Last weekend was the official kick-off of the 2018 International Motor Sports Association season with the event known as “Roar before the 24”. The Daytona International Speedway was busy with three days of cars on the track from WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSC) with classes P/GTLM/GTD, Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge (CTSC) with classes GS/ST/TCR, and Prototype Challenge with LMP3/PC classes.
Image - @GoTeamTGM
Over the years, this weekend has grown from two test days, where I and maybe ten other people showed up. To now being called the “ROAR” event covering three days and for the first time ever, there was an official race on Saturday with the PC series. Another new occurrence was the qualifying session on Sunday for WTSC which was for pit and garage location only. During the Rolex 24 race weekend, WTSC will hold a qualifying session for race position.
While it was a very busy weekend for all the teams, I appreciated the CTSC TeamTGM owner and drivers taking the time to chat with me. I have watched TeamTGM race for years and am excited to have this opportunity with owner Ted Giovanis and his group.
For the 2018 racing season, TeamTGM will be running two Mercedes-AMG GT4 cars, only one car was delivered and ready to go for the Roar weekend. The team took laps in the prior year car, Porsche Cayman GT4. While the drivers (Ted, Guy Cosmo, Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler) drove laps in each car, the final driver pairing will not be announced until closer to the Rolex 24 weekend.
TeamTGM was formed in 1991 as T. Giovanis Motorsports and in recent years, the team has changed manufacturers from BMW to Porsche Cayman GT4 to the Mercedes-AMG GT4 for the 2018 IMSA CTSC GS class.
When you started the race team in 1991, what was your goal and now heading into the 2018, what is your new goal? "In 1991, I just wanted to compete at the professional level with club racing. Now for 2018, we are reaching to be consistently in the top 5, podiums and the best goal to win at Road America."
With the car numbers over the years being 46, 64, and 4, is there significance to the number or was this mandated by IMSA? Ted first started with #46 because Ted was age 46 in 1991. Ted bought his next car in 2006 which already had the number 64 and if he changed it, he would have been forced with a 3-digit number so he opted to stay with 64. The number 4 came about with the Cayman GT 4 car and has stuck.
What is one secret fans would be surprised to know about you? "I love to dance!"
If you could spend the afternoon with anyone, who would it be and what would you do? Alex Zanardi, past CART champion and more recently winning international hand cycling medal in the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Ted would love to learn more about Alex’s exercise routine as Ted himself used to be a runner and is interested how Alex keeps himself in shape. Ted shared with me the fact that Alex is credited with creating the “donut” celebration at the end of the race which Alex did back in his CART racing career.
Guy and Ted - Image @GuyCosmo
Guy Cosmo is experiencing a very successful racing year and future after riding out a lean time. I have watched Guy race for many years in both the Grand-Am and American Le Mans series. After his Roar weekend, Guy boarded a plane headed to Thailand where he will compete in round 3 of the Asian Le Mans series at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Guy is partnered with Patrick Byrne in the Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JS P3 car and won the LMP3 class race for round 2 at Fuji Speedway. Guy also recently raced in the Gulf 12 Hours race at Abu Dhabi with United Autosports.
Guy Cosmo is one of the most fan interactive drivers either at the track or social media with his video blogs where Guy provides each fan with a race weekend experience from track walk to garage and driver preparation.
With the ride in the Asian Le Mans series, have you enjoyed visiting new circuits and how do you prepare? Guy is very thankful for this opportunity and loves visiting new parts of the world he had only heard about. Guy talked about the vast expansion and construction of Abu Dhabi. With the written word, I cannot do justice to Guy’s enthusiastic smile while talking about his travels to the world class circuits and his upcoming races.
Guy prepares and completes his research by studying circuit layouts, team notes, watching past in car video and Google maps! With a 1 year old son, Guy does not have much time at home to hop on the simulator.
What is one secret fans would be surprised to know about you? "I love to play the drums and if not race car driver, I would be a musician as a career, but I am not a singer!"
When switching between the Mercedes and the Porsche, do the cars have anything in common? "Absolutely nothing!"
Before joining TeamTGM, Owen Trinkler was racing in the #44 Nissan Nismo in CTSC ST class, where in his last race with CRG Racing and his co-driver Sarah Cattaneo, Owen won the 2017 season final race at Road Atlanta.
For 2018, you will be in the Grand Sport class instead of Street Tuner, is there any rules changes between the classes and anything you will need to adapt to? "No, not really. The rules are based at the series level so both classes and now this year included TCR have basically the same rules. The more challenging part is the GT 4 car I will be driving."
What is one secret fans would be surprised to know about you? Owen is very superstitious in his everyday life but especially at the track. Owen follows the same routine throughout the race weekend.
If you could spend the afternoon with anyone, who would it be and what would you do? Owen’s dad passed away in 2005. Owen would love to spend the afternoon at the track with his dad.
Owen Trinkler Image @owentrinkler
Last, but not least, Hugh Plumb. I have also watched Hugh race for several years in the Grand-Am series, where race fans might remember Hugh with Rum Bum Racing and Fall-Line.
What’s it like being with TeamTGM? Hugh has known Ted Giovanis for years and cannot speak more highly of Ted as a man and a friend. "Ted has a very generous soul who is trying on many levels to lead the effort in cancer research and provides support through his philanthropic ways. If you ever get the chance to hear Ted speak at a cancer symposium, I encourage everyone to attend."
“Ted is the type of person that does a lot of giving and good which no one knows about.”
What is one secret fans would be surprised to know about you? Hugh is very sensitive and he produces a high amount of serotonin.
Any personal sponsors to give a shout out to? Bell Helmets and Sparco Gloves
If you could spend the afternoon with anyone, who would it be and what would you do? "Abe Lincoln because he lived in a cool era. Hugh and Abe would just hang out and talk about all the world changing events which occurred during Abe’s time."
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To learn more about TeamTGM and why the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy is so important to Ted and why you will always see the foundation name on his car, I encourage you to check out the team website HERE
Next up for me is the 56th running of Rolex 24 at DIS. If you are there, please stop me to say hello. I love to meet race fans. Thank you for support!
Results from the Roar can be found HERE