A weather induced return to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge saw Archangel Motorsports earn a third place podium for drivers, Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman at Sebring International Raceway. This marks the Mike Johnson-led team’s first podium since the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in February of 2003.
After six months away from the track, a combination of limited track time and limited crew members was poised to be a challenge for all teams alike. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for the VOLT Lighting Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport to find some speed and drive it over to qualifying, where Brynjolfsson took the ninth place starting slot.
A great race start by Brynjolfsson allowed him to take advantage of trouble out front and advance to seventh. Five-laps into the two-hour event, the Florida skies opened up and while there wasn’t heavy rain, the lightning was severe enough to bring out a red flag. The clock was stopped with one hour and ten minutes remaining, as the teams awaited a return to green.
By the time the weather had passed, the pits remained closed, requiring all cars to take the restart on Michelin slicks. Despite the erratic track conditions, heads up driving by Brynjolfsson allowed him to keep the Porsche within the top ten. With 44-minutes remaining, he was the first of the GS competitors to pit, allowing Hindman to propel himself into the top five.
It was only a matter of time before the 24-year old found himself in a tight scrap for second with Kyle Marcelli. After twenty green flag laps laps, Hindman was running third, when lighting struck and a full course yellow was deployed, ultimately solidifying the podium result.
The Archangel Motorsports team looks to carry their speed up north as they return for more IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge action September 1-2 at Road America.
Mike Johnson | Principal, Archangel Motorsports
“It feels great to bring the Archangel Motorsports name back to the podium for the first time in 17 years, and it’s even more special to do it on my birthday. When this race was announced we figured it would be a bad race for the Cayman, since it has always struggled in the heat, but the team and Porsche Motorsport worked really hard to get us some new parts that made all the difference today. A big thank you to the folks at IMSA that got us back on the track after this long break. I’m sure it was no easy feat. Now on to Road America and the rest of the season.”
“It was great to be back to racing and we shook the cobwebs off quickly. The VOLT Porsche ran great and we were consistently at the sharp end of a competitive IMSA field all weekend. The unusual race went along with the unusual race weekend with all the new Covid-19 procedures. I’m very proud of the great job our whole team did. Trent was brilliant, as was Mike Johnson on strategy. Chris Andrews, our stellar engineer and the whole team put together a great pit stop to help push us forward many spots. It was a team effort made extra special by giving our team owner, Mike Johnson, a podium on his birthday! Happy Birthday Mike!”
“So far 2020 has proven to be such a strange year, so it’s no surprise that our first event back in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is any different in terms of going against the status quo. Changing track conditions, rain, weather delays, a red flag… there’s always something new and exciting being thrown at the Archangel Motorsports team. We leave Sebring with a very satisfying third place finish, which came down to the way Alan and our Archangel Motorsports crew adapted to the ever changing conditions of this race. Everybody did a fantastic job and came together to bring Mike his first podium finish for Archangel in 17 years and present him with a trophy on his birthday. Happy Birthday Mike!”
Source. Archangel Motorsports