After a five year hiatus from competition at Mid-Ohio, TeamTGM took its best finish of the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season on Saturday. The two-car team netted a fourth place result for the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation Mercedes-AMG, while the No. 4 JKTG Foundation Mercedes-AMG finished 20th in the third round of the 2018 season.
The result was not only the best finish of the 2018 season so far for the team, but the No. 46 JKTG Foundation machine was also the highest finishing Mercedes-AMG as TeamTGM impressed in just its third race outing with the brand-new platform.
With Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo pairing up to pilot the No. 4 JKTG Foundation Mercedes-AMG and Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler sharing driving duties in the No. 46 JKTG Foundation Mercedes-AMG, TeamTGM was ready for a packed weekend of competition.
The weekend’s results all came down to track time which unfortunately was minimal due to wet weather conditions rolling through on Friday afternoon, forcing many teams, including TeamTGM to opt out of the second practice session.
With only an hour and 15-minutes worth of total weekend practice, TeamTGM made the most of its pace and Trinkler managed to qualify sixth with a 1:28.344-second lap to open the busy race day schedule on Saturday. Unfortunately, Giovanis suffered a flat right rear tire on his out lap which left him stationary in pit lane for the entire session, forcing him to start P24.
The opening stages of the main event were clean as Trinkler and Giovanis maintained position throughout the entirety of their stint. Trinkler moved to a high of second before pitting and turning the car over to Plumb who closed out the race.
“We put ourselves in position to win races and we ran second most of the stint,” said Trinkler. “We just keep getting motored by everyone and it’s frustrating for myself, and for Hugh (Plumb), to put ourselves in position and just get driven around on the straightaway. I want to win races, and he [Hugh] wants to win races but hopefully we can be champions at the end of the year for Ted (Giovanis) and this team that’s ultimately what we want to be.”
Despite a lack of track time for Giovanis, he continued to show his improving pace as he laid down some of his best laps during the final stages of his stint.
“In retrospect, I needed more track time since I was running my fastest laps of the weekend late in the stint,” said Giovanis. “I was able to get in a rhythm after I got rid of all the traffic behind me, but it was too late. He [Guy Cosmo] drove a great race and teamed up with Hugh (Plumb) at the end. Had we had the full practice sessions and not been rained out on Friday, I would have been in good shape and prepared for the race.”
The competition was nose-to-tail until the final laps of the race as Plumb was able to hold off the approaching competition late in the race to come home in fourth at the finish.
“We started off the weekend not so bad and kept making things better,” said Plumb. “I got hit there about 3/4 of the way through my stint and got ourselves out of alignment. I tried everything to try and hold onto fourth place and I am happy with that. As the highest placing Mercedes, I think we are getting there. Ted (Giovanis) continues to believe in us. Guy (Cosmo) helped me there in the traffic and we were able to come home with a solid result.”
Cosmo held his own and never lost sight of the competition ahead, even laying down some of the fastest laps of the race.
“We didn’t give Ted (Giovanis) the time he needed in the car but he did a great job because he drove very little this weekend and so did I with only having 10 minutes in the car before my stint,” said Cosmo. “He [Ted] turned his fastest time around here ever during his race stint so just imagine what we could have been able to do if we had the time to prepare and get to that point. It’s a really great result. Given the lack of time, we knew it was going to be hard to keep on the lead lap but Ted held his own and put up a fight.”
TeamTGM will now prepare for additional tests before the next event at Watkins Glen June 28-29.
Source. Sunday Group