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HINDMAN: Road Atlanta Debrief

Trent Hindman files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Ten months. Ten months here and gone in an absolute flash. To be honest, I figured this was how the 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and WeatherTech championships were going to go.

I had an absolute blast at the Roar this year between the opportunities that lied ahead and the chance to have another run at a GS championship.

Right then I knew that time was going to fly by and 2017 was going to move along in an extraordinarily quick fashion, and now here we are, staring 2018 in the face.

This period of three months following Petit Le Mans and the Roar Before the 24 is commonly referred to as the “silly season” and silly it is.

Lots of folks running around like chickens with their heads cut off… rightfully so.

Not only is this game pretty nuts for drivers, it also seems to never give the people who are the ones who support this industry the most – the mechanics, engineers, team managers, truck drivers, etc., a break either. Everybody is looking for the next opportunity to make their living or continue moving up the motorsport ladder.

This makes for a very interesting time of year but also one that is arguably the most frustrating.

Luckily Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans did a nice job of taking everybody’s minds off the pressure that could come with the off-season.

But now the pressure was on to perform well on track in order to win a championship, or win a grueling endurance event, or quite simply enter the offseason with additional momentum and a more positive outlook on what may come.

No matter the reason, most teams competing at Road Atlanta for the Continental Tire Challenge season finale gave absolutely everything they had to make it a strong event, therefore making it one of the most difficult on the calendar.

The weekend for me and the Bodymotion Racing team was one that was relatively bittersweet, which places us in the vast majority of people in any of the IMSA paddocks at the end of a season.

We were ok in practice, generally speaking. An excellent job was done by Cameron in qualifying, once again putting in a big effort but unfortunately we were not as strong as we needed to be in the race, placing in 6th position and 2nd in the final GS championship standings.

Despite our overall lack of pace towards the end of the season, if we were not hit with so much bad luck during the summer months, I believe we really had a solid hold on the GS championship lead.

It was a shame to see it swing so far in the other direction, but at the end of the day I believe that me, Cameron, and the entire Bodymotion crew can take a step back from all of this and confidently say that we did everything we could to control what we had and that’s all I could ask for.

Being a bit more optimistic here, second place in the GS championship is one hell of an accomplishment especially considering where Cameron and the Bodymotion team were at this very event two years ago.

That was a race that was disgusting in terms of weather, but quite a good one for the Fall-Line Motorsports team – their last run in the Continental Tire Challenge.

While I was fortunate to be enjoying the successes of that particular day in 2015, a new group, who I had previously known from working as a lackey in their New Jersey-based shop, was making an appearance with a few drivers who I had never heard of before.

Sure enough, two years later, I find myself at the very same event once again but this time with that new team and driver who went from total unknowns to legitimate championship contenders.

Being a part of the education and progress of Bodymotion Racing and Cameron Cassels these last two years have been nothing short of an excellent success and I’m honored that I was able to play a role in that growth.

Many unknowns lie ahead for us all heading into the 2018 season; I just hope that everybody from this team finds themselves back together fighting for more championships as the “underdogs”, because everybody loves a good underdog story, right?

See you on the grid in 2018.

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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