In what can only be described as a dream season, Team TGM enters next month’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season finale at Road Atlanta leading the GS driver and team standings by 31 points.
Prior to this year, the Ted Giovanis-owned team had yet to record a win in the Continental Tire Challenge.
However, with veteran drivers Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler behind the wheel of the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4, the team now has three victories and is well on its way to a potential championship.
“Our team has been in the series at some level since 2006 when we started very small, and since 2013, have evolved into the team we are today,” said Giovanis, who also co-drives Team TGM’s second car – the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4 – with Guy Cosmo.
“We are a true IMSA privateer team, as well as being the only team in the paddock with our cars solely dedicated to charities (JKTG Foundation and Camp Boggy Creek).
“Being in contention to win the championship is something TGM has always strived for.
“In the beginning of 2018, we created a plan to develop our new cars and to achieve consistent top five finishes. We executed our plans and things seemed to evolve from there. So, we remain optimistic about Road Atlanta.”
In addition to the recognition within IMSA that would come from winning a championship, should Team TGM secure the GS title, the global recognition also would be off the charts.
The team’s first victory at Lime Rock Park in July doubled as the first global victory for the Mercedes-AMG GT4, just one year after the car made its debut.
“It has been quite the journey to this point and there have been many highs and lows, but those hard times only make how far we have come more meaningful,” said Giovanis.
“All I can say is that I am grateful to each of my team members, the support we have gotten from other teams throughout the paddock and Mercedes as well as everyone from our clothing vendors to hospitality to logistics services. We are all truly a racing family.”
Five Victories by Ford Puts Marque on Top of Diverse Manufacturer Battle
In one of the more diverse classes in recent Continental Tire Challenge history, there’s one manufacturer that has shown its strength and performance across the board this year.
Three teams with six different drivers have piloted a Ford Mustang GT4 to victory lane, totaling five wins in nine races.
The No. 60 KohR Motorsports / Roush Performance duo of Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy lead the charge with three wins, while two teams have one victory apiece – the No. 8 Multimatic Motorsports machine of Chad McCumbee and Patrick Gallagher, and the No. 7 VOLT Racing Mustang of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman.
Ford currently leads the manufacturer standings by 10 points over Mercedes-AMG, which claims the three victories from Team TGM’s Plumb and Trinkler.
BMW with 260 points, and a steady season from BimmerWorld Racing’s James Clay and Tyler Cooke in the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4, holds third place by two marks over Porsche, which took the first win of the season at Daytona with RS1’s Spencer Pumpelly and Dillon Machavern in the No. 28 car.
Should Ford take the title in 2018, this would be its second in three years.
But as Ford Performance motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook describes, there’s also a bigger picture in mind. The manufacturer’s participation in the Continental Tire Challenge has a larger impact within the organization.
“We’ve had tremendous success with our Ford Mustang GT4 customer program this year,” said Rushbrook.
“Every team has made the podium and they have five wins among them. We’ve also been able to use this program as an opportunity to give our young Ford Performance drivers, crossover drivers from other series, valuable seat time on road courses that will make them better overall racers.”