Fall-Line Already in High Gear Planning for 2015
The 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) championship trophy had yet to make it to the Fall-Line Motorsports shop before the Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based team was already working hard on its plans for the 2015 season.
“We rolled out of one season and went straight back into another one,” said team manager Michael Harvey. “We’re prepping cars again, doing some testing. It never stops. Daytona rolls around way too quick here.”
Fall-Line Motorsports began the 2014 Challenge season with Ashley Freiberg and Shelby Blackstock winning at Daytona in the team’s No. 48 BMW M3, and ended the campaign with Trent Hindman capturing the Grand Sport (GS) title in the No. 46 BMW M3. In between, Hindman and co-driver John Edwards won two races and scored four runner-up finishes to place one-two in the points.
“Both Trent and John did an amazing job this year especially in the last couple of races under pressure,” Harvey said. “We did everything right. Our engineers made a lot of strategic calls the last two races that were absolutely spot on. That in itself is a great way to finish the year, not only on the track, but off the track as well. It was certainly nice.”
The team rolled the dice at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, waiting several laps before calling in Edwards for his final pit stop as other teams opted to pit for slick tires on the drying track. When rain resumed, Edwards pitted for rain tires. He worked his way through the field to win, allowing Hindman to regain the points lead and take a five-point advantage entering the finale.
While Fall-Line has yet to finalize its driver lineup for 2015, expect to see some big changes.
“There’s nothing we would like more than for Trent to be back next year,” Harvey said. “We’re working hard on it. I’d like to have John and Trent back next year – not together – but in the Fall-Line fold, for sure.”
Hindman – who turned 19 on the eve of his Austin victory – joined Fall-Line for the final five races of 2013. His best finish was fourth in his debut at Indianapolis, and he became the youngest pole winner in series history for the finale at Lime Rock Park.
While Hindman started most of the events this past season, he was the finishing driver in four of them and qualified (winning two poles) and started the remaining races. That will change next season.
“We hope to have Trent as the finishing driver next year,” Harvey said. “We had a plan for him – as we do for all of our drivers – when he joined us in 2013. Regardless of what happed in 2014, we planned to have him step up and be a finishing driver for 2015. All is still on target to achieve the plan. It’s just a bonus that he won two races and the championship, now he’s just got that weight to carry on his shoulders next year.”
Edwards joined Fall-Line in 2014. He started the race at Kansas Speedway but pitted only a few seconds shy of driving the required 45 minutes needed to score points. His second-place finish in the season finale at Road Atlanta enabled him to edge Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R drivers Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell by one point in the championship.
In addition to shuffling its driver lineup, Fall-Line is also hoping to switch cars at some point in the season.
“We’ll start the year with the E92 M3, the current car, and at some point throughout the year we’re hoping to bring a new car online,” Harvey said. “It probably won’t happen until the latter half of the year. We have no rush to do it. Obviously, it needs to be fast and reliable before we put it on public display.”
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