With the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge season ready to kick off with the four hour BMW Endurance Challenge this Friday, reigning IMSA GS champions, TeamTGM is looking ahead to the start of the 2019 season at Daytona International Speedway (January 25th, 12:15PM ET IMSA.tv).
This Friday, the duel TeamTGM Mercedes-AMG GT4 machines will take the green flag to kick off the 2019 season.
While the series uses a new tire and has a new name, the talent remains as TeamTGM brings back reigning GS champions, Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler in the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes AMG GT4 while Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo will once again pair up in the No. 4 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Maintaining its driver line up was an advantageous move that goes beyond its championship title.
“The main benefit is that the parings know one another and we are already familiar with each pair’s set up preferences,” said Giovanis. “As a group, the drivers get along very well. Continuing the same pairings allows us to work incrementally on improvements such as driver change routines. All in all it will be beneficial for both cars”
One new factor that will be consistent across the field will be the new-for-2019 Michelin Tires. TeamTGM has made the most of the off season to prepare for the key new element in the performance recipe and will arrive in Daytona confident with the lessons already learned ahead of the season start.
“After the Roar we learned a lot and we are feeling confident heading into the race weekend,” said Plumb. “It was important for us to get a good handle on the new Michelin Tires and TeamTGM was able to do that. We have a strong car and a strong line up and with the leadership of Ted Giovanis we can really have a good run at Daytona.”
The BMW endurance challenge marks a big race for Trinkler as he will be making his 150th race start in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Despite embarking on this big milestone, Trinkler is maintaining a level head as he kicks off the 2019 season.
“After the Roar we are feeling pretty confident for the race,” said Trinkler. “We got a lot of good race runs in during the Roar which helped us know what to expect for the longer stints. The Michelins have been good to us so far, but the race will definitely be the true test to see how everyone stacks up. I’ve just been focusing forward. It’s a new year and the same goal and I know TGM is as prepared as ever to get the job done this weekend.”
Over the last year TeamTGM went from taking delivery of two brand new Mercedes-AMG GT4s mere weeks before the Roar test to claiming the 2018 championship. Cosmo looks back on the major strides the team has made in the last year.
“We are obviously far ahead of where we were last year at this time but as always a new season, new cars, a new tire and the evolution of our competition makes this first race of the season a great unknown,” said Cosmo. “Some cars have distinct advantages at this track compared to others and until this race is complete and data is collected we won’t have a point of reference for BoP, so the first race is a bit of a wild card. Regardless, TeamTGM is strong. Our pit stops, strategy and consistency on track are what win us races, not necessarily being the fastest car out there.”
With two days of action, TeamTGM is set to take on the BMW Endurance Challenge. The weekend will begin with Practice and Qualifying on Thursday, January 24th with the green flag set to fly at 12:15 PM ET on Friday January 25th.
Source. Sunday Group