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Drivers don’t see Volt’s load stopping in The Glen

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The number 7 Aston Martin entry from Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson. (IMSA photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 7 Volt Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 team has racked up three consecutive top-two finishes and is a 130-point cushion atop the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) standings.

But is there any tripping wire ahead when this high-flying team heads to Watkins Glen International for the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 later this week?

Last year drivers Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson finished eighth on consecutive race weekends at The Glen and then seventh on the challenging, hilly course. Both drivers answered a resounding “no” when asked if The Glen could derail their championship aspirations.

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Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson after their win at Laguna Seca. (IMSA photo)

“Watkins Glen has historically been a very good track for the Aston Martin,” Hindman said. “It’s a really good car in medium and high speed corners. We’re getting great power, so we’re getting great runs over the steep slopes there.

“Last year we had a super fast car on those consecutive weekends at Watkins Glen, especially in the four hour race. We made a mistake as a team and got a drive-through penalty. It was just miscommunication and put us out of the running.”

Brynjolfsson said the team called Hindman to the pits due to a quick strategic decision and that the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 entered the service path incorrectly. The ensuing drive-through penalty in the final 30 minutes wiped out the team’s 20-second lead on the GS field.

“We kind of threw those away,” Brynjolfsson said. “The Aston Martin is good in fast corners and there is a lot of that with Watkins. I have a lot of confidence in the car and driver at Watkins.”

Lessons learned from 2021 will be effectively applied in 2022. After a top-10 finish at Daytona International Speedway to open the season, the No. 7 Aston Martin took a win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in late April between second-place results at Sebring International Raceway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course .

“At Daytona we came in seventh, but we were literally an 18th place car because we were so slow on the outer bench,” said Brynjolfsson. “We didn’t stand a chance, so we feel like we punched way above our weight at Daytona. When we followed that up with a second, first, and second, it was like, ‘Wow!’

Both drivers thank Wright Motorsports owner John Wright for this quick start to the season.

“I am fortunate to work with Wright Motorsports,” said Hindman. “John has one of the best minds in the business. He’s just really good at keeping everyone in check, aligned and focused on what the overall goal is: a championship. He has added a lot of confidence. We see the result of that leadership and direction on the track.”

Brynjolfsson, who starts every race before handing the car to Hindman, echoed that thought.

“This is my sixth year in the series, always with the goal of winning the championship, and for the first time it feels great – for my first time – to be in first place,” he said. “Nothing beats experience. Every year we get better and better. The biggest change was the move with Wright Motorsports and a top team. All the little things make all the difference, like putting the drivers in the right frame of mind psychologically.”

So 2021 Watkins Glen is under threat. This time, Volt Racing is going for another podium and maybe a triumph.

“Watkins Glen is the epitome of a courageous driving American racetrack,” Hindman said. “You have tons of elevation changes. You have some very, very fast corners.

The walls are close – that bright blue kind that stares you straight in the face all the time. It keeps you sharp. There really is nothing else like it. I love it there and look forward to going back with a strong car, a strong co-driver and a strong team.”

Brynjolfsson, Hindman and the No. 7 Volt lead Eric Foss and the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 with 130 points in the GS standings. Foss is driving Kenton Koch this week in a GS field of 28 cars.