AUSTIN, Texas – official release — Michael Levitt/LAT photo — Fall-Line Motorsports rolled the dice and came up winners Friday at Circuit of The Americas, with the switch to rain tires the key to the second Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge victory of the season for John Edwards and Trent Hindman in the No. 46 Trim-Tex BMW M3.
With rain falling intermittently at various sections of the 3.4-mile circuit for the final 90 minutes of the two-and-a-half-hour race, most of the competitors opted to run the race on “dry” tires. Fall-Line team manager Michael Harvey gambled and went with the wet-weather compound, calling in race-leader Edwards with 40 minutes remaining.
While the move dropped Edwards out of the top five and more than one minute behind new leader Tom Kimber-Smith in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, the 23-year-old veteran quickly worked his way back into contention.
Edwards passed Kimber-Smith with 10 minutes remaining and pulled away to win by 7.982 seconds. It was the seventh career victory for Edwards in the series, and second for Hindman, coming on the eve of the young driver’s 19th birthday.
The triumph allowed Hindman to regain the unofficial Grand Sport (GS) championship lead with only the season-ending race at Road Atlanta remaining. Entering the event with a two-point deficit, Hindman now leads Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell by five points, 296-291, after the drivers of the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R finished fourth.
“I didn’t think we’d be in the hunt for the win, but that’s a testament to the hard work of the team,” Hindman said. “At the end of the day, it just came down to excellent strategy and even better co-driving.”
The only other contender to switch to rain tires was Jade Buford in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R started by Scott Maxwell. Buford went on to finish fifth.
Turner Motorsport was looking for its first Continental Tire Challenge triumph since winning at Circuit of The Americas in March, 2013.