BimmerWorld Will Be Prepared for Anything at COTA

September 14th, 2016

BimmerWorld-Will-Be-Prepared-For-Anything-At-COTA

The BimmerWorld Racing crew feels it needs to be ready for anything when it arrives at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) this week, as the state-of-the-art road course in Austin, Texas has dished up both high temperatures and strong rain during past visits by the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (ICTSC) series. The Dublin, Va.-based team will try to adapt to whatever comes its way during the series’ penultimate race of the 2016 season on Friday beginning at 1:40 p.m. Eastern time.

Team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va., and Tyler Cooke of Mathews, N.C. will share the team’s No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i, while its No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i will be driven by Jerry Kaufman of Mooresville, N.C. and Kyle Tilley of Bath, England. They all compete in the most popular class, Street Tuner (ST).

The four drivers of the team’s pair of turbocharged BMWs (F30 chassis) readily admit that the 3.4-mile track’s tight corners will challenge their heavy cars, but they hope to excel with fuel strategy and tire management to get to the front. The Texas heat will likely complicate the challenge for all the teams, as the track grip will be constantly changing. Managing the temperatures of both the engines and the drivers inside the cockpits will likely be crucial.

Every point is important at the series’ last two races of the year, which will both occur on Fridays. The season finale at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., is slated for Friday, Sept. 30.

This week’s action at COTA starts with a practice session at 2:25 PM Wednesday. A similar practice session is slated for 10:20 AM Thursday prior to ST qualifying at 2:35 PM and ending with Friday afternoon’s 2.5-hour race. A total of 25 ST cars and nine Grand Sport cars are entered.

The television broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1 on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 5 PM. Live video streaming and live timing and scoring will be available on imsa.com and imsa.tv. All times are EDT.

James Clay, team owner and driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
What do you think of COTA? Where does it rank among your favorite tracks, and why?

“COTA is an impressive track with fantastic facilities, but it isn’t high on my list of favorites as a driver of an ST car simply because it seems like a track that is best enjoyed with full aero and at least double the power. It is, however, quite technical with so many linked turns, and it is a challenge to drive, so I do like that aspect of it.”

One of the nice things about COTA is that it has big turns, making for the possibilities of various lines. Do you have one particular turn that you’ll want to work on in practice, and if so, which one and why?
“To me, the most challenging section is the section of ess curves from about Turn 2 through Turn 6, or even Turn 9. It is a balancing act of where to be fast and where to slow down to set up for the next turn in the sequence, and so much time can be made or lost in that area.”

What do you think will be the keys to the race?
“Every year at COTA has been different for us, so I have no idea what to expect. We do have a 20-turn racetrack with limited practice time, so showing up ready to rock is big. Past that, I think what it takes to succeed depends on the weather, and at this point, it may be hot or raining, both of which we have experienced before. I think we come to Texas knowing that we need to be prepared for anything.”

Last year’s race at COTA was extremely hot. How do you prepare for the heat, and what will you have in the car to try to stay cool?
“Being in a race car at this time of the year is extremely hot, and the turbos on our BMW F30 add to the experience. The season ramps into the heat, but you have to be physically fit and build a tolerance to performing in the heat. We always run a helmet blower to get fresh air, and even if it isn’t wildly cool it still cools the head. A CamelBak full of cold drink goes a long way, and I suspect many of my teammates will add a cool shirt to their wardrobe for the race.”

Heavier cars usually have markedly more tire wear at COTA than lighter cars. How does the BMW stack up, and in general, what can you do to save your tires?
“Saving tires has been a challenge for us this year. We are the heaviest car on the old standard 225/17-inch tires, and we fight to have enough rubber. We are awesome under the brakes, which is important with the long back straight leading into a tight left at COTA, but it takes tires to push the braking zone. I am hoping for cooler weather which will help with the turbo power to compensate, but, unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for the last couple of races.”

Do you have any ties to the FIA WEC? Are you looking forward to seeing that series in action, and if so, why?
“I am most focused on what our cars and team are doing during a race weekend, and while COTA is clearly a tremendous facility that we love visiting, and the WEC series is interesting to monitor, they are both a little out of my field of vision for our penultimate ST race of the year. In fact, besides our race and the best Mexican meals of the season, I am most excited to be at the point that all the team and series releases pull out ‘penultimate’ — the word we have worked so hard to get to as the season end nears!”

You mentioned that you love Mexican food. Do you have any recommendations for Mexican restaurants in the Austin area?
“Without question, Fonda San Miguel is the best Mexican we get all year long. I recommend no one go there so we don’t have to fight bigger crowds on our nightly visits!”

Tyler Cooke, driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
What do you think of COTA? Where does it rank among your favorite tracks, and why?

“I think COTA is one of the nicest tracks in the country, but it has always been a hard track for the BMWs. It isn’t the track I like the most, but it’s a really good track to drive.”

One of the nice things about COTA is that it has big turns, making for the possibilities of various lines. Do you have one particular turn that you’ll want to work on in practice, and if so, which one and why?
“The stadium section of the track is where there is a lot of passing and chances to gain time on the car in front. It’s a section where you need to try different lines because the lines change throughout the race as the tires wear down.”

How well do you think the BMWs are suited for COTA?
“It’s not the best track for us. The gearing isn’t the best, and the bigger chassis is tough to get through the tight corners.”

What do you think will be the keys to the race?
“Fuel strategy. It’s typically a race that doesn’t have many yellows.”

Last year’s race at COTA was extremely hot. How do you prepare for the heat, how do you train for it?
“Riding the bike and being able to coach other clients and work at racing schools keeps me in the car during the heat and helps with the fatigue. Another big factor is preparing mentally.”

Do you have any ties to the FIA WEC? Are you looking forward to seeing that series in action, and if so, why?
“I always love seeing the WEC cars. It’s a dream of mine to race in that series, and it’s amazing seeing the cars you saw race at Le Mans racing right in front of you.”

Do you ever get goosebumps or get really excited driving on an F1 course?
“It’s another race track. It’s so cool knowing the Formula 1 cars race there, but it can’t be approached like anything else other than a race track that we are going to battle hard on.”

Jerry Kaufman, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
What do you think of COTA? Where does it rank among your favorite tracks, and why?

“Prior to this year, I’ve only seen COTA on TV, but it is as beautiful in person as it is in the videos. Of all the tracks I’ve been to, this place surprises me the most. There is never a sense that the track is easy to drive. The heat of Texas changes the track surface more dramatically than any other place I’ve been. This is definitely one of my new favorite tracks.”

One of the nice things about COTA is that it has big turns, making for the possibilities of various lines. Do you have one particular turn that you’ll want to work on in practice, and if so, which one and why?
“The big turns are the ones that lead onto the three big straightaways. Two of those turns have new curbing at track out to keep people from wandering off track onto the paved runoff to gain an advantage. This will make those corners even more difficult because of the precision needed to get a good run up the straights. That’s really hard to achieve when the track grip changes as much as it does at COTA.”

How well do you think the BMWs are suited for COTA?
“The BMWs have some great high-speed stability that will be critical at COTA, and the turbo motor gives us great torque low in the revs which should help us onto those big straights. We have a few disadvantages as well, but hopefully, we’ll get lucky and it won’t be super hot during the race. The BMWs really don’t like the heat as much as the non-turbo cars.”

What do you think will be the keys to the race?
“Honestly, I think it’ll be tire wear and getting in a good qualifying time. It’s not going to be a hard place to pass since it’s so wide, but that will take up a lot of time, which will give the leaders a chance to walk away from the pack.”

Last year’s race at COTA was extremely hot. How do you prepare for the heat, how do you train for it, and what will you have in the car to try to stay cool?
“My fiancé hates me sometimes because I try to acclimate myself to the heat, which means I try to minimize the use of air-conditioning both at home and in the car while going places. I’ve also started running in the afternoon rather than the morning. There is a good 20-degree difference. It hurts my running pace, but it helps in the car. I love the Cool Shirt-brand products. I do my best not to use them, but if it’s 88 degrees or warmer for a race, I always use them.”

Kyle Tilley, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
What do you think of COTA? Where does it rank among your favorite tracks, and why?

“COTA is probably my least favorite track on the calendar. It’s just very typical of a modern F1 track. It has lots of runoff and very little soul! That said, the wide-open turns of COTA allow for various overtaking moves, which should provide lots of great passing opportunities during the race. In particular, Turns 11 and 12 are ones that we will be sure to work on in practice.”

How well do you think the BMWs are suited for COTA?
“I think if COTA were anywhere else, the BMW would be an ideal car; however, with the Texas heat, I believe we may struggle, but we shall see. The key to our race will be managing our tires and engine temps.”

Last year’s race at COTA was extremely hot. How do you prepare for the heat, how do you train for it, and what will you have in the car to try to stay cool?
“In terms of managing the heat, being a former national champion cyclist, it is still something that plays a huge part in my training. I believe that this aids me greatly with the hot races. That, and the Cool Shirt which I’ve started to wear!”

Do you ever get goosebumps or get really excited driving on an F1 course? If so, when?
“There are certain tracks which excite me, not because they are F1 tracks, but because of their history — Spa Francorchamps, Watkins Glen and the Nurburgring, to name a few. Being a modern track, COTA doesn’t have that kind of history yet!”

FOLLOW BIMMERWORLD AT: https://www.facebook.com/bimmerworld

STAY UP TO DATE WITH BIMMERWORLD NEWS AT: http://www.bimmerworldracing.com

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise, and competes in the Continental Tire Series with a pair of BMW 328is (F30) where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and Championship contender.

Tags

RELATED ARTICLES

BimmerWorld Racing No. 81 at COTA 2017

Both BimmerWorld Racing BMWs Finish in Top 10 at COTA

At one point in Friday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series race at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA), BimmerWorld Racing’s turbocharged BMW 328is (F30 chassis) topped the leader board in the Street Tuner (ST) class. The Dublin, Va.-based team …

BimmerWorld-Racing-Anticipates-That-Its-Homework-Pays-Off-In-ICTSC-Race-at-COTA-Friday-Afternoon

BimmerWorld Racing Anticipates That Its Homework Pays Off In ICTSC Race at COTA Friday Afternoon

BimmerWorld Racing anticipates that its homework pays off on Friday when the Dublin, Va.-based team fields two turbocharged BMW 328is (F30 chassis) in the IMSA Continental Sportscar Challenge Series (ICTSC) race at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, …

BimmerWorld-Earns-ST-Pole-at-COTA-With-One-Car-While-Its-Second-BMW-Nearly-Finishes-in-Top-10

BimmerWorld Earns ST Pole at COTA With One Car While Its Second BMW Nearly Finishes in Top 10

Tyler Cooke of Matthews, N.C. put BimmerWorld Racing’s No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i on the pole for Friday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), but the car developed a misfire as soon as …

postCOTANEWS

BimmerWorld Moves on From Penultimate Round with Season Finale Ahead

Potential was high for BimmerWorld at Circuit of The Americas, yet the results were less than anyone expected, and with very little time until the season finale gets under way, the Virginia-based BMW experts are now focused on maximizing their …

cotaimage

BimmerWorld Leaves Inaugural GRAND-AM Continental Tire Race at COTA with Two Top-10s

Success is the hallmark that any professional racing team looks to maintain. The BimmerWorld GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series team is no different, which makes falling short of their lofty goals—even by just a little bit—hard to accept. That, in a …