HINDMAN: Road America Debrief
The name “Dr. Jacques Dallaire” has become synonymous with motor racing paddocks all across North America, or really the world for that matter.
If you know Dr. Dallaire or have ever attended any of his seminars, one of the opening lines of his presentation that you probably heard was “A x B = Results”, with the “B factors” consisting of those things that are not in your control. All very interesting stuff.
Unfortunately for Cameron Cassels and me, this past weekend at Road America was almost entirely comprised of those “B factors.”
The weather prediction called for rain this weekend, but the sheer amount of it was something not seen very often.
Our entire test day on Thursday was a complete wash out. We didn’t even get on track once due to the terrible conditions, but all teams still made the effort to unload and set up in the pouring rain.
If being a mechanic in a professional race series wasn’t difficult enough, setting up an awning in the cold rain just to be slightly more protected from the elements did not make things any easier. These people are hardcore dedicated to what they do, I have huge respect for what they put up with.
Friday turned out to be better… marginally. The rain was constant and extremely heavy at times.
I think I can count on one hand the amount of laps Cameron and I completed on the whole day, and half of those were used just trying to bed brakes!
Our thoughts were to take as little risk as possible and wait for Saturday morning’s short practice/qualifying to dial in our Porsche GT4, as constant running in the rain will eventually break a race car in some way or another. Not necessary to take that risk before race day.
Since generally at Bodymotion Racing we do our homework before each event, we usually arrive with a car that is pretty well sorted right from the start. Since everybody was in the same boat (no pun intended) in terms of limited track time and terrible weather conditions, confidence was high going into qualifying and our two hour race Saturday evening.
With roughly an hour to go in the race, Cameron brought the car in after a good fight between him and few other drivers for P6 and P7.
As per usual, the Bodymotion team gave us a super quick pit stop while I got behind the wheel, and we were on our way.
My total stint was comprised of about 30-40 seconds of racing. I got from pit lane to Turn 5 and that was it, the full course caution came out and then the red flag followed.
The storm that was the ultimate cause of the race stoppage was pretty strong but blew through the area quickly. There was some talk to me from our pit box that we could potentially see the race restart. All I was looking for was a 25-30 minute shootout with all cars on wet tires, fighting for the win. This is exactly my idea of a good time.
As we know, that did not happen and the race was abandoned. Not sure of the exact reason why we could not get it going again, but it is what it is.
This is about the most significant “B factor” that I have ever encountered just purely because of the poor timing and the fact that the decision to stop the race has now costed Cameron Cassels, the Bodymotion team, and me our championship lead, where we now find ourselves trailing by four points going into the final three races.
We have battled through a lot of horrible luck this year and we will continue to do so. VIR, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and Road Atlanta are three solid racetracks for the Cayman GT4, so we will take every risk necessary in order to retake, what I feel, is rightfully ours.
I am in a position where I have absolutely zero right to complain about a lack of seat time this weekend as Road America was the first time in just over a month where I got to climb back behind the wheel of the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.
With a similar testing and practice scenario to what we had encountered with the GS car, we showed up to pre-grid for qualifying totally blind as to what the track would be like in the dry conditions.
Fortunately, it appeared that we had rolled off the truck well, as I was able to qualify on the pole for race one, and Riccardo was on the outside of the front row for Race 2.
After some minor adjustments to the car following our qualifying effort, we were able to pull out a clean sweep of both Super Trofeo races this weekend, as well as take the Pro championship lead.
A dream weekend in Super Trofeo but not so ideal for Bodymotion Racing in the Continental Tire Challenge is just the way this sport works.
A big thank you to Cam, Trim-Tex, and all our our Bodymotion Racing crew members for powering through this one and maintaining focus.
I also have to thank the Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing team for giving Riccardo and me one hell of a race car this weekend.
VIR will have a similar schedule between the CTSC and Super Trofeo, just hopefully with some more testing time and a clear forecast. See you all in two weeks.