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HINDMAN: Missing the Bricks

Trent Hindman files his latest Sportscar365 column after clinching the GTWC America Overall Drivers’ Championship…

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Only 12 weeks since the restart of our season to packing up the trailer in Indianapolis, and it’s over.

A little strange to think that we spent more time in quarantine than we actually did on the road in the 2020 GT World Challenge America season.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the jam packed, hectic nature of this modified schedule and was fairly disappointed when we pulled our Acura NSX GT3 Evo onto pit lane for the final time this season.

With that said, I think that it was mostly the fact that we’re now going to be waiting another five months until we’re rolling again.

Either way, we at the Racers Edge Motorsports team can now take a breath and relax – as champions.

That is correct.. 2020 SRO GT World Challenge America drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ champions overall (that’s a mouthful).

It’s been a strange season, but hey, we’re grateful that Jon and his team at Racer’s Edge, as well as the guys and gals at Honda Performance Development, Acura Motorsports, and of course Shelbilly stuck it out together this year.

Though very much like anything else in 2020, our ending was far from storybook.

The Indianapolis 8 Hour provided the No. 93 team with a new level of competition and experience that we won’t take lightly during the upcoming offseason.

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

I believe for the most part, tough races like what we had at Indy would leave one with a sour taste for months to come.

However, it gives us nothing but motivation and focus towards what we need to do in order to compete at the level of competition seen in Intercontinental GT Challenge. Frankly, just to be within the ballpark was a good feeling in itself.

The age old saying “you don’t lose, you learn” certainly resonates with us here. As tough as that may have been in the moment, hindsight proves that learning the hard way is about the only way to do it in this business.

Finishing P7 and multiple laps down (mostly out of our control due to tire failures) is definitely not a result to be proud of, but we can leave with our heads held high when considering our speed in practice, pre-qualifying, the pole shootout, and even at times during the race.

One of the biggest transitions between World Challenge America and IGTC would come in the form of the ruleset – more specifically pit lane procedure and what you are/aren’t allowed to do.

Options we’re normally not even accustomed to, such as official maximum stint times, time windows for short pit stops, penalties, etc. were all very new for us and unique to this event.

Kudos to our season-long engineers, Ryan McCarthy and Jim Pattin, for being so thorough with their pre-event preparation and adapting their strategy on the fly, especially in the face of adversity. Though it’s no surprise, these guys are way the hell smarter than me and have been on point all year long.

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Fortunately, I do not have to wait a full five months before climbing back behind the wheel of an Acura NSX, more like five days.

These lessons learned at Indianapolis can and will be applied to the final IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds of 2020, where I’ll be back with with Alvaro, Misha, and No. 57 Heinricher/Meyer Shank Racing crew for Petit Le Mans and the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Considering the speed of the NSX in recent sprint races, I really like our chances heading into this week.

This is exactly the reason why I’m so grateful to run in multiple championships, with high quality teams and co-drivers… the learning curve never ends when you’re surrounded by equally driven people.

A special thank you is owed to Jon Mirachi and his Racers Edge Motorsports team for not only creating an opportunity to drive and win with him, but also learn so much during the process.

I’m hoping we’ll be together fighting for yet another championship again in 2021.

Trent Hindman (@TrentHindman) is the 2019 IMSA GT Daytona class champion, driving for Racers Edge Motorsports in GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, Meyer Shank Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Archangel Motorsports in Michelin Pilot Challenge.

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