For as much uncertainty as there was for Saturday afternoon’s weather conditions, a victory for Park Place Motorsports in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class essentially became a lock.
The two-hour race started with clouds overhead and with just under an hour remaining the drivers had to begin dealing with a mist that settled in over Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It was enough for some teams to make a switch to Michelin’s Pilot Sport GT Rain Tires, yet for some to remain on slicks.
When it was a decision for the No. 7 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and its co-drivers Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman, the team followed the second strategy.
Brynjolfsson handed over the reins to Hindman as the mist began to make its presence known. As competitors ducked into the pits for wet tires, Hindman cycled into the lead. The neon yellow, VOLT-sponsored Porsche couldn’t be missed in the fog as it led for the remaining 26 laps of the race.
“At the end of the day with these changing conditions, we kind of expected that there was going to be quite a few full course yellows,” said Hindman, who is pulling double duty this weekend between the Pilot Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. “Along with that, just the way everybody else jumped as soon as they saw some rain coming up on the radar, we stayed patient. We definitely analyzed the situation I think a bit further, and that’s ultimately what got us into victory lane. It was just staying calm, looking around and making a call, and not just knee-jerk reactions. I think that’s what got the Park Place Motorsports crew a win today.”
Brynjolfsson, the owner of VOLT, recalled his anxiety watching the radar to see if the mist would turn to rain, and potentially ruin his chance at a second career Pilot Challenge victory.
“This was a classic ‘everything needs to go right’ win,” said Brynjolfsson. “It’s a real team win. When you have this level of competition in IMSA, that’s required. Basically, everything happened in our favor. We had a great strategy from Mike Johnson with his calls, the car was set up beautifully, and we stayed on the slicks. There was rain all around us with a little pocket of no rain. If that rain had hit, that would have gone against us. Both drivers did great, the car was set up perfect, the strategy went well, and that’s how we got the win.”