4 victories, 6 podiums, 1 overall championship. Sounds like everything went according to plan, no?
Looking back on this season, I find it hard to express what exactly made this team so successful. The reality is, the pieces were in place from the beginning, not just the beginning of this season, but from 3 years ago when this journey started with Pfaff motorsports. The core of our team has remained very much the same throughout these 3 seasons, and I believe it was that consistency and strong team mentality that led to our success this season.
The year started very much up and down, difficult Daytona, then a win at Sebring, then two more difficult races in both Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. Seemingly out of nowhere after that weekend, things started to fall in our direction. Mistakes were minimized, confidence was higher, and the comradery in the team seemed to get stronger and stronger.
It is extremely easy to find yourself trying to do too much. Not only us drivers, but anybody in high pressure situations, sometimes feel the need to – go above and beyond. We feel as though that extra stretch is showing to everyone what we’re capable and proving our worth to the team that we’re working with. The reality is, that mentality of trying to do too much, was part of our shortcomings after our victory at Sebring. We thought we needed to do more than our best to succeed.
It was a chat with our team manager, Steve Bortolotti, that made us take a look back at ourselves. We had reached the level by doing our best, and our best was what led to our success, not more. I often found myself trying to do too much, when, if I trusted my own ability and stuck to what I knew, the results would come our way. After that conversation, and putting the race at lime rock aside, which ultimately was completely out of our hands as the race was cut short due to lightning, we went on a tear. One that ultimately led to us being named GTD champions.
In the last 5 races, we won 3 of them, and finished 2nd in the other two. In a class as unpredictable and competitive as ours, that was unheard of. Everyone was surprised and amazed at our success. Everyone except for us. We knew we had it in us. We didn’t feel as though we were performing at a level that was unheard of, we were just performing at the level that we expect from ourselves. Looking back at it now, it does seem quite incredible what we did. Every day that I think about it, I realize a little bit more how special it was to be a part of it. I find it hard to think about what could come next, and how it could compete with the feeling of excitement of the end of this year, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what the future holds.