Execution Earns TeamTGM a Podium at Road America

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Entering the weekend with winning momentum and tied for second in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championship, TeamTGM were looking for yet another strong result at Road America. 

After two hours of tough racing on the fabled 4.048-mile track, TeamTGM managed its pace, fuel consumption, and a lot of race traffic to convert the weekend goal into a strong outcome as Hugh Plumb scored another podium result for the team with co-driver Owen Trinkler. The sister entry of Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo didn’t enjoy the same racing fortune as a late race issue saw the car lose track position on the way to a fifteenth place result. 

Qualifying on the front row at the previous race outing at Lime Rock Park,  Trinkler was hoping to do just the same at Road America. Driving the No. 46 Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis (JKTG) Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4, Trinkler gave it a strong run which put the No. 46 on the third row while Ted Giovanis placed the No. 4 JKTG Foundation / Camp Boggy Creek Mercedes-AMG GT4 on the twelfth row.

The race kicked off with only two laps of green flag running before the yellow flag was waved. Following the restart, Trinkler maximized the handling of his No. 46 machine despite fighting for straightline speed.

An incident on lap 15 brought out a 20 minute caution period which also allowed TeamTGM to play up its quick thinking strategy. Trinkler pitted under yellow on Lap 16 for tires and fuel. Pitting again on Lap 18 Trinkler handed the car over to Plumb who took over the controls. One final stop on Lap 20 brought Plumb back into the pits to top off on fuel in hopes of staying out on track for the remaining hour.  

Giovanis had a strong start to the two-hour event, gaining six positions within the first 14 laps of the race. Opting for a different strategy than its sister car, the No. 4 pitted on lap 18 which brought Giovanis out of the car and Cosmo in after filling up on fuel and a new set of tires.

With the remaining hour under green flag conditions, both TeamTGM Mercedes-AMGs continued to post quick and consistent lap times. With a strategy that appeared to cost track position earlier in the run, the pit stop approach from the team began to harvest the hoped-for result as other entries took to pit lane for fuel. Despite facing a barrage of warnings from his AMG-Mercedes GT4 machine, Plumb managed the resources to perfection, crossing the line third in the order. 

“I have never been to the end of the fuel run in this car so I had no idea if we were going to be able to make it or even what a stutter might mean," said Plumb. “I hit the fuel reset, went through the motions and I don’t know how we made it. Conserving  fuel for the last 25 minutes, I felt like either we make it and drive past the field, or we don’t make it and be way in the back. Owen did a great job and the team was just brilliant all weekend long.”

Provisionally, TeamTGM has now moved into the championship lead by one point.

“The day started out a little rocky," said Trinkler. “We tried to get through some lapped traffic and that incident about half-way through, I hate for that to happen. I was in the spot where I should have been and the guy didn’t see me there. Fortunately we were able to keep going. We ended up in third and picked up some really good points.”

While the run to the podium for the No. 46 was the headline achievement for the team, the sister No. 4 entry had a strong weekend despite the ultimate result. With Giovanis showing his stamina with a strong performance in both qualifying and the race in his third consecutive weekend of racing action, Cosmo was hoping to convert the pit stop exchange into another Road America podium for the duo. But as the fuel run went on, the Mercedes went idle and stranded Cosmo on the side of the track for a moment. 

After running through every procedure he could envision to bring the car back to life, there was fire again and he raced to the checkered, although had to accept a 15th place result. 

“Today started off really good,"said Cosmo. “Ted did a fantastic job starting off his stint. On the start of my stint, the car was so strong and we picked up ground while having great battles. We got stuffed, bottled up, and run into the back of. Then we went into fuel conservation mode. We knew I would have to stop if I didn’t save enough fuel and I tried as hard as I could to save and keep a reasonable pace and we still ran out. I tried all I could and at the end of the day we did our best given the situation.”

“This weekend feels really good,” said Giovanis. “It turns out that it would come down to a fuel conservation contest. Both Owen and Hugh drove great and Cosmo did great too. Even though we had a bobble, it turned out well and keeps us going in the points so we are really looking forward to keeping this going.”

TeamTGM will have the opportunity to build on the momentum once again in two weeks time when the series heads to Virginia International Raceway August 17-19.