Park Place Motorsports Takes Fifth in Wet Race at Road America
Park Place Motorsports clenched a fifth-place finish in Round 7 of MICHELIN Pilot Challenge after fighting through changing weather conditions and on-track incident.
The No. 7 VOLT Lighting Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR showed up and remained strong throughout the race weekend. Sponsor and Driver Alan Brynjolfsson qualified and started 10thbut remained there for perhaps only seconds as he jumped up to fifth on the opening lap of the race. Teammate Trent Hindman had equal the pace on the final lap gaining four positions before the checkered flag. This performance came amidst a shortened race time, two hours down to one hour and 15-minutes, and intermittent rain.
Park Place Motorsports took the term sprint race to heart having planned a one pit stop race. However, Mother Nature intervened mid stint for Hindman who took slick Michelin tires for dry track conditions after Brynjolfsson had passed the car off on rain tires, which suited him well at the start as rain came back into the forecast Hindman held on as long as possible before Strategist Mike Johnson called him in for rain tires, moments before the course would go yellow.
After the field returned to green racing, Hindman was roughed up on-track and would pit again for a single tire change due to damage. As luck would have it, a yellow flag would come back out. The final yellow came out with 10 minutes remaining in the race; the course would go green for one last lap.
Alan Brynjolfsson, Driver and Sponsor No. 7 VOLT Lighting Porsche
“It was a very exciting race for me because being on rain tires to start a race is very challenging,” Brynjolfsson said. “I was proud of myself for driving it up to fourth at one point and handing over to Trent a clean car. All in all, it was a crazy finish but a great day for the VOLT Lighting crew.”
Trent Hindman, Driver No. 7 VOLT Lighting Porsche
“The car was phenomenal; it has been really well balanced all weekend,” Hindman said. “We had some minor tweaks here and there. We focused a lot on the long run, having anticipated that it would be dry, today was the polar opposite. Alan made up four or five positions in the first lap alone. He ran a super smart and smooth race. He took all the advice everyone here at Park Place gave him for driving this place in the rain and handed over the car in great position.
“The tires got tricky. In my stint, we went out on scuffed tires and held on as long as possible as it started to rain before making the jump to wets. Unfortunately, on the second to last restart, we were in a great position, but I put myself in a not so great spot and got hit really hard in the right front. I had a flat tire, and we had to pit. That last yellow kind of saved us, but it was a one-lap shootout till the end, and we came home fifth. I just feel bad for Alan, for the VOLT Lighting guys and everyone at Park Place. Overall, a great display of driving by Alan and good momentum going to VIR.”
Mike Johnson, Strategist and Director of Race Operations
“That was probably the craziest hour and 15-minute race we’ve ever done,” Johnson said. “Three tire stops in an hour 15. We did everything right. We were in position for a podium spot in the end. Unfortunately, Trent had some contact which made us have to change a tire, but we kind of got lucky because everyone had to put rain tires on when the pits were closed. I’m happy with a fifth, but we had the potential for a podium today, and we didn’t get it, so that is what’s most disappointing.”
Park Place Motorsports and the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series next head to VIRginia International Raceway Aug. 23-25. The VIR weekend is a GT only event for IMSA and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The two-hour VIR 120 sprint race is set to run Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2:15 p.m. ET. For a detailed schedule visit http://imsa.com.