TRENT HINDMAN (No. 1 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):
TRENT HINDMAN (No. 1 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):
While packing the race gear that I needed for the weekend, I did my usual last minute check of the weather to see if the forecasts had changed.
Nope. It still appeared to be a pretty nasty Fourth of July weekend… lots of rain everyday, even strong thunderstorms being predicted.
For most, that was the last piece of information they wanted, especially when heading to the racetrack for a weekend of competition. For me, however, it was exactly what I wanted to hear (aside from the prediction of thunderstorms, of course).
There are not many other things I enjoy more in this world than racing in the rain.
A situation that I used to loathe more than anything else, at some point in my karting career I found that if I ever wanted to become competitive and win races in adverse weather conditions, I must learn to love it, and I did.
So, what does any of that have to do with driving a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport GS in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, you may ask?
The possibility of a wet race gave me the utmost confidence that we had more than a solid shot at victory and a race where the Bodymotion Racing team, Cameron Cassels, and I could really do some damage in the GS championship and extend our points lead.
Unfortunately it didn’t all go down the way I had hoped, actually very much the opposite, but nonetheless it was still a positive event for us.
Working hard on our car all throughout practice and qualifying, I think it’s pretty fair to say that Cam and I were pleased with what we had underneath us.
Although we did not lead any practice session, we knew we were very strong in the areas that we could directly control, so you really cannot ask for much more than that.
Some minor set up changes had helped, but for the most part we rolled off the truck in fairly decent shape, which is always confidence inspiring, especially on these race weekends where you really do not have much time for tuning your equipment.
In one of the strangest qualifying sessions I’ve seen in quite some time with some ST cars that unfortunately found the infamous “blue bushes” on their in-laps along with a drying racetrack and a fundamental misunderstanding of the rule book by the GS field under red flag conditions, it had made the last ditch qualifying lap put in by Cameron just that much more important. We would roll off the grid in 10th for Saturday’s two hour race.
Seeing some of the intense rain storms just passing the Watkins Glen International circuit to the north and a steady line of dark clouds following, this is where I was really hoping that, for once, the Weather Channel was correct in their predictions for sustained rain.
Our race was off to a very clean start with Cam netting one or two extra positions at turn one and he was immediately taking off, trying to catch the next pack of cars ahead. Approaching the 45 minute mark, the rain started coming down. Hard.
I loved what I was seeing since I knew this was our legitimate shot at a victory. Unfortunately as soon as that storm had rolled in, it was right back out with only a stretch of cloudless blue sky following. Damn.
Whatever, I was still confident in the car that I had underneath me to be able to take advantage of the restart following a lengthy red flag for weather and push to the front, but that did not happen.
I found myself outgunned pretty quickly and all I could do was defend as hard as possible and minimize the loss of ground in the championship.
We finished P4; a gift if you ask me since our pace was not very close to that position. That one was hard fought to say the least, and with the efforts by Cam and the Bodymotion team, we head to CTMP with our GS championship lead in tact.
With some frustration following the CTSC race, I was forced to quickly let go of it and move on, as I had to be ready to fight for a victory in Lamborghini Super Trofeo race two with Riccardo Agostini and the Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing team.
The pressure was on since Ricky put together one hell of a qualifying lap and put the No. 1 car on the pole! The guy went on to lead every single lap of his stint, without too much pressure from behind, and I was fortunate enough to hop in and do the very same.
For me, it came right down to the finish line but a win is a win and I sure was glad to be leaving my favorite track in the world on a high note.
Once again I thank the entire Bodymotion Racing team, Trim Tex, Prestige Performance, Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Cameron, and Ricky for making it possible for me to run, with success, in two very competitive championships.
I’m incredibly lucky to work with such phenomenal groups of people. CTMP is a little more relaxed in terms of scheduling but the intensity will very much be the same as Cam and I continue our fight for the GS championship.
The Young Drivers Program, established in 2014, was the first of the four talent programs created by Lamborghini Squadra Corse to give young drivers the opportunity to build a career in Motorsport. Now in its fourth edition, the Young Drivers Program is the “scholarship” for drivers (aged 17-26) already racing in the Super Trofeo one-make series in Europe, Asia and North America.
After examining the potential members to be included in the 2017 program during winter tests and the first races of the three continental series of the Super Trofeo, Lamborghini Squadra Corse has selected the 23 participants who will take part in the 2017 edition. Some drivers of the past edition have been reconfirmed, such as Ben Gersekowski, Loris Spinelli, Nicolas Costa, Bar Baruch and Rik Breukers.
Some others have been promoted and have gained access to the upper level, the GT3 Junior Program, starting from the 2016 Super Trofeo world champion, Dennis Lind.
Many, instead, are the new entries who are going to become part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse family: for example the young drivers who emerged during the winter in the new Super Trofeo Middle East series, such as the champion of the series Axcil Jefferies, the German Carrie Schreiner and her teammates Jack Bartholomew and Richard Goddard, to continue with the promising Jonathan Cecotto, Kikko Galbiati, Mikael Grenier, Jan Kisiel, Christopher Dreyspring and Yuki Nemoto, who are demonstrating their potential in the Super Trofeo Europe. Brandon Gdovic and Trent Hindman are instead standing out in the North American series.
Here is the complete member list of the 2017 Young Drivers Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
Alex Jia Tong Liang
Young Drivers’ activities during the Super Trofeo weekends
Being a member of the Young Drivers Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse means having access to a wide range of professional growth opportunities. During every round of the Super Trofeo, for example, the young drivers are assisted on track by a new staff specifically set up by Lamborghini Squadra Corse for this season: Raffaele Giammaria, director of the Federal School ACI Sport, is the new supervisor of the youth programs of the Motorsport department. The experienced Italian driver, together with the Federal School instructors, has the task of teaching all the necessary know-how to young drivers. Before each race, drivers receive a dossier specifically prepared to inform them about the sporting regulations and race track. Over the weekend, they attend meetings to discuss the course of free practice and qualifying sessions and another fixture is the track walk, i.e. a walk on track to discover, centimeter by centimeter, all the secrets of the circuit where they are going to race.
After each round, drivers are required to compile a report, identical to that written by the Lamborghini Factory Drivers, in which everyone makes a technical and personal account of the race weekend, to look for any minimum improvement margin for the following races.
Training camp in Imola and Sant’Agata Bolognese
But the most important events are the training camps organized by Lamborghini Squadra Corse throughout the year, namely specific sessions involving both the drivers of the Young Drivers Program and those of the GT3 Junior Program. The sessions take place in Imola and Sant’Agata Bolognese in June and September, with three days of full immersion in the Lamborghini world. In the factory, the drivers have the opportunity to get to know the brand, by visiting the production lines, the museum and the various departments. The Imola circuit is where training takes place: the young drivers have the opportunity to participate in test sessions and in the development of Huracán Super Trofeos and GT3s, together with the engineers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Pirelli. By driving cars on track for development purposes and not for competing, drivers can sharpen their sensitivity and learn how to best communicate their sensations to race engineers, which is a crucial aspect in the training of drivers.
Then there is athletic preparation, under the supervision of performance coaches specialized in Motorsport, who have the task of monitoring and improving the drivers’ physical preparation through targeted training sessions. Lastly, there is also theory, with classroom sessions about communication, behavioral notions, racecar engineering and Lamborghini road cars. In this way, drivers can become complete professionals.
Certified Lamborghini Accademia instructors
One of the opportunities offered to youth program drivers is to become instructor drivers of the Lamborghini Accademia, the official driving school open not only to Lamborghini customers but also to all enthusiasts. Those who prove to have the right attitude to carry out this parallel activity are further trained to practice this profession, which is different from being a professional driver. To increase the quality of its services, Lamborghini Squadra Corse obtained the certification of all its Accademia drivers/instructors through a practical and theoretical training course held in Vallelunga at the Federal School ACI Sport last January.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse certified Tüv ISO 9001
Since the beginning of 2017, Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the Motorsport department of Automobili Lamborghini, has been certified ISO 9001. To award this certification, the TÜV Italia team verified the certification, development, manufacturing and assistance processes of race cars as well as the organizational and management aspects of competitions during sporting events on European tracks.
By handing in the certification to Stefano Domenicali, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, the Managing Director of TÜV Italia, Oliver Jacob, wanted to emphasize how Lamborghini Squadra Corse dealt with the complexity of this certification with a high level of commitment, a characteristic of the sporting tradition of Automobili Lamborghini.