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GT World Challenge America

Acura Teams Sharing Resources in Dual Title Challenge

Racers Edge, JAS Motorsport collaborating for global IGTC effort in Indy 8 Hour…

Photo: John Dagys

Trent Hindman says Racers Edge Motorsports and JAS Motorsport are benefiting from shared resources in this weekend’s Indianapolis 8 Hour, in the unique nature of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli and GT World Challenge America powered by AWS combined enduro.

Hindman’s Acura NSX GT3 Evo is entered to score points in the race-within-a-race GTWC America season finale alongside season-long driver Shelby Blackstock as well as the full eight-hour IGTC enduro, which Honda is represented as one of seven GT3 manufacturers.

Open-wheel rising star Robert Megennis will join Hindman and Blackstock in the No. 93 Acura from the fourth hour of the race once the checkered flag on the GTWC America season has fallen.

With Acura currently holding a 39-point lead in the GTWC America manufacturers’ championship over Ferrari, Hindman indicated their primary objective will be to wrap up the domestic title before assisting the factory JAS entry in a points haul for the global GT3 championship.

Honda has yet to put any points on the board in the IGTC manufacturers championship after its solo entry at the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour retired in the race.

“It’s huge,” Hindman told Sportscar365. “Even for our own sake, we have the opportunity to get Acura the manufacturers’ title in GT World Challenge America, which is absolutely what we want.

“If we can help Honda in their hunt in IGTC, then awesome. 

“This is a one-off for us [in IGTC]. So if that means taking a little bit of risk and maybe not worrying so much where the manufacturer points fall at the end of the day, if we’re going for a win, then cool.

“It’s a fortunate situation for us. We can afford to do that and take the risks. 

“Now we absolutely have to give it everything we have. There’s so many good teams and drivers and we are classified overall.

“Unlike GT World Challenge America if we finish fourth or fifth, OK cool we win Silver. We don’t have that cushion so you’ve got to go out and do the best you can.

“But that mentality has not changed for us all year. We’ve been wanting to win overall no matter what.”

With the Acura and the majority of GT3 machinery being new to the 2.4-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Hindman said the two teams are leaning on each other.

The factory JAS-run Acura is being driven by Renger van der Zande, Dane Cameron and Mario Farnbacher this weekend.

“In terms of engineers to engineers I stay out of it. I’m sure there has been interaction,” Hindman said.

“I know drivers to drivers… Obviously me and Mario being so close and Dane is obviously a great friend and Renger is part of it too.

“Everybody’s very open. We’re all trying to get the best result for Acura as a whole. That’s the goal. 

“We want to do better than each other on the road but a bit of friendly competition is definitely not a bad thing.

“It’s been really good and I think there’s been a lot of information sharing so far.”

Hindman Optimistic After Early Pace

After setting the quickest time of Pre-Qualifying, Hindman feels optimistic for the race although said the work is far from over.

“We’re going to have to keep digging for more,” he said. “But I’m very happy with what the Racers Edge team has done for us so far this weekend.

“I think we’ve come a long way since the beginning of yesterday.

“We made a lot of changes and they were here late last night. It’s nice to be able to give back to them a little bit by going quick.

“We’ve got to do it when it really counts and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”

Farnbacher, who posted the second quickest time in the session, said there’s still some work to be done to dial both cars in ahead of this evening’s Pole Shootout.

“We’ve been trying out some stuff,” he told Sportscar365. “We don’t have a lot of data here. We all drove back here in 2014 and it’s like a refreshment of memories. 

“The car feels OK so far. We still have to tweak it.

“For sure we want to achieve the maximum. I think a podium will be good. Time will tell. You never know what other people are doing. 

“We saw yesterday that Bentley was really strong with both sessions.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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