Alan Brynjolfsson is off to a strong start in his Pirelli GT4 America campaign having scored multiple class wins.
This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, Brynjolfsson fills us in on his move to Park Place Motorsports, impressions of the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport, his expectations, and more.
How has the start of your Pirelli GT4 America season meshed with your expectations?
“GT4 as a racing category is exploding and becoming more and more popular. There are bigger and bigger fields; I believe we had about 34 GT4 cars at the season opener at COTA.
“Big fields are great for racing, competition and for the series, including Pirelli GT4 America. Pirelli GT4 America in particular is seeing even bigger growth and changes since the series was purchased by SRO.
“SRO has immense international racing experience and along with that comes more resources and professionalism. All aspects of Pirelli GT4 America have improved over what used to be Pirelli World Challenge.
“I’m seeing better controls, race organization, TV coverage, everything has been stepped up.
“It has been a great to start to the year for Pirelli GT4 America and with three wins in the first four races it has been a great start to the year for our Team at Park Place Motorsports.”
What are your impressions of the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport?
“The Porsche is the most supported and developed car in the paddock. There is not another manufacturer that spends more money on developing their cars and supporting them on race day than Porsche and that makes a big difference when it comes to winning.
“I purchased two Porsche Cayman 718 GT4s and we have run them in two series, in multiple events, done extensive testing at brutal tracks like Sebring, and we have yet to miss one lap of practice or racing due to a mechanical issue.
“The cars are just plain old reliable, developed, and ready to race. And when you have big fields, the cars that will win the championship are the cars that go the whole season without missing a lap.
“If you have a mechanical and don’t finish a race it could mean zero points, and with big fields it pretty much finishes your chance at a championship.
“There are so many moving parts in having a successful race team and race weekend. It is so much more than just the drivers. The team and the car matter as well, and with Porsche I feel like we have one less thing to worry about.
“When it comes to the Porsche 718 GT4 as a car, I feel like I am making strides this year as a driver moving back to the Porsche. It is where I started my racing career and the car seems to suit my racing style well.
“It’s mid-engine, very balanced, and allows you to push as hard as needed and easy to get back under control should you go beyond the limit. All the controls are very consistent which has helped me as a driver.
“The downshifts are smooth and don’t unsettle the car, the brakes are very predictable and it enables you to control the car with better precision.
“If you want to trail just a touch of brake in to keep the nose down and prevent understeer (or force rotation) the Porsche does it very well.
“That is where I feel I have become a better driver this year—in fine tuning some of the little skills and nuisances that can help squeeze out an extra tenth of a second in a corner.”
What has the inclusion of Park Place Motorsports into your program meant?
“Park Place has been a game changer for us. They are a true, first class, top notch, professional race team with a winning heritage in GT3 and it shows in our results.
“All the teams are very competitive, everyone is going for the win, and with the larger fields it is even more competitive.
“That is when having a top team like Park Place Motorsports makes all the difference between participating and winning. Park Place knows Porsche racing and is the team to contract if you want to win racing Porsches.
“For me it has been an eye opener. The last two years I ran my own race team, VOLT Racing, and we hired top talent.
“However it has been much easier for me as a driver to just arrive and drive and not have to worry about all the other components of racing.
“Also as an independent you just can’t compete with the resources, talent and depth of skilled personnel that Park Place Motorsports has as a full time multi-car operation.
“Everyone at Park Place is dedicated to professional sports car racing, full time.
“When I ran VOLT racing, we had great guys but in between races they had other jobs and things to take care of, now that I am at Park Place the cars are getting full time attention even in-between events—and that makes a big difference.
“They have everything, in addition to dedicated staff focused on the cars full time, they have great hospitality, PR, photography, coordinate all logistics and make race weekends run smoothly and comfortably.
“Park Place is led by the legendary strategist Mike Johnson. I think it is universally agreed he is among the best in the paddock.
“There is a lot of other top talent there as well: Chris Andrews, Mike Conn, and of course, owner Patrick Lindsey.
“Not to mention it’s certainly fun sharing the space Porsche factory driver Patrick Long who also drives under Park Place Motorsports.”
How much has the continuity with your co-driver Trent Hindman helped you at the start of the season?
“Trent is a super star. I have a lot of admiration and respect for Trent as a person and a driver.
“I feel very fortunate to have Trent as my co-driver and he certainly is one of the lynchpins to our success, so to have him again for a second year is a great opportunity.
“I can always count on Trent to deliver the best results we can based on the BoP for the car and that track, he is the gold standard when it comes to speed and winning.
“Look, he got pole last week at the Sebring 12-Hour in a very competitive field, we all know he can drive really fast. But Trent has also helped me as a coach.
“I have his data as a great benchmark of where I can improve and now that we are in our second year, we are more in-synch with our driver-coaching and we are seeing that in my driving this year.
“Also when you spend that much time and so many important experiences with someone they become more than a co-driver.
“I want the best for Trent and I want to make the best of this year as it will probably be our last shot together. I’d love to keep Trent as a co-driver next year, but I have a feeling he will be a factory driver pretty soon.”
Has your strong start to the year caused you to reassess your goals? If so, how?
“No reassessment, but a reaffirmation that we are going for a championships this year. We may not win every race, but we need to have a strong finish at every race.
“Championships can’t be won in one race but they can be lost in one race. Championships are won over a season. That is our only goal: to win a championship.
“We have the right team, the right car, and the right co-driver. I am putting everything I can into this physically and mentally and through deep preparation. I have a singular focus and it is definitely my passion. I love it!”