Aston Martin Racing crews show their stuff in IMSAs visit to Mid-Ohio

Monday, June 10, 2024

In terms of GT4 based racing over in the United States, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series never seems to disappoint in terms of both track action and great results for the many Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 powered crews that enter it.

Add to that this season the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge for the less qualified and solo driver, the recipe has already been set for something that will come out of the metaphorical racing oven piping hot!

That was precisely what happened over the weekend as both IMSA series visited Mid-Ohio for their latest rounds of the season with a combined entry list that saw nine such AMR crews take the tight and twisty track for what would be two forty-five-minute races for the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge and an extended four-hour endurance round for the MPC Series.

Earlier Qualifying had gone as well as it usually would with both the #46 Team TGM car of Paul Holton and Matt Plumb leading the AMR way over the #19 Van Der Steur AMR of Rory Van Der Steur and (replacement) Danny Formal in P3 and P5 respectively.

During the earlier stages of the race, it was indeed the #46 Team TGM car that did most of the running before both the varying pits top cycles and Safety Car interventions threw the form book up into the air that would see all of the Astons appear to fall back into the clutches of the main pack.

The #19 Van Der Steur car became an unfortunate early casualty when damage forced them into pit lane and retirement with overheating issues whilst the more lowly of qualifiers had moved their way up the order by the time their respective pro’ drivers had become involved.

With differing cars and crews leading the way on track and with both full service and official sanction taking hold of many of these cars out in front it soon became evident that it would be both the #88 Archangel car of Todd Coleman/Aaron Telitz and the #46 Team TGM that would be the main Aston Martin contenders going into the final hour but for the #88 car however, fuel conservation would be critical compared with those around them.

For the best part of his final stint Telitz was forced to drive to the fuel numbers as they had practised earlier at the circuit in the preceding days to this event, with the green #88 car pushing the boundaries of physicality. Having to back right off for the final three laps, the eight second gap back to the #46 car proved to be just enough as the Archangel crossed the finishing line to claim their first Michelin Pilot Challenge win. For a pairing who have suffered so much misfortune so far this season already - yesterday's race win was more than deserved.

Making it an AMR 1-2, the #45 Ruckus Racing AMR of Scott Blind and JP Southern just missed out on the podium party by finishing P4 overall just over a second off the third placed finishing Mercedes. The new 2024 Vantage GT4 #71 Rebel Rock car of Frank DePew, Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis had charged from P21 on the grid to claim a triumphant P5 with the remaining #16 Skip Barber and #64 Team TGM rounding off the AMR order in P19 and P16 in class.

The #64 Team TGM car of Ted Giovanis, Hugh Plumb and Kris Wilson also secured P1 within the sub Bronze Cup Class to add to their team P2 overall finish.

That great showing went with Scott Blind’s performances within the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge races earlier in the proceedings where he scooped a pair of two GSX Class P5 overall finishes – both claiming P1 within his Bronze Cup sub-class.

Overall, Mid-Ohio was a great weekend for these Aston Martin powered teams.

Next stop is Watkins Glen in two weeks’ time.

Photo credits – Team / Series / social media

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