When it rains, it pours. Except when it doesn’t.
With the radar showing rain quickly approaching at the mid-point of Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge, the No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic TCR team had to choose between staying on the Michelin slicks or switch to rain tires. When that rain didn’t quite come to fruition, drivers Brian Henderson and Todd Lamb were left with an eighth-place finish in the TCR class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Henderson led twice for a total of 13 laps, including the opening nine laps. By the midway point of the two-hour timed race, every team up and down pit lane was trying to decide when and how much it would rain.
Ultimately, the TCR class winners were cars that elected to stay on slicks. When the skies didn’t open up until after the checkered flag, the Atlanta Speedwerks Civic came home in eighth.
“We made the best decision we could at the time,” Lamb, also the Atlanta Speedwerks owner, said. “It’s easy to sit here and second guess it now, but all of the information we had said that it was going to rain. It’s a frustrating finish, but we had the pace to run with the leaders, we led laps for the third race, and I’m certain we’re going to see the results we expect very soon. We unloaded and were fast right away. Brian led laps again. Everyone did a great job this weekend, and we’re already turning our attention to Watkins Glen.”
Henderson moved into the lead on the first of 68 laps and turned the fourth-fastest lap of the race in a time of 1:30.826 (89.498 mph). The No. 84 machine, running with support from HPD and Pagid Brakes and carrying the Friends of Jaclyn charity, stayed clean throughout the two-hour race.
“We had a lot of speed this whole weekend,” Henderson said. “We led at the beginning of the race then fell back a little bit, but the strategy didn’t play out for us. The team did a great job, we just had an unfortunate finish. We’ll get them next time.”
Despite some hard luck to open the season, Lamb and Henderson sit just 22 points out of the Championship lead through three of 10 Championship rounds. The Mid-Ohio race will air on Saturday, May 11th at 11 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.