P2 for the Volt Racing Aston Martin crew after another thrilling episode of the Michelin Pilot Challenge

Sunday, July 17, 2022


Two appeared to be the magic number for the three Aston Martin Racing cars that entered this weekend’s round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and the supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge from Lime Rock Park.

Just the sole #7 Volt Racing AMR Vantage GT4 of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman representing the marque again yesterday for another round two-hour round of the Michelin Pilot Challenge around the tight, demanding yet visually beautiful 1.5-mile circuit in Connecticut.

Friday’s Qualifying had left the #7 car down in ninth with several of the TCR class cars entering times quicker than their GS class peers, so it was always going to be an eventful race as the race finally got underway under cooler conditions than that of Friday.

After the first quarter, the race had been surprisingly quiet as the leading Porsche gapped the chasing pack by sometimes nearly six seconds with Brynjolfsson at times struggling to maintain a connection to that front pack in nineth around a circuit notorious for tyre degradation.

The first FCY came about soon after as two Mustangs took each other out coming down the hill into the final corner which allowed both classes to pit for fuel and tyres (including the #7) but driver minimum time not then been met so they had to go out again. By the time the race went back to green however, that forty minute minimum time had been made and many cars pitted (including the #7) again to swap out their drivers.

With seventy-minute remaining and with Hindman now aboard, the bright yellow Volt rocket was on a mission, restarting from P9 but was soon up to P5, and by the top of the first hour was draughting behind a lapped BMW in P2 overall as they chased down the then leading Porsche.

Just after that FCY No.2 came out for a Porsche now in the barrier in a similar position as the last one, put there by the second placed car in the GS Championship – the #54 Mercedes AMG GT4 of Eric Foss who quickly entered pitlane after that contact to retire from the race with apparent engine related issues.

This time the front two cars both pitted but whilst Hindman elected for fuel and tyres, the leading Porsche of Stevan McAleer only went for fuel but then got stopped in pit lane by the passing Safety Car train with Hindman right behind.

Further contact between two cars in the Safety car train further delayed the restart with the race going back to green with just over half an hour to go. Back down to P5 overall with cars ahead running a differing strategy, it took Hindman most of that time to pressure his way back up to P3 with six minutes remaining and then up to P2 inside the final three.

Unfortunately by then, the leading Camaro was too far ahead to be caught with the #7 car settling for another P2 finish to extend their Championship lead from 90 points to over three hundred as the Series heads to Road America at the start of August.

Photo credits - Team
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