have been good, with maybe a few hiccups along the way.
I know that I included the rollercoaster that is the Rolex 24 in my last blog, but luckily Cameron Cassels and I were at least able to walk away from Daytona with a win in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge four hour enduro.
This time we we were not so lucky.
Getting down to Sebring a day earlier than expected due to some impending bad weather in the northeast turned out to be pretty beneficial, as our engineer Marc Manning, Cameron, and I were able to take advantage of the down time to walk the track and finalize strategies for the upcoming weekend.
All of the Porsche Cayman GT4s received a few Balance of Performance penalties post-Daytona, so that was certainly a major concern of ours coming into the weekend.
Argue as much as you want, but at the end of the day the only thing we can do is try our best to work around some of these penalties and continue moving forward as we knew we could. Complaining about it will never make your car magically go faster.
Throughout our test day on Wednesday and official practice on Thursday, it was clear that we had some work to do.
We were strong when compared to the other Porsches, but at the end of the day on Thursday we knew we still had to find more time, consistently, to be able to challenge for victory number two at Sebring.
There was very little doubt in my mind that we could get a little bit closer to the quickest GS cars, but it was going to take more effort and more time. Unfortunately more time was something we did not have.
This time last year, Cameron Cassels and I barely even knew each other or the crew that we were working with, so to walk away with a win at Sebring in our very first attempt was something that certainly caught us by surprise.
Along with that we were able to bring home the first win for the Porsche Cayman GT4 platform in global competition – a huge honor for such a new program at that point in time.
Knowing all of this, I certainly felt some additional pressure on my shoulders to go out and make it two in a row at Sebring for Bodymotion Racing.
Come race day, the new-for-2017 two-hour race format was a scenario we had prepared for quite well, so overall race time and strategy were the least of my concerns.
We were still down on pace but close enough to where I could mount an attack at the end of the race as long as we were in position to do so.
Unfortunately, about 30 minutes in, Cameron reported a vibration in the front end of the car that was consistently getting worse – not a good sign around Sebring.
We wanted him to stay out for as long as possible to reach minimum drive time, which he did, right as a full course yellow came out and three of our wheel studs were completely sheered off due to a badly damaged wheel. Not good!
Cam limped the car back to pit lane, we completed our stop, and I hopped behind the wheel. My heart sank as soon as I got the call over the radio to take the car behind the wall for repairs.
At that point I knew we were out of contention for the win, which was far from ideal, but at least there was some hope that we could make our repairs as quickly as possible and get the car back out on track.
In the end, we finished 10th in class, 4 laps down. Disappointing, but thinking about the grand scheme of things, we still kept ourselves in the race to earn points despite our problems – that’s how a team wins championships.
As always, a big thank you to Cameron Cassels, Trim-Tex Drywall Products, and the Bodymotion Racing team for the phenomenal effort all weekend even though the result was not what we were hoping for.
Next up is Circuit of the Americas at the beginning of May and that cannot come soon enough. We will take this time off to correct our mistakes and find our way back to the top step of the podium in Texas.