By Godwin Kelly
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Inquiring minds want to know: How did current IMSA drivers learned to drive, not only on a racetrack but on public highways as well. And what sort of vehicles did they wheel around in their youth?
To uncover those answers, we came up with three questions to obtain this vital background information. In the first of a series we’re calling “Splash and Go,” we posed the questions to Trent Hindman, co-driver of Wright Motorsports Porsche in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and two different VOLT Racing entries – the No. 7 Aston Martin in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the No. 7 Ligier in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series. Hindman is clearly a busy guy but he made himself available for a few moments to answer our questions.
Q: What was your first street car?
Hindman: It was a 2011 Mazdaspeed 3. Way too much power for a front-wheel-drive street car driven by a 17-year-old with zero self-control. Nonetheless an awesome machine that I eventually had to replace with a Ford F-150 out of necessity. The truck also keeps me alive and out of prison. I will say the new (Porsche) 992 GTS looks nice.
Q: What was your first race car?
Hindman: Well before the Skip Barber Racing School and Formula Ford 1600, I had first driven a Ford Focus junior midget with Ron Sutton at Roseville, California. Found out pretty quickly that I’d need a lot of work to be good in the circle-track world. However, a methanol-injected, 2-liter Zetec (engine) with a hand-operated clutch driven by chain and sprocket between your legs was pretty neat.
Q: Who taught you how to drive?
Hindman: My Dad. Early on, too, well before karting. I think he just wanted to not have to mow the lawn anymore. OK, I’m kidding, but still it was all him initially. He’s got no background in racing whatsoever but has always played around with motorcycles, boats, etc., and is by far the most technically inclined individual I know. I think through that technical knowledge and him being such a massive race fan for so long made him understand the basic driving techniques and the mental approach to competition purely by observation. I’ve had incredible opportunities since then to work with and be given guidance from the best minds in the sport from karting to single-seaters, and now GTD racing.