HINDMAN: Sometimes You’re the Bug… or the Windshield!
Remember how in my last column I mentioned that the goddess of motorsport can be a real cruel (ad lib this one as you like) at times?
Well yeah, clearly she didn’t take to that lightly. This past weekend at Mid-Ohio was, let’s call it… character building.
The whole weekend was a challenging one for all teams and drivers, mainly due to the uncooperative weather conditions as well as the fact that IMSA has not run at Mid-Ohio since 2013.
Testing in the rain was high risk and low reward, as weather predictions stated that both Saturday and Sunday should be dry.
So all in all, good track time was scarce and the minuscule number of laps in mixed conditions made for a difficult time in obtaining usable data as well as finding the ideal balance for the car.
Luckily all teams and drivers were in this position, so the playing field was relatively level.
Fortunately enough, the call to run Lamborghini Super Trofeo with Wayne Taylor Racing and Prestige Performance came literally within a week of arriving in Ohio. This was a very welcoming proposition, as any opportunity to gain more time behind the wheel, as well as compete for wins, is one that I will always gladly take.
Between VOLT Racing with Alan Brynjolfsson and Super Trofeo with my new co-driver, Jonathan Cecotto, it was looking like a pretty promising weekend.
As mentioned earlier, quality track time in testing and official practice for both series was limited at best, but both VOLT Racing and WTR were looking strong going into race day on Saturday.
Alan qualified 9th in a very strong group of drivers in our Mustang GT4 for GS, whereas I ended up P2 in Trofeo Qualifying 1 and Jonathan P3 in Qualifying 2.
Fantastic results considering both Alan and Jonathan had never seen Mid-Ohio before. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with being P2 in Trofeo, but of course improvements can always be made.
Alan got off to a great start later on that afternoon in the CTSC race, maintaining position until the first and only full course caution of the day came out at about 20-25 minutes into the two hour long race.
Unfortunately this is where the race unraveled for us, as a series of minor errors during our first pit stop lead to spending almost two minutes on pit lane and receiving a drive through in the process.
The good news: Alan was still on the lead lap even following the drive through penalty.
The bad news: We developed a valve train issue that put us down to seven cylinders and then fell down the order due to the lack of power.
We finished, but not where we would have envisioned only two hours prior. That was a tough pill to swallow especially following VOLT Racing’s run at PWC VIR one week earlier.
It just went from bad to worse for us, as both Super Trofeo races came to a premature end for Jonathan and me with a pretty severe technical issue.
Pretty disappointing since we had good speed and expectations that we could challenge for victory, but alas, this wasn’t meant to be.
The WTR guys were immediately doing everything they could to find a solution to this issue, but it’s something that can only be analyzed once the cars are back at the shop.
I feel for them since they busted their asses this last week getting the No. 1 car ready for Jonathan and me.
There was one big positive to come out of all of this and that was watching my teammates, Alvaro and Katherine, in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 have a mega run for second in GTD, almost winning the damn thing at Acura and Shank’s home race!
I was a little bit worried to watch from the pit box, as I figured whatever black cloud was following me would somehow be passed along to Kat and Alvaro… luckily not the case and we hope this result will get the No. 86 NSX GT3 into the full season fight for the GTD title. That was a fun one to watch.
As usual, none of this could be done without the awesome teams of mechanics and engineers at VOLT Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing, as well as the people who support us most at VOLT landscape lighting, Trim-Tex, and Prestige Performance.
With just over six weeks until The Glen, it’s a long time to be thinking about the “what if” factors, but surely it’s a much needed reset for both teams following a difficult week in Ohio.