Trent Hindman heads into his third Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of January hoping to take his first victory in the event, with the young American using the experience from his team-mates to keep his own feet firmly on the ground.
Hindman was announced as one of the full-time entrants in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo alongside Mario Farnbacher for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, with the duo being joined for the opening endurance race of the season by Justin Marks and AJ Allmendinger.
The twenty-three-year-old from New Jersey says having the likes of Marks and Allmendinger, both former winners of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Farnbacher, twice a winner in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, gives him confidence for the twice-around-the-clock event in 2019 and also gives him the ability to relax more than he would normally be able to.
“This is the third time for me in the Rolex 24, and I find that I’m becoming more and more relaxed and routine each time,” said Hindman. “I think for someone like me who still has so much to take in and learn about this event, the collective calm that my team-mates show, along with the entire MSR crew, keeps the pressure from building up.
“Justin (Marks) and AJ (Allmendinger) are both past winners, Mario (Farnbacher) is a guy that’s won Sebring twice now, so there’s definitely no shortage of endurance racing knowledge for me to call upon when I need it.”
Hindman came close to victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2018 with Michael Shank Racing, finishing second in the #86 alongside Allmendinger, Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente, and he hopes 2019 can give him the chance of taking his first win in the event.
“I grew up watching AJ on TV and he killed it at the Rolex 24, in Champ Car and NASCAR, so the fact that now, in 2019, I’m getting to share a car with this guy? It’s mind-blowing. I do have to remind myself though that we’re both here for the same reason and that’s to win. He’s done it before, I have not, so the biggest thing I’m learning from him and all my teammates is the attention to detail needed in order to get yourself that iconic watch.
“Now having been home for a few days since the Roar, having the opportunity to look back through all the data and onboard from last weekend and compare it to the onboard footage of AJ back in his single seater days, I find it pretty wild how much his driving style hasn’t really changed over time, especially when you consider the years of driving a NASCAR cup car. It’s ultra-aggressive, it’s finesse, there’s certainly a lot for me to learn from it but most importantly, it’s FAST, and that’s all we care about.”