HINDMAN: Raining On Your Own Parade
If it’s not already considered to be, Virginia International Raceway is really starting to become a legendary place in it’s own right.
I speak personally here – the more laps I complete around this circuit, the more I come to love it.
Race results and past history certainly play a part in my biased opinion here, but for the most part, I cannot think of one driver in any IMSA championship that simply does not adore this track.
I have to go back one full year to remind myself of why I am biased in my opinion about VIR. This was the site of my first GTD race and podium, as well as the site where the Wayne Taylor Racing team, Riccardo Agostini, and I really began our run towards becoming the 2017 Super Trofeo World Champions.
The highs of success are always balanced and made sweeter by the agony of defeat, and unfortunately I’ve experienced that side of the fence here as well.
VIR is effectively where Cameron Cassels and I had lost the GS championship back in 2017.
Despite VOLT Racing’s success at Road America just two weeks ago, we were well aware that there was still a ton of work to be done in order to have a competitive package again when it comes to a race on raw speed.
This is something we have been missing for most of the summer stint, so some pretty radical changes to the car were made in order to get back to the top of the heap, so to say.
If nothing else positive came out of this weekend aside from that, it’s still a win in my book.
I’m not going to go ahead and spoil the CTSC race for you here, it’s one that is so complicated with wildly changing conditions that my explanation would do no justice in terms of the excitement of the show.
Possibly even more so than Road America, VIR was one hell of a race.
However, at VOLT Racing, we were on the back foot early, as pitting Alan and giving him a brand new set of Continental wet weather tires made the most sense once the skies opened up.
We were one of many who made that call, and ultimately the top four cars that were able to manage through the storm on slicks had put an entire lap on the field. That is why I call this one a complicated race…
By the time I found myself behind the wheel of the VOLT Mustang GT4, we were an entire two laps down to the leaders, yet still inside the top-10.
A phenomenally quick car along with various spots of rain around the track allowed us to make up an entire lap on raw speed.
Just as we were about to put ourselves back on the tail end of the lead lap, with roughly 20 minutes to go, I had received the call to pit for fuel – which was expected, but also for a driver change.
I thought I heard that incorrectly, but unfortunately, I did not.
Alan was less than one-minute short on drive time and he had to hop back in the car and take it to the end.
We finished P8, but I still was very pleased as we have found performance with our car again and Alan had an extremely educational final stint to the flag by battling with the pros – and he did one hell of a job in the process.
Similar changing conditions led to more strange occurrences for the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing team and me in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Race 1.
With the race starting in the wet and drying before the end of the opening stint, we took the lead after a pretty spectacular battle right before our pit window opened.
The call to not only make our driver change, but also put Jonathan out on dry tires was made since the track was essentially dry and no further rain was expected for the remainder of the race.
During that tire change, our right front was pretty much welded on the car due to increased brake temperatures from ABS interference while driving in the wet and this prevented us from carrying on in the lead. We ended that one 5 laps down, P last.
Super Trofeo Race 2, which took place on a bright, early, and dry Sunday morning, was my final chance to take advantage of the speed we had and salvage at least some sort of result for the weekend.
A win was really the only option to repay the Wayne Taylor Racing team for their efforts and I’ll admit, with a little help from using the front bumper, Jonathan and I brought home our second overall win of the season.
The main lesson this weekend – fast cars don’t always translate into results. That’s where, despite standing on the podium just once out of three attempts, I’m content with how VIR treated us this year.
Thanks to Alan and the VOLT Racing crew, Trim-Tex, Prestige Performance, and Wayne Taylor Racing for yet another strong showing.
Although short, it’s a much deserved two-week break from the action until we’re back out to the west coast.