Driving the no. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Patrick Lindsey has been on a roll the last couple of races – winning at Lime Rock and following that up with a second place at Road America. Before this weekend’s race at VIRginia International Raceway, we spoke with him about his season and asked him about his 2016 drive at Daytona which made him, for the weekend, the most famous race car driver in America.
IMSA’s GT-Daytona class is incredibly competitive – tell us about how you and the Park Place Motorsports team scored victory at Lime Rock Park and then second at Road America.
That win took a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. We had this awesome car at Daytona, but unfortunately it was tubbed after the incident we had there. The team rebuilt the car, but we had some trouble getting it back to where it was before. Of course, the BOP (Balance of Performance) at the time didn’t do us a lot of good. At Lime Rock, we finally got it all right. The pit stops were perfect, our crew is one of the best teams out there. It also helps that Jörg has won at Lime Rock seven times. Everything just came together perfectly. Road America was a similar situation. The car was dialed in and I think the setup came to us a little easier than previous races. The BMW had an amazing race, we didn’t quite have enough to answer to that but we were happy with a second-place finish. After a season of trying to finish in the top-10 it felt amazing to take home back-to-back podium finishes.
You and your teammate Jorg Bergmeister might be the tallest driving pair in sports car racing. Does this present any issues fitting in the Porsche 911 GT3R?
I think if we were in any other type of racing it would cause a problem. In the Porsche, it isn’t really an issue, but I wouldn’t want to be much taller. It actually works out well with us both being tall because Jörg and I are the exact same height to the centimeter. We don’t have to mess around adjusting the seat when we do driver changes, so it saves a little bit of time.
What does your typical race preparation entail?
I would love to say that I work out all the time but with another full-time job at home I don’t see the gym nearly as much as I should. So, my preparation either includes a workout designed by the doctors at Porsche or me eating ice cream while wishing I would have had time to get a workout in before the race. If I haven’t been to a track or the weather looks questionable I get on the sim. The simulator gives you extra practice time on a dry track, and sometimes we use it just for fun.
How does time spent on a Motion Pro II simulator help prepare you for racing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Series?
Sim time can definitely prepare you. It really helps jog your memory of what the track layout is and where your breaking zones are. If we go to a new track or for guys just entering the series, a lot of our tracks might be new to them, and a sim would certainly help prepare them. It also gives you more practice time. You never know what could happen over a race weekend whether it be an incident or weather that would take away track time. The Motion Pro II simulator can give some of that time back.
Since you are also a pilot, how do the skills you need to drive a race car at its limit apply to flying an airplane?
There isn’t a ton of overlap in what it takes to drive a race car and what it takes to fly the Gulfstream IV I’m currently typed to fly. In a race car, you have to be extremely focused the entire time because you have so much more going on around you. There are other cars beside you battling for position and you’re either going through a turn or pushing it down a straightaway. In an aircraft, the busiest times are takeoff and landing. If you’re on a long flight, there is actually some downtime while you’re up there. The most common thing between the two would be the focus it takes and maybe the responsibility to have a smooth lap or flight. If you’re smooth on track and don’t put any tires off you have a quicker lap and happier engineer. If you’re smooth in flight you have happy passengers.
Have you ever attempted to drive through the infield at Daytona on the simulator after your experience at Daytona last year?
I had not practiced nor have tried practicing driving through the infield on the sim – that’s something that can’t be duplicated!
Follow Patrick on twitter and Instagram at @plindsey73