BimmerWorld Wins 12 Hours of Summit Point with Supreme Team Effort
June 23rd, 2009
The BimmerWorld team makes the most of the downtime between World Challenge rounds as the team's owner and technicians steer their self-built 1992 BMW 325i to victory circle.
Fans of BimmerWorld Racing’s trio of SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car BMWs have grown accustomed to the blue and yellow E90s at the head of the pack, yet it’s the attention that BimmerWorld crew chief Jason Marks is receiving with his own BMW racecar that’s starting to gain the attention of racing enthusiasts everywhere.
On the heels of an amazing win last November at the 13 Hours of VIR club racing event with his budget 1992 BMW 325i, Marks and the BimmerWorld boys returned to victory circle last weekend at the 12 Hours of Summit Point. For the 325i that started its life at a $1000 donor riddled with bullet holes, the transformation from an eyesore into a two-time endurance race winner is nothing short of remarkable.
Piloted by Marks, BimmerWorld owner James Clay, and friends Dave White and Tim Smith, the Virginia-based team used the reliability and performance of their BMW to outperform and outlast a number of competitors with expensive and exotic machinery.
“Winning a twelve hour race is never easy,” said Marks. “It’s a tough race from start to finish and you have to have the right people driving, the right people on pit lane, and the right components on the car. We’re happy to prove that you can do this kind of club racing with a real car that people can afford and can come out on top. You don’t always have to bring the biggest gun to the fight and I think we’ve proved that this weekend.”
For Marks, the satisfaction of building and racing a car with his friends and co-workers made the 12 Hour win incredibly special.
“This is very much an after hours project for me and the guys. We work really hard and race really hard with the World Challenge program but this is different. That’s our profession, but this is our passion and everybody pitches in to make it happen. All the hours the guys have sacrificed to get the car ready comes from our dedication to the sport and also from our camaraderie as a team. I like the fact that this is something any racer can achieve; it isn’t about high dollar cars and crazy budgets. Everybody here made this happen and earned this — that’s what’s so rewarding about it.”
Starting 5th, the white and yellow 325i worked its way up to 3rd and remained in the top-5 in the early going until a battle for position with a Corvette found the 325i in the tirewall and needing quick repairs.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Clay. “The BimmerWorld boys were armed with GearWrench tools and jumped on the car the minute it came into the pits. They assessed the situation, made the repairs without hesitation and we only lost one lap in the ordeal. Amazing stuff.” With their BMW back on track and with time to claw back, the four drivers used all of the 325i’s attributes to make up their lap and then some.
“The car is just a great example of having every area of performance maximized within a club racing budget and rules package,” Clay stated. “We were able to pass people under braking all day with our Performance Friction brake kit. Our PFC 01 pads also went the entire distance which saved us time in the pits while our competitors were changing pads to make it to the finish. We developed the package specifically for BMWs and it allowed us to drive flat out for twelve hours straight with no concerns.”
The team’s Nitto NT-01 tires also gave the team a race-long advantage. “Our tires were a huge plus for us,” said Marks. “Some teams went for sticky tires that went like heck and then gave up. Our Nittos gave us grip all day long and outlasted the other guys. We used some tires for seven hours straight! It’s unheard of in endurance racing…”
As Marks is coming into his own as an amateur racing driver he’s learning more about what his pro drivers experience in their BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90s. “I’m used to being the leader in pit lane but Ryan Kuhn did an incredible job while I got to race this weekend. This is great for me though