Despite having both team entries running in podium position for extensive periods of the four-hour race, TeamTGM had to battle to the finish after 101 race laps at Daytona International Speedway during the BMW Endurance Challenge on Friday.
The race kicked off the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, and once again showcased the strong preparation, teamwork, and execution of the 2018 IMSA championship squad even though the final results didn’t fully reflect that effort.
Ted Giovanis took the green flag in the No. 4 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4. Clean racing for the veteran driver saw the shiny, iridescent beauty pushing forward thanks to Giovanis’ metronomic consistency behind the wheel. The strong opening stint positioned his co-driver, Guy Cosmo, well for a run in the top ten.
Racing up to the top-five just after the one hour mark, Cosmo moved up to race in second by lap 64. A lap 80 pit stop saw him return to the fray to fight back into the top five with just minutes to go in the race. Unfortunately, strong side to side contact from another GS runner forced him off track and spinning into the infield. Fortunately he was able to continue, but was relegated to 12th at the finish line.
“As a driver, there is always a fine balance of what happens to you and what you allow to happen to you,” stated Cosmo. “We were racing hard there at the end – while I was also trying to save fuel. You develop a level of trust in your competitors and rely on that so you can race hard and clean. So it was disappointing what happened but this race was a testament to this TGM team. We didn’t have the outright fastest car but with strategy, pit stops and all their hard work we were able to make something of this race. They are truly phenomenal. Sebring is going to be even better and I can’t wait to do it all again.”
The No. 46 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 piloted by Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb fought in top-six contention for nearly the entire race, only dropping back during pit stop exchanges. Throughout the course of the four hours of the BMW Endurance Challenge, the team clicked off the laps and made shrewd strategy calls to earn outstanding track position.
But an extra unforced pit stop to address a damaged splitter not only cost time in pit lane, but it also cost the team performance in the closing stages of the race. While the lap 83 saw the TeamTGM crew hustle to remove the loose bodywork from underneath the race car, the team had to accept a 19th place finish in the first outing of the season.
“Tough one for the No. 46,” said Plumb “Our restarts were awesome, the crew was awesome, pit stops were awesome – we didn’t miss a beat. We ran something over on track that messed up the downforce. As always, the TGM guys put so much into this and I am lucky to be a part of it.”
Making his 150th race start, and hold the record for most IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge starts, Trinkler was proud to be a part of such a hardworking team to round out his impressive career in racing.
“The best part about 150 race starts is seeing where I started and where I have come especially being around such a great team now,” said Trinkler. “I’m just thankful for everything that has come my way and to be lucky enough to get to race with TeamTGM. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 was really good in the beginning of the race. The entire team works so hard. Even though it was a four-hour race, the car didn’t give us a problem until the issue with the splitter. We still grabbed a 19th place finish out of this, and we’ll bounce back, there are still nine races to go. We’ll head to Sebring and soldier on.”
“The best part about 150 race starts is seeing where I started and where I have come especially being around such a great team now,” said Trinkler. “I’m just thankful for everything that has come my way and to be lucky enough to get to race with TeamTGM.”
“First race of the year, they all can’t go well,” said experienced team owner, Giovanis. “We had an issue on the No. 46 slowing the pace and then our hopes for a strong finish were focused on the No. 4 car but we had an incident at the end. We would have been up at the front in the end had that not happened. Overall, it was a pretty good day. We go on to Sebring now!”
Both TeamTGM entries will return to the race action on track at the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring International Raceway, March 28th.
Source. Sunday Group