On a hot and rapidly changing afternoon in Virginia that featured everything from heavy rain to sunshine, TeamTGM ignored the variables and stayed focused on the goal on Saturday’s Biscuitville Grand Prix. Outstanding team execution earned the group a second IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge victory of the season.
The win widened the championship advantage for drivers Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler with the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4, while the sister No. 4 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo emerged from the storms to move up the order on the way to an eighteenth place result.
TeamTGM once again utilized a tactical strategy to gain position early on in the rain soaked race, placing the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 in contention for the win midway through the two-hour event.
With heavy rains looming in the distance, TeamTGM was prepared for the anticipated rain that was heading towards the 3.27-mile VIR circuit. With the No. 46 of Trinkler and Plumb starting on the third row and the No. 4 of Giovanis and Cosmo starting on the eleventh row, the race was on at the drop of the green.
It wasn’t long before heavy rains coated the front of the track while the rear section remained dry. Trinkler originally pitted for a set of rain tires but quickly changed that strategy and opted instead for a critical top-up of fuel while remaining on slicks, while Giovanis pitted for a set of rain tires on lap 6.
Trinkler, who won the 2017 edition of the VIR race in ST class competition, showed his years of IMSA experience as he maneuvered his Mercedes-AMG through a rain soaked track on slick tires. Moving up the order, Trinkler ultimately made his way to the front of the field on lap 27, leading for the next seven laps before pitting for Plumb to take over the controls.
“The guys did a great job to put together an awesome car for the race,” said Trinkler. “We tried to make a call to put rain tires on but then we changed our minds and just put fuel in it instead. We thought that we may have had to go back on rains once I was back out on track but the car just came in and was running perfectly. Racing is so tough-so you have to savor moments like this when it all comes together.”
Quickly getting back up to speed, Plumb continued Trinkler’s fast pace, posting the fastest lap times of any car on track at several points in the second half of the race. With the race continuing to lack certainty with the weather as drivers were occasionally greeted by small quick rain showers, Plumb stayed on course and out front to smartly bring the No. 46 machine home to its third consecutive podium and second victory of the season.
“Driving the JKTG Foundation Mercedes, it is awesome!” enthused Plumb in victory lane. “Owen (Trinkler) was outstanding in his opening stint-you could see the conditions were changing from corner to corner on every lap but he just kept it on the island and out front. And thanks to the team—it was another amazing team execution with Joe Varde on strategy and the guys doing an awesome job in the pits. I keep saying it and I don’t know if people are tired of me saying this but this team that Ted Giovanis has put together is the best in the business!”
Giovanis continued to turn over consistent laps after an early pit stop for rain tires for another 40-minute stint that continued to see the conditions evolve from corner to corner and lap to lap before returning to pit lane for Cosmo to race to the finish in the final hour of the event. The No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4 ultimately crossed the finish line eighteen in the order.
“It was very tricky in my stint with the rain, and I was just driving as slowly as I needed to so that I could stay on track,” said Giovanis. “Lots of guys were going off so it was a big challenge. It is great for the team to win—it was a team effort again that did it today. Hugh (Plumb) and Owen (Trinkler) drove great, we had the car set up for the long run and that really paid off. We were also able to get the fuel mileage that we needed to, when we needed to. Hugh drove a great stint at the end to bring it home and it all worked out!”
“It is a big ask for Ted (Giovanis) to be out there on slicks when the rain comes dumping down like it did, but he did an excellent job, you couldn’t ask for more,” said Cosmo. “The last time he raced here at VIR, he did the same thing right through a torrential down pour but kept it on track. So many of the front runners went off, but Ted did what he had to do and turned the car over to me without a scratch. This was my first time in the AMG-Mercedes in the wet, so it was a lot of fun out there and I’m just thrilled to see our teammates win again and grow the championship points so it was a really strong day for the whole team.”
TeamTGM will look to continue its championship run at the next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 7th-8th.
Source. Sunday Group