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HINDMAN: When Life Gives You… Limes?

Trent Hindman files his latest Sportscar365 column after a tough outing at Lime Rock Park…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

There’s gotta be some sort of relationship between the fact that we were at Lime Rock and it was once again a pretty sour weekend for the VOLT Racing team.

To be honest, it’s getting pretty difficult to write these columns now since we’re constantly finding ourselves in the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” type of situations.

I’m sure you’re all just as tired of reading about it as we on the team are also tired of the constant poor luck we’ve been having. But hey, we’ll keep on truckin’.

I love seeing the twisted facial expression people give me when I tell them that Lime Rock is one of my favorites, as I see that they’re trying their absolute damnedest to avoid making some sort of snide comment.

Fine by me – it doesn’t change the fact that this is a proper, old school cool racetrack where average lap speed is pretty high and the walls are close.

And oh, by the way, no worry of track limits BS here since there’s this fantastic new track limits marker called grass.

Either way, this tends to be our shortest race weekend of the year; in and out literally within 48 hours.

Two full practice sessions and a qualifying to get your stuff sorted for the race. Basically, if you don’t roll off the trailer well, you’re kind of screwed.

Luckily, we at VOLT Racing did roll off the trailer well! We opened the weekend P2 by only a few hundredths of a second in Practice 1, and despite the Ford’s taking a little bit of a BoP hit, we knew we had more to extract within ourselves which was all very encouraging.

As we continued running throughout the day with increasing ambient temperatures and a degrading track condition, we found that we were not as strong over a full stint as we felt we needed to be.

I think everybody between both GS and GTD were finding tire degradation to be very high, which is typical for Lime Rock.

However, one thing that did stick out to me during the track walk was the fact that the surface is much more abrasive than years past. That certainly played a roll into the fast drop off in tire performance, especially for the heavier cars in either category.

Alan had qualified 14th and ran in that position for most of his stint, which was solid enough as we were one of the few cars left with a clean nose in the first stint. But of course, here’s where the “unfortunately” starts to take its hold.

Roughly 40 minutes into the race, and about 10 minutes out from our full-service pit stop and driver change, Alan reported a flat right rear tire.

He was off pace coming into pit lane, the VOLT crew threw the thing up on the air jacks, and low and behold we have a broken right rear wheel hub with a few missing wheel studs as well.

That’s it really. Twenty-five laps later we found ourselves back on track just to finish the race and collect points.

We did our best to stay out of the battles for position that were happening around us, and disappointingly found that we had really good pace on old tires at the end of the race. Just a real shame.

We move forward to Road America with the same expectation to perform and try to snag a win or two before the end of 2018.

I think we can, as Alan and the VOLT crew are more than capable, but it’s just a matter of having things actually go our way for once.

Of course, the lack of results in the CTSC is disappointing and I really feel for those who continue to support us – VOLT Lighting, Trim-Tex… everybody.

We’ll take it on the chin like champions and keep pushing forward.

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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