Sebring success highlights progress for VOLT/Archangel
IMSA champion Trent Hindman and his longstanding teammate Alan Brynjolfsson have been lucky to win at Sebring within the current IMSA Prototype Problem race. A late warning performed proper into their arms because the No. 7 VOLT Racing with Archangel Motorsports Ligier JS P230 squad went from a distant end to vying for the win with Hindman put in to race to the checkered flag.
Luck apart, the victory additionally showcased the event of a brand new LMP3 workforce and the simple progress of a Michelin Pilot Problem GS veteran who desires to proceed difficult himself in quicker equipment. It’s right here the place an avid racer and profitable businessman like Brynjolfsson and a gifted professional like Hindman type the form of mixture that sustains sports activities automotive racing.
“I used to be occupied with that after Sebring; how lucky I’m to – and have been capable of – drive all types of various stuff, completely different platforms with Alan for the final couple of years, in GT4, and now prototypes even,” Hindman advised RACER. “It’s all mutually useful, however the greatest factor is it wasn’t my resolution to go prototype racing, that’s 100% Alan! He was considering it for a very long time. It was a bit intimidating for him, however in some unspecified time in the future very late final yr, he roughly mentioned ‘Let’s do it.’
“And it’s taken fairly a bit of labor. We didn’t have actually any time earlier than we acquired to Daytona by way of preparation, so I believe possibly that mirrored; we had our fair proportion of dangerous luck there, and we’re nonetheless studying the automotive. After which we discover ourselves in Sebring eight weeks after Daytona and win our second outing. It’s exceptional.”
Brynjolfsson’s story is a well-known one in IMSA. Beginning in its decrease coaching classes, he’s put within the time and constructed the abilities so as to add the following step on the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship ladder to his schedule. With extra mileage gained within the day-glo yellow Ligier LMP3, and his ongoing training within the matching Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, Brynjolfsson appears destined for a leap to IMSA’s prime collection within the close to future.
“I’m right here to have enjoyable and do one thing I’ve by no means carried out earlier than and problem myself,” he mentioned. “I’ve now carried out 4 years of GT4 driving, and I’m in fact nonetheless studying and I’m getting higher and higher. However, I used to be simply plain previous curious. I form of had a bucket checklist to strive all types of racing. I might strive GT3 and the 24-hour race. I wished to at all times simply strive a prototype to see what it’s like. I’ve truly appreciated to strive doing a inventory automotive on an oval, simply strive it. So, a part of it was simply exploration.
“After which being a dream, IMSA has actually opened up the LMP3 class, bringing into WeatherTech Championship and actually pushing it. And so I assumed, ‘That is my time. Let’s give it a shot.’ It’s a hell of a trip. I’ve pushed a number of completely different GT automobiles, and shifting to the LMP3 is a really completely different step.”
Slightly than kicking issues off within the WeatherTech Championship’s LMP3 class that races amongst give distinctive courses, beginning within the calmer waters discovered with IMSA’s Prototype Problem collection has helped with Brynjolfsson’s adaptation to LMP3. Set amongst nothing however LMP3s, the training course of has been vertical.
“There may be simply a lot much less margin for error; all the pieces is far quicker; it’s much more bodily; there’s much more Gs, and you need to be very exact in your sport,” he mentioned. “You can not carry it over the sting after which catch it. When you go over the sting, it’s a crash. So, I liken it to placing on greens at Augusta with extra-small cups. It’s very quick, very exact. You may screw up very simply.
“And what I like now that I’ve acquired only a couple months beneath my belt is LMP3 is the final word coaching for GT4, as a result of after placing to those very tiny shrunk down cups, once I get into the GT4 automotive, it’s like placing right into a basketball hoop sized cup. All the pieces is absolutely sluggish, I’ve acquired a lot time, all the pieces could be very forgiving, all the pieces could be very relaxed. And it has actually improved my GT4 driving, as a result of with the extent of focus and preciseness in LMP3, it’s like super-intense coaching.”
And with Hindman as his acquainted co-driver and mentor, Brynjolfsson is lucky to have a accomplice within the LMP3 automotive whose instructing model is tailor-made to his wants. Collectively, the inspiration they’ve constructed within the Michelin Pilot Problem has efficiently transferred to LMP3.
“With regards to the GS and LMP3 aspect, my important accountability is taking care of Alan from a efficiency perspective,” Hindman mentioned. “Moving into LMP3 this yr, it’s been utilizing the idea of what we’ve carried out in GS, after which bringing new teaching issues to him with a automotive that’s lighter, comes with extra energy, and has a number of downforce for the primary time.
“So it’s a fluid state of affairs proper now as we’re studying the Ligier, and I’m pushing Alan to be taught lots each time he’s within the automotive, and modify after we return to GT4. That’s the place I’m lucky to have the ability to draw upon the expertise from doing the identical factor – leaping round from all kinds of completely different automobiles – and apply what I’ve discovered to the present problem Alan’s accepting.”
Together with the brand new driving methods he’s exploring in LMP3, Brynjolfsson is having fun with the technical challenges that include working a bespoke racing machine. Together with his production-based Aston Martin, the vary of suspension tuning choices are, by comparability to the purebred Ligier, slightly restricted. Delving into the JS P320, with dampers and heave springs that management ride-height, and all the opposite new tuning gadgets on the menu, has actually piqued his curiosity.
“I need to perceive the significance of establishing race automobiles, and extra particularly in a GT4, there’s about 4 main variables,” he mentioned. “We’ve acquired basically two spring packages; there are some damper settings and trip Heights, and camber is all fairly simple. However on the prototype, we now have about 10 completely different springs. Along with the common springs and the common dampers, there’s two further ones, the horizontal entrance and rears and the automotive is way more delicate to trip peak.
“So it’s like as a substitute of doing a Sudoku sport that has three sides, three vertical and three horizontal, now you’re doing one with 10 on the left, 10 on the correct. It’s form of exponential, so as a substitute of there being 9 variations now there’s 100. I take a look at this as a studying expertise, to repeatedly attempt to enhance, and I’m on the very early levels.”
Regardless of incomes the Sebring IPC victory, Brynjolfsson is adamant it gained’t change his views of what lies forward.
“So sure, it’s nice we gained, however we nonetheless have an extended solution to go,” he mentioned. “And I simply think about each LMP3 race a problem; that’s what I like most about it. It’s very tough. One thing that’s onerous and takes a number of dedication and observe for a workforce to succeed at, is what I like. So it’s that pleasure you get of doing one thing that’s difficult and onerous to do, which makes it that a lot sweeter if you’re profitable. However you additionally understand that it’s not a cakewalk. One win gained’t make the following race simpler.”