TeamTGM once again nailed the strategy calls and earned the third win of the season in a last lap thriller at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday.
Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb claimed victory after Plumb crossed the line just .333-seconds clear of the field after managing fuel consumption, race pace, and loads of traffic to perfection to once again put the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation Mercedes-AMG GT4 in IMSA Victory Lane.
The Trinkler/Plumb duo now provisionally hold a 31-point advantage in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship standings heading into the finale at Road Atlanta.
The sister No. 4 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo continued to show strength at the 2.238-mile circuit to cross the checkered 19th in the order.
The two hour, 70-lap event once again saw the field utilize a range of different strategies early in the race to maximize fuel savings. Starting from fourth, Trinkler held position until his first pit stop under yellow on lap 25 to fill up on fuel and take on a new set of Continental tires. A strategy call by the team brought Trinkler back into pit lane just three laps later for a driver change to put Plumb in the car and top off with a critical last few drops of fuel to go to the finish.
Plumb’s patient driving allowed him to save enough fuel in the closing stint. But after getting the radio “all-clear” from the team, he was able to push forward on the final lap of the race. Holding off the challenge of a faster car that had newer tires and fuel to burn while also navigating through other GS class machines that ran out of fuel in the final moments of the race, Plumb raced all the way to the checkered flag to claim the third team victory of the season.
“When Joe Varde tells you to do something, you do it because it is probably the right thing to do,” said Plumb about being asked to go fast and also save fuel. “And it was today. I just can’t say enough about Ted Giovanis and the group that he has put together. Owen (Trinkler) did a fantastic job. It was tough at the end to save fuel, and not pass anyone and then with two laps to go I got the—‘ok go get ‘em!’ Everyone started to run out of fuel and the 15 car was catching me but then at the end, I was like, ‘I think we just won!”
Stunned by the events that unfolded in the final 45 seconds of the race, Trinkler thanked his team for calling the strategy perfectly and hanging in until the end.
“I don’t want to wake up—this is like a dream!” said Trinkler. “Man, what a race. That just shows the strength of this team. What an awesome day. This is unbelievable. Things just fell right. The guys called a great strategy today. These guys are so awesome, I’m in shock. It was so close on fuel. You have to cherish these moments, have to thank Continental Tire for what they’ve done for the series, I love racing in this series and we are so proud to represent the JKTG Foundation and everything that they do. This is amazing!”
The team’s sister car of Giovanis and Cosmo played a smart race and stayed out of trouble at a notoriously slippery track to cross the line 19th. Giovanis was proud of his team’s accomplishments to stay in the fight until the very end.
“That race was really good for us and totally unexpected,” said Giovanis. “We knew that we were getting close on fuel at the end so it was really up in the air. Hugh (Plumb) did a great job and was smart as he got around the other cars. For me, I thought my race went well and I continued to improve throughout the weekend. We as a team are feeling pretty confident heading into the finale next month.”
“All eyes were on the 46 car and it is so awesome they came through for the win,” said Cosmo. “We didn’t have a great result today with the 4 car, but you know what that’s ok, this team is so awesome and I’m just thrilled to see them have this kind of a season. Ted (Giovanis) had the best race that he’s had I think in the last three races, he was on it. He should be happy about his performance, and it is just awesome to have the team get another win!”
The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season finale will take place at the annual Petit Le Mans event on October 10th-13th.
Source. Sunday Group
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