VOLT Racing has broken through to claim a maiden victory in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition, in Saturday’s thrilling Road America 120.
Trent Hindman took the No. 7 Ford Mustang GT4 to victory after inheriting the lead when Matt Plumb crashed out in the closing minuted of the two-hour race.
The Mike Johnson-led VOLT crew used strategy to put themselves in position to contend for a podium during the second full course caution of the race and Hindman did the rest by running a rapid pace while conserving fuel as his rivals dropped away one by one.
Plumb, running the same fuel strategy as Hindman in his Compass Racing McLaren 570S GT4, appeared to have a braking problem in Canada Corner while leading with less than five minutes to go.
The car made heavy contact with the tire barrier, opening the door for Hindman to take the lead, but still had to stretch his fuel for 1 . hour and 5 minutes on the final stint to secure the win.
The No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR of Dillon Machavern and Spencer Pumpelly was second, while Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler completed the podium for Team TGM in their Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Another late contender who hit problems was Kyle Marcelli in the No. 60 Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Mustang GT4, which was rebuilt after a heavy accident on Friday.
Marcelli was forced to pit for fuel while running in podium contention in the final ten minutes, then spun in Turn 14 after left-rear suspension failure.
The Canadian, who along with co-driver Nate Stacy entered the weekend as the GS points leaders, was relegated to a 14th place result in class.
The opening hour was marred by two major accidents, the most serious of which came 40 minutes in when Craig Lyons’ lapped Aston Martin Vantage GT4 made contact with Trinkler in The Kink, sending Lyons spinning into the wall.
The intensity of the impact sent the Aston Martin spiraling airborne before finally coming to a rest, only to be hit by Russell Ward’s oncoming Mercedes at nearly full speed.
That impact caused Lyons’ car to erupt in flames, but the fire was extinguished by the IMSA safety team which arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.
Both driver exited their cars with minimal aid and were transported to the infield care center for evaluations where Ward was evaluated and released in short order.
Lyons, meanwhile, was transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation but was awake and alert according to an IMSA spokesperson.
It resulted in a nearly 30-minute safety car period.
The first caution came on the second lap of the race when the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche of James Cox made contact with No. 88 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW of Henry Schmitt and the No. 92 Quest/Ramsey Racing Mercedes of Mark Ramsey while running close together at the exit of The Carousel.
Both eEuroparts.com Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR machines we caught up in the scramble to avoid spinning cars and were retired, ending the day prematurely for class pole-sitter Tom O’Gorman.
Compass Goes 1-2 in TCR
Kuno Wittmer and Britt Casey Jr. led a 1-2 result for Compass Racing in TCR, which was thinned following the second-lap accident.
Casey applied significant pressure to Wittmer in the final 20 minutes, including going side-by-side into Turn 5 on the penultimate lap, but couldn’t find a way past the sister Audi.
Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson teamed to complete the podium in their JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi.
The ST class win was settled with around 30 minutes to go when the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i of Devin Jones emerged victorious from a thrilling duel with Mat Pombo’s No. 73 MINI JCW.
After multiple aborted attempts, Jones finally completed the move around the outside of Pombo in Turn 5 and pulled away for a 6.783 second win.
Derek Jones rounded out the podium in third for the MINI JCW Team.
RESULTS: Road America 120