Alton, Va. (27 August 2016) – With hot temperatures and sunny skies surrounding the Danville, Virginia area all weekend, the story throughout the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event had been the brutally hot weather conditions. But when the green flag flew for Saturday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix, a new story quickly emerged as a heavy downpour abruptly developed over the circuit just 20 minutes into the 2.5-hour event.
Rain became the new story.
The forecast had called for completely dry weather for the afternoon race held at Virginia International Raceway, so when the rain began to fall, virtually everybody from the competitors to the fans were shocked by the sudden change in weather.
TeamTGM and drivers Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo ultimately kept the No. 46 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport on track and clicking the laps through some difficult driving conditions to take sixth at the checkered flag.
Giovanis began the race from seventh on the grid after TeamTGM elected not to qualify on Friday and simply focus on Saturday’srace effort. Giovanis began clicking off quick and consistent lap times through the opening stages, only to have the race halted and red flagged due to the torrential rain conditions.
“When it first started to rain, I knew it was going to be a problem,” said Giovanis. “Every time I got on the power, it got loose so I just really slowed up. Even under yellow the fastest we ever got was 40mph and I was behind two cars that were front wheel drive cars and even they were slipping and sliding. There was just too much water in too short of a period of time.”
Following a short full course caution period, there was simply too much water on the track which made for dangerous conditions. The event was red flagged for 52 minutes while the rain storm passed through.
When the red flag was withdrawn and the race was put back under full course caution, the team called Giovanis to pit road where he pitted for rain tires, fuel, and a driver change.
Cosmo returned to the track fifth in the order and immediately moved up to fourth when the race went back to green with about 45 minutes to go. Unfortunately with rain totally unexpected, the No. 46 Porsche GT4 Cayman Clubsport was completely set up for dry running which left Cosmo managing an ill-handling machine.
Despite the tough conditions, Cosmo stayed out of trouble through the final stages to hang on for sixth at the finish.
“We for sure had been working on a dry set up all weekend long,” said Cosmo. “I don’t think any of us expected there to be any rain today. We were on the totally opposite end of the rain set up. It’s disappointing not have a better finish with all the hard work that TeamTGM has put in and with how competitive we’ve been in practice and in the last race at Road America. We just didn’t have the right set up to take advantage of the conditions. It was a really strange day for everybody. I love working with this team. They’re all so dedicated and passionate about this. We’ve really made a lot of great headway which is why I’m a little disappointed. I usually love racing in the rain, but I knew with the dry set up for the long run we were going to be great because we made a huge amount of progress over the past two days. It just didn’t go our way today.”
The race will be broadcast on FS1 Sunday September 4 at 10:00 AM (ET) and TeamTGM will be back in IMSA competition at Circuit of the Americas on September 14-17 for the penultimate round of the championship.
About Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy:
The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy fosters public discussion around health care policy to benefit the public good. Through research, white papers and other projects, the Foundation serves as an honest, independent broker of ideas and actions designed to achieve the competing goals of cost reduction, expanding access and improving quality. To find out more, visit: http://jktgfoundation.org
About Boggy Creek:
Camp Boggy Creek was founded in 1996 by Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, with one simple premise in mind, that every child, no matter their illness, could experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand in hand with camp. With unobtrusive expert medical care, it was their dream that Camp would provide seriously ill children with a fun-filled experience defined by compassion, laughter and acceptance. Located just a short drive from Orlando, Florida, the 232-acre camp serves children ages 7-16 who’vebeen diagnosed with chronic or life-threatening conditions. http://www.boggycreek.org