Strategy Move by Bodymotion Racing Results in Top-Five Finish and Gain in GS Points Lead
LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 23 – Bodymotion Racing unofficially retained its point lead in the Grand Sport (GS) class and even increased it by one marker by using some unusual strategy to finish fifth in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge Series race Saturday at Lime Rock Park. The Ocean Township, N.J.-based team’s entry in the Street Tuner (ST) class also finished fifth in its class in the two-hour contest at the 1.53-mile, seven-turn road course about 100 miles north of New York City.
The strategic move was a change in the driver order for the team’s GS car, the No. 12 Porsche Cayman GT4 sponsored by Bodymotion, Delaware Investments and Trim Tex . Usually Cameron Cassels of Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada starts the car and then turns it over to his experienced teammate Trent Hindman of Wayside, N.J. This time the team opted for Hindman to start the race, go as far as possible on one set of Continental tires while conserving fuel, and then turn the car over to Cassels with hopefully little to no damage incurred. If Hindman could set the fastest lap of the race in the process when his tires were freshest, it would also be beneficial because that’s worth an extra point.
The whole team delivered. The starting driver must qualify, and Hindman won the pole with a time of 55.388 (99.443 miles per hour). He set the fastest lap of the race on lap seven with a 55.745 (98.807 mph), and he led the first 42 laps of the race despite having to avoid several lapped cars that spun or crashed in front of him.
The Camaro that eventually won made a pit stop earlier and was able to pass Hindman on lap 43 with fresher tires, but Hindman was back in front for four more laps before he finally pitted on lap 68 for his one and only pit stop. In addition to saving fuel and his tires during his 1:07 stint on a track that was getting more slippery every lap, he also turned the car over to Cassels with no damage for the final push. The pit stop was fast, Cassels set very competitive lap times and successfully avoided any crashes too, and the team’s reward was its fifth top-five finish of the season to date. When adding in the time during qualifying, Hindman’s stint and the pit stop, the team stretched one set of Continental tires for approximately one hour and 20 minutes of competition.
Unofficially Hindman and Cassels now hold a five-point lead in the GS point standings, 167 to 162.
Post-race quotes follow:
Trent Hindman, co-driver, No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4:
(During race): “At the end of the day, I couldn’t have done it without these Bodymotion guys, who gave me a great car in qualifying yesterday. And today we carried that into the first stint. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. It was definitely tough. That’s the longest I’ve ever run a set of Continental Tires. That was an hour and 20 minutes between qualifying and the race. Very impressive. We’ll see what happens.”
(Post-race): “I lost track of how many [ST cars he was preparing to lap] had problems in front of me. That was chaos to be honest with you. Once we got rolling again after that caution, I honestly had no idea where we were on the track or what was going on. I just tried to save fuel, save tires, and tried to keep it in one piece for Cameron, but that was absolutely chaos.
“I’m actually relatively pleased that we decided to go with this strategy, because I think if anything else would have happened during that first stint, we would have ended up off the track with some sort of damage on the car. I’m just happy that I was able to avoid all that.
“We went about an hour and 20 minutes with one set of tires. It wasn’t the easiest in the world. Kudos to Continental for coming up with a tire that can withstand that sort of punishment, but it’s still tough on tires. It’s impressive, but it was absolutely not easy. I was hanging on. When I got out of the car I was pretty drained. You’re trying to extract every bit of speed out of it. Mentally you know you have to save fuel, work through traffic, and at the same time not chuck the car off the road, which I almost did a couple of times.
“At the end of the day I don’t think the race would have gone as well for us as it ultimately did without the good pit work of the Bodymotion guys, the guys giving us a great car for qualifying, and without the good driving by Cameron in the last 45 minutes.”
Cameron Cassels, co-driver, No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4:
“It was the first time this season we’ve done this [had Trent start the race]. Our mad scientist of an engineer, Mark Manning, wanted to do this. I love the guy; it was a brilliant call. I’ve never finished the race, and we wanted to shake it up a bit. I got to play with a different group of guys. It was a lot of fun. I was sliding all over the place. I hope to do another one of these where I get to close out the race.
“I actually made a mistake; I thought the 68 and the 69 were a lap down so I conserved the pace, but they were for position. But it was fun.”
Mike Bavaro, team owner:
“It was a great day points wise. I hate to say that because we’re here to race, but this late in the season to be able to come here and gain a point advantage, I would not have guessed. Maintaining was our whole goal.
“We thought we’d get eighth place if we started these drivers the other way. But I have to hand it to my staff. They sat down and figured out on paper that we could finish fifth or sixth if we started the drivers the other way around, and they made the right call.
“The stops were dead on. The ST stop was 35 seconds, which is unbelievable. And 45 seconds for the GS car because it needed more fuel. But everybody did their jobs. It was a real good high-five for them. Everybody did a great job. It was fun today. We go to Road America next.”