Trent Hindman said he’s done a lot of “soul searching” after a near three-year winless drought in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition with VOLT Racing, which was broken last time out at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, that he credits came down to “organic communication” within the team.
Hindman and longtime co-driver Alan Brynjolfsson took over the sole points lead in the GS class following the team’s long-awaited return to victory lane in their Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
The duo heads to Mid-Ohio this weekend looking to continue the momentum gained in the opening races of the season.
“Mid-Ohio, being a pretty good track for us in the past, bringing home the win for VOLT Racing in 2019, that was our last GS win for Alan and I before Laguna Seca two weeks ago,” Hindman explained.
“It’s been that long since we were consistently running up towards the front in the GS category, which always proves to be super competitive with a bunch of strong drivers.
“To get that win in that long break was really, really good for us. It’s good momentum moving forward.
“Mid-Ohio is a race track that we know. We’ve performed well in the past and Alan is obviously very good there. He qualified very strongly there last year.
“We were having a great race last year until a mistake on my end took us out.
“We’re certainly expecting more time running up the front and hopefully being a threat for yet another GS win this weekend.”
Hindman said there’s “a lot of components” to VOLT Racing’s turnaround in fortunes but has largely attributed it due to an off-season switch from Archangel Motorsports to Wright Motorsports as the team’s operational partner.
The 2019 IMSA GTD class champion drove with the Ohio-based squad in the majority of last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season while subbing for Ryan Hardwick.
“I’ve done quite a lot of soul searching as to why that was the case myself over the last couple of years,” Hindman said of the winless streak in Pilot Challenge.
“We’ve had the speed but weren’t able to consistently run up front or consistently get it done.
“I think the big thing here is that we’ve made some pretty big changes over the winter, from a team perspective. With that we’ve got a different group of folks behind us.
“One thing in this sport that you hear thrown around quite often is chemistry. Chemistry between drivers, engineers, chief mechanics… all of the guys going over the wall.
“That’s something that can’t be artificially created. That’s something with the new group we’re working with at VOLT Racing, it’s naturally there. It’s happened organically.
“Everybody’s communicating; we’re all on the same page. I think that’s directly translating, not just in the speed and pace of the car and the pace Alan has been showing, but mainly in the infectiveness as us as a team and everything that comes along with that.
“We’ve had the speed and now we have the consistency to go along with it and everybody’s quite a lot more relaxed.
“I just hope we can continue building on that momentum and organic communication.”
Hindman took responsibility for some of the missed chances of victory over the last three years.
“When you see some of the mistakes that have come up — and I can really only speak for myself here — Alan has been smooth sailing for the last three years, super strong and looking good — at least for me some of the mistakes I’ve made over the last few years, it’s all come down to this level of internalized pressure you put on yourself,” he said.
“You’re running up front and maybe haven’t been there in a couple of races so you know, ‘Hey, we’re here, we’re getting closer to the end of the race, this is the chance for us to actually make something happen.
“The emotions overwhelm you. You end up making a mistake or a poor decision and draw a penalty or even take yourself out.
“Those were some hard lessons learned and certainly those are on me. But I will say having a different group of people around you and lowering that internal pressure because of it certainly helps with being more comfortable running up towards the front and making those good decisions.
“Not just to fight for the podium and for race wins but for the championship fight as well.”