Walter Hayes Trophy – Heat win for Hindman at Silverstone
On the days leading up to Saturday’s heat races, racers were faced with changing conditions that included fog, rain and constantly changing track conditions.
“Learning the layout of the track was easy because of all the time I spent on iRacing leading up to my trip to England”, recalled Hindman from his Wayside, N.J. home. “What the weather did was make it difficult to figure out the quickest way around the track. We didn’t have a completely dry track until Sunday morning for the Semis.”
In the brief, ten minute qualifying session, Hindman put his Ray GR08 third on the time sheet, but was moved up to second on the grid when a penalty moved Adrian Campfield to the back of the grid. The promotion to the front row wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“The promotion moved me from the dry side of the track right into a puddle in the middle of my grid spot. Not the ideal conditions for a standing start.”
Despite the damp track conditions on the grid, Hindman made a clean start, keeping pace with and ultimately passing pole sitter Morgan Dempsey on his way to a comfortable 4.3 second margin of victory over Gaius Ghinn in Heat Race 4, putting him at the outside of the front row for Sunday morning’s semi final 1.
From second on the grid, Hindman used the first consistently dry track conditions of the weekend to get up to speed; sticking with the lead trio of drivers and running his quickest lap of the weekend to that point, a 1:03.659, to finish fourth and transfer to Sunday afternoon’s Grand Finale, where he started alongside Team USA Scholarship teammate Neil Alberico on Row 4.
Any thoughts of a two-car Team USA Scholarship run through the field were quickly dashed when Alberico was knocked out of the race on the third lap. So while Adrian Campfield and Wayne Boyd, consistently the two quickest drivers all weekend, broke away from the field to fight for the win, Hindman found himself in a pitched battle of his own with Josh Fisher, Robert Hall and Jonny McMullan for third. Lap after lap, the quartet jostled and elbowed their way around the track; each trying to get the advantage.
“The lap chart doesn’t reflect how many times positions changed. I went from sixth to third and back to sixth almost each lap; sometimes more than once per lap. The racing was clean, but very aggressive. We were blocking each other; moving each other out of the way; out-braking each other… it was awesome!”
After officially being scored as high as fifth late in the race, Hindman brought his Cliff Dempsey Racing car home in sixth place; his second top ten finish in as many weekends in England. Better still was the experience the driver gained in six race starts against some of the toughest junior open-wheel drivers in the world.
“I look forward to going back to England and racing again when the opportunity presents itself. I really enjoyed standing starts and the more relaxed rules about blocking and contact. There were plenty of both during my races but everyone was respectful of everyone else. I wish racing in North America was a bit more like this.”
“There are so many people to thank for this incredible experience; Jeremy Shaw, Team USA Scholarship and the sponsors and alumni who continue to support the program, Cliff Dempsey and Cliff Dempsey Racing for providing me competitive cars both here and at the Formula Ford Festival, my parents for supporting me and helping me pursue my dream.”
The Walter Hayes Trophy weekend represents the end of the racing season for Trent Hindman, who will turn his attention to his junior year at Ocean Township High School.
“Between Skip Barber National, Ontario Formula Ford, Team USA Scholarship and good old fashioned testing, I haven’t been in school as much as I should. Fortunately my principal and teachers have worked with me to make sure that I am keeping up with my studies even if I’m not in the classroom. I wouldn’t have been able to accept the Team USA Scholarship without their support.”
While there is no live timing and scoring of Trent’s academic progress, we’ll keep you apprised as the school year continues.