Park Place Motorsports Switch to Elevate MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Teammates Hindman, Brynjolfsson
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Keeping with offseason tradition, driver and team announcements are in full swing in preparation for the 2019 IMSA season and perhaps one of the more surprising moves was that of Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson joining Porsche team Park Place Motorsports for an IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge campaign.

The duo first paired up in 2018 – with Hindman coming on board during VOLT Racing’s sophomore season – and scored the team’s maiden victory at Road America last August. 

Yet it wasn’t always smooth sailing for VOLT. Halfway through its rookie season, team owner Brynjolfsson made the switch from a McLaren GT4 to a Ford Mustang GT4, which the team continued with in 2018. He also made several personnel changes, one of which was adding longtime strategist and team manager Mike Johnson at the end of 2017. 

Hindman described the mindset of Brynjolfsson, who is preparing for only his third year of professional racing.

“He brought on folks like Mike Johnson, like myself who have been around it for a little while now and understand what it takes to compete for wins and a championship in this series,” Hindman described. “I think it more or less opened his eyes for what he needs to do. Making this switch not to any team, but a top GT team that’s been up front running Porsches in the U.S. for over a decade now, I think that was the most appropriate move and really the most logical move he could possibly make. I’m just happy to be joining him again on a team like Park Place.”

While Park Place Motorsports has been a winning program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama paddocks, the announcement marked the team’s expansion into the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge and also came a week prior to the news that Park Place had relocated to Dallas, Texas. 

It also means that Hindman will be reunited with the Porsche brand, which he previously ran with in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge in 2016 and 2017. 

“To me, there’s a very strong reason why privateer teams decide to run Porsches and there’s a very strong reason why privateer teams win with Porsches,” Hindman explained. “They’re an extremely well-rounded car, they’re extremely user friendly, relatively easy to maintain. As drivers, we can beat the absolute hell out of them and they just keep going with very few to no problems. 

“When you look at the GT3, GT4 landscape right now, a lot of your decision with what manufacturer you decide to run with or what car you decide to purchase has to do with their level of at track support. GT4 is such a cool category because of the amount of different manufacturers and the variety that you’ve got. But what separates Porsche from the rest is the level of support they have at and away from the racetrack and mainly at the track. It’s quite rare that you have so many dedicated people to supporting their customers on location itself. We’ve experienced it in the past, at least two years ago when I last had driven a Porsche.”

And given Brynjolfsson’s experience now with a couple different cars in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, Hindman gives credit to his decision to run with the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. 

“Apart from the decision to run with Park Place Motorsports – which is obviously a Porsche team at its core – I think the big decision for Alan to go the route of running the new Cayman GT4 is simply the fact that out of what he’s driven so far, out of his experience coming out of a couple different cars, he feels the most comfortable in the Porsche,” Hindman said. “I think it’s certainly a good move for him. Whatever he is going to feel comfortable driving in is what he’s going to go quickest in and that’s obviously the goal here.”

Hindman, Brynjolfsson and the rest of the Park Place team will have to wait a little while longer though before they get their racecar, with delivery of the new Cayman not expected before the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 4-6. Brynjolfsson’s last seat time came at the 2018 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge season finale at Road Atlanta in mid-October, while Hindman returned from Italy two weeks ago where he competed in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals. 

“Either way, we’re not driving anything, either of us, until the Roar,” Hindman said. “I think that’s pretty much going for anybody who is signed on to drive a new Porsche Cayman GT4. I don’t think anybody is going to really get their hands on them until the Roar, which is fair enough. We’ll have three days to get it sorted out. 

“We already know more or less what to expect from the platform itself. It’s an extremely user-friendly car. I think that’s another big reason Alan wanted to go that direction. And obviously with a team like Park Place Motorsports, I don’t think it’s going to take too long for a crew like that to get it sorted out.”