TeamTGM claimed the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS class championship with the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 on Friday following a steady 11th place finish for Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler at the finale event at Road Atlanta.
Plumb and Trinkler powered the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 to the championship with a consistently competitive pace, smart racecraft, and strong support from TeamTGM. That outstanding preparation from TeamTGM was demonstrated by the fact that the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 was the only entry to complete every single lap of every single race in the 2018 IMSA season, totaling 773 laps over the ten race season.
The championship feat was something that team owner, Ted Giovanis, dreamed of even before starting the team in 2006.
Giovanis, who races the No. 4 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 with co-driver Guy Cosmo, can now add “Championship Winners” to the long list of accolades that the family-oriented race team has earned.
“This feels really great,” said Giovanis of the team title. “You always have a little bit of apprehension but as the race unfolded, we knew we were going to be clean and we would finish that first lap. Then the objective became to finish every lap. It was a big day for Mercedes and a big day for the team – the first championship we’ve ever won!”
The squad raced with the colors of the JKTG Foundation, an organization founded by Giovanis. The foundation challenges conventional methods of cancer research through researchers all around the country. The foundation works to improve the medical field through innovation in research.
The IMSA title caps an incredible year of competition for the two-car entry, which scored its first-ever victory in July and went on to score two more victories on the way to the championship. The team has competed in IMSA since 2006.
The 2018 season marked many ‘firsts’ for TeamTGM after it took on the brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT4 platform ahead of the 2018 season as the team worked week in and week out to develop a strong understanding with the new and unfamiliar platform.
The beginning of the season saw the team get off to an uncertain start with the new platform, but it continued to work to improve at every turn. That hard work saw the team harvest a tremendous result with a thrilling Lime Rock Park victory, the first in team history.
The Lime Rock Park victory also marked the first for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in North American competition.
Running that wave of momentum, TeamTGM continued to score three more consecutive podiums, two of which were big wins at Virginia International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Keeping a level head throughout his debut year with TeamTGM, Trinkler was at a loss for words after confirming the title.
“This day has been building since Laguna and I am so thankful for Ted (Giovanis), and for Hugh (Plumb), he’s a great co-driver, and for Guy Cosmo,” said Trinkler. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity that Ted has given us, and to Mercedes for giving us such an awesome car. They delivered our car on January 1 and this car completed every lap, the only team to do that in the series. That shows our consistency – we may not have always had the fastest car, but we played our strategy right, kept it clean and had a great year. It started to sink in after that first lap, which was a bit sketchy since we’d only run a few laps this weekend. The car was a bit off, but she hung in there great today. I can’t thank Ted enough.”
The No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 started the race from 14th and was able to break into the top ten before Trinkler handed the car over to Plumb to close out the race. Plumb drove a smart race and brought
home the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG eleventh in the order to confirm the championship title.
“It was a very mixed bag of emotions going into the race,” said Plumb. “We knew that we only had to do a lap to win the championship and that was a strange feeling. But we did it! The Mercedes-AMG GT4 car was amazing and I can’t say enough about the Giovanis family, for everything they’ve given me. I felt something was wrong (with the undertray), I just didn’t know what, and I just wanted to get to the end. The team has been flawless all season long.”
The sister No. 4 Camp Boggy Creek / JKTG Foundation Mercedes GT4 closed out the day 19th in class after the Giovanis/Cosmo combo rounded out the season with another progressive drive in the two-hour race.
“Our day was good,” said Cosmo. “Ted did a really good job, he’s improved so much this season and he really likes Road Atlanta. He turned his fastest laps of the weekend during his race stint. Even with deteriorating tires and changing track conditions, he just kept working away at it. I’m really proud of him, and the effort he has put in from the beginning. He has transformed TeamTGM into a championship-winning team and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s been amazing to contribute to this, to go through all the ups and downs together. I’m so happy for the team, to be able to take this championship. I have so much fun driving race cars and I can’t wait for more!”
The team will celebrate the title on Friday evening as part of the IMSA Championship night at the Château Élan.
Source. Sunday Group