This weekend’s VIR 240 at Virginia International Raceway was certainly dramatic for Martin Plowman and the Conquest Endurance team. The weekend started strong. The car was quick, despite severe oversteer during the first two practices. Drastic changes to the car before qualifying proved to be good; Plowman qualified at the top of the P2 charts, and the team started Saturday’s race from pole position.
Plowman’s teammate, David Heinemeier Hansson, took the green flag and on the first turn of the first lap, he narrowly avoided a multi-car crash to maintain the lead. Early in the race, the car got away from him and he ended up off track. Fortunately, he was able to regain control and steer the car back onto the track, but not before he had been pushed back into third place. A yellow allowed Hansson to close the gap with the leaders, and once the green flag flew, he charged to the front of the pack.
The car was easily the fastest on track in the P2 category, proven once again when Plowman took the wheel with just over two hours to go in the four-hour race. While passing the slower cars in other classes, Plowman had an incident with a GT-class car and the team was given a 60-second stop-and-go penalty. Only shortly before had Conquest Endurance’s main championship rival been given the same penalty, and after both teams had served their time, the battle continued. On the final pit stop of the race, Plowman entered the pits only to miss the pit box due to a miscommunication within the team. The car had to be pushed back to the box, losing valuable time. Once back on the track, Plowman was in third, a full 52-seconds behind but he was armed with new tires. Here, in the last stint of the race, he proved the speed of the car. Plowman charged forward through the field, and in the last two laps of the race, he moved into second place and set the fastest lap of the race at 1:39.393.