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HINDMAN: The Boiling Point

Trent Hindman files his latest Sportscar365 column following Watkins Glen double-header…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Unfortunately for you, if you enjoy my monthly rants, this one is bound to disappoint since there honestly isn’t too much to say. It was a pretty taxing weekend at Watkins Glen at best, both physically and mentally.

With no test day and Thursday being a total washout, Friday morning’s Practice 2 and 3 were our only real opportunities to get dialed in.

Within a few laps on new tires in Practice 2, it became pretty clear to me that we had a ton of work to do to the VOLT Mustang GT4. Changes made for the twenty-minute Practice 3 that was a few hours later showed only marginal improvement, so qualifying was pretty much a Hail Mary at that point in time.

Since our Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race was our second four-hour long enduro of the year, it was decided that I would qualify and start, Alan would run the middle stint and then I’d hop back in for the finish.

When this plan was initially dreamed up, I was pretty confident in our ability to take pole position… I was now second guessing that. Never a fun place to be heading into qualifying.

Of course our qualifying session was red-flagged before we were ever able to put a lap in, I mean, we at least want to make this as nerve-racking as possible, right?

So being released back on track with five minutes to go in qualifying meant that it was 100 percent maximum attack.

That paid off to a fifth-place spot on the grid. Not bad for only having a matter of hours to get our car somewhat balanced but there was still more work to be done.

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

At the drop of the green on Saturday afternoon, ambient temperature was well over 90 degrees with our in-car temperature being much higher; partly due to the actual weather conditions but mostly due to the fact that I was moving backward in a hurry and trying desperately to, at the very least, maintain position.

That was not the case and it quickly became clear to me that we were in trouble. This was going to be a long one.

And a long one it was, as our lack of speed just lead to bad luck and falling even further behind the leaders.

I think we managed to stay on the lead lap by a thread, but there was no silver lining to the result since we had some pretty high hopes heading into this one.

I was beyond frustrated but I’m just flat-out bummed for Alan and the entire VOLT crew. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort. Our shot at redemption is luckily only a few days away at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

Speaking of redemption, the Prestige Performance and Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo squad were certainly looking for some following two very bizarre races at Mid-Ohio.

With not much running at all over the last six weeks, along with all of our practice being in the rain, qualifying was pretty much the first time we could even evaluate what we had shown up to the Glen with.

Jonathan and I qualified second for both Races 1 and 2, but we were quite a way off from where we needed to be.

Continuous grinding over the course of Friday for Race One paid off well with a third-place finish overall, still missing some speed for the win, but much closer than we were earlier on in the day.

Saturday morning presented Race Two and another opportunity to bring home a victory… and that we did!

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

It was gratifying since we won this one on raw speed and sweat equity invested by the entire WTR team for over a month leading up to this event. Jonathan and I are still 13 points outside of the Pro championship lead, but performances like this will continue to bring us closer to the Super Trofeo North America championship hunt.

The real warriors this weekend were the people busting their asses to get the cars prepped in the absurd heat.

They never once got a break in the action and kept their foot on the floor as hard as we did, so for that, a huge thank you is owed to everybody at Trim-Tex, VOLT Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing for making the most of not very ideal situations.

In the meantime, I look forward to celebrating America’s birthday at a Canadian racetrack.

Trent Hindman (@TrentHindman) is the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS class champion, driving for VOLT Racing in Continental Tire Challenge and Michael Shank Racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.

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