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Archangel 12182020

Michelin Pilot Challenge Sees Influx of 2021 Entrants, New and Returning

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After a strong finish to conclude the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, VOLT Racing with Archangel is returning for 2021 intact regarding drivers and equipment.

The team switched to running an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for the last three races of this season and it paid immediate dividends with runner-up finishes in the Grand Sport (GS) class at the final two events. Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman are back to drive the No. 7 Aston Martin in 2021, looking to improve on their sixth-place finish in the point standings.

“I’m excited to continue our partnership with Alan, Trent and Volt Racing and to build off of what we started last season with Aston Martin,” said Mike Johnson, Archangel Motorsports principal. “In the last three races of 2020, we took home two podiums and put ourselves in a position to win every time. The competition in GS gets stronger every year and there’s a different winner nearly every race, but I’m confident that we’ll be right there to fight for the championship with Aston Martin.”

Brynjolfsson and Hindman have teamed for two Pilot Challenge wins and seven podium finishes over the past three seasons. They’re looking forward to more success in their fourth season together.

“I have so much confidence in Mike Johnson and our entire crew of guys,” Brynjolfsson said. “It’s exciting to know we will have the continuity to keep building on our year ending success. We finished the GS season with back-to-back podiums and we would like to keep that going right into the next season.”

The 2021 season will mark the eighth in GS competition for Hindman, who also drove to the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) title with Mario Farnbacher.

“Having worked with Alan and Mike in GS since 2018, we’ve been on the cusp of consistent success for a while, but it’s never fully taken shape,” said Hindman. “Heading into 2021 together again, with a competitive car and a team that’s experienced in working with each other makes the potential of a GS championship title more of a reality.”

Atlanta Speedwerks Unveils Portion of Three-Car TCR Lineup

Atlanta Speedwerks announced that Brian Henderson and 16-year-old Robert Noaker will drive one of its three Honda Civic entries in the Pilot Challenge Touring Car (TCR) class in 2021. Team owner Todd Lamb will drive a second Civic with a driver to be named. Drivers for the team’s third Civic will also be named at a later date.

Henderson and Noaker teamed for the 2020 season finale at Sebring International Raceway, in what was Noaker’s IMSA debut. Starting at the rear of the field due to an overnight engine change, they climbed as high as third before finishing sixth.

Henderson, 23, co-drove with Lamb the past two years in Pilot Challenge competition. Prior to that, he raced for Atlanta Speedwerks in the Mazda MX-5 Cup that falls under IMSA sanction beginning in 2021.

“I am so happy to be back with Atlanta Speedwerks for the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season in our Honda Civic TCR car,” Henderson said. “I’m excited to be pairing with Robert for the season, especially after he had a great debut at Sebring earlier this year. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue growing my skills as a driver and team member. I know we have what it takes to be a major contender this year and can’t wait to get back on track!”

Noaker finished eighth in the Mazda MX-5 Cup standings as a 14-year-old in 2018, winning at Mid-Ohio and earning a Guinness Book of World Records achievement as the youngest driver ever to win an IndyCar-sanctioned race. He finished fifth in 2019 with a pair of wins and was runner-up in 2020 with a season-high four victories.

“I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity of racing the Honda Civic TCR this year with Atlanta Speedwerks,” Noaker said. “Sebring was a different experience for me but I enjoyed it. I am happy to be driving with Brian this season. We will have a very good crew behind us this year to hopefully contend for wins.”

VGMC Joining Pilot Challenge with Honda Civic TCR

VGMC announced that it will field a Honda Civic TCR in the 2021 Pilot Challenge season for drivers Victor Gonzalez Jr. and Ruben Iglesias. The duo drove to four wins over the past two years in the TC America series.

“We are excited after our first test with Ruben in the TCR class,” Gonzalez said. “He adapted quickly and we expect him to have a breakout season.”

With assistance from Honda Performance Development’s customer racing program, Gonzalez has his sights on developing promising Puerto Rican and Latin American drivers who aspire to race in IMSA.

“There is a ton of talent that is available in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America,” he said. “To combine this with our American driver and team is a dream come true. We have our own ladder program that fits extremely well with Honda/HPD’s that can take a new driver from just starting out all the way to our IMSA TCR program.”