BimmerWorld Ready for Championship Push at Home in VIR

August 20th, 2014

preVIRNEWS

The clock is rapidly winding down on the 2014 Continental Tire Series Championship, and for the Virginia-based BMW aftermarket and tuning specialists at BimmerWorld, a chance to race at home in front of loyal fans, friends and customers at Virginia International Raceway comes at a perfect time in the season.

Locked in a heated battle for the Street Tuner Championship with BMWs built and developed at their nearby base in Dublin, VA, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay says racing with plenty of support on home soil can only help the team’s Championship efforts.

“VIR is one of my favorite tracks, even if it wasn’t in my backyard,” he said. “I am glad the series is returning this year, and hopeful that our friends and family will be attending to watch our first 2014 win! We have tested at VIR earlier this year and a majority of our team has a huge amount of laps at the track, so I am looking for good things this weekend in front of the home crowd.”

BimmerWorld’s Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke have led the ST Championship this season in the No. 81 BMW 328i, and sit within striking distance of recapturing the lead before the season finale in October. As evidenced by the strong team showing at the previous round at Road America, BimmerWorld’s entire four-car program is focused on helping the No. 81 to take the ST crown.

The team will have one change to its lineup this weekend as BimmerWorld’s race-winning driver Dan Rogers steps out of the No. 82 BMW 328i he shares with Seth Thomas to handle fatherly duties away from the track.

“I will miss Dan this weekend, but he is with his family helping his daughter move into college and has left his job in good hands with BimmerWorld regular James Colborn,” Clay explained. “Our team goal for the rest of the season is a Championship for the No. 81, but each of our four cars is capable of and looking for a top step on the podium. I am sure Seth wants it as much as the rest of us, so we will see how the weekend plays out.”

Despite losing his wingman for the event, Thomas is confident Colburn, who filled in for Rogers at a previous round, will help maintain the No. 82’s momentum.

“Dan will be missed this weekend at VIR but he has put the right person in the seat for this weekend,” said Thomas. “James and I have worked together in the past with a lot of success. He will have a learning curve on Thursday because he has never driven VIR but I expect with the help of the BimmerWorld team and me, he will be up to speed quickly. From there we hope to be fighting for a top-5 like we did at Lime Rock Park earlier this season.”

Clay’s rookie teammate Jason Briedis has also had a significant learning curve to deal with this year, yet has been driving with the pace and poise of a veteran at recent events. Making the transition to pro racing with BimmerWorld after earning his stripes with the team in amateur events has clearly paid off for Briedis, and with a chance to race at a familiar track, he expects to add more valuable experience in the turbocharged No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot this year,” said Briedis. “Now every weekend I expect us to be challenging for a top-10 or top-5. VIR is a track I have driven at least a few times so we are hoping for great things this weekend.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: VIR, August 23

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

VIR TEAM:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Eric Zimmermann & Tyler Cooke

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Tyler Cooke & Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & James Colborn

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis

BimmerWorld’s BMWs Score Three Top-10 Finishes at Road America

August 13th, 2014

postRoadNEWS

All totaled, BimmerWorld’s four-car fleet improved 34 positions last weekend during the 2.5-hour race Continental Tire Series race at Wisconsin’s Road America circuit. The 4.0-mile track rewarded the years of handling and braking optimization BimmerWorld has brought to its E90-based BMW 328is, and F30-based 328i, the brand-new turbocharged BMW BimmerWorld is developing this season, delivered once again in the Street Tuner class.

Placing three of its cars inside the top-7 demonstrated BimmerWorld’s expertise while competing against smaller cars in the ST category that used their modest stature to carve through the air on Road America’s long straights. Finishes of fourth, sixth and seventh also represented stellar execution by the team’s drivers, pit crew, and race strategists, and left team owner/driver James Clay mostly satisfied with the outcome.

“Road America is historically a good track for our BMW cars, and I think we had solid team results this weekend,” he said. “Three cars in the top-7 is an accomplishment – almost as much so as avoiding the big Lap 1 incident with all team cars. After some tough races with our E90 platform this year, it was nice to achieve some more positive results this weekend.”

BimmerWorld’s top performance went to the fourth-place No. 81 BMW 328i driven by Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke. The duo is locked in a close battle for the 2014 Street Tuner Championship, and currently holds third in the standings. With three races left to run, Clay says the team will continue to push the No. 81 as far as it can go as the season draws to a close.

“Road America was a good points race for the No. 81 which is focusing purely on the Championship at this point,” he added. “As we wind the season down, we lost the points lead so we have to be a little more aggressive to gain it back in the time left. We are lucky to have three other team cars committed to this result and it proved helpful for the No. 81 to have all three of those cars supporting at Road America. We will continue to provide the best car we can and hopefully we can get the consistency, speed, and luck to win this thing three races from now.”

For Liefooghe, the final races pose an interesting challenge as all three circuits favor the BimmerWorld BMW in some areas, but could provide an even greater advantage for the competition in other sections. Beyond circuit-based considerations, Liefooghe sees completing three clean races as another element that will influence the Championship outcome.

“As we saw in Road America, a lot can happen in three races,” he said. “A lot of podium contenders for that race got tangled up in the first lap, and that opened up an opportunity for us. If we consider that the tracks for the rest of the season will have the same flavor as Road America and base the results on pure speed, the outlook could be a little grim. Last year, we won at that track with a good strategy and competitive lap times, yet this year, we did not have the speed that other cars had. It is hard to argue against cars with an extra 3mph or more on the straights, especially when they have the same weight and bigger tires. Fortunately, BimmerWorld will keep engineering our E90s and try to get even more out of the chassis. We are still on track to win the Championship.”

Road America featured the latest top-10 for BimmerWorld’s in-house developed F30 chassis, and at its current rate of progress, running towards the front of the ST class is becoming an expectation during a year of discovery with the car.

“The F30 has been a solid car all season, and we are finding fewer surprises, which is allowing us to focus forward,” Clay explained. “We want our first win in the new chassis this year, and I think we have it in the car. We have had a few solid finishes in a row now, and I feel like that is our current expectation for the new chassis. The F30 is our team’s future and at this point it looks very bright.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: VIR, August 23

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

ROAD AMERICA RESULTS & QUOTEBOARD:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P24, Finished P17

Eric Zimmermann: The No. 80 drove great at Road America. It was my first time there, but was able to bring the car from 24th to 15th during my extended stint. Unfortunately, we had to make our driver change under green and fell a lap down.

Tyler Cooke: My closing stint in the No. 80 unfortunately didn’t go as we hoped. I left the pits a lap down due to some issues. The team did a great job and the car had great pace. I was able to run with all the cars in the top five and ten. I’m looking forward to VIR with the momentum from both cars.

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P14, finished P4

Tyler Cooke: My opening stint in the No. 81 went very well. I was able to drive the car from 14 to 5th which was great and gave the car to Greg in a strong position. Greg drove the car to 4th which was a great job!

Greg Liefooghe: I was lucky enough to have the No. 84 behind me throughout the stint to help me. Teamwork paid off.

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P20, Finished P7

Dan Rogers: Overall, we were pleased with the results of the race for the No. 82. We saw improvement in qualifying from our earlier practice times, avoided the mess in Turn 5 of the first lap, and turned a good car over to Seth for the finish.

Seth Thomas: Great race and result for Dan and I. The action throughout the race was intense. Every time I would get around one car I had to work hard to get another position. Overall the competition in the ST Class is some of the best sports car racing you can find.

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), Qualified P11, Finished P6

Jason Briedis: We were lucky to avoid the first lap accident as cars were wrecking in front and behind. After that I was just concentrating on maintaining track position and preserving the car so James would have something for the second half of the race.

James Clay: Jason did a fantastic job of both qualifying the car and moving it forward during his stint. The green flag stop was well executed, and we got a little help with a yellow to bunch the field. I was more committed to helping the No. 81 this race, but we didn’t have the car to win it anyway. Another solid one in the books for us though, and I am excited to get to VIR for our next round to spray some champagne!

BimmerWorld Looking to Recapture Glory at Road America

August 6th, 2014

preRoadAmericaNEWS

Wisconsin’s 4.0-mile Road America road course located in Elkhart Lake holds a special place for all those who’ve visited the circuit or had the good fortune to race throughout its 14 swooping turns. For BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay, Road America represents a milestone in his distinguished racing career as it’s the site of his first professional victory.

Personal sentiments aside, Clay’s 4-car Continental Tire Series team is locked in a battle for the Street Tuner Championship, and with Road America serving as one of the final stops on the 2014 tour to score valuable points, he’s focused on getting his program ready just two weeks after their most recent race at Indianapolis.

“The current schedule of tight turnarounds plays on one of our team strengths,” he said. “Our BimmerWorld team is stacked with full-time technicians, and our typical post-event routine lasts about three days, including post-event setdowns on both suspension and chassis dyno, fully going through each car and addressing standard needs and car-specific problems, new setups for the new track, and a final dyno certification. Even in a hectic schedule, we have a few days to implement and continue development or solve problems that show up at the past event or in the setdown. I am very confident that we come to every race with an exemplary level of preparation and ready to maximize our cars’ performance.”

BimmerWorld’s Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke have held a top-3 position in the Championship with the No. 81 BMW 328i (E90), and while they represent the team’s best chance at securing the title, the rest of BimmerWorld’s fleet also look to the final races at a prime chance to move up in the standings. With a few performance balancing tweaks implemented by the Continental Tire Series, Clay believes his team could be in for a late-season rally.

“As the season wraps up, the series has finally made what we feel are much-needed performance adjustments,” he added. “I don’t know that it won’t be too little and too late, but we are working to both maximize points for the Championship, as well as wrap up the season with some solid finishes. Depending on the specific car, our approach and strategy will vary, but as always, we are focused on doing the best we can with our equipment and I am confident that we will get results from the effort.”

Jason Briedis, Clay’s rookie teammate in the turbocharged No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), is returning to one of his personal favorite venues as well. And after a string of races where the BimmerWorld-developed F30 platform has fought among the front runners in Street Tuner, he has high hopes more momentum will follow.

“We are getting better each weekend, so each race I have higher expectations,” said Briedis. “The F30 definitely seems to perform well on the higher speed tracks so I am hoping to realize those expectations. A podium would be a great result. Road America is a beautiful track and I always look forward to racing there.”

BimmerWorld veteran Dan Rogers shares the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90) with Seth Thomas and with multiple Street Tuners wins to their credit, wants to add another this weekend.

“Seth and I both love Road America, and we’re hopeful, with some of the recent performance adjustments, for the BimmerWorld cars to be more competitive this weekend than we’ve been all season. The track has historically been kind to the E90s, and we expect it to be so this year. The BimmerWorld BMWs always roll off the trailer prepared for the weekend, and are as good at the end of the race as they are when the green flag drops. All of the reasons we would expect the E90s should be racy up in Wisconsin hold true for the F30, as well. The balance and consistency of the car are its greatest strengths.

“In addition to the great track, we love going up to Road America because we have a great group of fans and friends up there. We look forward to getting reacquainted with the local BMW enthusiasts as we prepare for the race.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: Road America, August 9

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

ROAD AMERICA TEAM:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Eric Zimmermann & Tyler Cooke

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Tyler Cooke & Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & Dan Rogers

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis

BimmerWorld Leaves Indy With Fast Cars But Few Results

July 30th, 2014

postIndyNEWS

Motor racing can present team owners and drivers with numerous levels of frustration. Possibly the most dreaded outcome, as the BimmerWorld Continental Tire Series team can attest, comes from days where a team has race-winning speed yet comes away without the results to support that pace and potential.

Notorious for its frequent caution periods, the Continental Tire Series followed a familiar script during its first two visits to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where late-race yellows slowed the field and eliminated the need for a final splash of fuel to make it to the finish.

The 2014 event defied convention as the second half of the 2h30min race went caution free, ruining BimmerWorld’s plans to score its second win at the famed Speedway as its fastest entries were forced to surrender the lead and visit pit lane for a few drops of fuel.

It left the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90 328i of Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke as the first car home in 12th, followed by the new No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW F30 328i piloted by team owner James Clay and Jason Briedis in 13th.

“As a whole, we just got caught out with pit strategy this race, which ended with an hour and twenty minutes of green running,” said a befuddled Clay. “Since when does that happen in our series? We needed a yellow and we didn’t get it, and we didn’t have the fuel we needed to give a different set of results, but everyone worked hard and we had all the makings for another win this weekend. I really hate it when we are at the tracks where we CAN win and fall short. This was just one of those weekends.”

BimmerWorld’s in-house development of the turbocharged F30 BMW platform continues to pay dividends as the No. 84 car visits each track for the first time. Indianapolis offered another chance for Clay and Briedis to gain valuable knowledge with the chassis, and despite the unrepresentative finishing position, BimmerWorld’s F30 was in the mix for most of the race.

“I am really happy with the progress of the new platform 328i that Jason and I drive, and with our work in the car,” Clay added. “Every weekend is getting better, and I am very aware that we are headed to the track where I got my first pro win next week. Certainly I expect big things for the F30 next race, for the rest of the season, and for a lot of seasons to come. It has been a difficult road to make this car a winner, but I think we are just about there!”

Liefooghe and Cooke are still in contention for the Street Tuner Championship, and according to the sports car veteran, the best outlook after Indy is to concentrate on the remaining races on the calendar.

“It didn’t make for a very good points day for us with two of the cars we are fighting against for the championship finishing on the podium,” said Liefooghe. “But we still have four races to go and I think we have made some progress chassis wise which allowed us to run upfront at Indy, so I’m looking forward to what we can do over the upcoming races.”

Liefooghe’s teenage teammate spend the event pulling double duty as the opening driver in the No. 81 and the closing driver in the No. 80 he shared with Street Tuner rookie Eric Zimmermann, and can’t wait for the next round at Road America to give it another go.

“My first weekend pulling double duty went very well,” said Cooke. “I got to learn how to drive in two completely different handling cars as well as giving the feedback. We were having a great race in both cars and I definitely think we can carry that momentum to Road America.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: Road America, August 9

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

INDY RESULTS:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Eric Zimmermann & Tyler Cooke: Qualified P32, Finished P24

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Tyler Cooke & Greg Liefooghe: Qualified P14, finished P12

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & Dan Rogers: Qualified P25, Finished P17

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis: Qualified P10, Finished P13

BimmerWorld Returns to the Brickyard with Another Victory in Mind

July 22nd, 2014

preIndieNEWS

One of BimmerWorld’s greatest achievements came in 2012 as the BMW aftermarket and tuning experts wrote their names in the history books as the first-ever winners of the Continental Tire Series Street Tuner class at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fast forward to 2014 and with the series set to return to the legendary Brickyard this week to contest the latest Continental Series round, which combines portions of the oval and features a newly repaved and reconfigured infield road course that measures 2.4 miles.

“Indy has been very good to us since its addition to the schedule with a win the inaugural year and a pair of cars that were close to a repeat the following year,” said team owner/driver James Clay. “But I am not sure how I feel about the track changes for this year — the addition of a tight chicane that interrupts the long sweeping banking takes away one of our strengths and plays to the current balance of performance strengths of the lightweight cars in the field.

“I don’t know that this will be an E90 track again this year. The F30 has been showing more strength as development continues, but we won’t know until we get on track and determine the gearing whether it will be enough to overcome the chicane.”

Also different from 2012, BimmerWorld heads to Indy with an expanded 4-car ST team. A significant change within the Virginia-based program has also taken place ahead of Indy as teenage ace Tyler Cooke, who serves as the opener in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i he shares with Greg Liefooghe, has been promoted to the closing driver in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i piloted by rookie Eric Zimmermann. Once he’s done in the No. 81, Cooke will climb into the No. 80 to complete his Ironman effort.

Cooke and Zimmermann represent the best BimmerWorld has to offer its drivers as both pilots have used the extensive coaching and training supplied within the program to accelerate their respective learning curves. For the 19-year-old Cooke, being entrusted with driving two BimmerWorld entries and serving as the closer for the No. 80 is something Clay sees as the right move at the right time.

“This was the perfect opportunity to both continue Tyler’s development in our program and provide Eric one of our veterans to continue his development as well,” he added. “Even though Tyler hasn’t clicked off his 20th birthday yet, he is maturing into quite the young professional for us.”

Cooke is confident he’s prepared for the physical rigors and mental acuity required to complete an entire 2h30min race across two cars.

“I am definitely up for the task,” he said. “I’ve been training and definitely feel up for this challenge not only physically but mentally as well. This is going to help me leading into next year to be the closing driver which is what I am most excited for, and I’m looking forward to the next five races in this dual role!”

For Zimmermann, who recently joined the team after working through BimmerWorld’s Driver Development Program, having a team veteran in Cooke to learn from—both on the track and in the engineering office—should accelerate his personal learning curve.

“The balance of time in the car will shift now with Tyler starting in the No. 81 and closing in the No. 80,” he said. “That shift will give me more time during practice sessions to further my familiarity with the car and to learn the two tracks that I don’t know at Indy and Road America. I will also be tasked with providing setup feedback on the car, which will be a new opportunity for me to develop additional racing skills. Lastly, Tyler is a great young talent and his driving insights will go a long way towards making us a successful team for the balance of the 2014 season.”

UP NEXT: Practice for the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge begins on Thursday, July 24, with the race following on Friday, July 25.

FOLLOW: Keep track of BimmerWorld’s progress by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

INDY ROSTER:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Eric Zimmermann, Tyler Cooke

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Tyler Cooke, Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Dan Rogers, Seth Thomas

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

BimmerWorld Sees Breakthrough with New Turbocharged BMW F30 Chassis in Canada

July 16th, 2014

postCanadaNEWS

A trip north of the border to the famed Mosport road course resulted in BimmerWorld’s brightest day of the season with its brand-new turbocharged BMW 328i built on the F30 chassis platform. Just past the halfway point of the Continental Tire Series season, BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay and teammate Jason Briedis came home fifth in the Street Tuner class as the duo used all of the handling, braking and acceleration available to shine in Canada.

“BimmerWorld has delivered a strong F30 racecar to us this year and we have found every bit of bad luck possible it seems,” said Clay. “We have known all along that we just needed a solid weekend, and this one was it. I love Mosport and it has always been a good track for both me as a driver and a well-balanced BMW platform. Certainly there is more to come from Jason and I this year, and this was a nice step in the right direction.”

BimmerWorld made the bold decision to take on the sizeable F30 development project to build tows the future in the Street Tuner class, and to expand the Virginia-based team’s expertise and aftermarket offerings for the German sedan. With one F30 and three BMW E90s competing under the BimmerWorld tent this year, Clay says at its current rate of development, a second F30 is in the pipeline to replace one of the E90s.

“The new F30 is proving to be a very capable racecar, which is exactly what I would expect from the next generation of BMWs,” he continued. “We have a second car in the shop that will enter the series soon and I have had a lot of internal interest in getting it on track after the potential we have seen this year. The schedule is quite tight at this point in the season, and we aren’t going to put a car on track that isn’t ready to win, so I would expect it to debut in the next few races once we are able to fully test it.”

The fifth-place result for the No. 84 BimmerWorld F30 also represented the top finish within the team at Mosport, and Clay credits his rookie co-driver, who worked his way up through BimmerWorld’s Driver Development program, for a big part of the excellent outcome.

“Jason really clicked with the track this weekend,” he explained. “We are both getting really tuned in at this point of the year and I feel like we are melding into a strong pairing in the new equipment. It is always enjoyable to watch drivers develop in the series and progress, and I have been happy with the performances of our new guys this year. But as we continue to dig hard, the best is yet to come.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 25

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

MOSPORT RESULTS:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Corey Fergus & Eric Zimmermann: Qualified P20, Finished P26

Corey Fergus: Mosport was a better track for the BMWs. It was my first time racing there, but I quickly realized how great of a track it was. It’s all about momentum and carrying speed without slowing the car down too much. It’s a true driver’s track. Everything just came together for me and it really clicked. The car felt great and I felt fast; like I was where I needed to be. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to show my stuff. That’s racing I guess.

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Greg Liefooghe & Tyler Cooke: Qualified P8, finished P10

Tyler Cooke: P10 isn’t a bad result at all, but it’s also not the best result we wanted. The race was a tough race with a track that is very hard to pass. P10 has still kept us in the points and I think we have a great shot to do well at Indianapolis.

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & Dan Rogers: Qualified P19, Finished P12

Seth Thomas: Our race was pretty typical of a race at Mosport where it becomes a chess match on how to gain positions. I didn’t play chess that well this weekend as I picked some of the wrong moves on the restarts where I would either get pushed off the track or would have to back out of the throttle to avoid a wreck. After that I got stuck behind a car that was really good at accelerating out of the turns but not so great on corner entry. It didn’t seem to matter how well I would get the entry right I didn’t have the speed coming out to make the move stick going into the next turn. Towards the end my tires were going away so I did what I could to keep my spot. Overall it was a race where I am glad we came home with some points.

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis: Qualified P15, Finished P5

Jason Briedis: It was definitely satisfying running closer to the front of the field. It’s also nice to be seeing improvement each weekend. We have put the car in a good position during several of the last races so it’s nice to get a finish reflective of our capability.

BimmerWorld Driver Development Program, New F30 Chassis Shine At Watkins Glen

July 1st, 2014

postWatkinsNEWS

With little to show for BimmerWorld’s extra effort at IMSA’s most recent Continental Tire Series round held at the Watkins Glen International road course, the team is left to rue a fifth consecutive event where a rule imbalance has kept the BMW brand, teams campaigning BMWs and their various types of BMW chassis from getting near Victory Lane.

The Virginia-based BMW aftermarket and tuning experts have asserted themselves as regular contenders for the Street Tuner Championship, but have spent 2014 persevering through a season where brands other than BMW have enjoyed feature status. The last five races have seen Mazda’s MX-5 score three straight wins followed by the Honda Civic Si earning the last two, including Watkins Glen, leading BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay to bide his time until other ST brands receive some of the spotlight.

“I wish I didn’t sound like a broken record this year, but we have now gone through another round where the BMWs just don’t have the pace to compete,” he said. “IMSA noticed the deficiency and made a small adjustment, but it just wasn’t enough to make a difference. We again scored Championship points, and our cars are consistently performing at the top of the marque, but unless we can be on par to win races, we will fall short even on the Championship at the end of the year.”

Without the speed to win—at least until more meaningful rules adjustments are made, BimmerWorld has, as Clay noted, relied on overall consistency, supreme driving, and creative race strategy to minimize the damage.

As unlikely as it may seem, the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i tandem of Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke have used finishes of second, seventh, fifth, ninth, eighth, and 12th last weekend to earn the lead in the ST Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship. Their rivals–many who have scored multiple wins this year, have often traded a speed advantage for consistent results, but at the current rate, the No. 81 will be easily overtaken in the standings during the final six races of the year.

Departing Watkins Glen, Clay embraced the two key positives that stood out last weekend, beginning with the rapid rise of BimmerWorld Development Driver Eric Zimmermann. Joining respected young pro Corey Fergus in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i at the previous round in Kansas, Zimmermann used all of his amateur training under the BimmerWorld banner to record an impressive drive at Watkins Glen, which marked only his second outing in a pro racing series.

“I am proud of Eric’s hard work and his success – he has earned it,” Clay added. “I knew he was the right guy for the seat when we changed Corey’s co-driver mid-season, and he proved it at Watkins. I have a group of customers that reach out to us more often, not only for parts but also for car guidance and even driving advice, and end up becoming a part of the BimmerWorld family like Eric. It is just really great to see him continue to succeed.”

Using track experience gained as an amateur, Zimmermann combined his familiarity with Watkins and input from BimmerWorld’s season driver corps to find a competitive groove in the No. 80.

“Watkins Glen was a fantastic experience,” he said. “Having raced at the track once before was very helpful, but the biggest advantage gained was borne of getting more seat time in the No. 80. Corey and our other teammates continued to impress upon me the need to learn the skill of carrying momentum through the corners and that concept really clicked during qualifying. I was thrilled and, frankly, a little surprised at the time I was able to post. Once I’d put up a respectable qualifying time, I knew that I’d be in a much racier environment come race time and that one good lap wasn’t going to accomplish what Corey and I had set out to do. Fortunately, I was able to keep the pace and I found it to be a lot of fun driving more competitively and in typical racing traffic.”

Watkins also saw BimmerWorld’s new in-house developed turbocharged BMW F30 chassis post one of its most competitive runs. Compared to BimmerWorld’s highly developed, race-winning E90-based 328i platform, the F30 328i piloted by Clay and teammate Jason Briedis has only a half-season of on-track activity under its belt, making the No. 84′s rapid progress a welcome sign for BimmerWorld customers anticipating race-proven aftermarket components.

A simple mechanical issue kept the No. 84 car from a better result in the end, but as Clay explains, each lessons learned in the Street Tuner class will benefit BimmerWorld’s clientele.

“This was a fantastic weekend for our F30 328i, performing at a level to reach the top of the charts in every session,” he said. “Then in the race, we lost a differential cooler and had to come in for repairs to prevent bigger problems and that took some time. It is a shame that with all the new technology performing flawlessly, a mundane part took Jason and I out of the running for what I feel was a podium finish. The F30s rate of development is happening quickly, and we continue to work through smaller and smaller items. That, by itself, is very encouraging.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 11-13

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

WATKINS GLEN RESULTS:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Corey Fergus & Eric Zimmermann: Qualified P21, Finished P13

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Greg Liefooghe & Tyler Cooke: Qualified P16, finished P12

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & Dan Rogers: Qualified P23, Finished P16

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis: Qualified P19, Finished P28

BimmerWorld On A Hunt In Watkins Glen

June 25th, 2014

preWatkinsNEWS

The BMW experts at BimmerWorld Racing have persevered through a string of tough races where the opposition in IMSA’s Continental Tire Series Street Tuner division have held the upper hand, yet with this weekend’s race at the rolling, high-speed Watkins Glen circuit in upstate New York, the sports car veterans are looking to exploit the enhanced cornering and braking capabilities of their BMW 328is.

“Watkins has historically been one of those ‘BMW tracks’ for us,” said team owner/driver James Clay. “The long sweeping turns are well-suited for our heavier cars and the hard braking zones play to the strengths of our Performance Friction brake package. We received a small weight break before this event which is critical as it is less we have to lug up the hill leading into the fastest straight. I still think there is a little too much weight difference versus the lightest cars in the field, but I think we are bringing big guns to an almost fair fight this weekend, and I will happily take that.”

Despite the rules-based disadvantage BimmerWorld has encountered, a combination of excellent driving, phenomenal race strategy and pit stops, and amazing consistency has placed the E90-based No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i piloted by Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke first in the Championship standings. BimmerWorld also holds first in the ST Teams Championship.

Liefooghe and Cooke have been locked out of Victory Lane so far this year, making their point-leading accomplishment even more impressive, but with more than half of the Championship left to go, the team isn’t expecting an easy run to the season finale in October.

Watkins Glen presents another opportunity for BimmerWorld to log miles and learn more about the new turbocharged F30-based BMW 328i is has been developing on the racetrack this year. As the first pro-level F30 competing in North America, the tuning and aftermarket specialists at BimmerWorld are racing the F30 while building a crucial database of performance specs and parts that will benefit their customers.

“We have had some up and down finishes with the F30, but we are actively learning every step of the way and that’s just part of the process with a brand-new car,” said Clay, who shares the No. 84 F30 with co-driver Jason Briedis. “The last race at Kansas showed a new powerplant weakness which we have since addressed and I think Watkins Glen should be good for us.”

Corey Fergus, who kicked off a new driving partnership with Eric Zimmermann at Kansas in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, says he expects the popular 4-door sedan will offer up a stronger fight this weekend.

“Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks,” said Fergus. “It’s very technical and has some rhythm sections that are challenging. I was on pole there last year so I’m hoping we have a good chance at a quality finish. It’s a little bit of a horsepower track with the uphill straight leading into the bus-stop so you would expect that the cars with more top end and torque will do well there. But there are also some sections where the driver can make a difference. Those important sections to get right will be the bus-stop, the laces of the boot, the toe of the boot, and coming out of the boot.

“The BMW won’t be the fastest car in a straight line or run the fastest lap time, but hopefully we can stay consistent through the race when others experience fall off, capitalize on other people’s mistakes, and be there at the end to secure a good finish.”

UP NEXT: Practice for the Continental Tire 150 At The Glen begins on Thursday, June 26, with the race following on Saturday, June 28.

FOLLOW: Keep track of BimmerWorld’s progress by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

WATKINS GLEN ROSTER:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus, Eric Zimmermann

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Tyler Cooke, Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Dan Rogers, Seth Thomas

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

BimmerWorld’s Frustrations Continue To Mount After Race In Kansas

June 10th, 2014

postKansasNEWS

Tensions are mounting at BimmerWorld, the veteran Continental Tire Series team, after contesting its fourth consecutive event where the rules make reaching the podium with one of its four BMW 328is little more than a fantasy.

Known for its fast and highly developed BMW sedans in IMSA’s Street Tuner class, BimmerWorld, along with the other BMW teams in the series, finds itself unable to break the stranglehold of the current rules, much less win a race, due to the current Balance of Performance inequities.

Left once again to fight for a best finish of fifth—behind the other marques, BimmerWorld’s drivers watched as Honda Civics and Porsche Caymans ruled the Kansas “roval,” a slight change from the three previous rounds where the Mazda MX-5s dominated each race.

BimmerWorld ended the 2hr30min race with two cars inside the top-10, but team owner/driver James Clay was in no mood to celebrate eighth- and ninth-place finishes by the Nos. 81 and 82 328is.

“I’m livid right now,” he said. “We haven’t gotten less smart; we haven’t forgotten how to win; we haven’t forgotten how to be a championship caliber team. The other cars have been getting breaks and gifts for years and we’re basically stuck in 2010. We’re on the same restrictor as 2010, we’re had more weight added since then, and keep getting slowed down to the point of being uncompetitive.”

BimmerWorld’s other two cars, the No. 80 and the No. 84, finished 15th and 22nd in ST.

Through the inconsistencies of the four most recent winners, BimmerWorld’s No. 80, with drivers Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke, find themselves leading the ST points standings after Kansas, but as Clay explains, it won’t last if the rules for the BMW 328i remain the same.

“Oddly enough, we’re barely able to get inside the top-10, but we’re leading the points because we’re more consistent than the cars that take turns winning,” he added. “Our cars are almost a full second off of the pace in this race, and we’re having to do some pretty wild things with race strategy and take a lot of gambles to get to where we end up, while the other cars just go about their races with no concerns. We’re almost at the halfway point of the season, enough is enough, and we’d like the same opportunity.”

Liefooghe, who turned in another flawless performance to earn eighth with Cooke, echoed Clay’s sentiments. “One of the only positives is we’re now leading the points, but that’s out of consistency more than anything,” he said. “We’ve just been consistent because that’s all we can be right now. It has been frustrating because we’re not gaining speed like the other cars. We’re just fighting to get a top-10.”

Kansas saw the debut of Eric Zimmermann in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW with teammate and rising star Corey Fergus mentoring the BimmerWorld Driver Development program graduate during the event.

“I’m still standing and that was the primary goal for the weekend,” Zimmermann said with a laugh. “I ended up in the car for most of the race because of how the yellows fell. Our pro Corey only got 40 minutes or so which was unexpected. It wasn’t quite as overwhelming as I expected. The quality of drivers is higher than what I’ve faced and it was a great learning experience. It was great to meet Corey, who is a consummate pro and great teacher.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: Watkins Glen, June 26-28

FOLLOW: BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

KANSAS QUOTEBOARD:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Corey Fergus & Eric Zimmermann: Qualified P28, Finished P15

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Greg Liefooghe & Tyler Cooke: Qualified P17, finished P8

Tyler Cooke: I was just using my head. A lot of cars out-braked themselves into Turn 1 and I just stayed out and made the most of the situation before handing over to Greg.

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Seth Thomas & Dan Rogers: Qualified P26, Finished P9

Dan Rogers: This track, because it’s so simple and so long, is like a dyno. It shows you who has the power and the answer is the other cars, unfortunately. It was really a strategy thing that saw us running Seth in the car so much because I’m out of the points because I missed the Lime Rock race. We ripped them up on strategy, but we had nothing for them on speed–the Porsche Cayman was 1.2 seconds faster than our fastest lap with a pro’s pro like Seth driving. It’s a pretty hard act to follow. Given the way things were stacked against us, we have to be satisfied.

Seth Thomas: The strategy and the crew put us in the right spot. The big thing is, that it’s the only way you can get a BMW in the top 5. The best shot we have now, no matter how hard you drive or work the strategy, is a top 5. It’s frustrating. We’re going as fast as we can.

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), James Clay & Jason Briedis: Qualified P18, Finished P22

James Clay: It was another learning opportunity for our new turbocharged F30 chassis and we’ll see how things go at Watkins Glen.

BimmerWorld Heads To Kansas With Homegrown Talent Zimmermann Added For Remainder Of 2014

June 3rd, 2014

preKansasNEWS

With the first third of the 2014 Continental Tire Series Championship in the books, BimmerWorld heads into the middle third of the season this weekend at the Kansas Speedway “roval” with its sights set on something old and something new.

Starting with the old, the Virginia-based BMW tuning and aftermarket experts have become perennial Championship contenders since joining the series in 2010, and with its driver pairing of Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke currently sitting second in the standings with the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, the team will look to the 2.3-mile circuit as another opportunity to strengthen their title bid.

The No. 81 isn’t the only BMW from BimmerWorld’s four-car stable with a shot at a strong Championship finish as Seth Thomas in the No. 82 328i and Corey Fergus in the No. 80 are also within striking distance. For Fergus, Kansas will mark the first race with his new teammate Eric Zimmermann after contesting the first four rounds with series veteran Kevin Gleason.

“When Kevin Gleason had the opportunity to go GT racing in Europe, I wanted to facilitate the move by filling the open seat in the 80 car, but it is a little tough mid-season to find someone that is the right fit that isn’t already on a team,” said Clay. “We have a consistent history of putting top drivers in our BimmerWorld cars, and especially with Corey signed on for the year with Championship expectations, I needed a solid guy. Eric was my first call.”

Zimmermann, a product of BimmerWorld’s Driver Development program, has been groomed through the amateur-to-pro system developed by team owner/driver James Clay.

“BimmerWorld is different from many of our competitors in that we have a fairly expansive operation that includes developing and selling performance parts, building customer cars, and a coaching group to further develop driver talent – basically from the time you buy your BMW we can support your enthusiast goals through the pro ranks,” Clay explained. “I remember Eric from 2009 in the BMW Club Race School we sponsor—he was already eager to go racing! Through his progress, we have developed a relationship, and he has rapidly developed his program and abilities.

“Over the past couple of years, we typically talk a couple of times a week and I would like to think he has gotten a lot of good direction along the way to progress so quickly. But really, Eric is a driven guy and has worked hard for his gains, and he and Corey will make a solid team.”

For Zimmermann, jumping into the hotly-contested Continental Tire Series Street Tuner class will be far from easy, but he knows he’ll be surrounded with the best crew, engineers and teammate possible to ease the transition.

“First, I am flattered and excited to be joining such a successful racing team as that of BimmerWorld and to be sharing a car with someone as talented as Corey,” said Zimmermann. “Joining mid-season is unusual, but James and I have been talking about my potentially joining the BimmerWorld team for a while now and getting to start this year rather than in 2015 is a fortuitous opportunity. My initial goal is simple; I want to help Corey continue to succeed and to help him be in a place where he can place the car at or near the front.

“What I need to do in the first race or two is to go out, bring back a sound car and to do so in a position that is reasonably competitive. I know if I can do that, that Corey can perform his magic from there. As we work through the season, I hope to bring the car in closer to the front, which seems reasonable given the experience that I will be gaining from Corey and the balance of our team and from participating in the races and also because the latter part of the season has me on tracks with which I am very familiar.”

With Fergus moving to the role of closing driver in the No. 80, he’ll have two new adjustments to process at Kansas, yet with his track record as one of the bright young stars in the series, he’s expected to flourish as a mentor to Zimmermann and to charge to the finish line with skill and aggression.

“I’m not worried one bit about changing co-drivers in the middle of the season,” said Fergus. “Eric and I have a great team behind us and we both have similar goals. We’ve got eight races to try to get the 80 car back in the Championship and get some solid finishes. I’m looking forward to working together and seeing how far we can go.”

Clay is also enthused over the potential within the revised line-up in the No. 80.

“We run equally competitive cars and equipment on our team and Corey is a blossoming pro, and it is a really good opportunity for everyone involved,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing what these guys can do together.”

UP NEXT: Practice for the Grand Prix of Kansas begins on Friday, June 6, with the race following on Saturday, June 7.

FOLLOW:

Keep track of BimmerWorld’s progress by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

KANSAS ROSTER:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus, Eric Zimmermann

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Tyler Cooke, Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): James Colborn, Seth Thomas

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

BimmerWorld Takes Two Top-10s at Lime Rock; Strong Race For New BMW F30-Based 328i Chassis

May 29th, 2014

postLimerockNEWS

The Continental Tire Series built its reputation as a series where a variety of manufacturers and models can race with a realistic shot at winning. After three consecutive rounds where the smallest, lightest car in the Street Tuner class has dominated the proceedings, scoring three straight 1-2-3 finishes, the rest of the teams participating in the ST, including BimmerWorld, find themselves waiting for the scales of opportunity to be balanced in a more inclusionary manner.

The most recent event, held over a wet and dry Memorial Day Weekend at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, saw BimmerWorld dueling once again for “Best in Class” among the normal-sized ST cars as the tiny MX-5s used their lack of weight to fill the podium. Left to fight over fourth place and lower, the Virginia-based BMW aftermarket and tuning experts secured a fine fifth, ninth and 12th in ST, while its fourth entry finished down the running order after being struck and damaged by two cars on the opening lap.

“It is a fairly frustrating period for us all,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay. “We have the best driver lineup we have ever had on the team, across all four cars. We have a well-seasoned team, solid proven equipment, and new partners that help us continue to advance the cars we put on track. And while we execute very well on all fronts and can pull decent finishes by the skin of our teeth, we just can’t touch the cars that are 500 pounds lighter.

“It’s really getting quite maddening, but again, we will take solid points and continue to have faith in the IMSA officials that control the balance of performance, which has to be as clearly out of whack to them as it is to most in the paddock and watching the races unfold to our third MX-5 podium sweep in a row.”

Top finisher for BimmerWorld went to team veteran Seth Thomas and ST newcomer James Colborn in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW, and Thomas credited his pit crew and engineer for flawless execution to get the E90-based 328i into the tick of the fight.

“The BimmerWorld crew and engineers have been knocking it out of the park lately,” he said. “For the second race in a row, right off the trailer the car was setup for laying down fast laps. James did the same by coming up to speed very quickly at the tricky track. I wish we could have qualified in the wet because he would have put us in a higher starting position. During my stint it was typical Lime Rock, lots of on track battles and always busy in the car. Our strategy put us a little short on fuel so we had to stop an extra time. With the crews fast work again we didn’t lose any spots. Overall I think we did our part to bring points to the No. 82. We didn’t have the pace for the top-3 but we did have the pace to finish in the top-5.”

Clay and co-driver Jason Briedis recorded the most competitive outing for the team’s new turbocharged F30-based BMW 328i, placing 12th at the finish. With the entire project being developed in-house by BimmerWorld, the team continues to make great strides with the first-of-its-kind F30 race car in North America.

“It was good to finally get a really good race under our belts in the new F30 without issues,” he added. “It was a short weekend and we had rain to deal with, and we had a handling issue we didn’t get to address perfectly, and it was the minor kink in our performance. But everything else about the platform, the team, and the driving was rock solid. I am happy with the result and look for more and better as we go.”

UP NEXT FOR BIMMERWORLD: The Continental Tire Series event at Kansas Speedway on June 6-7. Dan Rogers, who missed Lime Rock due to family commitments, will be back in the No. 82, and Corey Fergus will have a new teammate to share the No. 80 in the run to the season finale at Road Atlanta in October.

FOLLOW: Keep up with the team as they prepare for Kansas by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

LIME ROCK QUOTE BOARD:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P15, Finished P24

Corey Fergus: I wish IMSA would let us qualify in the rain. Starting based on championship points puts a lot of drivers around each other with varying talent. The end result is what happened to us on the first lap. I got drilled from behind which caused me to hit a couple cars. This damage probably resulted in a loss of power steering and broken sway bar and a 24th place finish. It’s especially disappointing because we had such a fast pit stop and a strong car. I know my teammate Kevin Gleason would have done a great job. We work well together and I’ll miss him as a co-driver.

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P2, Finished P9

Greg Liefooghe: Our car ran into some issues affecting the handling, and around this track it takes a toll on you. It felt like I drove the 24 Hours of Lime Rock! Dave, our engineer, guided me through how much fuel I needed to save at the end of the race, and he was the reason why we managed to finish without refueling and were able to hold on to a top 10-finish, allowing us to keep second place in the championship.

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P20, Finished P5

James Colborn: Racing with Seth and the entire BimmerWorld team was a great experience and I can’t wait to get another chance to do it again.

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), Qualified P30, Finished P12

Jason Briedis: Like James mentioned, it was nice to get a decent finish after a few tough weekends. I am starting to get more comfortable with the F30 and hopefully can continue to improve. With the limited practice and rain we didn’t quite get the car where we would have liked for the race, but all in all our pace was good.

BimmerWorld On A Podium Quest In Connecticut

May 21st, 2014

preLimeRockNEWS

The BMW aftermarket and tuning specialists at BimmerWorld head into this weekend’s race at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park in search of their first Continental Tire Series win of 2014. The tiny bullring circuit has favored BimmerWorld’s BMW 328is in the past, with the team scoring notable finishes in the Street Tuner class, and with the Virginia-based outfit off to another strong start to the championship, Lime Rock has been targeted as a venue where the entire four-car program can take another step forward.

Once BimmerWorld leaves Lime Rock, the series takes off on a steadier string of races after long pauses between the earlier rounds. Lime Rock also serves as a circuit where some of the smaller, lighter ST cars could have less of an obvious advantage.

“I think we are all looking forward to hitting a rhythm in the schedule,” said BimmerWorld owner and racer James Clay. “It has been a little frustrating for the entire field over the last couple of rounds with both tracks and regulations that favor the Mazda MX-5s so strongly, and I hope even though their winning streak included last year’s Lime Rock race, it will be a more neutral track that allows other cars to vie for the ST victory.”

BimmerWorld has used tracks like Lime Rock to hone and develop its BMW 328 (E90) platform into a proven winner, and this year the team’s brand-new F30-based BMW 328 to race at the picturesque tree-lined facility will join the fray. With Clay and co-driver Jason Briedis at the controls of the No. 84 F30, and BimmerWorld’s peerless group of engineers and technicians advancing the car’s competitive stance at every round, Lime Rock should serve as another springboard for the turbocharged racecar.

“We certainly have a longer work list after every race as we continue to massage and develop the F30,” Clay explained. “I am hopeful we are eliminating more possible surprises and I am looking forward to some momentum and positive results from the new chassis.”

The tandem of Corey Fergus, Kevin Gleason–newcomers to BimmerWorld this season–in the No. 80 E90 have shown the pace and patience expected from renowned veterans, and according to Gleason, Lime Rock poses a perfect opportunity to start a charge up the Championship standings.

“Lime Rock should be a good track for Corey and I to get a strong result,” he said. “The BimmerWorld team has a successful history here and I don’t think there is any reason why we can’t continue that trend. We will try to use the contact-friendly track to our advantage by making good decisions and not getting overzealous too early in the race, hopefully to be there at the end and fight for a podium.”

Although BimmerWorld is known for its consistency within the cockpit, one of the team’s long-time drivers will miss Lime Rock for a very worthy reason.

“Both Seth and I really like Lime Rock – great, classic track,” said Dan Rogers, who shares the No. 82 BimmerWorld E90 with Seth Thomas. “This year, there’s a twist, though! Seth will have a ‘special guest co-driver’ to pair with him at LRP. James Colborn, a good friend, and sometime BimmerWorld driver will be subbing for me at this one race only. I have an 18 year old daughter, whom I am very proud of, graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City, MI, on the day of the race. Not much could keep me from Lime Rock during a Continental Tire Series race, but this is one of the few items on the list. Best of luck to James and Seth–go fast, and take chances!”

LIME ROCK LINEUP

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus, Kevin Gleason

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Tyler Cooke, Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): James Colborn, Seth Thomas

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

Follow the team as it competes at the fourth round of the Continental Tire Series held in Connecticut by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Takes Two Top-6s In Monterey, Solidifies Its Championship Effort

May 7th, 2014

postMonteryNEWS

With the comically small cars in the Continental Tire Series running away from the field once again in the Street Tuner class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the BMW specialists at BimmerWorld turned to exceptionally smart strategy calls and supreme driving performances to secure impressive finishes last weekend in California.

As routine winners in the series, BimmerWorld was prepared for the “race within a race” among normal-sized Street Tuner entries in Monterey, and turned to class-leading pit stops and tactics to propel the Nos. 81 and 82 entries to fifth- and sixth-place finishes.

“We knew going into this weekend that we were again racing to fill the spots behind the light MX-5 cars who have won the last four of five races, but our team again prepared top cars, made a very aggressive pit strategy call, and we finished well due to an excellent performance all around,” said team owner/driver James Clay. “We don’t seem to have the performance balance in our favor this year, and we would like to win races instead of just collecting points, but I am proud to see that we can still gain solid finishes through hard work and preparation.”

BimmerWorld’s Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke battled for the top spot behind the trio of MX-5s that ran away in a 1-2-3 finish, settling for fifth in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i after two hours and thirty minutes of frenetic competition. The finish also added to their points tally after three rounds, with the two sitting second in the Championship standings.

“When we looked at the calendar at the start of the year, we knew that, with the number of MX5s in the field, there were some tracks where we’d have no chance at a win,” said Liefooghe. “We focused on scoring as many points as possible for the championship and I think we achieved that goal.

“Our engineer ran a very aggressive strategy, pitting us right at the time limit which gave us the track position when the pits cycled through. With the race seeing that many full course yellows, the emphasis at the end of the race was not on pace anymore but more on conserving our track position. We’re in a good position to fight for the Championship and now want to add some wins.”

The Monterey race marked the latest outing for BimmerWorld’s brand-new turbocharged BMW F30 chassis, which is being developed in competition this year by Clay and teammate Jason Briedis. Based on its pace in California, Clay sees better finishes on the immediate horizon.

“The F30 is finally right with our E90 cars in performance ability, and the little oddities are showing up less often,” he explained. “This weekend should have been a solid top-10 finish for us, but some issues in the pits and an over-eager GS car bumped us out. The big finish will come at any round now – we are in the hunt.”

MONTEREY QUOTE BOARD:

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P11, Finished P12

Corey Fergus: “Overall, it was a solid weekend for BimmerWorld with three top 15′s. The crew did a fantastic job during our pit stops. We just missed the setup a bit and struggled with the handling of the car. As a result, we were constantly on defense which made it hard to hold position. It’s a little frustrating when you can’t be aggressive and fight for a good position, but a 12th is decent points for us in the Championship. I’m looking forward to the next race in Lime Rock.”

Kevin Gleason: “To be honest, my stint was not very much fun. We had caution after caution and were not able to get into a rhythm. Under the final caution of my stint we made the call to hit pit lane a lap before anyone else in the field. The decision was made last-second at pit entrance and we entered legally by just 9/10ths! The BimmerWorld guys had a perfect pit stop waiting for us as usual and our strategy was executed flawlessly by our engineer Dave Wagener.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P10, finished P5

Tyler Cooke: “Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks to race on, but unfortunately I didn’t have any eventful laps during my stint due to the numerous cautions. Throughout the green flag portions of my stint, the car was consistent and quick which proved to be true when Greg took over from me. Overall it was a great race finishing 5th and good to walk away with points leading into Lime Rock.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P20, Finished P6

Dan Rogers: “The race went well for the 82 car. During the first stint, we moved up in the pack, and kept the “non-MX5 leaders” in sight. We battled during the restarts to maintain position, against the more powerful ST cars, but the BMW’s handling and braking never let us down. Engineer Wayne Yawn called the 82 in for a driver change at the perfect time, giving us a full load of fuel, new tires, and Seth in the driver’s seat. It was a gutsy call, but worked out, to put us ahead of the pack, the majority of which pitted later. Fans always think of the driver performance determining the finishing position in the race, but we owe our finishing position to daring pit strategy and great pit work by the guys at BimmerWorld.”

Seth Thomas: “Races are won and lost in the pits. This race for us was won in the pits. Our engineer made a daring call pitting the 82 mere seconds after the 45 minute mark of the race had passed. The majority of the ST field didn’t take the gamble giving us the track position to help guarantee a top-10 result. The rest of my race stint was about putting down solid laps to stay within striking distance of the MX-5s.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), Qualified P27, Finished P25

James Clay: “Laguna was a solid race for Jason and I, but short of the result we wanted. The crew did a lot of work through the week to give us the solid racecar we had, and we just had some bad luck.”

BimmerWorld Ready for Action at California’s Legendary Laguna Seca Road Course

April 29th, 2014

preLagunaNEWS

Faced with a mid-March race at Sebring International Raceway that didn’t go according to plan, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld have taken the better part of six weeks to make sure this weekend’s Continental Tire Series race in Northern California follows their desired script.

Sebring’s bumpy, punishing circuit highlighted areas for the Dublin, Virginia-based team to improve with its damper package, among other items, which led to a thorough analysis of BimmerWorld’s performance data and track testing leading up to Saturday’s race at Laguna Seca.

“It has been a long time since we have run Sebring, and never in such production cars,” said BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay. “That track is brutal on equipment and we were fighting some new and surprising issues all week. Our BMWs are robust and extremely reliable, and with this year’s Sebring data we will be able to improve some weak areas to make the package even better.”

The lighter, smaller 2-door cars within the Street Tuner class have recently dominated the Monterey event, which creates an issue for normal-sized 4-door sedans, but based on what he’s seen from their gains, Clay expects to see a stronger challenge posed by BimmerWorld’s four-car BMW effort.

“We took the opportunity given by some time off to continue developing our MCS-based suspension package, both in the shop and at the track,” he added. “The new damper rules for 2014 give us the opportunity to excel due to our team’s technical capability and a strong partnership with the damper industry leaders at Motion Control Suspension, and we keep making big strides forward in our cars’ handling ability.”

In addition to BimmerWorld’s highly developed BMW E90 platform, the team has also undertaken the major task of turning BMW’s turbocharged F30 chassis into a serious competitor in the Continental Tire Series’ Street Tuner class.

With advances being made every day by BimmerWorld’s team of engineers and technicians, Clay expects the F30 to unleash more of its potential this weekend.

“The BimmerWorld staff has worked hard to develop the 4-cylinder turbo driveline and we are now producing the needed power to be on par with the field, and we continue to learn some of the nuances of this new powerplant,” he explained. “Our attention has been more focused on braking and suspension recently, which is very similar to the E90 cars, but also with some mild but important differences. The package continues to show gain and promise, and every race is an opportunity to take another step forward.”

MONTEREY LINEUP

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus, Kevin Gleason

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Tyler Cooke, Greg Liefooghe

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Dan Rogers, Seth Thomas

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

Follow the team as it competes at the third round of the Continental Tire Series held in Monterey by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Endures Punishing Return To Sebring

March 18th, 2014

postSebring

The BMW aftermarket and tuning specialists at BimmerWorld have plenty of great memories from past races at Sebring international Raceway. Unfortunately, the team left its return to the Floridian track after a four-year absence with little more than nostalgia to draw upon.

The second round of the Continental Tire Series championship was a frustrating affair for the Virginia-based team. Three of its four cars struggled during the 2.5-hour event at the legendary road course as a mixture of mechanical woes, an odd happening that caused BimmerWorld’s team owner to have a major crash, and overzealous officiating resulted in a race that will soon be forgotten by most of BimmerWorld’s drivers and crew members.

“This wasn’t a great weekend for us and it was just basic bad luck, the pace of the race, and some mechanical challenges that amazingly enough after seven years in that chassis we haven’t seen before,” said BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay. “We always like to learn and improve, and I am sure we will be sifting through the results to come back next year to Sebring stronger, but we really just had an atypically bad weekend and the team will have plenty of above average weekends to balance it out this season.”

Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke, drivers of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, produced the one meaningful result for the team, placing eighth after starting 18th. It marked the No. 81’s second finish inside the top-10, following the excellent second-place result the duo earned at the season-opening race at Daytona.

“The start of the race was very tight, leaving me to make smart passes coming through the field,” said Cooke. “Unlike most of the other cars, we didn’t have much of a top end, so Greg and I really drove the car hard and kept it in the top-10 throughout the race. Fortunately for us, we were able to finish in 8th place, which helps our chances in the championship. I can’t wait for the next race in California!”

SEBRING RACE DRIVER QUOTEBOARD

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus & Kevin Gleason

Kevin Gleason: “It was a frustrating event for the No. 80 car. We had some issues in practice including a motor that let go which limited our time on track. Even with the issues the BimmerWorld guys gave us a great car for the race and Dave Wagener made a great call on strategy that kept us out front. Unfortunately, on what ended up being the final restart, our motor let go a few turns in while in fourth place. We missed out on what would have been a great points scoring day but we will keep our heads down and push forward to Laguna.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Greg Liefooghe, Tyler Cooke

Greg Liefooghe: “We chose a very aggressive strategy to get the track position, and it worked as we were running in fourth with 45 minutes to go. At 35 minutes to go, I was fighting to keep the position, but got the call from the pit lane to start saving the car and fuel to make sure we would finish the race. Although it was not the result we were looking for, eighth place still brings championship points.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Dan Rogers, Seth Thomas

Dan Rogers: “The guys at BimmerWorld gave is a great car for qualifying, and we started 12th, which we were pleased with. The race was really tight for the first few corners, and we ended up getting shuffled back, after getting stuck on the wrong side of the track a couple of times. After things settled down, we started working our way forward, one car at a time. The penalty for Seth on the wave around was unfortunate, and put us in a huge hole. There is obviously a lesson for us in this, but IMSA should also be looking at procedures and penalties for reasonableness.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

James Clay: “My incident started laps before it actually happened. With all of the green-flag running early in the race, we lost a lap in the pits. Then we made an error in our double-yellow procedures due to what I feel was a bit of unclear direction in the driver’s meeting which caused us to come sit in pit lane to serve a penalty. I was running hard to get a result, the pit penalty caused me to sit as heat built within the wheel that ignited rubber pickup in the tires, and we suspect the resulting fire damaged the brake system, which I discovered in Turn 3 as I was pushing hard to catch back up again. This was an odd issue and every piece of our braking system which we inspected in pit lane was intact and functioning properly, but I suspect fluid just can’t stand that. It was a bit scary, but I am all well and not sore, thanks to the Racetech seat, and have full confidence in our brake partners who were in no way at fault for this result.”

WEB: Follow the team by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Looking To Reignite A Successful Past At Sebring

March 11th, 2014

preSebringNEWS

The last time the BimmerWorld team participated in a professional motor racing event at the legendary Sebring circuit, the Virginia-based BMW experts left the Florida road course with the winner’s trophy in hand and a yearning to return.

The four-car Continental Tire Series team has finally been granted their wish, and will take part in the feature race ahead of the 12 Hours of Sebring. Coming off of an impressive season debut at Daytona where No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke finished second and the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of BWR newcomers Corey Fergus and Kevin Gleason claimed eighth, the team has used the six-week gap between events to improve their fortunes heading into Round 2.

“We have had a break in the racing action, but we have been hard at work at BimmerWorld since Daytona,” said team owner/driver James Clay. “We started the 2014 season with a big suspension upgrade when we moved to the MCS dampers and we have been fine-tuning our platform kinematics now that we have it all working in concert the way we want it to. The guys have been practicing pit work and we have been touching up all the little areas for improvement we uncovered in Round 1 so we are ready for the long season ahead.”

Clay and the rest of the team—especially those who raced with the team four years ago at Sebring—hope history repeats itself.

“We have our BMW racecars dialed in at Sebring, having won the last time we were there in 2009 in another series,” Clay added. “That track is challenging to set up for, and shakes the cars to death, which tests the build and prep level – both of which play to our team’s favor.”

Looking back, BimmerWorld has grown immeasurably since the 2009 Sebring event. A move to the Continental Tire Series was met with instant results, and the team has become a perennial championship favorite in the Street Tuner class.

“Since our last Sebring visit, our team’s foundation has grown tremendously and I am excited to get back to one of the tracks that started it all for us,” Clay continued. “Sebring was the site of some very memorable events in our formative years, which covers a wide range of adventures. It feels like we are coming back to our high school reunion ready to show what we have made of ourselves.”

SEBRING PRE-RACE DRIVER QUOTEBOARD

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Corey Fergus & Kevin Gleason

Corey Fergus: “Kevin and I had a good start to the season, earning valuable points towards the championship. Obviously we would have liked to have been on the podium, so that’s something we’re shooting for at Sebring. I’ve never raced at Sebring, but I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to another solid finish.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Greg Liefooghe, Tyler Cooke

Greg Liefooghe: “Sebring is one of the new circuits on this year’s calendar, and I’m excited to go to such a historic venue. It will be the first time for me there. As a proof of the competitive nature of the ST field, there are several 12 Hours winners driving in our class which will make it a challenge, but with thousands of laps around the track on the simulator, I feel ready to tackle it. Car set up will be very important, and I feel it will play into our team’s advantage and help us get on the podium again.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): Dan Rogers, Seth Thomas

Seth Thomas: “Sebring is a special track where everything seems to click. I got my first win at Sebring in 2009 after having some close battles the years before. Driving the track in our ST E90 will be the same as before because the track hasn’t changed. What has is the car, the weight, the tire and the suspension ever so slightly. The BimmerWorld E90 has received years of tuning since then and is more balanced, the shocks are tuned, and it’s better over the race distance than our previous sprint car. All Dan and I have to do is drive the car and have some luck on our side to come out with a quality finish.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30): Jason Briedis, James Clay

James Clay: “Save some pesky engine learning opportunities, the F30 performed well at Daytona and I am looking for the next round, regardless of location, to start putting out the finishes we know this chassis is capable of. Sebring has traditionally been a good track for our BMWs with some high-speed turns and critical braking zones, and we now have the new N20 engine on par with the field to come out of the slower corners so we should have a well-rounded platform to race this weekend.”

TV TUNE-IN: Live, Friday, March 14, IMSA.com. FOX Sports 1, Wednesday, March 19, 1 p.m. ET.

WEB: Follow the team at Sebring International Raceway this week by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Takes Second, Two Top-10s In Continental Tire Series Daytona Season Opener

January 29th, 2014

NEWSseasonopner

Virginia-based BimmerWorld launched its ambitious four-car Continental Tire Series Street Tuner program last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, coming close to earning a victory in the ST class during the season opener.

A late caution period would lock the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Greg Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke into a second-place finish after Liefooghe led in the final stages and was working on moving back into the lead. With the field crossing the finish line behind the pace car, the No. 81 duo settled for their second consecutive runner-up result at Daytona, and with BimmerWorld’s tandem of Kevin Gleason and Corey Fergus holding the No. 80 BMW 328i in eighth at the checkered flag, the team left Florida with a pair of top-10s.

“Even though second place is a great result that sets us up with some solid points for the rest of the season, it is a little frustrating to get so close to winning every year without actually being able to get on the top step,” admitted Liefooghe, who ranks as one of the best pro drivers in the series.

“The second part of the race saw many yellows; I probably only drove around 10 green laps. With the draft, it was a gamble on what position you would be in when the yellows would come out, and we didn’t get a chance to race to the finish. The BimmerWorld team did an impeccable job and we’ll be ready to get the win next time.”

The other half of BimmerWorld’s entries had a tougher time at Daytona. The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers was drilled out of the race by contact, and the brand-new turbocharged No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, built on the F30 platform, continued its development program in the heat of competition, which can offer valuable lessons that aren’t necessarily tied to high value finishing positions.

As a whole, and with three new drivers comprising the team of eight pilots, team owner/driver James Clay says he’s pleased with Round 1.

“I was certainly happy with some of the results for the first event, and more importantly I think we were all very happy with the operation of the expanded team and effectiveness of our new teammates,” he said. “Greg and Tyler drove another solid race and we all wanted the win, and Kevin and Corey came out of the gates strong in their first race with the team. The 82 ran into misfortune with traffic, which always affects a percentage of the field, and the more cars we have, the more likely we are to be involved on a given weekend.

“The new F30 was running strong and we expected a top-10 result, but we were reminded this weekend that we still don’t know this platform as well as our E90 cars and it still has some surprises in store.”

With three proven E90-based 328i BMWs and the lone F30 chassis program BimmerWorld is spearheading, Clay sees big growth ahead for the No. 84 car this season.

“The BimmerWorld E90 cars are well-developed, but the addition of MCS as our damper technical partner has opened the door to big handling improvements, and we are making good gains there, and there’s more to come,” he added.

“The F30, on the other hand, follows a similar development path on the chassis due to its similarities with the E90, but the driveline is a completely different animal. We are learning constantly, just as we are with the E90 platform in our ninth year with that engine, but certainly the curve is steeper on the F30 currently.”

DAYTONA RACE DRIVER QUOTEBOARD

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P9, Finished P8

Corey Fergus: “We had a pretty strong finish at Daytona and walked away with some good points towards the championship. I just wish it would have stayed green longer! But we’re already pumped for our next race at Sebring in March. Unfortunately, Sebring is an outlier in terms of car setup so we’ll have to start from scratch. However, after racing a car from a different manufacturer last year, I learned that the BMWs are great race cars and with their reliability and little fall-off during a stint, I’m sure they’ll be a good car to have there. I think Kevin and I have a shot this season for some great finishes so I’m excited for what’s to come.”

Kevin Gleason: “My first race with BimmerWorld was really encouraging. We accomplished most of our goals and came out of the weekend with solid points and a clean car. Corey and I are working well together and the team has treated us like we have been around for years. I can’t thank the entire team enough for all of their hard work. They make running four cars look easy!”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P3, finished P2

Tyler Cooke: “After a strong race like we had at Daytona, I feel like Greg and I could earn the ST title. If you do well in the first race of the year, it boosts everyone’s confidence for the year ahead. Greg and I came very close to getting the ST title last year, and I can see being in the same spot or better this year.”

Greg Liefooghe: “One of the main positives of the weekend was that we never ran below third place, thanks to Tyler’s efforts and the team strategy. It is very encouraging for the rest of the season.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), Qualified P19, Finished P38

Dan Rogers: “The lead up to the race was actually looking really positive. Seth and I both ran in the 2:06s, mostly without a great draft, so we had the pace to keep up with the field, and to be a competitor at the end. Unfortunately, I got a fairly nasty hit in Turn 3, while the car was loaded up, got turned around and couldn’t save it. Sitting at the exit of Turn 3, with half of the ST field still coming through, I got collected by the No. 34 Nissan, ending our race. Tough day for us and we’ve got some repairs to make before Sebring.”

Seth Thomas: “We’re definitely moving forward from here and not dwelling on things. Any time you are the first car out of the race like we were, it is time to start looking to the next round of the championship. My eyes are focused on Sebring which is a track where I got my first win with BimmerWorld. I am looking forward to going back there for the first time since that win and improving our place in the standings. We’ve got a lot of work ahead to improve from being at the bottom of the list.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), Qualified P37, Finished P28

Jason Briedis: “It was a difficult first weekend with some new car teething issues, but I am confident the team will have it sorted out before we head to Sebring. For me, it was nice to get one race in the books. I left Daytona very optimistic for the upcoming season.”

James Clay: “I’m very happy with the F30 car at this point and some cooling system parts from C&R developed over the winter are allowing us to lean on it 100 percent. There are still some oddities and I was able to turn some decent laps in the race working around them, but they should be resolvable in the short-term and Jason and I will be producing results immediately this year.”

WEB: Follow the team as it prepares for the next round of the Continental Tire Series, held at Sebring International Raceway, by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld’s 4-Car BMW Program Ready For New Season At Daytona

January 22nd, 2014

1.20news

A long off-season is ready to come to an end this Friday as the IMSA-sanctioned Continental Tire Series opens its championship at Daytona International Speedway, and Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing is ready to resume its pursuit of a title in the Street Tuner class.

The BMW aftermarket and tuning experts have re-tooled their program to expand from three cars to four, added new drivers and have continued their uncompromising development of BMW’s latest 3-Series chassis platform, the F30. All of that work, according to BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay, has been done with one goal in mind: winning.

“It has been a busy six months at BimmerWorld as we have been planning our 2014 season – our most aggressive to date,” he said. “We had strong runs last year, but we have been working hard over the winter and with a change in regulations we have been able to bring long-time damper technical partners MCS onboard, which I believe is a major advantage. Our driver lineup is across the board, without exception the strongest we have had – I expect big things from everyone this year.”

Making bold predictions about the season ahead isn’t BimmerWorld’s style, but Clay did share his thoughts on how the combined BMW E90-based 328is and their F30 counterparts might fare in the hands of his drivers and peerless technicians.

“Almost every team in the field comes into the first race of the season predicting podiums, wins, and Championships, and certainly I am as proud of our 2014 team as anyone,” he explained. “But I think it will be the dog days of mid-season this year that will tell the tale, and I think we have the most depth in the field. With a pinch of luck tossed in, we will endure the full season with a stack of hardware waiting at the end.”

The team has a knack for finding the podium at Daytona, and as much as Clay would like to see his BimmerWorld team fill the top three spots and earn the win, taking a season-long approach to the first race of the year could be the smartest approach of all.

“Daytona sets the tone for the season, but it is such a different track from most we race on,” added Clay. “Our goal this weekend is, as always, banking solid points as we start the year. Starting with a win is always nice, but our BMWs are a fantastic mix of solid performance across the board – power, handling, and braking. We may not have the most powerful car in the field to go into this one expecting the win, but our team will produce the opportunities for our cars to be right there, and if a win falls in our direction I won’t be surprised.”

DAYTONA PRE-EVENT DRIVER QUOTEBOARD

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90)

Corey Fergus: “Daytona is a patience track because of all of the straightaways. Sometimes you have to be smart and not pass someone on a straight knowing that they’ll just pass you back on the next one. The draft is key here as well, but at the same time you have to stay away from the madness of having 70 cars on the same track. To secure a good result, our goal is to push hard enough to get to the front but to be conservative enough to stay out of trouble.”

Kevin Gleason: “My goals for Daytona are pretty straight forward. We want to run at the sharp end of the field and leave with a clean car and solid points. Starting the season off on the right foot is important and will allow us to build momentum throughout the long and grueling season.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90)

Tyler Cooke: “My confidence level is very high entering the new season. Greg and I had a great season in 2013 making the No. 81 car a threat every race. Doing as well as we did in the pre-season test a couple weeks ago boosts my confidence even more. Daytona will definitely bring a fight like it does every year.”

Greg Liefooghe: “In Daytona, we want to set the tone for the rest of the season. Although the competition will be tougher than ever, our cars are the best they have been yet. We finished on the podium here three years in a row, and we will try to get one step higher this year. Of course we will take only reasonable risks to get that results, as scoring points for the Championship is still the number one goal.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90)

Dan Rogers: “As we enter our third year of driving together, Seth and I are poised to improve on our last two seasons. We work together and strategize during the off season, with the goal of improving our approach to racing. While the goal is a championship at the conclusion of the season, our approach is to produce solid results, every race. That will start in Daytona.”

Seth Thomas: “Daytona is the one track where I want to get a win in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW. It has eluded me the last few years but we have always run in the top-5 during the races. The last few years the competition has been getting stiffer and stiffer making a win even at Daytona very hard to get. BimmerWorld has always given us a fast car, fast pit stops and great strategy to put us in the right spot. I don’t see this year being any different. We will be there fighting until the end.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30)

Jason Briedis: “Physically, as I’ve been getting ready for the new season, I have been karting and staying active with sports. As for the mental aspect, watching video and analyzing data always help me prepare for a race. I’m definitely excited to get the season started!”

James Clay: “The BimmerWorld team has put a lot into this new F30 over the winter and I think we have a solid BMW racecar under us this year, which to me means excellent handling, superior braking, and enough power to be in the hunt. I am looking forward to rejoining the Championship hunt behind the wheel of the new car, and I am looking forward to a solid result with my new co-driver!”

Follow the team as it competes at Daytona for the first round of the Continental Tire Series held on January 24 by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Concludes Successful Pre-Season Test at Daytona International Speedway

January 8th, 2014

preseasontestnews

Stability and intelligent growth have been hallmarks of the BimmerWorld Racing team since they joined the Continental Tire Series in 2010. The Virginia-based BMW tuning and aftermarket experts have used their racing program, which features production-based cars, to advance their customer offerings and to extend their knowledge on the pro racing circuit, and that dedication continues.

All of those attributes and initiatives came together last weekend in Daytona Beach, FL, where BimmerWorld unveiled its new four-car BMW Street Tuner team, an increase from three cars in 2013, and the new drivers who have joined a an outfit that has challenged for championship honors since it arrived four seasons ago.

Team owner/driver James Clay presented three of BimmerWorld’s proven BMW 328i sedans, built on the E90 platform, for the test, and added more miles to BMW’s brand-new F30-based 328i, as the team gained valuable testing data and prepared its crew for the season-opening race at Daytona on January 24.

“The Roar this year was our team’s best-ever start to a racing season,” said Clay. “The cars arrived at 100 percent and only got better from there. We did a lot of work validating our off-season development work which we are quite happy with. The newly-allowed MCS dampers were one of our most notable changes, showing gains even on a relatively smooth Daytona track. The team executed perfectly and all drivers, new and existing, are on the same page. This will be a great year for BimmerWorld Racing.”

Clay also spoke on how the test went for some of the new members of the BimmerWorld team and the ongoing development of the E90 and F30 BMWs.

“The No. 80 car with Fergus and Gleason, who are both new to our team, was the biggest staffing change for us to incorporate at the Roar and they fit in right away,” he explained. “It is clear they share our team’s work ethic and will be producing results immediately.

“I was also happy to see the progress of the No. 82 with the E90 platform, but I am more excited to have the second new F30 chassis, which the No. 82 will graduate to once the Series adjusts the spec to be competitive, out to help in the development efforts. We’re always trying to look ahead, and the test allowed us to continue building our program for the future with what we believe will be the next winning chassis.”

TEST RESULTS AND DRIVER QUOTEBOARD

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): 15th fastest.

Corey Fergus: “Coming from a front-wheel drive Honda, I had to completely adapt my driving style to get the most out of the rear-wheel drive BMW, which was a fun challenge. We had a successful test and I think we’ll be right where we want to be for the first race of the season.”

Kevin Gleason: “I was so impressed with BimmerWorld’s professionalism and preparation as they had the cars ready to roll 15 minutes before each session and didn’t miss a beat all weekend. With their structured approach and strong driver lineups across all four cars, it is shaping up to be a very successful season.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90):4th fastest.

Tyler Cooke: “The test went great. We learned a lot from all the changes we were making all weekend. Our BimmerWorld crew did a flawless job, and I predict a very good year for all four cars.”

Greg Liefooghe: “I had a great season with Tyler last year; he really became one of the drivers to beat in the series and we picked right up where we left off. We have greater expectations in our second year driving together and if you look at how well the test went, I think we can feel very confident of what’s awaiting us this year.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90): 8th fastest.

Dan Rogers: “Seth and I are glad to be back driving together for yet another season, the car performed well at the Roar, we got a lot of testing in and that should bear fruit at the race in two weeks. On a personal note, we had a great time getting acquainted with the new drivers, and reacquainted with returning friends.”

Seth Thomas: “It was great to be both back at Daytona on the track and back in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW. The BimmerWorld crew worked hard making the car faster and easier to drive. I see a lot of podiums coming for the BimmerWorld team in 2014.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30):12th fastest.

Jason Briedis: “Being my first season with BimmerWorld, I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and preparation across the entire team. James and I are working well together and are ready for what this season holds.”

James Clay: “The team put a lot of time this winter into the engine calibration for this car, and while we weren’t given control of all the systems that make power and reduce lag in the factory ECU, we have the Bosch Motorsport part running reliably. We have learned a lot about this car and we are getting close. We’re learning every lap we turn, and the car is coming along quickly.”

Follow the team as it prepares for the first round of the Continental Tire Series held on January 24 by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Unveils Technical, Commercial Partnerships For Continental Tire Series Campaign

December 31st, 2013

partnernews

With an expanded four-car roster ready to vie for the 2014 Continental Tire Series Street Tuner Championship, the Virginia-based BMW experts at BimmerWorld have secured an impressive array of commercial backing and technical support to bring their goals closer to reality.

Team owner/driver James Clay discussed many of the companies whose branding will be carried next season, including some that have become synonymous with BimmerWorld’s striking fleet of BMWs.

“This will be the third year CRC has joined us as a primary sponsor,” said Clay. “Beyond general branding and promotional work, BimmerWorld will also be the racing industry partner program supplier for CRC Brakleen®,as well as for their full product range this year through our CRCMotorsportSupply.com venture. We have been partnered with CRC for ten years now, and we are proud to take the next step forward with supplying the premium CRC product line to teams in our paddock as well as those in a variety of other racing series.”

“Our partnership with Johnstone Supply is important to us because they are like family,” Clay continued. “Johnstone’s support of BimmerWorld Racing, through their stores in Texas and Louisiana, adds a strong B2B partner to our network, as well as good friends and mentoring as our operation continues to grow and succeed.”

BimmerWorld’s reputation as an elite BMW aftermarket and tuning specialist has been amplified through relationships with numerous technical partners. Each company Clay has assembled within the BimmerWorld fold has brought unparalleled cornering, braking, and acceleration performance to the professional team and BimmerWorld performance customers alike.

“With the change in suspension regulations this year, we are once again able to align ourselves with the staff of Motion Control Suspension (MCS) with whom we have worked since 2003,” Clay explained. “Their new MCS brand and product line is the next evolution of their premium race-winning damper designs and we are excited to be able to use the same products we have been selling to our customers and using on our other program cars in our professional program. This renewed technical partnership is a tremendous asset as we prepare to fight for the 2014 Championship.

“Our BMWs have always been standouts under braking. We have used Performance Friction brakes exclusively since 2005 when we first tested with them, and we credit PFC with this major team strength. We test new products every year but we always come back with the same result and proudly wear the PFC logos on our car and sell their products as our premium line in our BimmerWorld store. With new pad compounds released this year, we continue to have the best options for friction on our cars.”

Packed race tracks with grids of 60 or more cars can present significant engine cooling problems, which BimmerWorld continues to address and overcome with help from Red Line Oil and C&R Racing.

“Red Line Oil has been in our cars since day one at BimmerWorld Racing,” Clay noted. “We have always been happy with the results in a variety of applications, and with the challenging temperatures in our new turbo-engined BMW F30, Red Line gives us critical durability and protection in a very challenging environment.

“And C&R Racing, armed with new exchanger core technology, has developed a new cooling system for both our E90 and F30 racecars to keep them operating at optimal temperatures, even with the tight drafting and prolonged stressed operation in our series.”

Producing horsepower, torque and transmitting that energy to the ground has been entrusted to two BimmerWorld staples.

“Diffsonline continues to be a strong technical partner,” Clay remarked. “Focused on our non-engine driveline, they have provided our engineers with the tools to continue to improve our cars’ performance, and helped reduce critical driveline failures. With the release of the F30 last season and continuing work this year, Diffsonline continues to develop new solutions as needed for this new platform.

“Also, Eric at Electronspeed, along with CRD engines, has done a tremendous amount of work on our new F30 engine and management system over the last several months, and without their support we would still be fighting to get this car on track. We have a long development road ahead of us, but we have the best team on the job to make rapid progress.”

Known for sharing close quarters and trading paint throughout each race, Bassen Autobody will once again keep BimmerWorld’s Continental Tire Series cars smooth and sparkling.

“The Bassen Autobody team will have more work than ever with four BimmerWorld cars to keep on track, but we can sleep knowing that when the unexpected pops up, we have capable partners like Bassen to handle it,” said Clay.

In addition to the partners listed above, BimmerWorld will also represent BimmerForums, Chin Motorsports, LaminX, Miller Welders, Racetech, Rays, Rogue Engineering and Sparco in 2014.

Next up or BimmerWorld is this weekend’s Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona International Speedway, a precursor to the season-opening Continental Tire Series race on January 24 at Daytona.

Follow the team as it prepares for the new season by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

 

BimmerWorld Reveals Four-Car Continental Tire Series Street Tuner Program

November 14th, 2013

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Coming off a season where its drivers landed in Victory Lane and took both third and fifth in the Driver’s Championship, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld Racing have set the bar even higher for 2014.

The Virginia-based outfit has its program for the Continental Tire Series completed earlier than at any other time since joining the championship in 2010, all while expanding its roster by adding a fourth car to its Street Tuner stable.

With a runner-up finish in the Championship on their series debut and a third-place now in the record books, BimmerWorld has one spot on the season-long podium left to claim and to help with that endeavor, team owner/driver James Clay has been developing a new chassis that could be the difference maker.

“Pioneering the development on the new BMW F30 chassis is the next logical step for BimmerWorld,” he said. “Adopting new technology isn’t always the easiest endeavor, but the hard work pays off by staying ahead of both the competition on the track, as well as in the BimmerWorld sales office. We came a long way in three races at the end of the 2013 season with this new 328i car, and a winter of work will put us in a good spot when 2014 kicks off at Daytona.”

But BimmerWorld’s winter work isn’t confined to next-generation 328i F30s, as Clay explains.

“We have rock solid 328i E90s that have produced all of our wins and Championship top-3s, and we are always working hard and learning how to make them even better,” he continued. “And this is especially true this winter with the new damper rule allowing us to once again work with our team’s core technical partners for suspension.”

Consistency and stability have been hallmarks of BimmerWorld’s professional racing efforts for more than a decade, and the trend continues in 2014 as many familiar faces will return while a few new names have come onboard to form one of the strongest units in the paddock.

No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), with drivers Corey Fergus and Kevin Gleason:“I have been looking at Corey Fergus as a driver since his impressive qualifying efforts in his initial run in the 2012 season,” said Clay. “We had the opportunity to work with Kevin Gleason at Indy this year and he is a hard worker and very technically capable. This pair of drivers is the perfect fit for our results-focused team.”

No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90), with drivers Tyler Cooke and Greg Liefooghe:“Greg and Tyler were our highest finishers in the 2013 Championship, and this car will launch into their second year right where they left off,” Clay noted. “Greg is a strong help in car setup for our team, and Tyler is developing into an outstanding professional driver.”

No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (E90)/ BMW 328i (F30), with drivers Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas:“Seth Thomas is returning to his BimmerWorld home for his eleventh year,” Clay remarked. “Once again partnered with Dan Rogers who returns for his third season, this duo has had tremendous results to date. We have a new BimmerWorld F30 chassis in the shop ready for their transition into the new equipment, where they will further help with the development effort.”

No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30), with drivers Jason Briedis and James Clay:“I am thrilled to be back in a new F30 full-season after spending some time to develop the car last year,” said Clay of his upcoming driving duties. “Jason Briedis, a long-time friend and customer, will be sharing the driving and development duties with me. Jason is a GRAND-AM racer from several years ago and will be an excellent fit in our program in terms of both talent and personality.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as they prepare for the upcoming season by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Scores Two Podiums At Lime Rock, Secures Third in GRAND-AM ST Championship

October 1st, 2013

LimeRockNews

Dublin, VA

The BMW aftermarket and tuning experts at BimmerWorld needed something close to a vehicular miracle at last weekend’s GRAND-AM season finale in Connecticut.

With the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i duo of Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke holding third in the Continental Tire Series Street Tuner standings, and the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers holding fourth in the Championship, finishing 1-2 in the race at Lime Rock was only half of what would be needed to secure the team’s first ST title.

The significant points lead held by the first-place team meant they would need to finish well down the running order to give BimmerWorld’s No. 81 and 82 a chance to bridge the Championship gap, but if the leaders maintained a decent position inside the top-10, which is what took place, winning wouldn’t be enough to overcome the deficit.

Another strong run by BimmerWorld is what the record books will show at Lime Rock, and with Liefooghe and Cooke taking third in the Drivers’ Championship, BimmerWorld has demonstrated its consistency and strength in the series by placing its drivers second, third, fourth and fifth in the ST Championship since 2010.

Team owner/driver James Clay was obviously hoping for all of the planets to align in BimmerWorld’s favor, but with such a competitive series, he wasn’t surprised with the Championship outcome.

“The final race at Lime Rock was exactly what we expected and wanted it to be – almost,” he said. “The No. 81 nearly won the race after leading for a long period and gained significant Championship points in the process.  The No. 82 also ended up on the podium in the post-race ceremonies, which was a solid end to their season as well as the team’s.  And the new F30 marked its first top-10 finish which confirms the progression in our development of that car for a competitive 2014 season.”

Clay also spoke to the disappointment felt by Rogers and Thomas, who entered Lime Rock fourth in the Drivers’ standings.

“Unfortunately Seth and Dan in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BimmerWorld BMW 328i ran into problems on track, but with the limited space and minimal passing opportunities at Lime Rock, this was an unfortunate, but not altogether unexpected casualty,” he continued. “The push by the No. 81 at the end of the season to win the Championship fell slightly short, but a third-place season finish for them is still strong.

“We always want to win everything, execute to perfection, and have everything fall our way, but it’s called ‘racing,’ not ‘winning,’ and I am proud of everything BimmerWorld achieved at this race and throughout the year.”

With the No. 81 and No. 82 taking third and sixth in the Driver’s Championship, respectively, BimmerWorld also earned third and sixth in the Teams’ Championship. BimmerWorld’s three-car fleet of BMW 328is also played a significant role in delivering the Manufacturers’ Championship to the German brand for the second consecutive season.

For Liefooghe and Cooke, leading Lime Rock and finishing second in the No. 81 was bittersweet, but with a win to their credit at Elkhart Lake, it also cemented the duo as champions in the making.

“Going into the weekend we wanted to make sure we would do our best with the elements we can control and I think we were successful in that regard,” said Liefooghe. “The fact that we missed the win by a small margin was a bit frustrating, especially since it would have given us a second place in the Championship, but the main goal of the season was to be a championship contender going into the last race, and that goal was reached.

“The season was a success, and we have been fast all year long with a good amount of bad luck towards the middle of the season. The level of competition in ST keeps increasing with cars getting faster every race, so the fact that we made a strong comeback at the end of the season speaks volumes on the level of preparation and engineering at BimmerWorld. “

Cooke, who completed his first season with BimmerWorld and second in the ST championship, developed into a consistent threat alongside his veteran teammate.

“Greg and I built a strong track record this year: we were constantly in the top -5 and were usually in the mix with the leaders,” he said. “The season was a great effort from the whole team. BimmerWorld gave us a great car every race and I’m really looking forward to next year.”

With the No. 80 of Strelzoff and Bloum completing the Lime Rock podium, BimmerWorld’s newest driving combo captured their third top-3 of the season.

“We’ve had our ups and downs this year, especially with Connor breaking his leg and having to miss a couple of races, but getting another podium was a great way to round out our year,” said Strelzoff. “This team has a lot of fight in it and never gives up, and we try and do the same inside the car. Three podiums in our first year with BimmerWorld is something to be proud of.”

Ending the 2013 season with a 26th place run at Lime Rock isn’t what Rogers and Thomas had in mind, but the two dealt with the dissatisfaction with class.

“The race was an extremely disappointing and frustrating way to end what was otherwise a great season,” said Rogers. “No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BimmerWorld BMW 328i was in the hunt for the championship from the beginning of the season, and the last two races, particularly Lime Rock, were extremely frustrating.  We all do what we do in the car because we are driven to win.  When we don’t achieve that goal, it hurts.

“The relevant question is: what do you do with that disappointment?  The answer for us is we’ll be coming back with more focus and intent on winning the ST championship in 2014.”

Thomas echoed his teammate’s assessment of the season and their future together.

“Overall it was a good year for us,” he noted. “Dan and I became a faster duo in our second full season as teammates.  We had strong runs at some of the key races while maintaining a good position in the points the whole season.  Now we will be reflecting on the season to learn how to come back into 2014 as a strong contender for the title and make it happen.”

The late-season development run for BimmerWorld’s new BMW F30 chassis netted an impressive 10th-place finish at Lime Rock which has Clay feeling confident about the turbo 3-Series chassis.

“I knew in the race at Monterey that the F30 was on its way to being a competitive platform,” he said.  “We have been working closely with GRAND-AM to produce the appropriate power level, which to me is the final piece of the puzzle.  I am really happy with the performance of the new car, and F30s will certainly represent a growing part of our future at BimmerWorld Racing into 2014 and beyond.”

Clay’s teammate for the F30’s development, John Capestro-Dubets, is also looking forward to 2014 with the new chassis tuning capabilities he’s gained.

“It was an honor to drive the F30 with James this season and be a part of the development,” he said. “I do believe that the new skill set will be very beneficial for 2014. There are good things to come at BimmerWorld!”

BimmerWorld will have little time to rest with the start of the 2014 Championship right around the corner in January. Follow all of the team’s off-season developments at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com and tune into the Lime Rock race when it airs on October 6th at 3 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

BimmerWorld Heads To Lime Rock Season Finale In Pursuit Of A Championship

September 25th, 2013

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In the wild and unpredictable GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Street Tuner division, nothing comes easy. With two of its three cars in contention for the 2013 ST Championship, the veteran BimmerWorld Racing team heads to Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park this weekend for a season finale that, based on recent experience, could be another roll of the dice to determine which team comes out on top.

BimmerWorld’s Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke, who share the No. 81 BMW 328i, sit third in the ST standings and have every intention of reducing the 18-point gap to the Championship leaders. But with GRAND-AM’s restrictive points system, it will take a drive of epic proportions by the No. 81 (and some misfortune for the drivers in first and second place) to happen.

The same is true for Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, drivers of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BimmerWorld BMW 328i, who are tied for fourth in the standings. They will give everything they have to leapfrog the competition, but once again, it won’t be easy because that’s just not how the ST class works.

BimmerWorld also holds third and is tied for fourth in the Teams’ Championship, and has been a heavy contributor to BMW’s move into the lead for the Manufacturers’ Championship. Along with the third BMW 328i entry for Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum in the No. 80, the Lime Rock finale also presents BimmerWorld with the final in-race opportunity to develop its brand-new BMW F30 chassis it intends to campaign next season.

Asked if there were any special instructions or strategies to try and move the No. 81 and 82 into a title-winning position, team owner/driver James Clay says having each entry focused on maximizing its potential—the team’s standard practice—will ensure the best possible results.
“With four total cars in the field and a cohesive group of drivers under the BimmerWorld awning, we tend to be able to work together for a better combined result and that will certainly be important this weekend,” he explained. “Past that, I think the racing world is a little tired of team orders.  Our cars got where they are with good hard work, and they will need to do more of the same.”

Lime Rock’s short, twisty circuit doesn’t necessarily amplify the BimmerWorld BMW’s natural handling and braking advantages, but also won’t act as a hindrance as some tracks have done this season.

“I don’t think this weekend’s venue helps or hurts us in the final Championship battle,” Clay added. “We have been strong and we have won at Lime Rock in years past, and it would be sweet to clinch the title for BMW at their home track.”

With so much of the team’s focus on completing the ST championship, the progress of BimmerWorld’s F30 platform has been intentionally under reported, but Clay says the lighter, turbocharged 3-Series model is making strides with each outing.

“At our last race in Monterey, I really saw the potential of the new BimmerWorld F30 car come out,” he said. “It has been a solid car, but we have been struggling for the final bits of speed.  We have been doing a lot of testing and the Series adjusted the boost level last week based on the results, and I feel we should be more in the hunt this weekend.  Without question, once the power of the car is on par, we will have a great piece of equipment for the future.”

The last race of the season is also a place where many new driver and team combinations begin to take shape, and with BimmerWorld’s reputation for consistency from year to year, Clay expects a limited number of changes to the team’s ST roster in 2014.

“We have been ahead of the curve this year as a team and we have already laid a solid framework for another strong season in 2014,” he noted. “I think we will go into October with an opportunity for 1-2 new drivers, and I expect to wrap those up and continue into winter testing so we can stay ahead into next season.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress this weekend at Lime Rock by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Improves Championship Positions In Monterey

September 11th, 2013

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With one round to go before the season finale, BimmerWorld Racing needed to maximize its results last weekend in Monterey, and with a pair of top-10s for its Grand-Am Continental Tire Series Street Tuner Championship contenders, the Virginia-based BMW experts scored more valuable points in their quest for the 2013 Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles.

The No. 81 duo of Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke improved their position to third in the standings after claiming fourth at Monterey, and Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas moved into a tie for fourth in points after securing a seventh-place result, giving BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay a cause for optimism as the team prepares for the Championship decider at Lime Rock.

“As always seems to be the case, our team’s focus and strategy is about the endurance side of our sport and making our cars competitive over long runs,” he said. “Once again, we had more yellows than we would have liked; a little bit more green racing would have suited our cars, but given the way the race played out, we’re moving on with some sense of satisfaction that we captured a lot of important points in the Championships and know we can do the same at the end of the month for the finale.”

With two cars in contention for the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships, Clay knows that despite the solid results for the No. 81 and 82, anything other than a win by one car and a second-place by the other at Monterey would leave BimmerWorld with a significant points gap to overcome at the title-deciding round.

“We’re at crunch time in the Championship and we’re not in the lead, so other than continuing to give our best effort, we’d have to benefit from some of our rivals having bad days at Lime Rock to feel more confident about coming out on top, and that’s not what any team wants to wish for,” he continued.

“You want to earn a Championship based on your results, and we’ve had a solid season, but if we look back at the races where things didn’t go our way, you could point to any one of them and say that’s why we’re in a position where a little bit of luck would go a long way. We’ll keep doing what we do, keep going about our game plan, and see if one last push can make it happen.”

For Liefooghe, who has become one of the breakout starts of the Continental Tire Series, taking a fighting fourth around the 2.2-mile California road course was a bittersweet finish after coming close to cracking the top-3.

“We had really hoped to earn a podium, although we didn’t expect to beat the smaller cars,” he said. “But we raced them very strong the entire time, and found a very good balance with our car to use all day. Our engineers did a fantastic job on getting the setup right, and we were able to go very hard, but the Monterey track is a more natural fit for some cars more than others, so we did very well to get fourth.”

The sister No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW of Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas, as Thomas describes, struggled to find the same balance as the No. 81, yet nearly finished in Liefooghe’s wheel tracks before settling for seventh.

“Overall, we were pretty good at Monterey,” he said. “We struggled with front-end grip, and the balance of the car being rear wheel-drive helped us to rotate the car and stay ahead of all but the front wheel-drive cars most of the time. I got pushed off track by a car on the final restart, which would have left us fifth, but that’s just how racing in this series goes sometimes. It leaves us with a slim chance of earning the Championship, but we won’t stop trying until the last lap is complete at Lime Rock.”

The third BMW E90 entry from BimmerWorld, the No. 80 piloted by Connor Bloum and James Colborn, finished an unrepresentative 18th at Monterey, while the promising new No. 84 F30 chassis driven by Clay and John Capestro-Dubets logged more data as the team tests the car during the final races in 2013 for its full-fledged debut in 2014.

“In our second event with running a brand-new car, we learned a lot and the car was competitive in the field,” said Clay, whose BimmerWorld aftermarket performance business caters to new and old BMWs alike. “We passed cars, got passed and did all of the things you do in racing. That’s a good step for the car at this early stage because we have very few miles on the car in competition, and being able to mix it up with established cars and teams is a valuable benchmark. We’re confident Grand-Am will establish an equal footing for the new 3-Series in ST, and look forward to developing the car for next season.”

Catch the Monterey Continental Tire Series broadcast on Saturday, September 15, at 4 p.m. ET, and be sure to follow the BimmerWorld team as they prepare for Lime Rock at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Heads To California For The Continental Tire Series Championship Chase

September 4th, 2013

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The Virginia-based BMW aftermarket and tuning experts at BimmerWorld are drawing near to the close of their fourth season in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series, and once again find themselves in the thick of a Championship battle in the Street Tuner class.

With three BMW 328is forming the core of BimmerWorld’s effort, wins and consistency from two of those entries has the team tied for fourth in the standings with the No. 81 car driven by Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke and the No. 82 No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers.

Moving the Nos. 81 and 82 further up in the standings during this weekend’s penultimate round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the primary goal for the program, and adding to that challenge is the rules-based disparity between BimmerWorld’s normal-sized four-door BMW sedans and the smaller, lighter ST cars that have been advantaged throughout most of the season.

Despite having to work harder for quality results, BimmerWorld’s mechanics, engineers and drivers have put the team on the Championship trail once again, which has made team owner/driver James Clay especially proud.

“2013 has shaped up to be another strong year for BimmerWorld Racing with another shot at the Championship,” he said.  “I am not sure the BMW cars we race are always the best with the rules balance, but BMW builds a solid, consistent, and reliable car, and that is the DNA required to be in this Championship position on a consistent basis.

“We add all of our years of BMW performance knowledge to transform the cars into the fastest chassis BimmerWorld can make, and do our best at every race to put ourselves in a position to earn points and victories. With two races left in the season, Monterey will be crucial for us to maximize our performance in the pits, with our strategy and on the track.”

BimmerWorld came close to winning the ST Championship on its first try in 2010, earning a statistical tie for first place, and after splitting its program to run in the Grand Sport class as well as ST in 2011,they’ve been in the title hunt since focusing entirely on ST since 2012. Turning the team into a regular Championship contender with new and different drivers in the cockpit has also been one of BimmerWorld’s greatest success stories, which Clay reflected upon ahead of Monterey.

“We run a tight ship here and we have a staff of superstars not only behind the wheel, but behind computers, behind wrenches, and in every other facet of our organization,” he noted. “I am proud of the team we have assembled and their support and, combined with our approach of running equal equipment so every driver has the same chance, we have had success with an assortment of driver combinations. I’d like to think that we’ve built a reputation as a team that puts its clients first and gives them every opportunity to pursue wins and Championships.”

The trip to California’s central coast is clearly important for the team, and questions regarding which approach should be taken—an aggressive one to try and capture points with hard driving, or one where pit strategy plays a significant role in advancing the cars—has led the BimmerWorld team in a fairly conclusive and simplified direction.

“Laguna is a decent track for our BMWs, but not outstanding,” Clay admitted, referring to the excess weight the BMWs are made to carry around the twisty track.  “I don’t think we have a lot of tricks up our sleeve or that the Championship gap will be made up with creativity.  Our BimmerWorld team approach will likely be more of the same – prepare solid cars, execute well, and be in the right place at the right time.”

Follow the action from Monterey this weekend by visitingwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Closes The Championship Gap At Kansas

August 21st, 2013

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Coming off of a win in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series race at Elkhart Week on August 10, the BimmerWorld Racing team traveled to the Kansas “Roval” just days later with a repeat victory in mind.

Although a pair of top-6 finishes would stand as the best the team’s four-door BMW 328is could manage on the flat-out circuit, the results strengthen the BMW expert’s bid for a first Street Tuner championship as the No. 81 BimmerWorld entry driven by Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke claimed fifth, followed home by the sister No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers.

With the rules requiring BimmerWorld’s in-house built BMW 328 racecars to carry more weight than the rest of the other models being used in the ST category, a track like Kansas—one where drivers spend more time accelerating per lap than any other circuit—was always going to favor smaller, lighter two-door vehicles.

But with the inherent handling and braking capabilities offered by BimmerWorld’s aftermarket components, most of the acceleration limitations could be clawed back when turning or stopping was involved. Knowing the limitations they faced, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay would have liked for another Elkhart Lake finish, but accepted the Kansas result as the best outcome for what the current rules have to offer.

“We had a couple of very solid results in a row for the BimmerWorld team, and we made some big gains in the championship,” he said.  “With two races to go, we are about a half a race behind, in baseball terms.  I feel like we have excellent cars and the best team in the field, but we don’t necessarily have the strongest cars in field due to the current performance balance, so we will need a little luck to close this thing out on top.”

For Liefooghe and Cooke, cracking the top-5 was a major accomplishment that has tightened the run towards a Championship.

“The track was basically three long straights with three extremely tight hairpins linking them,” Liefooghe said. “We were great on brakes but with the weight we have to carry, we were not shining in the drag race out of the corners. The layout was not a good fit for our car, but we made the best out of it.

“As far as the championship, we will focus on what we can control: our preparation and our performance on track. We’ll see where we stand after that. Each race can see some huge points swings. Just two races ago, we were sitting eighth in the championship, and now we are third. I am confident we can move up even more.”

Although BimmerWorld lost out on having all three of its cars in the top-6 when the No. 80 driven by Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum retired at the halfway point, the sixth-place finish by Thomas and Rogers now has two of BimmerWorld cars sitting tied for third in the standings.

According to Thomas, the possibility of being in a tense situation–with drivers from both cars fighting over the same title—won’t materialize in BimmerWorld’s professional team environment.

“With two races left in the championship anything can happen,” he explained. “Having two BimmerWorld 328is fighting for the championship speaks volumes for the teamwork we have displayed all year long.  I don’t see this changing as we go to fight for the title.  We are behind other cars in the points so we need to put distance between us and them. Two cars working together is always faster on track and I believe the No. 81 and No. 82 drivers will work together to make this happen.

“It would be really nice to come into the season finale at Lime Rock with two BimmerWorld BMWs in the points lead so we can decide the championship as a team at BMW’s home track.”

Follow all of BimmerWorld’s activities as they prepare for the penultimate round at Monterey on September 8 by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the Kansas race on August 25 at 3PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

BimmerWorld Wins Big At Elkhart Lake, Places All Three Cars Inside The Top 10

August 13th, 2013

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Leave it to Wisconsin’s Elkhart Lake, one of the world’s greatest race tracks and also one that demands the best handling and braking capabilities of all the events on the 11-race Continental Tire Series calendar, for the BMW experts at BimmerWorld to have its breakout race of 2013.

With all three of the Virginia-based tuning and aftermarket shops’ BMW 328is rocketing to the finish line at the 4.0-mile circuit, BimmerWorld claimed a 1-3-8 finish for its three full-time entries and also gained invaluable knowledge about its brand-new BMW F30 which made its competition debut.

Looking at the big picture, the win by touring car veteran Gregory Liefooghe and his sophomore GRAND-AM teammate Tyler Cooke was just what the team and the duo in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i needed with the Championship winding down. And with the sister No. 80 of Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum taking third on the day, followed by a competitive run to eighth for Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW, team owner James Clay left the event feeling proud of the overall effort produced by his program.

“We closed up the gap created by some early-season bad luck this weekend,” he said. “All three cars performed exceptionally well and as we draw down to the end of the season, we are getting closer to the Championship leaders and focused on that goal for the final three rounds. Days like this are hard to come by in this series, and you have to celebrate them when they do happen.”

Clay also raced last weekend, unveiling the team’s BMW F30 with co-driver John Capestro-Dubets. Although the race was used as more of an extended test session than an attempt to compete for points, Clay says the lessons learned at Elkhart Lake will help BimmerWorld to accelerate the car’s development at a much faster rate.

“The debut of the new BimmerWorld F30 chassis car was incredibly smooth and rewarding – much more so than I had expected,” he confirmed. “We knew we didn’t have the power we ultimately need to race for wins, but this weekend was a solid test and next step in the development process. I was very pleased with the performance of the new car at this stage.”

His teammate was also extremely optimistic about what’s to come with BimmerWorld new Continental Tire Series challenger.

“The F30 was simply amazing,” said Capestro-Dubets. “We still lack the top-end speed due to some engine restrictions from the series, yet the car shows a signs of a bright future. We no longer have to wish we had a turbo or one of the smaller cars to be competitive at every track. The car is in my opinion is the best looking car in our class and extremely fun to drive. BimmerWorld and BMW really knocked it out of the park with this one, and fans and BimmerWorld customers have something really special coming to the paddock.”

Shifting from BimmerWorld’s future back to its present, Liefooghe and Cooke proved that the team’s 3-Series E90 platform still has the winning combination after starting from pole position, and with the help from BimmerWorld’s peerless pit crew and race strategists, standing on the top step of the podium was a just reward for all of the effort put in this season.

“This win was a result of teamwork and strategy,” said Liefooghe. “Tyler started off the weekend by taking the pole and he managed to pull away with two other competitors. Dave Wagener, our engineer, decided to pit off-sequence and extend Tyler’s stint which put him in the lead and allowed him to pull away from the field. When I got in the car, an ill-timed full course yellow moved us back in 16th.

“I was able to come through the pack and when I found myself in 5th, I had pulled away from the main pack behind me and the lead pack was too far to catch as I didn’t have a drafting partner to make up ground. At that point we decided to save fuel and see what happened. And that allowed us to pick the rest of our competitors as they were running out of fuel in the last 15 minutes.”

Liefooghe and Cooke were right inside the top-10 in points before the race, but the win vaulted the No. 81 entry to fifth in the standings.

The No. 80 of Strelzoff and Bloum earned a second-place finish earlier this year at Road Atlanta, and after a string of bad luck, including Bloum breaking his leg and sitting out two rounds, the teammates were back together at Elkhart and captured a well-deserved third-place result.

“Having Connor back was a great boost for the entire team, and he did an excellent job during his stint,” said Strelzoff. “His leg wasn’t a problem, and I was able to settle into a good rhythm when I was in the car. This really was a team result this weekend, and shows what we’re capable of when things go smooth. It was great to be on the podium again!”

Rounding out the BimmerWorld BMW 328i trio was the team’s top car in the Championship, with Rogers and Thomas pushing the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® car to the lead pack late in the race before pit stops to take on fuel moved the car back to eighth.

“The Elkhart Lake race is a classic ‘glass half empty/half full’ experience,” explained Rogers. “The strategy calls made by the team were spot on – given the history of the race and the series, another yellow was a good bet – it just didn’t happen.  While we would have loved a podium, and had the car for it, we still made good gains in the Championship points battle.  So we choose to look at the weekend as a net gain. Most importantly, the momentum is with the BimmerWorld team heading into Kansas.”

The BimmerWorld team, like the rest of the GRAND-AM entrants, move from Wisconsin to race at Kansas this weekend, giving crews very little time to prepare for battle on the 1.5-mile oval featuring an infield road course.

“The full-time crew guys and a few of our fly-ins headed to Kansas immediately after the race, where we have good friends and a warm invitation to turn the cars over in a shop facility,” Clay noted. “A stretch on the road like this is a test of the guys, and I feel an opportunity for our team to shine. We just had a fantastic race and we’re focused on having another one in Kansas.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team this week at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the Nos. 81 and 80 run to first and third at Elkhart Lake when the race airs Saturday, August 17 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.

BimmerWorld Ready For Championship Push At Road America, Will Debut New BMW Chassis

August 6th, 2013

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Leading GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series team BimmerWorld Racing will have two objectives in mind this weekend at the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The three-car program, which has fielded BMW’s 328i chassis built on the E90 platform since joining the series in 2010, is once again in the Championship hunt. Two of its entries are currently inside the top-10 in both the drivers’ and teams’ standings.

With seven rounds already completed in the 11-race season, Road America marks beginning of the final push towards the 2013 Street Tuner title for BimmerWorld. And with the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers sitting fifth in the standings, and the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke in eighth, team owner/driver James Clay sees great opportunities ahead for both cars to improve their respective Championship positions.

“We are still nicely in the pack for the Championship race and with four rounds remaining; each race is becoming more important,” he said. “With Road America being the first of two back-to-back races, coming through this one clean and with a solid result is critical.  We have a solid team and equipment, and this is our time to shine.”

While the BimmerWorld team concentrates on its bid for a first GRAND-AM crown, a new chapter will also be opened—one that looks towards the future—as a fourth entry will compete with an entirely different set of goals in mind.

The series’ has showed a willingness to reward smaller, lighter (and often turbocharged) cars in the Street Tuner class, and despite the race-winning success of BimmerWorld’s house-built BMW 3-series E90s, Clay made the call to start developing the brand’s latest 3-series, the F30, which weighs less than its predecessor, among other performance-minded improvements.

The team is managing its expectations for its brand-new F30, and after nearly a year of planning and preparation, the value of the data that comes from its first outing will far outweigh its on-track performance.

“This weekend has been a long time coming for me,” added Clay, who will share the No. 84 with BimmerWorld veteran John Capestro-Dubets (JCD). “The new F30 platform presented, and is still presenting, some intense technical challenges.  We have been working on both the build and development of this package, which utilizes a few features that are new to both the BMW racing world, and racing in general.  This weekend is about putting the car on track and finding issues as we continue to develop the platform to a contender for 2014.”

For JCD, a return to racing action in the Continental Tire Series has been long overdue.

“It feels good to be back!” he exclaimed. “Having been away since the last race of 2012, my personal goals are just to feel out the new car and give the best feedback possible. Most of all, I just want to see BimmerWorld’s hard work with the car behind the scenes pay off.”

The No. 82 combo of Thomas and Rogers is coming off a third-place finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and with BimmerWorld’s highest-placed car in the Championship, the two know what they need to accomplish in Wisconsin.

“We are in the home stretch of the season and this the time to stay focused on the goal of winning a Championship,” said Thomas. “We are fifth in points but with four races left we are close enough to bring the fight down to the last race.  After our performance at Indy, the momentum is in our favor with the next couple of tracks being good for BMWs.

“Road America is the key to our run since it is the next race.  This track has been good to BimmerWorld and our BMWs since James Clay scored his first professional win back in 2008. The track suits our cars with long straights, big braking zones for the PFC brakes to perform their best and long sweeping turns that showcase the balance of the BMW.  I think we will see good things out of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW this weekend.”

Along with the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW that will have Greg Strelzoff and a fully mended Connor Bloum back at the helm, the No. 81 car will see Liefooghe and Cooke looking to conquer the sprawling four-mile road course that’s become a national treasure for road racing fans.

“Although we’re not where we want to be in the championship standings just yet, the field is very tight and it allows for huge swings in the order after each race,” said Liefooghe, who has formed an incredibly effective partnership with new teammate Cooke. “We are in the home stretch and we will be focusing on getting the maximum points we can get. Road America should be a great place to do so for our BMW.

“And it’s been great working with Tyler so far. We have gelled really well and we usually end up with the same feedback for the car. I know we have a strong pairing, and it will play an important role in the last races as everybody will be getting a little more aggressive to move up in the championship.”

Follow the team’s progress this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Scores A Third And Eighth On Its Return To Indianapolis Motor Speedway

July 31st, 2013

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The BimmerWorld GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series team returned to Indianapolis last weekend and came within 2.5 seconds of repeating its incredible win at the Brickyard in 2012.

Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, drivers of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, waged an epic battle to follow up their win with a third-place finish, and BimmerWorld’s Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke rallied to claim eighth in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, giving the Virginia-based BMW experts the highest combined finishing position of any the Street Tuner class team in the top 10.

Team owner/driver James Clay was pleased to see Thomas and Rogers on the podium at Indy for the second year running, but admitted he preferred last year’s outcome at the legendary track.

“At BimmerWorld, we always want to win and it is hard to celebrate near-wins, but this was a good weekend for us and we banked some good points for the Championship,” he said. “I do think we had cars to win and just fell a little short with lack of time under green at the end to race them. We feel like we had a repeat performance of last year’s win in our grasp and I think we all left feeling slightly disappointed.”

The long straights that define the Indy road course favored the smaller, lighter cars in the ST class, but as Clay explains, when it came time to corner or use the brakes, BimmerWorld’s race-proven line of BMW aftermarket components played an instrumental role in securing two strong finishes.

“Indy has some huge braking zones and without question, a solid BMW is a good platform and an exceptional Performance Friction braking package only accentuates that strength,” he said. “We always know that when we have a track configuration like this, the PFC will give us a slight edge over the competition. Likewise, our engineers constantly develop our suspension package and that work is the only way our heavy BMWs keep up with the rest of the field. This development process transfers directly to our customer programs and performance suspension packages we develop and sell at BimmerWorld, which is the icing on the cake for us when our proven cars earn a solid result like this.”

Thomas fell in love with the Brickyard after winning last year, and says it felt strange to watch another set of winning drivers go through the traditional post-race celebrations.

“I am going to be honest I was a little jealous seeing someone else kissing the bricks,” he said. “I felt as if the Brickyard had broken up with me. Indy is my new favorite track. Honestly when I walk into the place I get in the zone ready to go fast in a BMW. The track flows well with the 3-series. We had a good shot at winning for the second year in a row as our E90 had the speed to go from 18th to third. Some of the cautions did not work in our favor later in the race, but in the end, the weekend was a success. We were very close to pulling out a second consecutive win at the most prestigious track we visit, and that says something about our team and our cars.”

Rogersproduced his greatest drive to date in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, carving through the field before handing over to Thomas who took the car to the checkered flag.

“Starting 21st wasn’t what we were planning on, but given the way qualifying went, we knew we could make up some ground in my stint, before Seth took over,” he said. “From the start of the race, it was just a matter of picking and choosing passing opportunities. There are a number of aggressive opening drivers, so the key was to pick up positions without putting the car at risk. Getting a draft down the front straight, and taking the competitors under brakes in Turn 1 played to the E90′s strength – the PFC brakes – and was one of the primary tools we were able to use to gain position.

“Ending up leading a lap or two was a fun bonus, but the biggest accomplishment was giving Seth a car he could run to the finish and secure a podium for BWR and No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. Once again, the combination of BWR and Indy has proven to be a powerful pairing. While we would have liked to have repeated as winners, getting a solid third tightens up the points race at a critical time in the season.”

The combo of Liefooghe and Cooke also impressed at Indy, with the teammates overcoming a frustrating stretch where the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW was sandwiched between a group of more powerful cars that made passing nearly impossible.

“Handling was our biggest asset,” said Cooke. “We could accelerate out of the corners better than the other cars and carry more speed through the corners, but with the extra weight we’re made to carry, it’s hard to keep touch down the straights to use those assets to your advantage. We’re happy to get eighth at the end, but breaking out of the pack of cars to finish higher was too tall of an order.”

The third member of the team, the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i driven by Greg Strelzoff and team newcomer Kevin Gleason, retired early in the race with a mechanical issue.

Next up on the Championship trail is Elkhart Lake the weekend of August 10-11. Follow BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.comas they prepare to race on the historic Wisconsin road course, and tune into the Indy broadcast when it airs on August 3rd at 4 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Returns To Indianapolis Seeking To Defend Its 2012 Victory

July 24th, 2013

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The BimmerWorld Racing team left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year with an incredible 1-2 finish on GRAND-AM’s debut at the famed circuit, claiming the Street Tuner class victory with the BMW 328i platform it has developed since 2006.

On the series’ return to race on the Indy road course built within the iconic 2.5-mile oval facility, the Virginia-based BMW tuning and aftermarket specialists are gunning for a repeat of the stellar result that was earned in 2012.

But as BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay shares, while the team is confident going into the event, there are no guarantees of success in a competitive championship like the Continental Tire Series.

”Certainly you can’t expect the same results every year at the same tracks, but I do feel that there are trends of some tracks suiting some car models,” he said. ”Similarly, there are trends of models being stronger and less so as the series balances performance. I think the last round of adjustments continued to help the cars already making more power than development gains on the other areas that make a car fast.

”But luckily, there is also a trend of our team digging in and making our own luck and results with a well-developed and well-prepared car and I feel like there is certainly a good chance for a BimmerWorld repeat based on that fact alone.”

BimmerWorld’s 1-2 finish was the highlight of its season, and also put a spotlight on its supremely talented pit crew members and race strategists.

Beyond the excellent performance by its drivers at Indy, BimmerWorld’s staff on pit lane also contributed heavily to the win.

”Last year’s Indy race was a crazy combination of the speed that our team and cars brought, and making good calls on pit lane with solid team execution,” Clay explained. ”Strategy always plays a role in results, but last year$rsquo;s Indy is an example where it became pivotal. I think in a normal race we would still have had a similar result, and I am content we can achieve a good finish this year with our team effort with three strong cars, no matter how crazy the race starts to get.”

For Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas, the drivers who piloted the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i to victory at Indy, the upcoming race feels like a homecoming after creating such indelible memories in 2012.

”The Indy win was undoubtedly huge,” said Rogers. ”It is always the race people bring up when they start talking about racing with me, so, in that sense, it is something significant to be remembered. When I occasionally reminisce regarding the race, the memories and thoughts that come to mind are of HOW we won the race, not THAT we won the race. Indy 2012 was truly a team win.

”The crew was spot-on with the car, Wayne Yawn and the engineering staff made the perfect call, given the rain and poor weather, and Seth drove the wheels off the car in changing conditions. In that sense, it makes the victory even sweeter, since the win is shared among the team members.”

BimmerWorld’s Gregory Liefooghe is always a threat to win with teammate Tyler Cooke in the No. 81 BMW 328i, but was unable to finish the inaugural Continental Tire Series race at Indy. The respected touring car ace has been waiting for a second chance to race at the Brickyard, and sees a lot of strengths throughout the program to utilize in his bid for a win.

”Rovals tend to fit the strength of our BMW 328is, and I am optimistic about our chances of a good result at Indy,” he said. ”Last year, the No. 81 ran into some bad luck in the middle of the race, but we showed that we had the speed to join our teammates up on the podium by posting the fastest lap of the race. Tyler has done a great job so far this season, and I am confident he will be running upfront as he usually does, which makes my job easier for the end of the race. Still, the competition will be tough, but the potential for a good result is there.”

The team will have a new addition to the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i program as Greg Strelzoff welcomes Kevin Gleason to the cockpit for the event. Gleason, who is driving in place of Connor Bloum who injured his leg in an off-track accident, says he&rsdo;s looking forward to driving for one of the elite teams in the GRAND-AM paddock.

”Before I started racing, I watched BimmerWorld race and win,” he stated. ”To join them is an honor, and to be joining them at Indianapolis makes it all the more special. The team is always well prepared and professional which should make my introduction easy. I am looking forward to working with my co-driver Greg and the rest of the team to maximize our chances for a great result.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Indy atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to tune-in for the race broadcast at 4 p.m. ET on August 3rd on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Rolls With The Punches At Watkins Glen

July 3rd, 2013

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BimmerWorld Racing went into last weekend’s GRAND-Am Continental Tire Series race at the historic Watkins Glen road course with high expectations, but after one of the wildest and most disjointed events in series history, the BMW experts were lucky to leave New York with all three cars intact.

A massive downpour fell shortly after the start of the race, followed by a dry period during the middle portion of the 2.5-hour event, which closed with another downpour that had cars skating off the track at speeds below 20 mph.

In between the rivers of water running across the track and extended caution periods to collect damaged cars, oddly-timed pit openings led to multiple instances where the entire 57-car field (rather than the usual procedure where the GS cars pit, followed by the ST field pitting one lap later), a traffic jam ensued in the shared pit spaces.

The parking lot of GS and ST cars caused many entries—including the trio of BimmerWorld BMW 328is—to lose numerous positions while simply waiting for room to pull in for service.

By the time the checkered flag waved, BimmerWorld’s fleet of cars had recovered to take 11th, 13th and 15th in ST, leaving team owner/driver James Clay to shake his head at the unpredictable race that unfolded.

“Weather was constantly changing and we were prepared to deal with it, but with almost 60 cars doing the same thing–and the officials making a bunch of unexpected choices, it was more of a luck-of-the-draw result than anything else,” he said.

“There was green racing in the middle, but if you were in the right place at the right time, and happened to have the pits open and could get in cleanly, you had an advantage. Our BimmerWorld crew did an amazing job to adapt to all the things that were thrown at them, and our drivers did an excellent job too, but you can’t really put the results down to the on-track racing that usually determines the finishing order. It was a strange day for everyone.”

The first car home from BimmerWorld’s trio of BMWs was the No. 81 driven by Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke. Cooke, a second-year pilot in the Continental Tire Series, put in another excellent drive, securing 11th despite the hurdles.

“It was a pretty intense event, and you had to exercise a lot of patience and really work within the limits of the grip that was available,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that much standing water on a racetrack before, but we dealt with it as best as possible. The BimmerWorld crew was outstanding and all we can do now is move on to the next race and hope for something more normal.”

The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers followed the No. 80 home in 13th, and both cars, as Rogers describes, were on the right tires to finish the race but did not have enough time to capitalize on it.

“During my stint, we started dry and then went to wet conditions, which suits us well,” he said.  “The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® car handled well, and we moved up a number of spots, then Seth got in the car an hour into the race, and continued moving toward the front.  Towards the end of the race, the crew made a great call to bring Seth in and switch to wet tires as it started to rain.  We came out fueled, with the right tires, and good to go to the end.  We were ready to stand on the podium!

“Unfortunately, the outcome of the race was affected by an uncharacteristically long yellow that left only one green lap at the end of the race.  Rather than Seth being able to race to the front in a 15-minute green session on wet tires, we had to settle for a 13th place finish during a one-lap shootout.  Sometimes great pit calls work, and sometimes they don’t.  One thing’s for sure, though: the BimmerWorld crew makes more than their share of great decisions in the pits to put us in a position to win.”

Clay, who stepped in to drive the No. 80 entry with Greg Strelzoff when Strelzoff’s teammate Connor Bloum injured his leg prior to the event, had the opposite problem. Stuck on dry tires as the rain fell to close the race, he performed a number of small miracles to keep the BimmerWorld BMW on the tarmac to claim 15th.

“I am glad I was able to get in the car to work with Greg, and personally I enjoyed being back in the pro cars, but certainly I am hoping Connor’s leg heals quickly and we are able to get him back in the car as soon as possible,” he said.

“While I always love driving one of the BimmerWorld cars, this weekend dealt us very challenging track conditions to contend with.  I knew we would be terrifically fast in the rain and I was excited to have the opportunity of a wet race, but unfortunately we never got much of a chance to race in the wet conditions or at an opportune time. We’re headed to race at Indianapolis next, a place where we won last year, and hope things go a little more according to plan than they did at Watkins.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as they prepare for Indy at www.BimmerworldRacing.com , and tune in to watch the Watkins Glen round on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET on July 7th.

BimmerWorld on the Prowl for Points at Watkins Glen

June 26th, 2013

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The BimmerWorld Racing team heads to upstate New York this weekend with its usual high expectations for its three-car GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series team, but with the 2013 season now entering its second phase, big picture items are moving to the forefront at each race.

Coming off its most challenging event of the year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Virginia-based BMW tuning and aftermarket specialists want nothing more than to bank solid points and run at the front of the packed Street Tuner division—a ‘reset’ of sorts as the second half of the championship kicks into high gear.

“Certainly Watkins Glen is more the type of track that suits our car, especially with the current weight penalty we have to lug around,” said team owner/driver James Clay, referring to the fast and sprawling Watkins Glen road course.

“The flowing corners connect longer straights that allow us to reach our legs, both of which offset the tight corner performance and torque off the corner of the FWD and turbo cars.  We have done well in New York historically and I am hoping for the same this year.”

Clay, a race-winning driver in the Street Tuner class, has spent the season concentrating on managing the team and, in concert with his 2012 teammate John Capestro-Dubets (JCD), has been overseeing development of the brand-new BMW 3 Series (F30 chassis) BimmerWorld has in the pipeline for ST.

But with driver Connor Bloum, co-driver of the No. 80 BimmerWorld entry, suffering a leg injury between rounds, Clay will step into the cockpit with Bloum’s teammate, Greg Strelzoff, for the Watkins round.

“The new F30 that BimmerWorld is developing for JCD and I to drive is due to come out this summer and both of us are excited to be in the new machine,” said Clay. “I am not wild about the circumstances that find me in a car at Watkins, but I look forward to being back in the No. 80 and driving with Greg for this event.  It is unfortunate to not have Connor with us this weekend, but we are hoping for a speedy recovery that will have him back for the next round in Indy.”

Tyler Cooke, who shares the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i with Gregory Liefooghe, is looking to move up in the standings after Watkins Glen, but says that pure aggression alone won’t get the job done.

“I think it will take a little bit of both aggressiveness and being conservative, because both can be awarding,” he said. “Watkins is very fast, so you can be aggressive, but if you cross that line it can be very costly to damaging the car. Being conservative will make sure it’s a good points day, but you won’t always earn the finish you could have gotten if you’d pushed harder. If you can find the middle of both, you will have a good race.”

Seth Thomas, who pilots the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with Dan Rogers, has been in the tin-top wars for years and knows plenty about championship pursuits. He’s also looking to the Watkins race to secure more points, but isn’t quite ready to play things conservatively.

“With six races still left on the schedule, there is a lot of time to think championships,” he explained. “We still have a shot at the drivers’ championship but in order to make this happen we need to push.  So at Watkins, we will be pushing hard to close the points gap to the cars in front of us.  This will make us more aggressive than if we were the points leaders.

“Watkins is a great track for us to drive aggressively and with the long green flag runs we have had the past few races I feel we will be gaining points. So from here until we are in the points lead we will be pushing, being as aggressive as we can to bring home solid points for No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW entry.”

Follow all the action with the BimmerWorld Racing team this weekend from Watkins Glen at www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

Mixed Fortunes For BimmerWorld At Mid-Ohio GRAND-AM Event

June 18th, 2013

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The BimmerWorld Racing team had designs on filling the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series podium at Mid-Ohio with its trio of BMW 328is last weekend after the team’s exhibition of speed at the last round in Atlanta.  But a rare occurrence played out in the Street Tuner class which saw the Nos. 80, 81 and 82 entries all finish outside the top 10.

Efforts by the team to use the talents of its drivers, effective race strategy from its engineers and rapid pit stops from its crew weren’t enough to overcome a frustrating day of on-track activity.

Altogether, the Mid-Ohio event will be one team owner/driver James Clay and his team of BMW experts will look to put it behind them with shifting their focus to getting ready to race at Watkins Glen on June 28.

“A race like this isn’t typical for our team and it doesn’t sit well with anyone,” said Clay. “Certainly we will look at what went wrong, but we are executing well this year and I feel it was mostly just a mix of bad luck, lack of a few redeeming opportunities, and on a track that wasn’t great for our cars. I am definitely looking forward to the next race and opportunity.”

Seth Thomas, who led the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i home to a 12th-place finish with co-driver Dan Rogers, persevered on a day where winning was out of reach.

“Mid-Ohio proved to be our biggest nemesis so far this season,” he said. “It was a track where we have always had great success but this year it was tough for us.  Our overall speed was a little off compared to our competition but we played the right strategy to put us in contention.  I made a mistake that cost us and moved us from the top 10 to outside the top 20, but fought back to 12th.  We’ll take the points and move on to our next race at Watkins Glen where I know we will be running towards the front again.”

Tyler Cooke, who shares the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i with Gregory Liefooghe, gained more experience during the race that will help him as his career continues to flourish.

“One of the things Mid-Ohio reinforces is that you can lose a lot in a race, more than just the ability to win, and it can affect your standing in the championship. Everybody is trying to win the championship, and you really have to look at earning every extra position, every extra point to help. Looking at the ‘big picture’ is really important.”

A similar note came from Greg Strelzoff, who partners with Connor Bloum in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i.

“There are a lot of lessons to come from Mid-Ohio; I had more in-race contact at this one race than all others combined and I have to continue to be used to this and not let it alter the way I drive,” he said. “I am learning when it is appropriate to hold or give ground, and at the same time not compromising results in the process. Overall, it was not an easy race for me and I am very glad that we don’t have a long break until the next round.”

Follow the team’s progress throughout the weekend atwww.BimmerworldRacing.com, and catch the Mid-Ohio race when it airs at 4 p.m. ET June 23rd on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Ready For GRAND-AM Action At Mid-Ohio

June 12th, 2013

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The checkered flag flew over the last GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series event nearly two months ago at Road Atlanta in Georgia, and with that extended hiatus about to draw to a close, BimmerWorld and the rest of the competitors in the Street Tuner class will reconvene this weekend for Round 5 of the Championship at the legendary Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

The long pause between events afforded the BMW experts plenty of time to analyze and improve its trio of BMW 328i sedans—cars that have already been relentlessly optimized by the tuning and aftermarket specialists—as part of BimmerWorld’s quest to win races and the GRAND-AM title.

“We savor breaks in the schedule like the one we are currently wrapping up,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay. “Race teams win with constant improvement and development, and a break in running from track to track gives us the opportunity to take what we learn during those events and make the car and team better.”

As tempting as it would have been to work shorter hours during the break at the team’s base in Dublin, Virginia, Clay says his crew of veteran technicians and engineers maintained an ambitious pace which should help the program to resume its racing activities at Mid-Ohio without missing a beat.

“No one on the team, drivers or crew, sits idle during a break like this,” he explained. “Certainly when we hit the races in quick repetition, every action and role almost goes in autopilot.  But we are an established group with long-term working relationships, so even after the break it feels like getting settled back into the familiar routine.”

In a similar vein, BimmerWorld’s three driving duos have also been away from the racetrack—at least in professional competition—and like their crew members, have also been staying active to make sure there’s no rust to shake off when practice begins.

“All of our drivers are already doing the work in between the races by spending time on the simulator and making sure they are in top physical shape to endure the heat in the cars and length of the races,” said Gregory Liefooghe, who shares the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i with Tyler Cooke.

“And having time on a driving simulator helps to get in a rhythm quickly,” he continued. “It also helps when we talk about all the details that make a difference, whether it’s taking the right line, braking technique, transition speeds or where to slow down in order to get a better lap time in our heavier BMWs.”

BimmerWorld continues to work on the 328i chassis to maximize its performance advantages, most notably in the areas of braking and handling. And with a number of smaller, lighter cars in the same class, certain tracks favor specific manufacturers, giving BimmerWorld’s BMWs a chance to show off in some—but not all–sections at Mid-Ohio.

“I think Mid-Ohio should race well for us this year,” said Dan Rogers, who pilots the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i along with Seth Thomas. “As always, the BimmerWorld BMW’s are rock solid cars from qualifying until the final lap of the race, but this weekend will be tough and there’s no telling how exactly it will play out.

“The quality of our cars will play a major factor, though, and the incredible race strategy and pit stops by our team will also be a huge asset. I can’t wait to get back in the car and go racing again.”

Follow the team’s progress throughout the weekend atwww.BimmerworldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Rookies Race To Second Place At Road Atlanta

April 23rd, 2013

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The BMW experts at BimmerWorld have always prided themselves in providing clients with machinery that’s fast and capable of winning, and at Road Atlanta last weekend, the team’s newest driver combo took hold of that opportunity and went to the front of the field.

Competing at Round 4 of the 2013 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series held in Braselton, Ga., rookies Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum put their prodigious talent on display and capitalized on the speed and performance of the BimmerWorld-built 328i chassis to lead portions of the 2.5-hour endurance race on their way to finishing second.

It was a marked turnaround for the duo after misfortune limited their most recent results in the Street Tuner class.

“I am proud of the rookie drivers in the No. 80 who are honing their craft as the season progresses,” said BimmerWorld team owner James Clay. “They were also the top-finishing BimmerWorld car at COTA, and this is the result of our team fielding three equal cars, which is important to me and the drivers that we sign who want a fair shot at race wins. And certainly Greg and Connor’s finish brings some levity to otherwise somewhat frustrating event for the team.”

The sister Nos. 81 and 82 BimmerWorld BMWs had the pace to join the No. 80 in the lead pack, but poor driving by two different competitors left the cars in need of immediate repair.

“We had three great cars this weekend as we returned for the first time in years to what we consider one of our two home tracks,” Clay continued. “Both the No. 81 and 82 were robbed of the strong finish they were headed for, and instead collected some silly contact damage. Certainly when this many cars are on track, some damage is expected, but it is really unfortunate when it is so obviously avoidable.”

For Strelzoff, putting the recent frustrations behind and getting down to good, hard racing with his teammate was a joy.

“Amazing; a dream come true,” he said. “Connor drove amazingly well. I was getting more and more nervous as the time ticked down to the checkered flag. Every race weekend the two of us have made improvements and steps forward towards better results. After two heartbreaking results, we are very glad to have many breaks go our way. The result just motivates Connor and me to work even harder.”

Behind the No. 80, Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke were coming off a fifth-place result at the most recent race, and expected to finish in an even stronger position at Road Atlanta, but contact soured their run, dropping the No. 81 to 13th.

“We knew we had the fastest car on track and could have been right there with the No. 80,” said Cooke. “The race didn’t go how we wanted it to but we still came out with some points and that’s better than nothing. We won’t let this hold us back, and we will be sure to go even harder at Mid-Ohio.”

The frustration felt by the No. 81 drivers paled in comparison to what Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas experienced in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. The series veterans, racing at Thomas’ home track, had a specific plan to avoid situations where other drivers could errantly hit the No. 82, but they still couldn’t escape the competition cleanly.

With the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i crew members forced to replace front and rear suspension on the car, a 22nd-place finish was all the team could salvage.

“Mixed emotions describe our weekend very well,” said Rogers. “Seth and I are really happy for Connor and Greg for getting their first podium. The BimmerWorld crew did a great job with all three cars under extraordinary circumstances. All three cars had the pace, track position, and strategy to finish at the top of the field. Unfortunately, two of the three BWR cars got taken out of contention by extremely poor choices by other drivers. The No. 82 was handed a deep hole to dig out of to remain in the championship hunt.

“Having said that, we are still in the hunt. We’re 11 points out of third, and 15 points out of first. Road Atlanta shows how one race can shake up the standings. The development BimmerWorld has done with the BMW E90 chassis is solid, the strategy calls are spot-on, and the crew is the best in the Continental Tire Series paddock. These three things give us a car that can win, even if it isn’t the fastest car on course. The CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW will be there at the end of the season – you can count on that.”

Watch the Road Atlanta race on April 27th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED, and be sure to follow BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Headed Back To Site of 1-2-3 Finish At Road Atlanta

April 16th, 2013

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The legendary Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Ga., holds a special place in BimmerWorld’s history. Prior to its rise as one of the leading teams in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, the BMW experts closed out its tenure in another professional touring car series by dominating the top 3 with its BMW 328is.

Now in its fourth season in GRAND-AM using the same base 328i platform in the Street Tuner class, BimmerWorld returns to race at Road Atlanta for the first time since finishing 1-2-3 in 2009. The Virginia-based aftermarket BMW sales and tuning pros have undergone a number of changes since 2009, but the core ownership, management, engineering and mechanical talent is still in place.

Continuity can also be found within some of its driving talent, but possibly the greatest change from 2009 to 2013 can be found with the 328i chassis. That BMW E90 shell looks familiar, but beneath the skin, the more restrictive Street Tuner rules call for cars that are much closer to the vehicles that rolled off the production line.

Compared to the relative technical freedom with the E90 in the other series, team owner/driver James Clay says BimmerWorld can’t rely on its previous setup information at Road Atlanta and has worked hard to tune the ST version of the E90 to the 2.5-mile, 12-turn course.

“BimmerWorld hasn’t raced the E90 ST cars at Road Atlanta, but the last pro race visit we had to the track in 2009 was a podium sweep,” he said. “We have tested the CTSCC BMWs there several times because it is a convenient track for us, so we aren’t unfamiliar with the track in our current trim either.  We feel confident that we are dialed in for the coming weekend.”

The team is coming off a pair of solid top 10 finishes at Barber Motorsports Park, a facility with many similarities to Road Atlanta. Both share major elevation changes and plenty of twists and turns, but unlike Barber’s narrow, compact nature, Road Atlanta is a bit more flowing and open. The tight confines of Barber suited the smaller cars in the ST class, but Clay is hoping the differences at Road Atlanta will balance the competition.

“We know we have consistent, durable cars that are good in sweepers and on flowing tracks, and Road Atlanta has some of that,” continued Clay.  “We also know the MX-5 and lighter 1 Series BMW will be helped by the elevation, and the Speed3 and Nissan will light the long back straight on fire.  This will be the first track that blends these elements fairly evenly for existing performance balance in the field.  Hopefully, good solid teamwork and cars will be the factor that pays off for us.”

Georgia native Seth Thomas, who shares the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with Dan Rogers, led the BimmerWorld team home in 2009, and hopes to repeat the feat at his home track this weekend.

“The last time I raced in a pro event at Road Atlanta I came away with the win having a couple of teammates protecting me as we crossed the line,” he said.  “That race was a fast paced 50-minute sprint from start to finish.  This weekend I feel will be a little bit different since we will be racing for 2.5 hours but I don’t think I am going to have to change much of how I drive going from a sprint race back then to GRAND-AM’s endurance races.

“The BimmerWorld E90 is a great car from start to finish especially at a smooth fast track like Road Atlanta.  So I feel like we can drive this car like we did in 2009 and come away with similar results as both drivers and a team!”

Tyler Cooke and Gregory Liefooghe partner in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW, and for Cooke, a second-year driver in the Street Tuner class, preparing to race at a new track on the CTSCC schedule has involved a fair amount of homework prior to the race.

“You watch as much in-car video as you can and my teammates have also given me a lot of feedback on what to expect,” he said. “You want to show up and feel like you’ve done all you can to prepare mentally before practice starts so once you’re on the racetrack, it feels like you’re just continuing from what you prepared for.”

Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum are new to the BimmerWorld team and the CTSCC series this year, and according to Strelzoff, the education he’s gained through the first few rounds in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW should pay off at Road Atlanta.

“I learned a lot at Barber, especially in the wet sessions and definitely feel that I am picking up momentum as I continue to learn the car,” he said. “As for Road Atlanta, I have raced there many times in other cars and series and it is one of my favorite tracks. The turn 1 to 6 series is a great sequence of corners and I think Connor and I will be ready to go after a top finish along with our teammates.”

Follow the team’s progress throughout the weekend atwww.BimmerworldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Takes 5th, 8th At Barber Motorsports Park

April 10th, 2013

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One year ago, BimmerWorld celebrated a win at Barber Motorsports Park after a perfect storm of opportunity, driving talent and strategy vaulted the No. 81 BMW 328i driven by Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine into Victory Lane.

Expecting that perfect storm to strike again during the 2013 race at Barber would have been too much to ask, but that didn’t stop Liefooghe and new teammate Tyler Cooke from doing all they could to overcome a deck that was stacked against the 4-door sedans in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series Street Tuner (ST) division.

With Round 3 of the championship hosted at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park, a rolling 2.3-mile, 17-turn facility originally created for motorcycle racing, it was no surprise that the bike-sized cars in the ST class held the upper hand all weekend. As they ran away to a 1-2-3-4 finish, the No. 81 battled back to earn informal ‘Best In Class’ honors, taking fifth at the checkered flag.

Not far behind Liefooghe and Cooke, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers came home in eighth, giving the BimmerWorld team a mostly positive outcome for the event.

“I am very happy with our team’s execution and result at Barber, said team owner/driver James Clay. “Before the weekend started I had predicted we would be looking for a top 5 with luck, and we knew the MX-5s and 1 Series that is 125 pounds lighter than our cars held a clear advantage still.  Ignoring those top 4 cars, we fought it out with the rest of the cars in the series and had a really good result that we are proud of.”

With a winning tradition in the Continental Tire Series, BimmerWorld isn’t wired to accept fifth- and eighth-place finishes without some degree of dissatisfaction, but with the Nos. 81 and 82 adding valuable points to their respective runs towards the 2013 Championship, Clay says he and his group of BMW experts knew a victory at Barber was going to be out of reach with the current ST rules package.

“The series constantly works to balance all the models of car on the track, but the 2300-pound MX-5 and 2700-pound 1 Series are just plain light and nimble,” he explained.  “At 2825 pounds, we are the heaviest car in the field and while we work to balance the effects of physics, until those rules change, we will be looking to GRAND-AM to make some adjustments on their end to bring the competition a little closer together.”

For a talented driver like Liefooghe, whatever weight advantages the opposition currently holds is beyond his control, and as usual, he drove as hard as possible at Barber to take fifth with Cooke.

“Even though we were not able to repeat our win from last year, there are a lot of positives coming out of the race. With rain cancelling our qualifying session, we basically unloaded the car off the trailer and went racing. The result shows just how strong our base package has become over the years of development and it makes me very optimistic for the rest of the season.”

Now three races into their collaboration as teammates in the No. 81, Cooke says he and Liefooghe have become a strong package for BimmerWorld.

“Gregory and I have great chemistry and also get along great,” he remarked. “We both know how we like the car and what our driving styles are which makes working with the engineers very productive. He and I will talk about a session for hours and go over data to see what can be done to get better and it’s paying off with strong performances.”

Thomas and Rogers now sit third in points as a result of finishing a hard-fought eighth at Barber.

“Barber is a race where we usually finish well in the mix because of the great BimmerWorld team strategy and great balance of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i,” said Thomas.  “We knew going into the race our nemesis was going to be the weight of the car, but we battled hard to work up to eighth and to maintain the position.  Throughout my whole stint in the car I was fighting with another car for position and trying to keep my tires in check for a fight to the end.  To come out in eighth with us still in great spot for a fight for the championship was our main goal and we achieved it.”

The third BimmerWorld entry for Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum in the No. 80BMW 328i was unable to join the Nos. 81 and 82 inside the top 10 after retiring before the halfway point in the race.

Next up for BimmerWorld is Round 4 at Road Atlanta on April 18-20, so follow the team’s progress as they prepare for the vent at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

And be sure to catch the Barber race broadcast on April 13th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Aiming For Repeat At This Weekend’s Barber Motorsports Park Event

April 1st, 2013

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Returning to a track where a team holds the most recent win is always a cause for optimism, and for the BMW experts at BimmerWorld, racing this weekend at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park facility is loaded with potential.

Current driver Gregory Liefooghe and former BimmerWorld pilot David Levine scored the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Street Tuner (ST) win at the rolling circuit in 2012, and with another year of development on the team’s BMW 328is, the Virginia-based aftermarket and tuning pros want nothing more than to win two-in-a-row at the Alabama track.

The BimmerWorld team has always run well at Barber, which is somewhat odd due to the track’s twisting and narrow nature which favors the smaller, lighter cars in the ST category.

Putting its Barber history aside, the 2013 ST rules seem to favor the pint-sized cars through the first two rounds, which could make a repeat for BimmerWorld and its BMW sedans a challenge, but team owner/driver James Clay says his 3-car program will be ready to achieve their maximum potential.

“The big and heavy BimmerWorld 328i has done well at Barber in years past, which is really an anomaly,” he noted. “The track has a lot of steep elevation and long turns really better suited for the motorcycles it was designed for and the light, nimble cars in our series that are their closer relatives. I think our success at this track has come from fantastically dialed engineering work, solid teamwork between cars, and a bit of luck. Certainly we hope to repeat, but after the recent ST results, I think we have seen that luck will need to play a significant part.”

Of its three entries, BimmerWorld’s Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas head into Barber in the most advantageous position, sitting third in points with the No.82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. Early misfortune in the Championship has given the Nos. 80 and 81 teams a bit of digging to do, but with the No. 82 on track, Clay expects its drivers to keep the season-long title in mind.

“Dan and Seth in the No. 82 clearly have a Championship focus and are driving for points, and I think that will pay off for them,” he said. “You have to stay clean, and it’s nice to win a race or two, but certainly this early in the season if you can make sure you are there at the end, before everything ramps up towards the end of the year, you can accumulate some points before the whole field is focused that direction.”

Connor Bloum and Greg Strelzoff lead the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i and have a slightly different focus for Barber.

“We obviously need to get through the race cleanly,” said Bloum. “But at the same time, we’re trying to earn as many points as possible to catch up to our teammates. You can’t really drive cautiously in these races, and you can’t drive too aggressively because that’s where accidents start to happen, so we’ll have to find the right balance. We don’t want to give up any points we feel we can get without jeopardizing the car.”

After joining the team for his second season of ST competition, Tyler Cooke partners with Liefooghe in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i and expects to put his knowledge of the Barber circuit to good use this weekend, albeit in a different car from the one he used in 2012.

“Some experience here really helps because you have an Idea of where the big elevation changes are, and if a corner has a curb, for example, you might not be able to use it compared to the ones that will keep the car settled,” he said. “It is going to be different from the running the Mazda I had last year, but I feel like the basics are going to be the same. I think the BMW is going to have to work hard from what I’ve seen the last two rounds and think Greg and I will have a great race.”

BimmerWorld’s race strategy has always been one of the team’s greatest strengths, and last year’s win at Barber was certainly a testament to the team’s planning and engineering capabilities.

As Dan Rogers explains, attacking a track like Barber must be done with the team’s overall race strategy in mind. Going full-tilt for 2.5 hours sounds like a lot of fun, but he knows working within BimmerWorld’s game plan is the most likely path to finding Victory Lane.

“For the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW car this year, it is all about driving within the team vision and strategy,” he said. “My co-driver Seth, our engineer Wayne Yawn and I are all on the same page with regard to the season goals, how those translate into individual race goals, and even specific strategy calls within the race.

“The goal for us is an ST Championship. This means at each track, we have to consistently finish well. Finishing well is a priority over winning races. In the Continental Tire Series, if you plan to finish well, you’re likely to pick up your share of podiums. That’s our goal this weekend and every weekend.”

Follow the team’s progress throughout the weekend by visiting www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

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

March 6th, 2013

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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 nutshell, was the sentiment held by the BMW experts after last weekend’s inaugural sports car race at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) road course in Austin, TX.

Coming off of a pair of top-4 finishes at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, the team was eager to maintain that form around the 3.4-mile, 20-turn track during Round 2. Most of the field in the Street Tuner class would have been ecstatic to place their cars eighth and 10th at the checkered flag, but on a day where the smaller, lighter cars in the class held a distinct advantage, BimmerWorld owner James Clay wasn’t feeling quite as satisfied.

“An almost unfortunate result of success is high expectations, and while having two cars in the Top 10 at COTA is a solid result, our whole team wanted more than that,” he said. “With a month to go for the next race, certainly this fuels the fire and I think across the board everyone here is determined to achieve more this season and we will turn that determination into results.”

The biggest highlight of the race came with the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i piloted by series newcomers Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum. The teammates rebounded from a rough Round 1 to claim eighth after improving 19 spots from their original starting position.

“So often with rookie drivers and a new pairing, getting one under your belt is the most critical first goal,” said Clay.  “With some issues at Daytona, I was happy to see the No. 80 finish well at COTA.  As Greg and Connor continue to become more familiar with the series, the team, the equipment, and themselves, I expect their results will also continue to improve.”

For Strelzoff, the solid finish at COTA was a nice re-launch to the 2013 championship.

“That’s how we’d hoped the first race at Daytona would go, so coming away with an eighth at a tough place like this is something we can build on,” he said. “Connor and I are working well together and we get stronger each session, so there’s a lot to look forward to at the rest of the races.”

Bloum says he’ll take the lessons learned in Austin and apply them to the rest of the 11-race ST calendar.

“I enjoyed racing at COTA for the first time; the track is incredible, but we also had to deal with a lot of corners that suited our car and others that made life more difficult,” Bloum remarked. “It’s hard to expect every corner to feel perfect, so the race was a lot about making time where you could and being patient with the sections where we couldn’t.”

The No. 80 was chased home by the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers. Like Strelzoff and Bloum, Thomas and Rogers also improved 19 positions during the race—a total of 38 spots between the sister cars—to claim 10th.

“COTA was a very interesting track to race on; it’s very wide with lots of room to stick your nose in for a pass or runoff room if you made a mistake,” said Thomas, who’s already looking forward to Round 3 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.  “Barber is going to be the total opposite but at both tracks we still have to battle the normal weight of the BMW 328i against the little ST cars over the elevation and turns.”

Coupled with a fourth-place finish at Daytona, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® drivers also head to Barber in a prime championship position.

“Leaving COTA third in points gives us a clear goal for the narrow track at Barber and that is to make sure we finish,” continued Thomas. “The BimmerWorld crew will do the rest to make sure we have a solid result up front.”

The third BimmerWorld entry, driven by Gregory Liefooghe and Tyler Cooke, was forced to retire from the event. According to Liefooghe, who finished second at Daytona with Cooke, the rapid teammates will put COTA behind them and shift their attention to Round 3.

“That is exactly what we’ll do,” he said. “We’ll learn from it, move on to the next round and focus on bringing another solid result. It is a long season, and the best is yet to come.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team as they prepare for Barber at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the COTA race when it airs on March 9th at 4 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Heads South For Inaugural GRAND-AM Race At Circuit of The Americas

February 26th, 2013

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BimmerWorld Racing has had a month to think about this weekend’s GRAND-AM Continental Tires Series event at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX, and has its sights set on taming the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course with the impressive handling and braking capabilities of its highly tuned BMWs.

Coming off the season-opening race at Daytona where the team placed two of its three cars inside the top 4, BimmerWorld is looking to carry over that momentum as the Dublin, VA.-based sports car team gets its first look at the Grand Prix facility as a team.

“Having not tested our E90 BMWs at CoTA, we will certainly need to quickly get them dialed in, but our standard setup is very well tested at this point and it shouldn’t take much to get the cars where we want them to be,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay.

Years of in-house component development and tailoring of specific aftermarket packages for BimmerWorld’s customers will be put to good use at CoTA, as constant turning and hard braking zones will demand the ultimate performance from the team’s 328is.

“We continue to work with Performance Friction to make our strong point in braking even stronger and that was a major development item over the winter work – and CoTA will be a brutal testing ground for brakes,” Clay continued.  “I think this is huge as I feel braking will be challenging in a 2.5-hour race for everyone in the field.”

As one of BimmerWorld’s two race engineers and strategists David Wagener explains, most Continental Tire Series teams have not tested at CoTA, forcing BimmerWorld and the majority of the field to use chassis setup elements from other tracks to try out during the first practice session.

“Our base setups for both road course and ‘roval’ are both very good,” he said. “I don’t feel we will need more than a few tweaks in order to dial the car in.  I believe this work done in previous seasons will pay off for us at this track in both consistency and performance.”

Among the 3-car effort with the Nos. 80, 81 and 82 BimmerWorld BMWs, Gregory Liefooghe not only serves as the lead driver in the No. 81, but as a professional driving coach and also uses his knowledge to prepare his teammates for new tracks like CoTA.

“As I told the guys, I think the track can be divided in two parts,” said Liefooghe. “The first complex of corners all the way to Turn 9 is a very technical rhythm section and it will be important to have the car placed at the right spot and compromise the right corners in order to maximize speed throughout the section. I think most of the lap time will be made or lost there. The rest of the track is more standard and we will keep working on the base techniques we started to work on in Daytona.”

The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, shared by co-drivers Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, scored a historic win when the series made its first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, and as Rogers shares, he and Thomas would like nothing more than to add another ‘first time’ win on the series’ debut at CoTA.

“Seth and I are both excited to take the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW to CoTA, and a follow-on win to Indy would be incredible, but the long term goal here is also to consistently finish well in the points in order to maximize our opportunity for the Championship,” he said.  “Our goal in Austin will be to drive a smart, heads up race, and if we do that, we know that the results will come.  If that means a champagne bath on the podium at the end of the weekend, I don’t think either one of us will complain a bit!”

A mechanical issue prevented Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum from placing the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i inside the top 5 at Daytona, which has only served to motivate the duo to train harder and strike back at Round 2 in Texas.

“Round 1 definitely had its challenges but it presented great opportunities as well,” said Bloum, a Continental Series rookie. “There was so much to be learned from my first GRAND-AM race, and since Round 1, I have stepped up my regular exercise routine and added a couple of surf sessions a week for upper body strength. It’s one of the advantages of living in San Diego! Also, I like to spend as much time as I can on iRacing to learn the upcoming tracks. The practice helps get me as familiar with the venues as I can before I get there. We are certain that the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW will have a great finish at Circuit of the Americas.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team at CoTA with regular updates on www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the race when it airs on March 9th at 4 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Begins 2013 Championship Campaign With Strong Run To 2nd, 4th At Daytona

February 1st, 2013

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Entering its fourth season as one of the elite teams in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series, Dublin, Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing went into last weekend’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway with one goal: To leave with a bounty of points.

With numerous pole positions, class wins and a runner-up finish in the championship to its credit, the BMW aftermarket and tuning specialists are locked into acquiring the coveted Drivers’ and Teams’ titles this season, and Round 1 certainly kicked off that initiative in style.

BimmerWorld left the 3.56-mile road course with two of its three entries in prime positions—a podium for the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i driven by Gregory Liefooghe Tyler Cooke, and a close-fought fourth for Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers in the No. 82 328i, which was just what the veteran team needs, according to team owner James Clay.

“I was very happy with BimmerWorld’s start to the season–our best to date at Daytona,” he said. “My new drivers are all capable and rapidly getting up to speed and our veterans are right where they left off. The work behind the scenes over the winter has been tireless to improve an already solid and established car, but we made clear strides forward which were absolutely necessary to be able to fight for the front in this stacked Continental field.”

The team’s thirst for wins will never be quenched, which makes yet another visit to the Daytona podium—albeit one step down from the top—slightly frustrating, but in the big, season-long picture, Clay knows that BimmerWorld’s strong opening at Daytona will pay dividends through the year.

“In 2013, BimmerWorld is all about the Championship,” he said. “It is always nice to win, but Daytona takes power and we clearly weren’t on par with the (race-winning) Nissan on that front. We got a little lucky with some issues that struck our rivals, and the No. 81 playing leapfrog in the draft in the closing laps with the Honda was a nail-biter. But I feel very good that we maximized the opportunity this race and wins will come to us during the season at the right time. For now, we had a solid Championship-level start and I think everyone feels great about that.”

Placing two cars inside the top-4 in the Street Tuner class didn’t happen without a bit of adversity to overcome. A freak failure with the team’s refueling equipment sent BimmerWorld’s peerless pit crew into problem-solving mode, and also tasked the team’s respected engineering group to make some daring race strategy calls to get back in contention.

“BimmerWorld puts a lot of effort into consistent pit stops and our crew practices often at the shop and track to stay sharp,” said team engineer David Wagener. “The issue for the No. 81 on the first pitstop was due to a fuel rig problem which resulted in the car not getting filled. We decided it was an acceptable risk to pit early under green to make up track position at a later time. Then, the No. 82 pitted under green as planned during the pre-race meetings when the fuel window opened. You don’t do this unless you have full confidence in your crew and drivers not to make a mistake since the penalty would be losing a lap. Everyone executed flawlessly and we expect that from ourselves every time.”

For Liefooghe, who has been one of BimmerWorld’s biggest weapons since joining the team in 2011, partnering with second-year Continental driver Tyler Cooke in the No. 81 was a major success.

“I think we had a strong showing in Daytona, and that we put the No. 81 on the map for another strong championship run,” he said. “Tyler drove a great stint, and came in with the lead. Even though we had some fueling issues, we were able to fight back to the front of the pack in a very hectic race. Tyler and I clicked right away and it feels like we have been teammates for much longer than just one race. We will keep working on the small the details that make all the difference and focus on racking up points one race at a time to get to our end goal: the championship.”

Cooke also had high praise for his teammate.

“Greg went to the back of the pack three times and each time he got right back to the top-3, and I expect our performance in Daytona will carry on to each race,” he said.

The 2012 Daytona race wasn’t kind to Thomas and Rogers in the No. 82CRC BRAKLEEN® entry, but the duo made up for it with a solid fourth in 2013.

“Our finish in the No. 82CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW definitely gives us a great foundation for fighting for the championship all season long,” said Thomas. “We know BimmerWorld gives us a strong car that is capable of top-5 finishes every weekend. Our job as drivers is to keep our car in contention by limiting our mistakes. Dan and I both did that at Daytona, and now we have to drive like this at 10 other tracks to make it happen!”

Rogers added: “The championship run starts with the first step, and this was a good first step.”

The only sour note to the event for BimmerWorld came with an oil pressure issue that forced the No. 80 328i out of the race prematurely. For Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum, the team’s newest driver combo, it wasn’t the result they envisioned, but they anticipate picking up right where they left off when Round 2 arrives in one month.

“It was a very unfortunate end to our BimmerWorld debut, but both Connor and I had both worked really hard and with our pace we had already picked up a number of positions,” said Strelzoff. “I’d like to congratulate Greg, Tyler, Seth and Dan on their opening weekend success, and we plan on sharing in it the next time out!”

Bloum, showing maturity far beyond his age, echoed his teammate’s optimistic outlook on the No. 80’s potential.

“Many things were learned throughout the weekend and I am really enjoying working with the team,” he said. “My teammates and engineers were key in my rapid progress and I want to thank them all for their help over the weekend. I am determined to continue to push and work on coming back even stronger.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as it prepares for Round 2 at Circuit of The Americas by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune into the Daytona race broadcast on February 2nd at 4 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Ready To Kick Off Strong GRAND-AM Championship Run At Daytona

January 22nd, 2013

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With three years of remarkable wins and a steady presence at the front of the championship standings, BimmerWorld Racing is pushing harder than ever to make 2013 the year it claims the driver and team Championships in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series.

Known for its unrelenting approach to the sport, the James Clay-owned team spent the off-season in familiar fashion as each of its three BMW 328is were stripped bare, analyzed, optimized and reassembled. Tweaks were also made to a number of procedures, practices, and BimmerWorld’s 3-car driver lineup also underwent a few changes that should benefit the program as a whole.

Now, with the big “Roar Before The 24” test behind them and the season-opening round set to take place this Friday at the famed 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway, the veteran Continental Tire Series team is ready to fight the other cars in the packed Street Tuner (ST) class as the 11-race championship kicks off in Florida.

“This will be BimmerWorld’s fourth year in the ST class and with these cars, and the transition into 2013 at the Roar Before The 24 was as smooth as ever,” said Clay. “We have done a lot of work over the offseason on the cars and equipment and have a few additions to the driving roster, and our winter development program showed well and everyone dug in to get to work quickly.  Even though I felt we were very prepared, the guys in the shop have been working tirelessly up until we left for the event, but that is the level of preparedness that we feel will bring us the result we want this year – a Championship.”

Clay, who’s been a staple in professional touring car racing for the past decade, won’t be donning his suit and helmet to drive at Daytona, nor will his rapid teammate John Capestro-Dubets. After making the decision to develop BMW’s brand-new 3-series platform at select ST races this year to prepare for an all-out assault in 2014, Clay and “JCD” will switch gears and add their experience to BimmerWorld’s effort behind the scenes at Round 1.

“The new BMW F30 328i I am sharing with JCD isn’t yet ready and fully tested, and that is the only way we are willing to run it,” Clay confirmed.  “So instead of racing this weekend, JCD and I will be assisting the rest of the team to bring success.  Both of us work with clients for driver coaching on non-pro weekends, so a couple of pairs of experienced eyes on data, video, and during sessions should help the effort.  At BimmerWorld we operate as a team and if we can’t be driving, we will be contributing to the team where we are best suited.”

Clay’s trio of race-winning BMWs won’t have it easy this weekend—or at any ST event in 2013—but there’s every reason to feel optimistic about what the close-knit team can achieve, starting with the new driver combo in the No. 80 BMW 328i.

“I learned a lot in the ‘Roar’ and was unfortunately too ill to drive in the last day of the test because I had the flu, but I did learn that the balance, braking and wet weather ability of the car was excellent,” said Greg Strelzoff, who will partner with Connor Bloum this season.

“I’m eager to continue to make forward steps as we get closer to my first race with the team, and I am very excited to race with BimmerWorld and my teammate Connor, and hope we exceed the goals we have set for ourselves.”

Tyler Cooke, the BimmerWorld newcomer who will share the No. 81 BMW 328i with team veteran and tin-top ace Gregory Liefooghe, heads into the season with high expectations as an ST sophomore.

“I’m very confident that we can start up front,” he said. “I started a couple races last year and stayed in the top 10 in my stint. Greg is definitely a pro, and he can get the job done to finish the race on top.”

The No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW entry of Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas remains unchanged for 2013, and coming off a season where they achieved the highest of highs by winning the ST race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Rogers says he and Thomas will be aiming for more wins while seeking more consistent finishes throughout the year.

“Seth and I have been talking all winter and working on plans for the upcoming season,” Rogers explained.  “The plan is largely the same as last year: Qualify well, stay out of trouble, and shoot for a top 5 finish.  Consistency and staying out of other people’s problems is the key to a successful season in ST.

“We have also been working on some improvements in execution.  For me personally, that means improving my qualifying position.  We’re hoping this translates into spraying some more champagne at the end of January, and throughout the season!”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress this week at Daytona atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune in to watch the race when it airs on SPEED in February.

BimmerWorld Returns With Three-Car GRAND-AM ST Assault, Adds New BMW F30 ST Development Program

January 2nd, 2013

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Coming off another successful season of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series competition, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld are expanding for their fourth season in the wildly popular production-based racing series.

The BMW aftermarket and racing specialists from Dublin, Virginia have spent the off-season making more improvements to their trio of proven 328i E90 chassis cars, and with an eye on the future, have added a fourth car to the program using the F30 platform, the latest evolution of the renowned BMW 3-Series.

Like its blended E90/F30 program, BimmerWorld will also see a mix of familiar, race-winning drivers returning to the team in 2013, along with a number of new and promising drivers that are capable of adding more hardware to the team’s trophy case.

“I think we had a solid team in 2012, with solid cars, and we were a force at all of the tracks last year,” said BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay. “With 10 years of pro racing under our belts, our success is developed by improving each year, and 2013 will follow that trend. The vast majority of our people are back, both in our talented crew and our driving staff, and I feel that our people are the foundation of our team.

“We’ll continue to develop the E90 platform, which continues to show gains the more we massage it. But I think the majority of our improvements over the winter come from having better equipment and protocols for handling the adversity that racing typically deals out. The ability to start with a well-developed team and dig down to perfect these smaller points will be what puts our name on a Championship trophy at the end of the year.”

With a number of BimmerWorld veterans set to race with those who are either new to the series, the team, or both, Clay’s outfit will be working hard to develop its driving squad into a consistent and productive unit.

“BimmerWorld functions as a team of cars and drivers, not a group of individual entries,” said Clay. “We have experienced and talented drivers returning for 2013, and our drivers that are new to the team have all been carefully selected to integrate well and be capable of producing results immediately. I plan to see our team visit the podium frequently this year.”

Outside of the familiar Nos. 80, 81 and 82 BMW 328i entries, Clay will be partnered once again with John Capestro-Dubets (JCD), one of GRAND-AM’s rising stars, in the new No. 84.

Tasked with preparing BimmerWorld’s next wave of F30 ST chassis and aftermarket performance parts, they will lead an intensive program that will have the No. 84 entry splitting its time between a partial season in ST and an active private testing schedule.

“Developing a new car model is certainly a challenge, but being on the front of the learning curve is important both from a racing perspective, as well as developing parts and platform knowledge for our BimmerWorld customers,” said Clay. “Certainly the F30 will be important for the future of BimmerWorld Racing and JCD and I developed a strong working relationship last year, and he is the perfect partner in this challenging effort.”

Clay and JCD will step out of the No. 80 entry they drove to fifth in the 2012 Championship, handing it over to team newcomers Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum.

Strelzoff, who brings a mix of open-wheel and tin-top experience, will partner with Bloum, who cut his teeth with BimmerWorld’s Club Racing program, as the duo contest their first season of professional competition in GRAND-AM.

“I feel like I’m part of a team that supports me like family,” said Bloum. “The Club Racing experience with BimmerWorld was better than anything I had expected and I’m sure the GRAND-AM program will be even better! I anticipate an exciting and challenging season.”

With results that placed all three of its driving tandems in the top 10 in 2012′s final standings, Strelzoff says BimmerWorld’s proven success in GRAND-AM is what drew him to the team.

“I chose BimmerWorld because of its commitment to world class racing, driver development and the reputation of the team,” he said. “Also, I know some of the drivers and they all have had a great experience. I am looking forward to expanding on the successes I have had in my previous forms of racing and am looking forward to the challenge of the step up in racing with Connor and the entire team.”

The No. 81 will feature BimmerWorld ace Gregory Liefooghe and new teammate Tyler Cooke. Liefooghe, who scored the win at Round 2 in Alabama with 2012 partner David Levine, is confident that the teenaged Cooke, who comes to the team after showing great promise on his ST debut last season, will be right on the pace when the season opens later this month at Daytona.

“With Tyler coming in with a strong GRAND-AM background and showing enormous speed and potential during last season, I am feeling good about our chances to start the season with a podium right away,” he said. “The No. 81 has finished on the podium at Daytona for the last three years now and I am hoping to keep this momentum going, hopefully to finish on the top step this time.”

Presented with the chance to drive with one of GRAND-AM’s best drivers and teams, Cooke expects to turn the promise he showed in 2012 into bonafide results with Liefooghe.

“I feel like Greg and I can earn podiums and race wins very quickly,” he said. “Last year Greg was fighting for the lead at Daytona so we are definitely capable of a great finish to start. I also feel with one year of GRAND-AM experience, I can use that knowledge so Greg and I can move BimmerWorld up front and stay there all season.”

For all of the changes in the No. 80 and 81 entries, the No. 82 328i is untouched for 2013 as Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers march into the new season at full speed.

As the winners of the ST class at GRAND-AM’s historic first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the teammates know what it’s like to earn the biggest individual accolades the series has to offer, but now the two, like the rest of the BimmerWorld drivers, will be focused on earning the 2013 ST Championship.

“Dan and I worked great together last year and keeping the momentum going for us this year is important,” said Thomas. “We had some highs and lows during our 2012 season but we’ve both worked heavily on improving in the areas we highlighted. 2013 will be a test to this as we look forward to continuing our driving partnership while experiencing more success on the track. We look forward to seeing the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN car at the front of the field far more often.”

Rogers also sees the chemistry inside the cockpit of the No. 82 as being key to their increased success.

“Seth and I learned last year how we can best work together to get positive results from our pairing,” he said. “Whether it’s travelling in advance of a race to learn a new track, pouring through data at the track, or trying to figure out some mental aspect of driving, we are comfortable working through that together. We are looking forward to improving on our results in every way possible.”

Racing in a part-time supporting role will be tough for diehard drivers like Clay and JCD, but after closing out 2012 as the strongest driver combination in the category–and playing a central role in delivering BMW the Manufacturers’ Championship, the pair will push their teammates towards immediate success while readying the F30 for what should become BimmerWorld’s 2014 challengers.

“The E90 cars are our team’s focus for a Championship this year, but the F30 development is critical to our team’s future,” said Clay. “We have a lot of depth in both our crew and driver staff, and we should be able to achieve both goals simultaneously.”

There’s certainly nothing stopping Clay and JCD from winning this year, but as the young gun says, keeping his target locked on 2014 is what will help the team in the long run.

“Development of this F30 is the most important in my eyes for this year, but I also look forward to playing the role of ‘tail gunner’ for the E90s,” JCD said. “It’s going to be a busy year, and one where we’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes with the F30, but that development experience will be invaluable for me in my career. It’s kind of a ‘pay it forward’ year James and I have ahead of us.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at this week’s “Roar Before The 24″ test at Daytona International Raceway at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Racing Is Partnering With TeamSeattle To Support The Seattle Children’s Hospital Fundraising Effort

December 27th, 2012

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BimmerWorld Racing, a three-car BMW GRAND-AM race team, is partnering with TeamSeattle to support the Seattle Children’s Hospital fundraising effort for Daytona and beyond, signing on for the full 2013 season.

BimmerWorld Racing will involve the entire three-car team in the fundraising effort for the Daytona CTSCC race, and will run a single car sporting a TeamSeattle Heart for the entire season. Team Principal James Clay, a supporter and sponsor of the Pacific Northwest PRO3 racing series, is excited about the opportunity to help out. “With all of our friends and supporters in the Pacific Northwest, it was an easy decision for BimmerWorld Racing to work with Team Seattle on the Children’s Hospital fundraising effort” Clay commented.

While the BimmerWorld driver lineups for the #80 and #81 cars are still being finalized for 2013, returning drivers Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers will be piloting the #82 BimmerWorld/CRC Brakleen car again in 2013, which will be carrying the banner for the Children’s Hospital fundraiser for the entire season. Anchorage-based Rogers, who has worked with TeamSeattle for a number of years and drove with TeamSeattle in the 2012 Daytona 24 Hour GT car, is again looking forward to another GRAND-AM season, this time with an additional focus.

“As a former heart patient, I’ve been really proud to be a part of the effort to work raising funds for the hybrid cardiac care suite at Children’s. As an Alaskan, having a top notch regional Children’s hospital in Seattle is important for the entire Pacific Nothwest. Seth and I have some great ideas that we’ve been bouncing around with James, and are looking forward to working with the TeamSeattle “Heart Army” on a season of raising money for the kids.”

Team Seattle founder Don Kitch Jr. commented “It’s great to be back to Daytona with Dan and the BimmerWorld team. We’re going to have some fun running the cars at Daytona – maybe developing a little friendly rivalry between the Compass cars and the Bimmers. While the competition between the cars will be fun, we’ll use that rivalry to generate some additional awareness for the Seattle Children’s Hospital program.”

Follow Team Seattle on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with our developments as we prepare for the race and focus our efforts on both driver preparation and fundraising for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

ABOUT TEAM SEATTLE
Team Seattle is a group of road racing fans, drivers, and sponsors who combine two passions: a love of motorsports and a commitment to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Using corporate and private sponsorship to underwrite the cost of the racecars, Team Seattle field’s cars in races like the 24 Hours of Daytona and now, the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series to raise awareness and drive donations for the Hospital. More information about Team Seattle can be found here.

ABOUT BIMMERWORLD RACING
BimmerWorld Racing is a leading BMW race team and tuner, fielding BMW E90 3-series sedans in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series. More information about the team can be found here.

BimmerWorld Set To Race Its Production V8 M3 At The 25 Hours Of Thunderhill

November 27th, 2012

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Fans of professional sports car racing have likely seen the BimmerWorld Racing team competing in a variety of series over the years, including GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series where the BMW experts won a pair of Street Tuner races this season. But this December 8th, the BimmerWorld race team, joined by long-term sponsor and technical partner Red Line Oil, will set their sights on an overall win at the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

With its converted GRAND-AM Grand Sport V8 M3 serving as the foundation for its entry in the unlimited ES class, team owner James Clay and an impressive collection of pro and amateur racers will pilot a car that’s received countless performance upgrades since BimmerWorld threw out the Grand Sport rulebook in an effort to build the fastest production-based V8 M3 in the country.

As an integral part of BimmerWorld’s race program, Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation has provided a range of lubricants and additives that has been the lifeblood of BimmerWorld’s machines for years, and this monster M3 is no exception. A healthy diet of Red Line products has kept the V8 engine and driveline cool and protected during the warm summer events, but with temperatures near freezing expected overnight during the 25 Hour, Red Line VP/COO Cameron Evans believes the team, car and test ahead is the perfect challenge for what the renowned company is looking to prove in the marketplace.

“The 25 Hour has become the iconic race to follow for the enthusiasts that are into specific brands and aftermarket modifications,” he said. “With BMW as one of Red Line’s best served niche markets, developing and racing this Production M3 with BimmerWorld shows how serious we are about this next generation of tuning and racing cars.”

For Clay, sending team on a 3000-mile trip across the country to race at Thunderhill with Red Line at NASA’s premier amateur endurance event was an easy choice to make.

“The 25 Hour is a brutal test of endurance, but if all goes well the reward is on par with the effort invested,” he remarked. “When I was working with Red Line Oil to come up with a schedule for the Production V8 car program, we were both looking for events that showed the car’s speed, the durability of our products and that highlighted our effort in a variety of environments.”

“Like anything we do on the race team, the result is important, but the process is as well,” explained Clay. “A win is a tall order in this highly-competitive event, and while BimmerWorld enters every race with the intent to win, the knowledge gained about the car and its components at Thunderhill will also produce valuable results for our line of products. We don’t take the ‘Race Proven Performance’ stamp of approval lightly – it doesn’t mean the parts we build and sell were tested on my drive to work or in a few test sessions at the track. Thunderhill is the most extreme environment for equipment to survive, and our customers will ultimately be the winners from this race and development program.”

The BimmerWorld/Red Line Oil Production V8 in Detail

Away from the press and TV cameras, the Dublin, Virginia-based team stays true to their roots, often returning to compete along-side friends and customers in various club series. In addition to its wide array of BMWCCA, NASA and SCCA activities and customer support programs, the team has found the definitive event to express its passion for endurance racing and free-thinking automotive creativity at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill event in northern California.

Originally one of the first few V8 E92 M3 cars in the US, and having served in past lives as a street performance testbed featured in Roundel magazine and later as a GRAND-AM GS-class racecar, the development of the BimmerWorld/Red Line Oil Production V8 project has continued to progress at rapid pace. Now focused on pure speed, performance, and durability, demonstrated at a schedule including a variety of events, the team has been able to express its passion for endurance racing and free-thinking automotive creativity.

With 25 straight hours of navigating Thunderhill’s twisting 3-mile, 15-turn circuit posing the greatest test for the 80-plus cars that start the race, BimmerWorld will rely upon the extensive chassis and handling improvements to its Production V8 project car to stand out from the competition.

First, the team put the car on a diet, dropping 300 pounds from its GS days, installed 3-Way dampers from Motion Control Suspension, and fitted a bevy of BimmerWorld suspension components designed in the team’s World Challenge Touring Car days, including full spherical links with both suspension and steering geometry correction. On the aerodynamic front, keeping the Production V8 planted to the ground was aided with a BimmerWorld carbon package, including with a splitter and dive planes up front and a wing and lightweight trunk at the rear.

To complement the hearty acceleration provided by its BimmerWorld-tuned V8 engine (running a modest 400 rear wheel Hp for this event to aid fuel economy), Clay’s technicians installed a JB Racing 3-Disc Ultra-Light clutch and flywheel to improve throttle and shifting response, and a Drenth 6-Speed sequential transmission to put the M3’s power to the ground. A new Performance Friction rear brake package compliments the PFC front kit to improve braking performance and durability, and added grip from Hoosier racing slicks complete the uprated package.

The Drivers Weigh In

BimmerWorld will draw upon the experience of a familiar set of drivers next weekend, with Clay, Harold Petit and three of its 2012 GRAND-AM race winners, Gregory Liefooghe, Dan Rogers and Seth Thomas taking turns behind the wheel.

Petit, whose Johnstone Supply stores support BimmerWorld’s Street Tuner effort, is a veteran of the team’s Club Racing endeavors, and will tackle his first twice-around-the-clock (plus an hour) event in the Production V8.

“I really enjoy endurance racing and the way to win is to have the right team, right preparation, and right strategy with the right speed. BimmerWorld is that team, ”he said. “It is wonderful to be a part of the BimmerWorld team for an event like this and to join a group of folks in which I have made lasting friendships.”

For Alaska native Rogers, who won the biggest race of the year with Thomas at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Continental Tire Series round, racing at the 25 Hour has become an annual tradition.

“This will be my fourth attempt at a win at Thunderhill in a BMW, and from a preparation perspective, the one with the best chance for an overall win,” he said. “No one puts together a race or track car like BimmerWorld.”

Like Clay, Thomas and Liefooghe raced BimmerWorld’s GRAND-AM GS V8 M3s in 2011, and for Thomas, jumping into the faster, angrier version of the car for long periods at the 25 Hour is something he’s been looking forward to.

“I can’t wait to get back in the seat of the BimmerWorld’s V8 M3, now the ‘Production V8,’” he said. “I had a taste of the new car this past year at VIR during a BMWCCA Club Race and it was a lot more fun car to drive on the track then. Since that time the guys in the shop have added more go-fast parts and done more development to make it easier to drive and even quicker on the stopwatch.”

Liefooghe, who serves as a racing instructor at nearby Sonoma Raceway, is also a veteran of the 25 Hour and can’t wait to rocket around Thunderhill in BimmerWorld’s ultimate Production V8 M3.

“I have to say I’m looking forward to pretty much everything on this car,” said the winner of this year’s GRAND-AM ST race at Barber Motorsports Park. “Whether it’s the added downforce, the stickier tires, the more powerful motor or the sequential gearbox, the car is easier to drive, and faster. How can you go wrong with that?”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress all weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and live timing and scoring from the event at www.NASA25Hour.com.

BimmerWorld Strengthens Championship Standings At Lime Rock Finale, Delivers Title For BMW

October 3rd, 2012

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The road racing veterans at Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing closed out their 10-race GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series championship in style last weekend at Lime Rock, achieving a comprehensive set of goals established heading into the event.

With his trio of BMW 328is serving as some of the fastest and most consistent cars in GRAND-AM’s Street Tuner class, Clay’s team entered Lime Rock with all of his drivers and cars inside the top 10 in their respective championships—an impressive feat in the hotly contested category.

Moving BimmerWorld as a whole further up in the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships was of great importance to everyone involved with the program, but the greatest challenge would come in the fight to earn the 2012 Manufacturers’ Championship for BMW.

Rival manufacturers Mazda and Honda flooded the ST class with cars at Lime Rock to improve their odds of wresting the title away from BMW, but even with the numbers tipped in favor of the Japanese marques, the sixth-place finish by Clay and teammate John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW earned enough points to deliver the Manufacturers’ crown to the BMW brand BimmerWorld also supports through aftermarket sales and tuning.

After landing on the podium in seven out of the first nine races, the only thing lacking from BimmerWorld’s run at the rainy season finale was an eighth podium visit, but looking back at the overall championship, Clay closed the books on 2012 with plenty to be happy about.

“Certainly I prefer to see the BimmerWorld cars on the podium, and after appearing there almost every race this year, I have started to expect it to a degree,” he said. “But even though we didn’t break into the top 3 in this wild weather race, we had a list of goals laid before the green flag dropped as to what we could do this race to wrap up our season accomplishments, and we hit every one of them.  Clinching the Manufacturers’ Championship for BMW, having the top BMW in the Team and Driver Championships, and putting all three team cars in the top 10 for the season are massive accomplishments and I am proud of what we have done this year.”

The combination of pro driver Clay and sophomore understudy Capestro-Dubets flourished this season in ST, with the duo scoring three podiums and six consecutive top 6 finishes to round out the championship. And with Clay handing over the duties of finishing each race to Capestro-Dubets, the promising Californian more than proved his mettle under pressure.

“John and I were both in roles new to us this year and it took a little time to work out all the dynamics, but as we settled in, the results started coming in rapid succession,” Clay explained.  “We were challenged at some points through the year with the rules package, but even in the races that we didn’t have the strongest platform, our BMW was rock solid and that led to our consistently good results.  John grew into his role as the closing driver for our car and pulled of several solid results with pure determination.  We had a strong car and a strong BimmerWorld team behind us, and I am very happy with the last half of our season.”

For “JCD,” Lime Rock was a perfect bookend to his breakout season with BimmerWorld in the No. 80 where he and Clay took fifth in the final standings.

“This year was amazing,” he said. “I got the chance to drive with a great team with great equipment. At Lime Rock we had a really strong car in the rain, but when the two sister cars had some bad luck, I had to step back and look at the bigger picture. So to make sure we finished where we needed to secure the Manufacturers’ title, we played it a little safer than normal.”

The No. 81 duo of Round 2 race winners Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine had a race to forget, ending the season with a damaged car after taking a major hit by an entry that had several additional altercations in the challenging conditions. As one of the fastest driver pairings in ST, the tandem was extremely effective in 2012, but hoped for more from the final race.

“When taking a step back to look at the 2012 season I think we can be happy of all the achievements we have accomplished,” said the respected Liefooghe, who crossed the finish line in 15th.“A driver needs to be surrounded by a great team, have a fast car, put down strong drives, and have a good amount of luck to win a championship in a series as competitive as this. As far as I’m concerned, we have checked all boxes except for the one that we cannot control: luck.

“Lime Rock was a great representation of that, as we had a podium car once again, but got taken out early by a lapped car and went a lap down with car that was damaged enough to barely stay on track after the incident. It is hard to end a season on a note like that, and the start of the new season in January can’t come soon enough.”

Levine, who made his pro racing debut this year with BimmerWorld, echoed his teammates’ feelings on the race and the season. With their win at Barber Motorsports Park and two other podium trips, the Liefooghe and Levine partnership claimed sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.

“The result at Lime Rock stings especially because it was mostly avoidable,” he said. “It’s hard to sit in the pits for the rest of the race thinking about what could have been.  Looking back at the season, though, it is hard to complain.  Being able to look at three trophies sitting in my room is quite an awesome feeling; I can’t thank Greg enough for that!  The season was much better than I had expected.  The crew is one of the best crews out there.  The car was consistently fast even and I can’t thank everyone at BimmerWorld enough for everything this season!”

The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers pulled off BimmerWorld’s greatest triumph of 2012, leading home a 1-2 finish in wet-dry conditions at the first-ever GRAND-AM race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the mojo didn’t carry over to Lime Rock.

An early spin dropped the car down a lap, and with poor visibility making a comeback drive even more challenging, Thomas and the team worked miracles to claw their way back to 14th at the finish.

“We were close to getting the lap back thanks to great strategy by Wayne Yawn and the fastest pit stop of the year by the crew,” said Thomas.  “We were able to run with top 10 cars and were making a little bit of ground on them during the race, I think we nailed the rain setup on the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW as it was very easy to drive at the limit in the most severe conditions we have seen this season.

“Dan and I worked hard to keep the car competitive during his inaugural season in ST.  This work will continue in the off season and hopefully we will have the chance to start next season on a better note than we finished this one.”

Despite the tough day at Lime Rock, Thomas and Rogers held onto 10th in the Drivers’ Championship.

Reviewing BimmerWorld’s accomplishments this season, Clay was encouraged by what his team of BMW experts achieved and has clear plans on how to take the next step forward with the premier ST program in 2013.

“Our 2012 season was excellent as a team in many ways,” he said. “Our approach of running all three of our cars as true Championship efforts with equal equipment and opportunities undoubtedly proved to be a solid strategy, placing all three cars and driver pairings in the top 10 for the Team and Driver Championships.  And clinching the Manufacturers’ title for BMW with all three of our cars contributing to the points our BimmerWorld team scored in 9 of 10 races this year is a strong statement.

“If I had one regret looking back on 2012, it is that with all of our good fortune, no one car stayed clear of bad luck to be at the front of the Driver and Team Championships.  We have our 2013 season mapped out with a majority of blanks filled in, but a couple of openings still to be filled.  I am very excited as to what next year will bring.  I was happy with BimmerWorld’s showing in 2012, and 2013 will blow it away.”

Catch the Lime Rock race when it’s broadcast on October 13th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED, and be sure to follow BimmerWorld’s progress during the off-season or to submit inquiries at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Rides Wave Of Momentum Into 2012 GRAND-AM Season Finale

September 26th, 2012

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Of the 46 entries that have competed in the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Street Tuner division, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing has stood out as the strongest closers in the series heading into this weekend’s season finale.

With its trio of BMW 328is claiming podium finishes in the last five races, including an historic win and 1-2 finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, momentum has certainly fallen in favor of the BMW aftermarket and tuning specialists.

A tough start to the season made capturing the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships a tall order, but it hasn’t prevented the front-running program from moving BMW to the top of the Manufacturers’ standings.

Relying on his team’s strength and resilience, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay has his outfit focused on solid results at the tiny Lime Rock road course as it looks to lock up the title for BMW, and to move its three driver pairings and Team entries deeper inside the top 10.

“BimmerWorld has really settled in as a cohesive team this year and we are clicking right along with podiums at almost every race this season, but that is what I would expect from this assembled group of talented people,” said Clay.  “Several team members have been with our ‘young’ team for over a decade and many others for a good string of years, and as the 2012 season got stressful, everyone here just kept to the routine of performing at the level they are accustomed to and we had some great consistent results for that work.  I am looking forward to more of the same as we wrap up the season at Lime Rock.”

GRAND-AM has separated the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes at the Connecticut-based circuit, holding separate races for both categories. This move, due mostly to the problems of trying to fit as many as 60 cars on the short 1.5-mile track, should help BimmerWorld to avoid some of the on-track impacts that soured the early portion of the ten-race calendar.

“The split races at Lime Rock will not only help the contact problem by reducing cars on track, but it will also gather the speeds a little closer together without the GS cars in our field, which in a little bull ring like this, and on the last weekend of the season, is extremely important,” said Clay, who shares the No. 80 BimmerWorld 328i with John Capestro-Dubets.

“But the short track also makes the strategy a bit more complicated as it is easy to lose a lap and you have to be performing well all race and really on your toes to do well here.”

BimmerWorld’s Gregory Liefooghe, who leads the No. 81 program with rookie driver David Levine, brings a wealth of chassis setup experience to the team and offered a few insights on whether Lime Rock requires a perfect-handling car, or if a driver can make up for any deficiencies through extra effort.

“The car setup will be critical, and with the very compressed schedule, it will be important that we unload with a car that is close to where it needs to be,” he explained. “Fortunately, with all the engineering the team has put in the car throughout the year, we have been very close to where we needed to be every race so far. Lime Rock has three high speed corners and three medium speed corners, but it has one constant: smooth driving allows you to keep the momentum up and yields fast lap times, and usually when you hustle the car around that track you tend to go slower, putting even more emphasis on needing a balanced car. “

With a reasonable chance of cracking the top five in the final Drivers’ Championship standings, Liefooghe is hoping to capitalize on the momentum that has delivered three podiums and a win for him and Levine in 2012.

“I will be focusing on getting on the podium to try to move up the Drivers’ Championship, cap off a strong season with David, and finish on a high note to enter next year with some momentum and extra confidence,” he said.

As one half of the winning duo at Indianapolis, Dan Rogers has targeted moving to the front with co-driver Seth Thomas in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® entry to help BMW claim the Manufacturers’ title at its home track.

“Lime Rock will be an interesting race; our individual goal for the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® car is always the top step of the podium,” he said.  “With Lime Rock being the final race of the season, another dynamic comes into play–the push to finish the year off with our BMWs ahead of the Hondas and the Mazdas to clinch the Manufacturers Championship for BMW. That’s our goal.”

Although Lime Rock will close the chapter on the 2012 season for BimmerWorld, Clay has also been hard at work on the team’s Street Tuner plans for 2013.

“BimmerWorld’s 2013 season is very nicely in the works,” he confirmed.  “That is not to say we have every part finalized, but we have what everyone here thinks is a rock-solid strategy to capture the Championship, and we have a good number of pieces of the puzzle in place that will allow us to do so.  I don’t ever stop looking for ways to grow and improve the team, and from sponsors to drivers to crew and administrative staff, we are always looking for solid team members.  Next year is shaping up to be awesome and I am excited to be able to give it my full attention once we close out the season this weekend!”

Follow the BimmerWorld team atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com and be sure to watch the Lime Rock race when it airs on SPEED, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. ET.

BimmerWorld Scores 8th Podium Of The Season At Monterey, Strengthens Championship Standings

September 11th, 2012

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Coming off an historic win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, placing one car on the podium at Monterey, another in sixth and the final member of the BMW 328i trio in 11th might not sound like something to crow about, but the ninth round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series typified BimmerWorld’s remarkable season.

The BMW experts were fast, fought for the win in the Street Tuner class, saw two of its drivers spray champagne during podium celebrations and all of its entries grabbed a handful of points in all three championship categories.

With two wins from nine races, eight podium visits, all of its drivers inside the top 10 in the Drivers’ Championship, all three of its cars in the top 10 in the teams’ standings and having played a significant role in moving BMW atop the Manufacturers’ Championship, BimmerWorld is closing out the 2012 season in machine-like form.

If winning every race isn’t possible, BimmerWorld’s formula of maximizing its total team performance each weekend when the victory is out of reach has clearly been paying off.

One year ago, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay had his team fielding a pair of BMWs in both the ST and the Grand Sport categories, but after shifting his program over to run three BimmerWorld-built 328i ST cars for 2012, the results—and his team’s status in the series—have continued to skyrocket.

“I am very happy with our team’s performance this year,” said Clay. “The move in 2012 to focus purely on the ST program has definitely paid dividends and been the foundation of our results.  Every team car has visited the podium multiple times this year, which to me really reinforces our objective that every car is a Championship contender.  And without question, every person in every position on the BimmerWorld team has delivered this year to make all this happen.”

BimmerWorld has seen the Nos. 80, 81 and 82 328is surge at different points during the season, but the one constant between its fleet of BMWs has been paying points into the Manufacturers’ Championship.

Although each of the BimmerWorld driver tandems hope to move up a few spots in the final Drivers’ Championship standings, cementing the title for BMW at the final race—held near the company’s New Jersey American base—is also a primary focus for Clay’s team.

“As the season closes, our biggest achievement will be bringing the Manufacturers’ Championship home to BMW – and at their track in Lime Rock,” he said. “Our consistency and the consistency the BMW marque provides has been instrumental in the team’s results this year, so this is a good reward for us all.  We are also all poised to move up a spot or two in the Driver and Team points, which will be a nice touch for the final race.  Certainly everyone will have to do their part, but I know our team’s abilities and I am excited to wrap it up in style.”

Looking at last weekend’s race, the performance of Liefooghe and Levine in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW in Monterey was nothing short of spectacular. On a track where pint-sized ST cars thrive, the teammates carved their way from 13th to third on a day where contact was the norm.

“The race was very intense,” said Liefooghe. “As usual David drove a great opening stint and gave me a car close to the front of the field and dent-free, which is an achievement in itself in the Continental Tire Series. We took a gamble on strategy, and I had to make the fuel and tires last for two hours. With 11 cautions, it played in our favor, but it also meant that we had three or four-lap sprint races to the next yellow. For reasons I don’t understand, the series chose to keep the ST leaders right behind the tail end of the GS field for the restarts, and with the GS back markers being slower than us and 60-plus cars racing to Turn 1, it made for some very interesting moments!”

Clay and Capestro-Dubets entered Monterey riding a streak of three consecutive podium finishes, but settled for sixth in the No. 80. It marked the fifth time the duo has placed inside the top 6 this season.

The highs experienced by the No. 81 drivers were tempered by what Thomas and Rogers experienced in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. With guests from both CRC BRAKLEEN® and BMW SF looking on, the Indy winners had designs on back-to-back victories, but overly-ambitious driving by the competition slowed their progress.

“I think we need to check and see if there is a target painted on the car somewhere,” said Rogers.  “I don’t know if there is a straight panel left after that weekend.  But we still got the CRC BRAKLEEN® car home just outside of the top 10, which is a result we will happily take given the conditions.”

With the penultimate round behind them, BimmerWorld’s has one chapter left to write before its amazing season draws to a close.

Follow the BimmerWorld team as they prepare for Lime Rock at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com and be sure to watch the Monterey race when it airs on SPEED September 16th at 1:30 p.m. ET.

One Month After Their Historic Win At Indy, BimmerWorld Is Ready For More In Monterey

September 5th, 2012

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With more than a month since BimmerWorld made history by winning the first-ever GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Street Tuner race held at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the BMW experts are back in business this weekend for a race on another famed circuit.

Making the trek from their base in Dublin, Virginia, BimmerWorld’s three-car BMW 328i team will unload its cars at Monterey Peninsula and take on the 11-turn, 2.2-mile Laguna Seca road course.

Team owner, James Clay, who shares the No. 80 BimmerWorld 328i with co-driver, John Capestro-Dubets, says he’s reveled in the glorious result from Indy, but there’s been little in the way of idle time for everyone involved with the program.

“Indy was an amazing weekend,” he remarked. “Our team made some great strategy calls, the drivers kept up the hard work they have been putting in all season, and we had an awesome result. Finishing 1-2 is likely to be the high-point of this season, but just like when I am driving the car, I am keeping my eyes forward and looking toward the remaining two events and on to the full 2013 season.

“I have filled the time with several races and track events and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from friends and customers, but no one here has stopped work to pat ourselves on the back. I think this is what makes BimmerWorld great, and continues our growth and success in the performance BMW parts business, as well as on the race team.”

Clay and “JCD” followed their sister No. 82 BimmerWorld 328i across the finish line at Indy to fill two of the three spots on the podium, in addition to claiming the duo’s third consecutive visit to the podium. It also marked their fourth straight top 5 result, which makes continuing the late-season charge a priority this weekend for the No. 80.

“JCD and I have had several strong finishes in a row and really started working perfectly together in the car,” said Clay. “Laguna was good for the BimmerWorld ST cars last year. I think we have addressed a suspension deficiency we had last year and I really hope to have an awesome car for this year’s race. We have grown accustomed this year to getting it done with teamwork and braking and handling performance, and I feel those components are really working at this point in the season. I think a win is within our grasp, but as always, it will take a little luck along with our best effort.”

For Dan Rogers, half of the winning Indy combination with teammate Seth Thomas, getting his first professional win in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i has made him hungry for more.

“The reality of a BimmerWorld 1-2 at Indy is a fond memory, for sure,” he said. “We celebrated, but then started looking at data from past races at Laguna, and trying to anticipate what the upcoming race was going to be like. If the temperatures are cool there, the BimmerWorld 328i is always a solid platform to race from and should be good at Laguna. We’re going after win number two this weekend, that’s for sure.”

Gregory Liefooghe and co-driver David Levine nearly made it a BimmerWorld 1-2-3 at Indy, but fortunes did not favor the road racing ace and his rookie teammate. As a professional driving instructor and Bay Area resident, Liefooghe will be relying on his local knowledge to make up for Indy by taking the No. 81 BimmerWorld 328i to the front of the field.

“I think the key to our rebound after missing out on a deserving finish at Indy will be our car,” he said. “BimmerWorld worked hard and brought some very fast cars at Indy. Even though we didn’t finish, we were running in third and looking for a podium finish when we had an issue.

“And with Laguna being in my backyard, track knowledge will be on my side. And it’s nice not flying to get to a race! We want to keep the positive momentum going all weekend and to the season finale later this month.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

BimmerWorld Scores Historic 1-2 Victory At Inaugural Indianapolis Motor Speedway GRAND-AM Race

July 28th, 2012

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The BMW experts at BimmerWorld, the Dublin, Virginia based team, win the first-ever GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series race held on the hallowed grounds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team finished first and second in the Street Tuner class while extending the German car maker’s hold on the prized manufacturers’ championship.

The win came during a tricky afternoon of competition when heavy rain interrupted the race and a combination of inch-perfect driving and smart race strategy calls were required to reach Victory Lane.

Thankfully, for the veteran road racing team, every mechanical component required to reach the top step of the podium was delivered throughout the race by a flawless team.

In addition to the dream 1-2 finish for the team’s self-built, production-based BMW 328i racecars, the BimmerWorld team added a few other accomplishments to their debut on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn Indianapolis road course.

The victory for Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW marked BimmerWorld’s second win of the season. First, was the win claimed by Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine at Barber Motorsports Park in the No. 81 entry. This also brings Thomas’ GRAND-AM ST win tally to three since the 2010 season.

For his teammate, Alaska native Dan Rogers, the win was even sweeter. The world’s most famous race track served as host to his first professional victory. It also ranks as the first ST win for CRC BRAKLEEN®, the primary sponsor of the No. 82.

Put it all together, and BimmerWorld delivered an amazing performance on a giant stage.  James Clay, team owner and co-driver of the second-place No. 80 credits the 1-2 result to his trusted team of technicians.

“We had really good cars when we tested here two weeks ago, but we didn’t feel like we had winning cars, necessarily,” he remarked. “Between the test and the race, my team probably put in 1000 man hours to try and improve every little area on the car and it paid off. Winning at Indianapolis is just something that you can’t put into words.”

For Thomas, who ranks as one of the best touring car racers in the country, winning at IMS with the BimmerWorld team ranks as the highlight of his career.

“It’s one of those deals where you try not to be superstitious and kiss the brick before the race, and it’s not a ‘me’ that did this but a ‘we’ that won this,” he said. “Having the No. 80 there behind helping me the whole way to the checkered flag was crucial for us. To be the first GRAND-AM ST team to win at Indianapolis in a sports car…it’s amazing.

“And as a boy growing up in Georgia, I guess people figured I should be here driving a stock car, but to win in a BimmerWorld BMW is just so gratifying.”

Thomas’ teammate, Rogers, was just as ecstatic after watching the No. 82 cross the finish line.

“It’s pretty incredible,” said Rogers. “How many people can say they won their first professional race at Indianapolis? Not very many, I’m sure. The guys did a great job on the car; it was transformed since the last few races and our engineer and crew called an amazing race strategy. I figured we had a shot at winning this year, but you never think it’s going to come at a place like Indy.”

Following home the No. 82, John Capestro-Dubets (“JCD”) closed out the race after taking over from Clay and earned the third consecutive podium for the No. 80.

“We had a fantastic car, qualified well, which was a rewarding deal for everyone, and it was again a testament to our team,” said Clay. “In my stint, there was a lot of shuffling, I handed the car over to JCD who worked it up to the front. We pitted early, put JCD in, and used a fuel smart fuel strategy and a lot of talent to bring the car home for our third podium in three races. There’s a lot to be proud of.”

The third BimmerWorld entry of Liefooghe and Levine ran strong and had plenty of pace, but a mid-race issue left the No. 81 out of a possible 1-2-3 finish.

BimmerWorld’s fine day at Indy also had a major impact on the points standings. The Nos. 80, 81 and 82 are now in the top 10 in the teams’ standings, with the surging No. 80 in fifth with two rounds to go.

Clay and JCD also moved to sixth in the hunt for the drivers’ championship. BimmerWorld’s constant representation for BMW has the brand leading the standings ahead of eight other manufacturers.

“We have two more races in the championship, and I want to lock down the manufacturers’ championship for BMW,” said Clay. “BMW is a fantastic road car, a fantastic racecar, we’ve supported the brand for 13 years in our racing and I wouldn’t choose any other marque to go into battle with. To get BMW’s first win at Indianapolis is an honor, and as we’ve scored their main points in seven of eight rounds so far, we want to deliver that title for BMW when the season is done.”

On a day when there was much for BimmerWorld to celebrate, first-time winner Rogers put the race into perspective for himself and the entire team.

“I think it’s going to take a while to hit everyone,” he said. “It’s such a big accomplishment…it’s hard to fathom. To think of all the guys who’ve kissed that yard of bricks, all the winners at Indy over the years. And I just got to do it myself…amazing.”

Follow BimmerWorld as the team prepare for the penultimate round in Monterey in September, and watch the race at Indianapolis when it airs on August 5th at 12 p.m. ET.

BimmerWorld Ready For Its Debut At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

July 26th, 2012

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If racing on the high banks of the famous Daytona International Speedway wasn’t enough of a privilege for GRAND-AM teams and drivers, another milestone will be achieved this Friday when BimmerWorld and the rest of the Continental Tire Series entrants participate in their first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Established in 1909, IMS recently celebrated the centennial event for its hallmark event, the Indy 500, which began in 1911. With the addition of the Brickyard 400 in 1994, the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix in 2000, and MotoGP in 2008, sports car racing was the final piece of the puzzle for the Speedway to incorporate.

And now, as part of its “Super Weekend at the Brickyard,” the sound emanating from BimmerWorld’s trio of wailing BMW inline-6s will be added to Indy’s lore.

“We’re in heat of a championship battle and still have a lot of work to do to this season, but the track is an impressive place and when you walk around the infield as a participant, you get it,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay about the historic track.

“Indy is a place that has defined racing in our country for decades and when you walk over that yard of bricks that extends right to Victory Lane, it leaves an impression.  We spent two days testing at Indy earlier this month and the track earns your respect, and it is clear, beyond geographical happenstance, why it has had such an impact on racing and I am proud to be there for this exciting event that will make road racing history.”

Despite everything BimmerWorld learned about the 13-turn, 2.5-mile road course during the aforementioned Indy test, plenty of challenges will remain as the team adapts to practicing, qualifying and racing on the rarely-used track layout within a matter of hours.

“During the course of the two-day test there, the infield, which is a much smoother aggregate than the diamond-cut banking, rubbered up nicely,” said Clay, who shares the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW with rising star John Capestro-Dubets.

“The temperature at that point was over 100 and undoubtedly a factor and should be less of one on race weekend.  Still, we certainly don’t know the track as well as others we visit yearly or more, but with a one-day event for our cars, the BimmerWorld crew have been working tirelessly to perfect the equipment we are putting on track and give us the best chances to succeed.”

Compared to some of GRAND-AM’s more familiar circuit, the IMS road course features a much wider track and longer, more sweeping turns, which should hopefully keep contact to a minimum and allow for plenty of passes to be made by the BimmerWorld team.

“I feel once we get back to Indy and quickly get in the groove of the race, we will be fighting for a top spot,” said BimmerWorld veteran Seth Thomas, who will pilot the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with teammate Dan Rogers.

“It won’t be easy and it will take a lot of effort from the BimmerWorld crew and engineers to call the right shots so we spend the least amount of time on pit lane. With the big front straight and tight turn 1, our great Performance Friction brakes are going to be a key for making passes into one of the prime passing zones on the track.”

For Gregory Liefooghe, getting ready to lead the charge on the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW with co-driver David Levine has involved plenty of physical training and exceptional amounts of pre-race preparation.

“The main components have been getting some simulator time to get the rhythm of the track to be able to be at 100 percent right from lap 1, and to get back to working on fitness after a brutal schedule that has seen us on the road for the last five weeks,” he said.

“At the test, we saw temperatures in the car approaching 140 degrees and even if it’s forecasted to be ‘only’ in the mid-90s instead of the mid-100′s, it will still be a hot race, making fitness an important part of going fast at the end.”

Liefooghe, who won Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park this season with Levine, says finding success at Indy will be an even greater challenge due to the compressed schedule.

“The big challenges for this particular event is that there is very little time in between sessions and that the track will change massively between the first practice session and the race,” he explained. “It will put a lot of pressure on the engineers to make the right decisions on set up for the race. Fortunately we learned a lot during the test days and we have a good handle on most of the moving parts.

“For the less experienced drivers, the fact that the sessions are so close gives very little time to digest the data analysis and there will be a balance between making improvements and overloading them with too much information. My teammate David was fast at the test and I think he will deliver another strong performance, and I know the entire BimmerWorld team will come prepared and ready to adapt to whatever we face.”

Joining the BimmerWorld team for the race weekend will be the winners of the CRC Industries sweepstakes which also included passes and VIP hospitality for the entire weekend for the lucky pair.  “Having CRC and their guests with us this weekend is going to be an awesome addition” stated Clay.  “CRC is a fantastic sponsor, a company with racing heritage who gets what we are doing here, and a company that invests to bring additional excitement to our sport – in addition to core products like Brakleen that teams throughout the paddock use.  We are excited to have them with us for this historic Indy event!”

Follow the BimmerWorld team this weekend atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune into the broadcast when it airs August 5th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Closes 3-Race Run With Another Podium, Pair Of Top 10s At Watkins Glen

July 4th, 2012

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Coming off its third GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series race in a span of four weeks, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld closed the arduous string of events in impressive fashion at New York’s storied Watkins Glen circuit.

On the face of it, the numbers look good: another podium for team owner/driver James Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 80, an eighth-place finish for Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine in the No. 81 and a 15th-place result for Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers in the No. 82, but it doesn’t tell the full story of BimmerWorld’s achievement.

Utilizing the renowned BMW E90 platform, BimmerWorld’s trio of 328is rank among the most heavily restricted cars in GRAND-AM’s Street Tuner class, yet despite the massive amount of weight the cars carry, and the air restrictors that limit the power from the BMW’s six-cylinder engines, Clay’s team has continued to deliver performances that should be unattainable.

With their BMWs sanctioned to rather extreme levels, BimmerWorld’s focus for 2012 has been to perfect every other area within the program in an effort to compensate for the performance the rules have taken away. Drawing from an exceptional amount of talent from its crew and drivers, the Watkins Glen race showcased BimmerWorld’s formula of using speed, consistency and flawless execution to overcome most of the advantages held by the competition.

“The BimmerWorld guys are rock-solid, and even if we aren’t as gifted as other models in the regulations currently, our whole team has managed to make a lot happen with willpower alone,” said Clay. “The majority of our crew is full-time in the shop which I think is a big plus for our team when we have the crazy workload of a three-race stretch like the one we just completed. But beyond the standard prep work, these guys have been putting in long days at the track also to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be when we hit the track. Combine that with a driving staff that has put their heads down to make results happen, and with each car visiting the podium this year, I feel like we are maximizing what we have been given.”

After a humbling start to the season, Clay and Capestro-Dubets turned their fortunes around during June’s three-race run, taking a fifth at Mid-Ohio, a third at Elkhart Lake and another third last weekend.

“John and I are really starting to click as teammates,” Clay continued. “We had our car dialed in and ready to race very early in the weekend, leaving us time to test some other setups and practice the elements that are critical in the race. I am very happy with the progress we have made during the year as a team, and John is driving like a superstar which is helping the results.”

With BimmerWorld’s total team coaching process at his disposal, Capestro-Dubets has made great strides during his sophomore season in ST, and credits the support he’s received for his continual development as a pro driver.

“So much has changed since 2011 for me,” he said. “Greg and I watch last year’s in-car footage before each race, and the difference is shocking to me. James has really taken his time with me to settle me down and then build my confidence by giving me tools to refine myself. In 2011, I was still trying to find my place and make somewhat of a name for myself. This year, I have the confidence and the guidance, and I think some good results are now showing all the hard work that goes into making it in this sport. I really have to thank everyone involved with this race program for taking their time with me and developing me into the driver I am so far.”

As the leader of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW, Liefooghe receives plenty of accolades for his driving and coaching talents, and paired with ST rookie Levine, the two have formed one of the most effective driving combos in the series. In addition to their win at Round 2 this year, the intra-team highlights continue to grow and shift towards Levine as he makes the transition from being the new kid on the block to a seriously talented competitor alongside Liefooghe.

Plenty can be said about Levine’s drive at Watkins Glen, but the most impressive stat centers on the 27 positions he and Liefooghe managed to earn on their way to an eighth-place finish.

“I feel that I have progressed a lot since the pre-season test at Daytona,” said Levine. “I’ve really learned a lot from working with Greg in a short amount of time. Now that I have been in the car for several races, I feel that I am comfortable in the car which allows me to push myself and the car to the limit. My progression owes many thanks to Greg for his coaching this season. I’m looking forward to closing out the season in a strong way.”

If the No. 80 was the lightning rod for bad luck early in the year, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i took its place recently. After dealing with mechanical gremlins and a rough-and-tumble race, Thomas and Rogers fought back to recover 14 spots to claim 15th in ST.

“Our weekend at WGI didn’t start out great—we had some issues that left us off track during the test day,” said Thomas. “But our crew kept fighting. Dan did an amazing job during the day to improve his lap times by five seconds between his first session at Watkins Glen in a BMW to when he qualified the car. During the race he continued to move forward and handed the car over to me after the BimmerWorld boys executed a perfect pit stop. Overall it was a great team effort from everyone involved. It’s how you recover from adversity that matters, and everyone should be proud of themselves after last weekend.”

In a sea of other manufacturers in the Street Tuner class, there’s one metric that stands out quite heavily this year—the Manufacturers’ Championship. As a privateer program, and despite heavy factory involvement in the class, BimmerWorld’s tenacity and consistency has BMW sitting atop the championship after seven rounds, which serves as a point of pride for Clay and his team.

“The Manufacturers’ Championship is the place we can hang our hat this year,” he said. “In six of the seven races this season, BimmerWorld has put the points on the board to move BMW to the front of this race. In a year where we have to leverage our luck significantly to provide race finishes, BimmerWorld’s approach of running three equal cars pays off and gives us a better chance of putting a BMW at the top on any given race weekend.”

Now that the team has a little bit of time to breathe before the series makes its debut at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway later in the month, Clay is also starting to plan ahead for next season.

“This is the time of year where we start to look at team developments and driver lineups for the upcoming season, and our goal is to finish as the top BMW program in ST and to take the next step with our cars in the off season. The rules tend to be cyclical, and we’d expect the 328is to have things evened out a bit for 2013, which should make our quest for a championship even stronger. But for now, we are focused on wrapping up a strong 2012 showing.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the Watkins Glen race when it airs July 14th at 1 p.m. ET on SPEED

BimmerWorld Leaves Elkhart Lake With GRAND-AM Podium, Hunting For More At Watkins Glen

June 26th, 2012

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The BMW experts at BimmerWorld are always prepared for fight in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series, and last weekend’s race at the picturesque Wisconsin road course proved that the Dublin, Virginia-based team can never be counted out.

With the odds stacked against them on the high-speed 4.0-mile road course, due mostly to the engine air restrictors its inline-6s are required to use and the excessive ballast the normal-sized BMW 328is are forced to carry, the James Clay-owned team entered the weekend expecting to see its smaller, lighter rivals in the Street Tuner class motor away on Elkhart’s numerous long straights.

BimmerWorld’s fears were realized when even the least developed entrants were able to pull out significant gaps on the three-car 328i effort, but with a decided advantage under braking and through the corners, at least one of BimmerWorld BMW’s managed to pull off a solid finish, despite setting a best lap that was nearly one-second slower than the fastest ST car in the race.

Realizing that a win was beyond the scope of reality, Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets (JCD) used an exceptional amount of guile and inch-perfect driving to secure a third-place finish in the No. 80 BimmerWorld entry, the best result for the duo so far this season.

“I was happily surprised with the No. 80’s results at Elkhart Lake,” said Clay. “This is one of my favorite tracks and I love the speed and commitment required in some of the high-speed sections, but it was clear going into this event that we didn’t have the power to lead a pack of cars and we had better keep our nose in the draft.  I was able to stay in a multi-car draft in my stint, and JCD took advantage of the big hole that a two-wide battle in front of him created late in the race, which rewarded our current ‘right place at the right time’ passing approach.”

For second-year GRAND-AM driver JCD, maturing into the pressure-packed role of being the closer has resulted in the No. 80’s two best finishes—a fifth at Mid-Ohio and a third at Elkhart—in consecutive events.

“Mid-Ohio and Elkhart Lake were just a start to the momentum James and I plan to end the season with,” said the young Californian. “Over the last few races my confidence has improved in the closing role and the team’s confidence in me to get the job done has followed.  With their continued support and the great car the team provides, I have everything I need to continue at this level and also to improve and become more polished under pressure. I’m really looking forward to doing it again in our next race at Watkins Glen.”

Well behind the No. 80, the No. 81 of Barber Motorsports Park race winners Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine soldiered home to finish a disappointing 14th after being hit by a competitor and losing any chance of staying in the draft being utilized by the lead pack.

The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers encountered a virtually identical scenario, and after being hit and losing the draft, the teammates fought back to eventually place a distant 17th at the checkered flag.

Using the Elkhart event to assess its current state of competitiveness, three years into its GRAND-AM ST program BimmerWorld has adapted to the changes the series has mandated to the best of its ability. With the BMW 328i chassis and engine slowed a bit more each year, Clay has witnessed BimmerWorld go from vying for the championship in 2010 to being on the outside looking in at most rounds in 2012.

BimmerWorld’s lone win this season came as a result of the ‘right place at the right time’ dynamic Clay mentioned, rather than watching his cars march to the front of the field on pure speed, driver skill, or team execution, and despite honing his team into one of the most efficient and forward-thinking operations on pit lane, the chance to challenge for wins from round to round will only come when the rules are balanced to include the 328i.

“We have solid cars that are consistent and this season shows that we are a constant threat for a podium from all three BimmerWorld entries,” Clay explained. “But we also rely on a bit of luck and gifts from our competitors more than I would want. We are executing impeccably and we should have three cars in the top 10 almost every weekend.

“But as this race showed, if we slip out of the draft of the leaders and fall back into the portion of the field that has straight-line speed–and then slows down significantly in the corners, we just don’t have the acceleration that others have to battle for position, or to lead a pack of cars without a draft to catch back up. There’s not much else we can do at this point.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen, Liefooghe, who has quickly asserted himself as one of the elite drivers in the Continental Tire Series, expects the team’s Performance Friction brake package to continue to play a significant role in BimmerWorld’s results, and also points to the handling refinements the team has developed as a key to quickly navigating the 3.4-mile, 11-turn track.

“Even though the rules package is not in our favor, our BimmerWorld BMWs still have advantages in some places compared to the rest of the field,” he said. “One of the places where we shine is top end speed, but the problem is we are the slowest to get to that speed because of our extra ballast and lack of torque. Fortunately, our handling is great.

“Watkins has a lot sweeping corners where we should be able to maintain more rolling speed than other cars and therefore make up for our lack of torque. Despite being the heaviest car in the field, we have a braking advantage due to our PFC brakes at corners like the Bus Stop, so I’m optimistic things will be somewhat better than they were last weekend. We will always fight for the best position possible, even if it’s a big task.”

Follow the team’s progress this weekend atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to tune in and watch the No. 80 earn third at Elkhart Lake when the race is broadcast July 8th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Races Into Halfway Point Of Season At Elkhart Lake

June 20th, 2012

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In a perfect world, all of the different types of cars in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Series Street Tuner division—big, small, turbo and naturally aspirated—would be competitive at every one of the 10 tracks the series will visit this year.

The reality, as most teams have learned, is that the rules favor certain types of cars from year to year, and depending on which end of the rules a type of car falls within, some tracks are bigger challenges than others.

For the BMW experts at BimmerWorld Racing, the beloved 4.0-mile Elkhart Lake track has provided some incredible highs in the past, including team owner James Clay’;s first professional win while driving the BMW E90 (328i) chassis, but heading into this weekend’s race in Wisconsin, the three-car E90 team is focused more on earning points than planning to win on sheer pace.

“I think our E90-platform cars are top performers in braking and in the turns now, which is no small feat being between 100 to 500 pounds heavier than the rest of the field,” said Clay. “But unfortunately, Road America is a track that also requires a dose of straight line speed, and with the current restrictions on our cars, our strategy is more to focus on consistency and try to be at the right place at the right time for someone to give us a position.

“This is a tough strategy to go win a race, as drivers in our series rarely give away first, but until we get to use a little more motor relying on the solid BimmerWorld equipment and team is our best approach and hopefully good enough to put us near the front again.”

Teamed with John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 80 BimmerWorld 328i, Clay and “JCD” are coming off a fifth-place finish at the most recent round in Mid-Ohio where the sophomore GRAND-AM driver executed a flawless race to the finish line.

“I was super proud of John’s performance in the last round in Mid-Ohio,” Clay continued. “He fought his way forward and defended his position to lock down a solid finish. We have worked some on analysis between rounds and I think his next stint will be even better. We are halfway through the season and we are getting the momentum we need to close out the year strong.”

Sharing the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW with veteran pro driver Gregory Liefooghe has been the perfect recipe for GRAND-AM rookie David Levine in 2012. In addition to the duo winning Round 2 in Alabama, Levine is currently second in the Rookie of the Year standings and he hopes to use local circuit knowledge to his advantage while RoY honors are within his grasp.

“My rookie season in the series has gone much better than I ever could have imagined,” he said. “I am really looking forward to Road America this weekend. It is my home track. I know the track extremely well and will be pushing myself to get the most out of the car. I will not be satisfied with anything but a top 5!”

Staying with the smaller cars on Elkhart Lake’s long straights is too much to ask for normal-sized cars like the 328i, but as Clay alluded, the BMW’s enhanced handling and braking characteristics should help BimmerWorld to dominate the corners.

As Seth Thomas explains, he and Dan Rogers, co-drivers of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, along with the rest of the BimmerWorld fleet, plan on taking the fight to the rules-favored cars this weekend.

“Our Performance Friction brakes are going to be our biggest advantage at Road America,” he said. “With the long straights, where we will be stretching the legs of the BMW inline-6, we need a good set of brakes to slow down our cars lap after lap. If there are long green runs then this will be our advantage toward the end of these runs.

“If there aren’t long green runs then the BMWs long wheelbase will help us to be quick in the sweeping fast corners leading onto the main straights at Road America. Overall I think the BimmerWorld BMWs are going to be fast and ready to compete this weekend.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as it races at Elkhart Lake by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the race when it’s airs July 8th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Scores Pair Of Top 10s At Mid-Ohio GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Event

June 12th, 2012

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Despite earning a win at Round 2 of the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series championship through a perfectly-timed piece of race strategy, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld have gone into every race this year with an understanding they’d face an uphill battle, and last weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio was no different.

With the Street Turner rules currently balanced in favor of smaller economy cars and their turbocharged cousins, teams like BimmerWorld have been left to fight for “best in class” honors with normal-sized sedans like the BMW 328i, making the team’s pair of top 10 finishes at Mid-Ohio even more remarkable.

Leading BimmerWorld at the checkered flag was the No. 80 BMW 328i of team owner/driver James Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets, who scored an impressive fifth-place result on the twisting 2.2-mile road course.

“I think it was clear this weekend that we didn’t have the power that we needed to really challenge for a win, but the BimmerWorld team always puts together a solid car and a lot of the time, that will get us farther than we expect,” said Clay. “The No. 80 had a solid race and we were never able to challenge for a position and take it, but we were able to be there when opportunity gave us a spot, and that was the key to moving to the front for us. Not the most exciting way to make it happen, but I am happy and content that we maximized the result.”

With a string of bad luck limiting the No. 80’s results this year, earning fifth at Mid-Ohio was a great momentum boost for the team and, in particular, second-year GRAND-AM driver Capestro-Dubets, who fought hard to the finish as the closer in the blue and yellow BMW.

“The opportunity to work with the experienced drivers and engineers on the team has helped me to mature,” said ‘JCD,’ as he’s known by the team. “I have no words for the emotion I had after this race. To cross the finish line, pull into the pits and see the looks and the other competitor’s faces, then walk up to see James and feel the relief of success for the No. 80 after a rough start to the season was just incredible. I’m very grateful for this experience and beyond fueled for the next round.”

Round 2 winners Gregory Liefooghe and teammate David Levine steered the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW home in eighth, their third top 10 of the season. Liefooghe was quick to hail the performance and progression of his teammate so far in 2012.

“For David and me, it has just been a matter of learning how to communicate with each other,” said the respected racer and driver coach. “My job is to make sure he gets what he needs to find those last few tenths on the track. We have jelled very well and now we only work on small details. One of the big changes from last season for David was that he now has a team and a teammate behind him, and we are all here to make him faster and he adapted quickly to that environment. He manages to bring the car back in good shape and in a good position after his stint and it allows me to go for a good finish.”

BimmerWorld would have preferred to have all three of its cars in the top 10, but circumstances intervened throughout the weekend for the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i piloted by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers. For reasons that defy explanation, a year’s worth of bad luck struck the No. 82 at Mid-Ohio, forcing the car’s resilient technicians to perform miracle after miracle to overcome a variety of unexpected mechanical woes.

Coming off a second-place finish at the previous round, soldiering home to take 26th at Mid-Ohio might not seem like something to celebrate, but Thomas gave full credit to everyone who took part in getting the No. 82 to the finish line.

“The BimmerWorld Crew fought all weekend to get the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW on track,” he said. “It seems every time one problem was solved, another reared its head, including during the race. Most teams would have packed up and gone home during practice, but not our guys. I am proud of every crew member as they fought harder than Dan or I did on the racetrack.

“They stayed up late and worked right up until the last minute to give us a race car we felt would lead us to the front of the field. Unfortunately some race contact from another car prevented them from seeing success in the No. 82 BMW. Regardless, this race was only possible because of them.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress atwww.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the Mid-Ohio race when it’s airs June 17th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Hoping To Repeat History At Mid-Ohio

June 7th, 2012

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Teams inevitably circle a few highly anticipated dates on the racing calendar each year, and with this weekend’s GRAND-AM event at the 2.2-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio road course serving as one of BimmerWorld’s favorites, the Dublin, Virginia-based BMW experts hope to repeat their past successes.

As the first North American team to win a professional road race with the BMW E90 platform at Mid-Ohioback in 2007, the team followed with another win at the track in 2010 with Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann at the helm of one of BimmerWorld’s E90s. Now the team is hungry to add a third win this weekend.

Expanded to three Street Tuner-class cars in the Continental Tire Series for 2012, team owner/driver James Clay expects his fleet of constantly evolving E90s to make the most of the technical Mid-Ohio layout once practice gets under way.

“We have put a lot of work in during the winter in the whole E90 platform, and even after five years of running it, we were able to make improvements,” he said. “I think we are tapped out on power right now and not the best in the field, and acceleration out of turns is not as good as the lighter models and turbo cars, but hopefully the continuous twisting of the Mid-Ohio layout will allow our cars to shine. I have said all season that we are good on a long run – if we can get that this weekend, I will be happy.”

Partnered with John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 80 BimmerWorld entry, Clay and his co-driver have been fast all year, but have yet to bank the finishes they’ve deserved. A solid run at Mid-Ohio could be just the change of fortune they’ve been seeking.

“We haven’t gotten the results we have wanted so far this year in the No. 80 and luck hasn’t been much on our side at several key points,” Clay explained. “Certainly we are looking for podiums and wins and we always work as a team effort with our other BimmerWorld cars that have fared better to date than we have. We have a long three-race stretch ahead of us and we are going to put our heads down and do the best we can. The team is very well prepared for the potential brutality of back-to-back weekends, so I feel good about the support behind us all to maximize our results.”

Leading the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW entry, race-winners Gregory Liefooghe and teammate David Levine have high expectations for Mid-Ohio, and for Liefooghe, who serves as a driving instructor during the week, the track is one of the highlights of the year to try and tame.

“Mid-Ohio is definitely one of my favorite tracks to drive and race,” he said. “It’s technical and has some good passing zones that make for great racing. If the temperatures are mild, Mid-Ohio is typically not too hard on tires, but if it gets hot, the track tends to build up a lot of marbles and becomes a one-line track. Maximizing the pace around there is all about getting in a good rhythm and not overdriving certain of the corners. Our setup and handling work will pay a premium and I expect us to be fighting for the top step at the end of the race.”

Dan Rogers, who shares the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with Seth Thomas, has been flourishing in his first season with BimmerWorld, and expects the upward trend to continue at Mid-Ohio.

“Seth and I have been working a lot away from the track to get me up to speed on the tracks I haven’t run yet, as well as bringing my general driving technique up to speed to be able to complete with the front end of the starting drivers in the ST field,” he said. “As we go deeper into the season, we are hoping to see the results of this work at every venue we go to.

“The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® car has been good all season. We don’t necessarily expect to be the fastest car on the track, but should show the typical well balanced car that will last throughout the stint, and remain strong while the other cars fade.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as it prepares for Round 5 in Mid-Ohio by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the race when it’s airs on June 17th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Scores Second-Place GRAND-AM ST Finish At New Jersey Motorsports Park

May 16th, 2012

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It’s a familiar theme that never gets easier to deal with. Take away the contact at least one of BimmerWorld’s three GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Street Tuner entries received, and the full team could have filled the top 10.

Fortunately, the Dublin, Virginia-based BMW experts had the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers made it through the New Jersey Motorsports Park round unscathed, netting a season-best second-place result for the duo.

The No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i driven by team owner James Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets wasn’t quite as fortunate, and the sister No. 81 of Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine was also forced into the pits for cooling system repairs.

“I was pretty upset about the contact with my car two turns into the race that killed our chances for the strong result I feel we were headed towards this weekend,” said Clay as he gave an account of his team’s day.

“And even more disappointed when I saw the No. 81 in for repairs while we were trying to get the No. 80 back out.  At that point, the hope for the team rested on the No. 82 and I am very happy that they were able to produce a good result this weekend.”

After receiving a contentious stop-and-go penalty after stepping out of line on a restart to avoid a number of stalled competitors, Rogers marched forward in the field, picking up more than a dozen positions from the No. 82’s 24th-place qualifying position before handing over to Thomas.

“I don’t like to make mistakes on-track, and that made getting the penalty tough,” said Rogers. “On the restart, there were a number of cars off track on the left side of the front straight, so I went right to avoid the pending mess, with the throttle pinned to get out of the impact areas. Fortunately, as Seth later pointed out, the stop and go penalty didn’t impact our strategy or results.”

Once the No. 80 was repaired by BimmerWorld’s ace team of technicians, Rogers worked with Clay acting as a tail-gunner and used the BMW’s handling prowess and its class-leading Performance Friction brakes to reach the top 10.

“When I was in the car, the race was a lot of fun,” Rogers continued. “I didn’t qualify well, but my race pace was faster than a number of cars in front of me, so I was able to produce results. When James came back on track, he ended up behind me, and it was comforting having a team car in my mirrors. I was able to move right outside the top 10 when I turned the car over. The crew gave us the same great car they always do, and we got the podium finish that Seth and I have been planning on all year–it was a blast!”

Along with Clay and Liefooghe, as one of BimmerWorld’s veteran, race-winning pros, Thomas has worked diligently with Rogers to share his knowledge and expertise to help him extract the most from the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, and the results are clearly paying off.

“Dan is an easy person to be a teammate with as he fights to be the best opening driver in the CTSCC paddock,” he said. “Every time I talk to him between races it seems he is at a racetrack somewhere driving some form of BMW race car or at a function for one of his kids. This is an accomplishment since there aren’t any racetracks near his home in Alaska! Every weekend Dan gets faster and more comfortable racing the E90 chassis, which makes my job on track easy. He’s the type of teammate we all hope to have.”

Looking at where the team stands after four rounds of the 10 Round championship, Clay is feeling confident about his team, cars and drivers as the pace of the championship is about to increase.

“After our first weekend on a real road course, I am happy with the cars and the efforts of our winter work are showing,” he said. “While I feel some teams put effort into what they should be gifted to make their cars fast, we put our heads down, do work, and this winter we came up with the speed we needed on our own.  I still don’t think our cars are the fastest in the field by any stretch, but our team is strong and we are consistent, and if we can run some green flag races, I think we usually have a chance for a good finish.”

As one of BimmerWorld’s most tenured drivers, Thomas also offered his appraisal of where the team’s three-car 2012 program ranks among a decade of professional teams fielded by the team.

“The team James has assembled this year is very similar to the team we had in our championship fight in 2010, but stronger,” he explained. “I can see the crew guys are gelling together well. They work hard every weekend to give us a great car to race. The engineers are constantly doing what they can to make our cars easier drive for a long fast stint. All the drivers get along great together and work to help improve each other throughout the weekend. Our sponsors are some of our biggest supporters helping to give us the tools and components to put our cars up front every weekend.

“Overall, this team is the best BimmerWorld team I have raced with. We are a championship team helping to put BMW at the top of the points every weekend, have scored the most points for BMW so far in ST this season, and our drivers are always in the hunt to win and lead the championship. There’s still a lot of racing to do this year, but we’re seeing the benefits of what James and all of our mechanics and engineers have put together within this program.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the New Jersey Motorsports Park race on 5/26 at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Focused On Championship Pursuit In New Jersey

May 9th, 2012

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With the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Championship gaining momentum,Dublin,Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing is ready to hit the track atNew JerseyMotorsportsParkjust two weeks after the most recent round in Homestead-Miami.

The three-car BMW 328i team had a remarkable weekend at Homestead-Miami, placing two cars inside the top 10 in qualifying, but a number of freak occurrences led to the team retiring from the race early in the event.

Utilizing the team’s depth of knowledge with the BMW E90 platform, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay is confident his staff of BMW technicians has resolved the issues leading into the race at NJMP.

“Homesteadwas turning out to be a great weekend right up until the race,” he said.  “We had some rare mechanical issues and certainly we don’t intend to repeat.  Luckily, we have a lot of years with these E90 cars and many more working and developing cars on a pro level, so even in a tight turnaround, our standard plan of attack can be applied swiftly and produce results and solutions.  We do have answers and a multi-pronged approach to the issues from last race and we are now fully focused on getting back in front on the championship hunt.”

Known for its sweltering heat when it was held mid-summer, the NJMP round has been moved up to avoid the stifling temperatures and humidity that made life miserable for everyone and everything.

“With very high temperatures in the last few years, New Jersey has been brutal on cars, tires, crew and drivers,” said BimmerWorld’s Gregory Liefooghe, winner of Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park with co-driver David Levine in the No. 81 BimmerWorld entry.

“This year, since the race will be taking place in May instead of July, the weather is expected to be mild, and we’ll see how it affects the track and handling.New Jerseyhas tight hairpins, which don’t suit our car since we are lacking torque compared to the turbo cars, and no hard braking zones where our cars usually shine. But it also has high-speed corners where we’ll be making up time.  It will most likely be an ‘accordion race’ once again, and being upfront from the start will pay a premium.”

John Capestro-Dubets, who shares the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW with James Clay, believes the team’s fleet of 328is could hold an advantage when it comes to consistency.

“The BimmerWorld BMWs tend to be very stable and predictable cars throughout the race,” he said. “TheNew Jerseytrack might not be tailor-made for our cars, but we don’t tend to go through the peaks and valleys some of our competitors do, so over the course of a 2.5-hour race, I think our average speed could be a benefit.”

On Mother’s Day weekend to honor survivor Paula Capestro, JCD’s mom, the No. 80 will also carry a unique change to its livery at NJMP, with BimmerWorld’s traditional yellow stripes replaced with pink as part of an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer and the benefits of early detection.

After recording one of the most impressive performances during his stint at Homestead-Miami, Dan Rogers, who shares the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with Seth Thomas, is poised to pick up where he left off. But just don’t tell him he did a good job last time out…

“I still wasn’t satisfied with my performance,” Rogers said with a smile, “but I’m not sure we ever are!”

Rogers’ ascension in the Continental Tire Series has been a point of pride for everyone in the team, and with a number of veteran drivers to rely upon, his forward progress is expected to continue at NJMP.

“What improvements I am seeing is largely due to the time and effort Seth and the team is putting into coaching and mentoring me in my driving. They have been a great resource to help me improve my driving in general, and to work on specific aspects of tracks that I haven’t raced on before, like both Miami and NJMP. This week should be another test of coming up to speed quickly on a new track for me, but I think we’ve done the preparation. Now it’s time to execute!”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Round 4 at New JerseyMotorsportsParkthis weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the race when it’s broadcast on 5/26 at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Endures Up And Down Weekend At Homestead-Miami GRAND-AM Event

May 2nd, 2012

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Leading into Saturday’s race at the Homestead-Miami circuit in Florida, the three-car BimmerWorld BMW 328i GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series team had every reason to feel bullish about its chances to earn back-to-back victories.

Coming off a savvy win at the previous round at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, the Dublin, Va.-based BMW experts picked up right where they left off, placing the No. 80 BMW of team owner James Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets fourth in Street Tuner qualifying, and the No. 81 of Barber winners Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine 10th on the grid.

The No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i of Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers wasn’t quite as fortunate, but despite starting 30th in class, the veteran racers had designs on moving to the front once the green flag waved.

With reliability serving as one of the hallmarks of the BMW brand—and the BMWs raced by BimmerWorld—the team was dealt a double dose of misfortune as the Nos. 80 and 81 retired within the first eight laps with undisclosed drivetrain issues.

Surviving the tricky track conditions as the race transitioned from wet to dry played into the hands of Thomas and Rogers as the pair appeared to be in the hunt for a podium finish, but on a day where odd things took place with two team cars, the third member of the BimmerWorld fleet couldn’t escape a similar fate, ending its run on Lap 40 of the 82-lap event.

“Overall, the race was really decent for the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW,” explains Thomas. “Dan did a great job in his stint showing off his Northwestern wet weather driving style. He moved up several spots while the track was wet, despite having never driven at Homestead in the rain. When we switched drivers, the track was drying out and it was a toss-up about going to slick tires or staying with the wets. Slicks were the way to go as the track didn’t take long to develop a dry line. At this point the car really started to shine.

“I mixed it up with an aggressive bunch of cars as I saw them switching spots lap after lap, going three-wide into turns, with several cars still on wet tires and using their straightline speed to keep us behind them. I decided to hang back, put the car in cruise mode as we had over an hour left and picked up the spots I could without risking damage to the car. This worked out great as I got all the spots I was hoping for and working on getting a few more when our race ended.”

Although the final results from Homestead-Miami don’t show BimmerWorld in its characteristic position at the front of the field, Thomas, one of the team’s leaders, came away feeling positive about how the No. 82 car and the organization as a whole performed.

“Homestead did end with unexpected results for all three BimmerWorld entries, but that’s why this is ‘racing’ and not called ‘winning. We can’t win them all, even though our cars showed great potential this weekend. BimmerWorld is a team that knows how to fight past a bad weekend, and always make the cars faster and better then next time out. With the race at New Jersey coming right up next, we’ll keep our eyes fixed on delivering the results there. This team doesn’t give in, and now we’re all thinking about how to get all three cars on the steps of the podium.”

James Clay, team owner and driver of the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, confirmed Thomas’s post-race analysis.

“The cars rolled out of the transporter dialed in. We made some little tweaks but this is the best they have been yet. The guys on the team have worked a lot on pit stops and generally functioning as a team unit and everything they did this weekend was organized, effective and very fast. I was proud of everyone this weekend and, while we are in a sport where the finishing order is the only way the world measures the result, I couldn’t have been happier for everything else short of that this weekend. We had a gut-punch of bad luck but the team’s foundation is more firm than ever and we will be right back to the front at the next round.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as it prepares for Round 4 in New Jersey by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and watch the Homestead race when it airs on May 12th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Ready To Carry Winning Momentum Into Round 3 At Homestead

April 24th, 2012

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Finding success in any sport involves plenty of talent, planning and preparation, but having the help of something a bit more intangible also helps.

Riding the wave of momentum from its recent GRAND-AM Street Tuner-class win at the rolling Barber Motorsports Park facility, the Dublin, Va.-based BMW experts at BimmerWorld will look to carry that positive motion through this weekend’s race on the Homestead-Miami “roval.”

Using portions of the 1.5-mile oval track and its infield road course to comprise the 2.3-mile, 11-turn circuit, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay says he and the team will stick to its proven game plan to maintain its current position atop the ST drivers, teams and manufacturers championships.

“Everyone did a solid job at Barber and certainly we had a little luck that fell our way to help us out, but hard work put us in a position to be able to turn good luck into an even better result,” he remarked. “We will keep doing our thing, but it is good this early on in the season to have confirmation for all the effort everyone is putting in. Based on how some cars are performing based on the rules, I don’t think the BMW is the most gifted car in the field right now, but it’s up to us to come up with a response and overcome those disadvantages as much as possible.”

Clay and co-driver John Capestro-Dubets will look to bounce back in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i after a tough race at Barber, but its first-time winners, Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine, have stayed focused after their breakthrough victory in the No. 81 BimmerWorld entry.

“The last few weeks have been very busy with all the different clubs and race series starting their seasons,” said Liefooghe, who serves as a driving instructor during the week. “I have had about two days off total since last race and have been at different race tracks the rest of the time. It’s been quite awesome to see how many people are exposed to the Continental Tire Series, and I have had a ton of positive feedback on our last result at Barber. Although it was nice to take it all in, now is not the time for David and I to keep pushing as the season is really just starting to pick up its pace.”

Going for a second-straight win, as Liefooghe shares, will involve equal parts aggression and restraint on a track that’s known to wear down tires at an accelerated rate.

“The key to going fast and keeping the tires under you has a lot to do with smoothness and self-discipline,” he continued. “You can’t push too hard, overdrive the entry of the corner, or slide coming out. And you have to stay out of the ABS to keep the tire from overheating. Although it looks quite easy on paper, Homestead makes it a real challenge, as it is mostly slow hairpins which tend to make you push harder than you should. The other main challenge is to balance the moments when you have to be aggressive and make up positions, and the moments when you have to save your tires for those last few laps. It’s a track that rewards being smart on every lap.”

BimmerWorld’s Seth Thomas, who shares the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i with Dan Rogers, has a simple message about Homestead.

“Staying out of trouble is going be tough especially at a track like Homestead with 39 cars entered in ST. It has low grip and lots of slow turns that tend to favor the smaller cars in the class, so charging into every corner isn’t the right frame of mind to be in. Everyone did a great job keeping the cars clean at Barber, yielding our best results of the season so far. Patience will pay off for us this weekend.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Homestead this weekend by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the race when it’s airs on May 12th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Returns To GRAND-AM Victory Lane At Barber Motorsports Park

April 2nd, 2012

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Drivers tend to get all of the credit when they win a race, but as the BMW experts at BimmerWorld reminded its rivals on Saturday, it also takes teamwork, strategy, and an incredible amount of talent amongst the pit crew to earn a trip to victory lane.

BimmerWorld’s three-car fleet of BMW 328is not only survived the crash-filled Continental Tire Series race at the sprawling Barber Motorsports Park facility in Leeds, Alabama, but left with the Street Tuner class win, a pair of top 5 finishes, and the lead in the drivers’ and the teams’ points standings.

At the end of the 2.5-hour event, Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine, drivers of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, were celebrating their first series win, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers secured a solid fifth-place finish while playing the role of tail gunners and the team’s pit crew was credited by team owner/driver James Clay for their peerless efforts.

“Daytona was a solid start to our 2012 season and we knew we had a great program – the win and strong showing at Barber confirms that,” he said. “We have done a lot of development work over the winter to shore up any sagging performance areas of the car and really left no stone unturned for improvement for this season.  The guys in the shop have been hard at work perfecting the car we put on the track and I think it is starting to really show.”

Clay also recognized the unique position his team was placed in when a few competitors ahead of the No. 81 fell afoul of the rulebook during a caution period, but knowing those rules paid off for BimmerWorld at Barber.

“This win was made easier for us to some degree by a couple of cars that got caught out with the on-track procedures, and having been on the other side of that in 2010, I know that was a bad deal,” he explained.  “But even without the pure speed to win on this tighter track, the full team executed on this performance, from crew to drivers, to race engineers and we were there to take the opportunity that was given.”

For Liefooghe, one of the most respected veterans in the paddock, his breakthrough win was both emotional and long overdue.

“I have to say this win feels like an accomplishment,” he remarked.  “There is indeed a lot more involved than it shows in our win today. It was a team effort, where the strategy called by our engineer, Dave Wagener, was an integral part of the result.  We managed to stay out of trouble and not make mistakes, and it shows that we have a rock solid program.  This win rewards all the efforts made during the off-season and the hard work that has been put in during the whole race. Although the season is just starting, this result puts us in a great spot for the championship and I think it reinforces the fact that David and I are working well together.”

Liefooghe also had a special message for the man who helped get him to where he is today.

“It is my first win in the CTSCC and it is a big stepping-stone,” he continued. “I would like to dedicate it to my father who supported me and pushed me to follow my passion throughout all these years. Dad, this one is for you!”

With so many cautions happening during his opening stint, Levine didn’t get the opportunity to do much wheel-to-wheel racing, but says the chance to spray champagne as a GRAND-AM race winner was everything he thought it would be.

“I cannot describe the feeling of being a winner in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series in only my third start.  The start of the race was quite frustrating as I only got about seven feet of green flag racing before the GS-class crashes started.  Putting the frustration aside, spraying champagne as a winner has been a highlight in my life and I hope I can keep doing that for the rest of the season. This win is also the first win in a while for our crew chief, David Wagener, so I made it a point to spray him first.  This weekend was truly incredible! Thanks again to the crew and everyone involved.”

The road to fifth was just as exciting for Thomas and Rogers, and when presented with the opportunity to try a high-risk pass for the lead, Thomas says supporting the sister No. 81’s charge to the checkered flag took precedence.

“As a racer, when you see an opening that you think you can squeeze your car into on the last couple of laps you want to take it, but after seeing the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW in front of me, I had to think about the team and the season’s results.  I thought about the points situation of Greg and David during the caution, and the only way I would go for the spot is if Greg made a mistake.  He didn’t, and my job was to protect him as much as possible to give BimmerWorld and BMW a shot at winning the championship at the end of the year.”

Rogers also supported the “team first” move by Thomas.

“Seth and I have known all along that the No. 82 will be a regular visitor to the podium; it’s just a matter of when,” he said. “It was going that direction at Daytona until Seth got hit, and on the last lap restart at Barber, we were P2, behind Greg, before we were then shuffled back a bit. A fifth-place finish is great, but it’s just a step to the podium for the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. Congratulations to David and Greg for a second great finish. Bring on Miami!”

The third BimmerWorld entry, the No. 80 BMW 328i piloted by Clay and John Capestro-Dubets, wasn’t as fortunate in the race, encountering contact which dropped the duo well down the finishing order.

“Our run in the No. 80 car was geared up to be a good one, but there were a lot of cars on track and unfortunately, John was one of many that suffered from the close quarters,” said Clay.  “As a driver you are always learning and improving and even bad races teach lessons.  I have a lot of faith in our driving team and as the season progresses, we will continue to tweak and improve.”

Clay also recognized the many layers of support that enabled BimmerWorld to return to its winning ways.

“We had some great support this weekend from the folks at CRC BRAKLEEN® and NAPA, and I was happy with our result with our sponsors watching,” he said. “I am also really proud of all the guys on the team who picked up extra responsibility as our crew chief Jason Marks was at home with his wife preparing to have their first baby.  They did a great job and produced a strong result.”

With eight races left on the calendar, Clay admitted that he and the team will enjoy their results at Barber in the short-term, but won’t let the victory or their place in the championship distract BimmerWorld from its season-long goals.

“It is great to be leading the Championship at this or any point, but all it means is we have had a couple of good races,” he said.  “There is a long season ahead of us and certainly we will put our heads down and continue to produce results.  I’ll start getting excited a lot closer to the checker flag at Lime Rock in September.”

Next up for BimmerWorld is Round 3 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on April 27-28. Follow the team’s progress as they prepare for the event at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and be sure to watch the No. 81’s win April 8th at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED.

BimmerWorld Ready for Round 2 at Barber After Strong Run in Season Opener

March 28th, 2012

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Give the BMW experts at BimmerWorld time to tinker and test its trio of 328i GRAND-AM Continental Tire Street Tuner cars, and the hard-working team from Virginia will fill every possible moment with new ideas and innovations to try.

With a two-month gap between Round 1 of the Continental Championship, held at the famed Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and this weekend’s Round 2 set for Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, team owner/driver James Clay says he’s confident in the overall package BimmerWorld has continued to develop during the recent downtime.

“The BimmerWorld Daytona performance proved to us that our renewed focus on the team is going to produce results, but unfortunately it also showed that some of the other marques in the field are quicker than the BMWs at this point, and we will need some luck to capture the championship we are aiming for.

“In my experience, the best luck is made, so we have been focusing on both refining the car package with on-track testing, as well as putting a significant amount of effort toward the team and equipment, which I feel is our biggest strength already.  Having all the procedures and pieces in place to overcome adversity will pay dividends and keep our results consistent and will be a good countermeasure to the sporadic, blazing speed of other marques.”

Teamed with John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, Clay anticipates the handling and braking attributes that helped to steer the No. 81 BimmerWorld car of Gregory Liefooghe and David Levine to the podium at Daytona will play to the team’s favor at the notoriously tough 17-turns, 2.3-mile Alabama road course.

“Our Barber setup is very good, as confirmed by our strong run there last year,” he said. “From a track layout standpoint it doesn’t seem like Barber should be good to us, but we will arrive dialed in and that goes a long way.  We just need a little help from the field to limit the yellows and get some long runs, where our effort in consistency will start to pay off.”

Coming off a third-place finish with Levine, Liefooghe says maintaining his edge during such an extended period between GRAND-AM races hasn’t been a challenge.

“Away from the GRAND-AM circuit, I’m working at the Simraceway Racing School, which includes the Audi Sports Car Experience and Mitsubishi Driving School, and I have been doing a lot of private coaching since race season started in early February here in California. Between instructing, coaching and car development for my clients, it adds up to quite a bit of driving each week, which helps me to stay sharp. This second ‘offseason’ has been quite long, and we will need to bring the same focus that we brought to Daytona as Barber is shaping up to be an intense race.”

The third BimmerWorld team car, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, was poised to join the Nos. 80 and 81 inside the top 10 at Daytona, but those chances were lost after taking a hard hit by a competitor.

With just 10 races in the championship, losing out on a solid finish—and the points that come with it—can have a dire impact at the end of the season, but Rogers says he and Thomas won’t take extra risks at Barber or any other event to try and make up the points needed to earn a title.

“If we focus on the season long goal of a championship, the unfortunate hit we took at Daytona put us in a deep hole in the championship points race. If we approach the Barber race with a ‘performance mentality,’ and focus on driving the race, we still believe the results will come.

“Seth and I had only one goal this season – a championship.  The way you win a championship is to perform at your highest level and drive every race, and every lap in each race, consistently and to the best of our abilities.  The results will take care of themselves. I’m really looking forward to Barber. It’s a classic road course, which is where I feel most at home.”

Follow the team’s progress this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com and tune in to SPEED on April 8th at 12 p.m. ET to watch the Barber Motorsports Park race.

BimmerWorld Scores Podium, Two Top 10s At Daytona To Kick Off 2012 GRAND-AM Season

February 2nd, 2012

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Back in 2010 when the Virginia-based BMW experts entered GRAND-AM’s Street Tuner class with a pair of BMW 328is, the team ran inside the top 10 and scored a podium on its Daytona debut. With the expansion to three ST cars for 2012, the same was true as the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW of veteran Gregory Liefooghe and rookie David Levine placed third, and the No. 80 of team owner James Clay and star sophomore John Capestro-Dubets took eighth at the BMW Performance 200.

The third car in BimmerWorld’s fleet, the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i driven by race winner Seth Thomas and the experienced Dan Rogers, was on pace to join the No. 80 and 81 in the top 10 until a hard hit by a competitor forced them to the pits for lengthy repairs.

Although the incident that befell the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® entry left plenty of points on the table, Clay came away from the wet/dry Round 1 race feeling positive about what the team can achieve across the entire 10-race championship.

“Certainly we have very capable cars and we are seeing the results of a winter of hard work and development, but our competition is tough and has some highly impressive speed,” Clay said. “I had hoped to win the BMW Performance 200 for BMW and we certainly gave it our all. And while we didn’t win, we showed that we have the team to do it when the opportunity arises and it will be a good year for the BimmerWorld guys.”

As the top finishers for BimmerWorld, Liefooghe and Levine got a chance to lead the race and to engage in a thrilling drafting battle on the high-banked portion of the blended oval and road course circuit, with Liefooghe, who drove the final stint, settling for third in the No. 81 after leading with one lap to go.

“The race went well for us and we can never complain about being on the podium,” he said. “It’s a great way to rack up points for the championship. Daytona has always been a drafting track and I was expecting to have a lot of action, but the numerous full course cautions and traffic did not play in our favor. On the last restart, I made sure to create a gap, and I managed to get out reach for the Kia and the Mazda to get in my draft, only to have a GS car slow me down and make me vulnerable. That’s when my competitors passed me in a two-car draft like a NASCAR restrictor plate race.

“On the last lap I still was set up nicely to get a run out of the bus stop and draft to the finish line, but another GS backmarker thought otherwise and came in the middle of the fight. It’s hard to say if we would have won but it would have been a three-wide finish. It was frustrating, but I still feel good about our performance. It feels like we have a much more competitive car this year thanks to the hard work BimmerWorld put in the off-season and that we’ll be fighting for wins all season long.”

For Levine, standing on the podium in his pro racing debut was just one of many highlights during the event.

“I am very pleased with our result at Daytona,” Levine said. “It would have been great to bring BMW a win in their title race, but I am still pleased with third. Overall, I was surprised by how clean the racing was. There were several times where there could have been contact but there wasn’t any. I really enjoyed my fight with Mark Pombo and Andy Lally. The car was amazing in the rain which made racing for the lead very easy. It was a great weekend and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the BimmerWorld program.”

Capestro-Dubets was originally scheduled to switch to the role of closing driver this season, but a setback just before the Daytona race meant he will have to wait until Round 2 to take the reins from Clay. With Clay closing out the race in the No. 80, he and “JCD” got their championship aspirations off to a proper start by placing inside the top 10.

“Coming to Daytona this year was a heart break for me because of an injury that happened only days before leaving that would keep me from closing,” said JCD. “I have been preparing and waiting patiently for my chance to show my abilities as a closing driver, and with this injury keeping me from that, the drive from within to put the No. 80 on top grows and grows.

“Daytona was challenging enough last year, being my first time to the track, my first Continental race and being only my ninth race weekend ever! Then, only a year later, to be returning with a broken hand, and running in the top three during my stint, then bringing home a clean car for James was a major result. Overcoming the physical and mental challenge of this race was a victory in itself.”

Finishing 31st in class was hardly a just reward for Thomas and Rogers in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i, but the longstanding BimmerWorld driver felt the team as a whole gave him every reason to feel 2012 will be a good year for the entire program.

“Even with the lack of judgment by another driver that spoiled our race, I am pumped about what I saw with the BimmerWorld team this past weekend,” said Thomas. “Everyone performed at the top of their game – from the drivers to all the crew guys. This will help us as a team to be at the top in the points all season long fighting it out for team, manufacturer and driver Championships. Dan was solid in the CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW. He found speed when he needed it, keeping us in the fight from the start of the race. He was amazing on a wet track, having never driven the BMW E90 chassis platform on the Continental rain tires. With the speed he has shown so far, we will be fighting for wins and podiums this year.”

For Rogers, the sting of missing out on a top finish soured what should have been a strong debut with BimmerWorld.

“The weekend was good, however, the result was one of the most disappointing I’ve had,” he said frankly, showing his competitive fire. “Everyone in the BimmerWorld team expects success and in my short time with them, I do as well I guess. I just need to keep looking for a bit more speed to hang with our other drivers in the starting role, but with Seth as a teammate and Wayne Yawn handling our race strategy, we’ll be in the game. We have every reason to feel encouraged about the first race, and now we just need to get to the finish at the second race to show what we can achieve.”

Watch the BMW Performance 200 this Saturday, February 4th, at 12 p.m. ET on SPEED, and follow the team’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as they prepare for the next race on March 30th at Barber Motorsports Park.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

 

BimmerWorld Poised And Ready For GRAND-AM Season Opener At Daytona

January 24th, 2012

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After months of behind-the-scenes work, countless hours of mechanical devotion, and an endless pursuit of superior engineering, BimmerWorld is ready to go racing.

With the first race of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge set to kick off on Friday at the historic Daytona International Speedway, BimmerWorld’s three-car fleet of Street Tuner-class BMW 328is are prepared to help the team earn the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles.

“For the 2012 season, we have one goal – the Championship,” said James Clay, BimmerWorld’s owner and co-driver of the No. 80 entry. “Certainly this goal is met by winning races, poles and racing well, which I think we have the driving roster to do all three. It also requires having quality equipment, running it effectively, and a lot of hard work along the way and our team already seems to be executing at the level required. We have done a lot of work over the offseason to put all the elements in place and hopefully now we just have to press the start button and send it all into action.”

BimmerWorld, along with other Street Tuner teams fielding normal-sized cars in 2011, found the smaller models in the field to be at a marked rules advantage. Rather than wait for the rules to be balanced in their favor, Clay and the technicians at BimmerWorld engaged in a top-to-bottom assessment of what improvements would return the 328i chassis to the front of the field.

“I have to focus on what I can control and I know for sure that our cars are dialed in and ready to run at 100%,” he said. “I know Daytona is a good track for our bigger cars with the sweeping turns and long straights. As the tracks start to tighten up we aren’t as nimble, and even at Daytona, the smaller and forced induction cars get a good jump off the corner, so other tracks won’t be as kind to us. I like the fact that we should be able to start the season with some momentum, and we will leave no stone unturned through the rest of the year working to find the performance level to stay on par with the smaller cars.”

Coming off of a strong final pre-season test at the “Roar Before The 24,”Clay and his teammate in the No. 80 328i, sophomore ST sensation John Capestro-Dubets, jelled quickly and demonstrated plenty of speed.

Clay knows that the No. 80 has the potential to be successful at Daytona and every other round, and explained how adopting a fluid game plan for each race is mandatory.

“You can’t approach an event with reckless abandon or extreme caution,” he said. “I think we have the experience to know when it is time to maintain and when it is time to act, and the result comes from proper timing of the two. We are all-in this season to win the Championship.”

For Capestro-Dubets, using the right season-long game plan is also going to be key if he wants to continue distinguishing himself from the other young drivers in the field.

“My rookie year was good, but coming into 2012, I have a whole new mind set,” he said. “It’s no longer time to just focus on driving fast and staying out of trouble; now I need to start producing results. I feel confident that James Clay has made a good decision by allowing me to share closing responsibilities in the No. 80, and I plan to reward that show of faith. BimmerWorld has done amazing job preparing the car and also preparing me to have a very competitive season in ST.”

In the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, returning pro Gregory Liefooghe will lead GRAND-AM newcomer and fellow Exclusive Management teammate David Levine. The sports car veteran came away from their most recent test feeling confident about what he and Levine can achieve in 2012.

“I think David and I developed a good relationship during the Roar,” he said. “His driving style works well with mine and we’ll be working well together during the season. For this race, the number one goal will be to finish on the podium. Daytona, with the long straights and significant drafts, always comes down to the last lap and our number two goal will be winning the race while keeping in mind our main goal, the championship.”

By the end of the test, Levine had logged enough miles to enter his first ST race with a sense of what the car is capable of, and also what can expect to achieve in his rookie season.

“The Roar was extremely helpful for me,” Levine said. “I needed the time to adjust to the car. It is heavier and more powerful than the cars that I drove last season. I feel that the speed is in the car and I am confident that we can get a solid top 5 finish in the season opener at Daytona. My goals for the race are simple—to qualify the car towards the front and then hand the car off to Greg in the best condition possible so he can go for the win. I believe that we are completely capable of top 5s and top 10s all season.”

Rounding out the BimmerWorld line-up is Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers in the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® BMW 328i. With the two touring car veterans already forming a fast tandem effort, Thomas says there’s every reason to feel positive about what they can achieve together.

“The Thomas/Rogers duo is in this season for the long run and we have our eyes on the prize at the end,” he said. “We both know that to be able to contend for the championship, we have to be there at the end with a fast car. My crystal ball says you will see us, along with our other teammates, being contenders for every race win as well as the end of the season fight for the Championship.”

Paired with Thomas, who achieved a statistical tie for the 2010 ST championship with BimmerWorld, Rogers believes that with a bit more circuit knowledge under his belt, he and Thomas can bring 2010’s success—and more—into their efforts this year.

“My biggest current challenge will be to learn the remaining tracks that I did not drive in my initial season in ST,” he said. “Seth and I are working on plans to attack that problem, so we will be in the hunt for the entire season. Our goal in the No. 82 is nothing short of a championship. That’s a huge goal in a field as good as it is this year in ST, but we will approach it with a plan, and then execute. BimmerWorld has shown that they can field a competitive car in ST, and we plan to reproduce the results of 2010, but with a slightly different ending.”

Follow all of BimmerWorld’s action from Daytona this week at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune-in to watch the BMW Performance 200 At Daytona on February 4th at Noon ET on SPEED.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Unveils 3-Car GRAND-AM Street Tuner Lineup

January 10th, 2012

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Dublin, VA

After recently announcing its expansion to a three-car GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner program for 2012, Dublin, VA-based BimmerWorld has finalized the three pairs of drivers who will pilot the team’s trio of BMW 328is.

Stability, continuity, and growth have been hallmarks of BimmerWorld’s professional racing endeavors for more than a decade, and the trend continues this season as four of the team’s drivers from 2011 have returned, along with two promising talents that have recently joined the team.

Employing the proven strategy of partnering winning veterans with up-and-coming drivers, team owner/driver James Clay will pilot the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i with John Capestro-Dubets, the breakout young star of the 2011 ST championship, as his co-driver.

The No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i will again be piloted by drivers provided by Exclusive Management, Inc. This year, the car lineup will feature sports car expert Gregory Liefooghe, who will mentor ST rookie David A. Levine.

Seth Thomas, BimmerWorld’s most tenured driver, will spearhead the CRC BRAKLEEN®-sponsored No. 82 328i with Dan Rogers as his teammate.

After reaching a statistical points tie and nearly winning the ST championship on the team’s GRAND-AM debut in 2010, Clay says BimmerWorld structured its driving combinations with the specific goal of earning the ST title this year.

“I am very happy with this season’s driver pairings,” he said. “As always, it is important to me and us as a team for every car to be a championship contender. And this year more than ever before, we are purely focused on capturing the championship that got away from us in 2010, and I feel our driver lineup strongly supports this goal.”

Tasked with scoring points, earning victories and teaching their new co-drivers, Thomas and Liefooghe have similar goals during the 10-race Continental Tire Series championship.

“My focus for 2012 is to bring the driver and team championships to BimmerWorld, and to win a manufacturer’s title for BMW,” said Thomas. “With Dan having raced at only a handful of the tracks we’ll visit this season, I hope my knowledge of these tracks helps him get the most out of our car every weekend.”

Beyond sharing driving and chassis setup tips, Liefooghe looks forward to helping Levine adapt to the rigors of endurance racing.

“For my part, I will work hard with David as he transitions to a new style of racing,” he said. “David comes to BimmerWorld with great talent, but most of his experience is in shorter sprint races. My job as a teammate will be to teach him all the facets of endurance racing.”

For Levine and Rogers, the decision to join BimmerWorld was made with the specific goals of learning from the best, joining one of the most respected teams in the paddock, and spending a lot of time in Victory Lane.

“I chose BimmerWorld because of the team’s professionalism and its commitment to winning the championship, the quality of the car and knowledge of the mechanics and pit crew, and the opportunity to race with and learn from Greg,” said Levine. “Everyone on the team is friendly, which also made selecting BimmerWorld an easy choice.”

“When the opportunity came up to drive with BimmerWorld in GRAND-AM, I jumped at it,” said Rogers. “With the complete package they have to offer, I believe we have a great shot at winning the title.”

Capestro-Dubets took the first steps towards becoming a professional racing driver last year with BimmerWorld in the ST class, earning kudos throughout the season as a driver with the potential to make it to the top. With his services in high demand, the young hot shoe chose to stay with BimmerWorld for his sophomore season and continue his education in GRAND-AM.

“My rookie year was all a learning experience and it was a very productive year,” he said. “In 2011, I learned the fundamentals needed to succeed in GRAND-AM, and now it’s time to show what I’ve learned. I feel I’ve become a very strong and consistent driver. My next goal is to bring home a championship for the BimmerWorld team, my sponsors and myself.”

In addition to their line up of stellar drivers, BimmerWorld will rely upon thousands of hours that have been invested over the past few months by the men behind the scenes to make sure the team’s fleet of 328is are faster than ever.

With the first race of the season just weeks away, Clay is confident his team has all of the ingredients necessary to achieve their goals.

“BimmerWorld’s technicians and engineers never stop thinking, working, and tuning on the cars,” he said. “This offseason has been purely focused on the 2012 ST package and the focus has yielded what I hope and think will be a formidable result. Racing is like any job – filled with a lot of work. We have had long work lists and the guys have executed well on them. We are entering this season ready to go.”

Follow BimmerWorld at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as the team prepares for the season-opening race on Jan. 27th at Daytona International Raceway.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Expands Relationship with CRC Industries for 3-Car GRAND-AM Campaign

December 28th, 2011

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The BimmerWorld GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series team is busy preparing for a new season of racing with its three-car BMW 328i Street Tuner program, and as confirmed on Friday, it will continue with full support from CRC Industries.

As Julie Williams, CRC Industries’ Marketing Manager says, BimmerWorld is a perfect partner to help promote CRC Brakleen® Brake Parts Cleaner through the rigors of production-based endurance racing.

“There are many reasons CRC Industries has been partnering with BimmerWorld for years,” she said. “What stands out the most is the approachable-nature of the entire BimmerWorld team; they interact with fans and customers with the same passion and enthusiasm with which they race. Fan-interaction is important for maximizing our CRC and Brakleen® brand exposure. Additionally, BimmerWorld mirrors the values, principles and integrity of CRC Industries and we consider them a valuable extension of our company. We are certainly pleased to announce an expanded partnership in 2012.”

Williams also says that BimmerWorld’s participation in the highly respected and hotly contested GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series has helped to drive awareness towards CRC Industries’ high-performance products.

“A sponsorship like what we have with BimmerWorld allows our CRC brand and quality message to come to life in the real world; something consumers can see, touch and get excited about brings a dimensionality to our brand that doesn’t otherwise exist,” she said. “Having CRC visibly involved in a sport where our products are so relevant reiterates the credibility of our brand, too. Motorsports sponsorship is also a vehicle for CRC to support the automotive industry and that’s important to us and our customers.”

BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay was not only pleased to announce the news of his continued relationship with CRC Industries, but echoed many of the same sentiments that were shared by Williams.

“We have been working with CRC since early in our pro racing days,” he said. “It is important to our team to have sponsors like CRC that believe in what we are doing and support us for a Championship effort. And it is important to me to have top-tier sponsors with us that I really believe in and whose products we use on a regular basis. CRC Brakleen® is the industry leader as a brake parts cleaner and I think it is a natural fit for our fans and customers who are accustomed to expecting the best.”

Following an announcement in early December where Clay revealed his team of BMW experts would field three of the 328i models in the ST category, Williams says one car in particular will stand out to the legions of Brakleen® users.

“CRC is excited to announce the unveiling of the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® car during the 50th Anniversary weekend of the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” she explained. “BimmerWorld’s No. 82 entry will have a full CRC Brakleen® wrap for the entire 2012 season. We tested a few different wrap liveries last season with undeniable benefits so we are enthusiastic about promoting CRC Brakleen®, the No. 1-selling brake parts cleaner, on a car that fans can follow all season. It will surely be an exciting year!”

As a manufacturer of premium automotive products, Williams says CRC Industries will also supply BimmerWorld with its full range of chemicals to keep its fleet of BMWs headed towards victory lane.

“CRC Brakleen® is the brake parts cleaner of choice for technicians and DIY’ers, and it’s no accident that we are BimmerWorld’s preferred line of specialty maintenance chemicals,” she said. “CRC products are quality-driven and for more than 50 years have been manufactured to maximize customer satisfaction. Our customers depend on us to never sacrifice quality for price,” Williams said. CRC is a global company and leader in production of cleaners, degreasers, lubricants, leak-solutions, greases and gear-oils for the automotive, heavy duty, marine, industrial, electrical and aviation markets. CRC trademarked brands include: CRC®, K&W®, Sta-Lube®, and Marykate®. “We offer a vast range of products to meet every chemical-maintenance need; and if we don’t have it, we’ll make it!”

With just over a month to go until the opening of the 2012 racing season, Clay says his technicians have been putting CRC’s products to use on a daily basis and in a variety of applications.

“We use CRC products extensively on the race team,” he said. “We go through cases of Brakleen® as it is critical to us to keep all the parts on the cars clean so we can easily inspect for and see potential damage and problems. But the CRC lineup of car and equipment care chemicals is incredibly deep and we also use a massive list of other items from them for needs we sometimes don’t even know we have – we just serviced the liftgate on the transporter with CRC Inner Slide Lube. They really do seem to have a product for every need we come up with.”

Drivers for the No. 82 CRC BRAKLEEN® entry will be announced shortly, along with the rest of the BimmerWorld Racing lineup, and be sure to follow the team throughout the year at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

Visit www.facebook.com/crcauto and “Like” CRC Industries to access updates and special offers.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Expands to Three GRAND-AM Continental Tire Street Tuner Entries for 2012

December 6th, 2011

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With its third full season of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge racing just around the corner, BimmerWorld has finalized plans to increase its presence in the Street Tuner class while undertaking a major new program to expand its line of BMW M3 V8 performance products.

After entering GRAND-AM in 2010 with two ST 328is, scoring two wins, two poles, finishing second in the championship and delivering Rookie of the Year honors for driver Bill Heumann, BimmerWorld continued with its 328is in 2011 and added a pair of Grand Sport-class BMW M3 V8s to the stable.

For 2012, and with customer demand at an all-time high, the Dublin, Va.-based BMW experts will return with a third 328i ST car, forming what should be the team’s most effective program to date.

“The move to three ST cars accomplishes a few things for our race team,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay. “As we continue to develop cars in a tightly competitive race field, we will be able to increase the development pace and attention that this BMW model receives. Additionally, with our years of success in several sedan racing formats, we have a demand for these cars from our drivers – no one in North America has more time with the E90 chassis platform than we do.”

With calls for an increased presence in the ST class, Clay says BimmerWorld will also meet the greater aftermarket needs of its M3 V8 customers through a number of new R&D initiatives. After turning its mostly stock GS-spec M3 V8s into top five contenders last season, BimmerWorld will commence a more unlimited program with the cars that will take place outside the GS category.

“As 2011 progressed, our GS cars came nicely up to pace with the field even though we spent a lot of time catching up on development. We went into the off-season highly motivated to be ahead of the curve in 2012 and have been hard at work on the V8 cars since the last checkered flag of 2011. I’ve been extremely impressed with the progress of our work so far. So much so, it’s opened our eyes and motivated us to pursue a more aggressive V8 program beyond GS.”

Lessons learned in GS competition have allowed modest additions to BimmerWorld’s line of performance upgrades for the M3 V8, but owners of BMW’s thundering E92 platform demanded more spirited street and race components. Clay says he jumped at the opportunity to bring new products and services to market.

“I think the new direction we’re taking gives us an opportunity to produce a more highly-developed car, while using more of our preferred technical partners and brands that we sell to our customers which don’t always fit in the GS rules. I feel the V8 cars will be much more interesting as they evolve, and the race program surrounding this new, unlimited effort will be more exciting for BimmerWorld and its fans as it moves forward.”

With the seal of approval from BimmerWorld’s sponsors and technical partners, Clay acted swiftly to set a consolidated three-car ST plan in motion.
“We have the full support of our sponsors and GRAND-AM partners for the 2012 plan,” he said. “After our 2010 championship points tie, we wanted to seal the deal in 2011. With a season of mixed results instead, I want there to be no doubt about our razor-sharp focus for the 2012 season. Our sponsors want to share in our success and I think we all recognize that this approach will give us a formidable team with the best chance to reach that goal.”

BimmerWorld’s renowned group of technicians and engineers will remain unchanged in 2012, giving Clay every reason to feel confident about the team’s pursuit of the ST championship.

“We will have both our 2010 ST engineer Wayne Yawn and our 2011 ST engineer David Wagener leading the charge,” he said. “They have very complimentary capabilities and the extra car will give us more opportunity to develop and blend ideas to produce a frontrunner. Additionally, our driver lineup is one that I am very proud of, with three cars that truly have the capability to win the championship. Race results definitely have a luck factor and having another ticket in the lottery is a good thing.”

With the start of the season still two months away, BimmerWorld already has its driver lineups in place and will soon reveal its sponsors.

“We are still finalizing some of our sponsorship details for the coming season and our driver lineup is complete,” said Clay. “We will announce our program once a few more items are pinned down, but to have almost everything solidified this early in the off-season is a benefit. Now we focus on the rest of the work that will help us achieve our goals.”

Visit www.BimmerWorldRacing.com to follow the team’s progress as it tests for the January 26-29 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Hard At Work On Improved 2012 GRAND-AM Season

October 28th, 2011

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If earning pole positions, wins and scoring a mathematical tie in the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season served to whet the appetites of Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld, its second season in GRAND-AM, complete with an expanded program of two Street tuner (ST) entries and two Grand Sport (GS) cars, has left the BMW experts starving for more success.

Changes to the ST regulations that favored cars smaller than the standard-sized BMW 328i sedans fielded by BimmerWorld made finding the podium a much greater challenge, but as the team’s drivers have come to expect, rather than accept a season of limited results, BimmerWorld owner James Clay and his team of technicians continued to search for speed and solutions.

“We’re in the business of winning races, and even after we tied for the 2010 ST championship, I still wasn’t satisfied with our performance,” he said. “That’s the approach we have and what we work from, so when I look at our 2011 season in ST, we came away with a laundry list of what we wanted to improve and that’s been our only focus since the season ended in September. Everything we’ve done since then has been about being faster, better and winning next year.

“I’m confident we’ll be back to where we were in 2010 and beyond with a strong driver lineup that we’ll announce at a later date.”

With minor improvements needed to put BimmerWorld’s proven ST program back on top, a greater volume of development work continues to take place on the team’s pair of GS BMW M3 V8s.

Entering the M3 V8s for the first time this year, BimmerWorld’s expansion from two cars in 2010 to a four car, two-class racing outfit in 2011 came with all of the lessons and learning curves to be expected.

Clay says that despite going up against GS teams with many years of experience to draw from, he didn’t lower the bar for success and is positive 2012 will yield the results the BimmerWorld-built M3 V8s are capable of.

“We knew going in that our debut development season in GS was going to be tough, but we didn’t expect any less from ourselves,” he confirmed. “The big gaps between races at the beginning of the season allowed us to make solid updates between the first few races. But once the season gets into its full swing and the races started passing at a steady clip, we needed to focus on the racing.

“The good thing to come from it was that we came away with pretty much all of the answers to what we needed to address with our off-season R&D projects for the M3 V8s. Our GS technicians have been flat-out for a month working through the high priority items on our list and we’ve also spent time on the K&C chassis rig to work on suspension and chassis. We showed a lot of potential with the BimmerWorld M3 V8s last year, and ran inside the top 5 at most races during the second-half of the season, but everything we have in the works for 2012 tells us our GS cars will be faster than they’ve ever been.”

As BimmerWorld continues to refine its GS cars, Clay says similar efforts are going on behind the scenes to form the strongest driver lineup possible for its ground-pounding M3 V8s next year.

“I was proud of the job our GS drivers did last year. We introduced a number of new drivers either to the series or the GS class, and our veteran drivers also had some very positive results. You’ll find our core lineup is unchanged for next year–our best pros and driver coaches are back–while we’re currently looking at the best fits to complete the GS roster. Things are taking shape rather quickly, but there are some opportunities that are still available.”

The fruits of BimmerWorld’s short and busy off-season will be on display next month as the team heads to Daytona International Speedway to take part in the official test there prior to the 2012 season opener during the 50th anniversary weekend of the 24 Hours at Daytona in late January.

Work will continue on the ST and GS until the week of the first race, but Clay says he and the team can’t wait to get their on-track testing program under way.

“From November onwards, we’re in a fulltime cycle of track testing, rebuilding the cars and improving them based on those tests, and then getting back out to test some more. That process will continue until the very last minute possible, and we know that’s what is needed to go head-to-head with the veteran teams in GS. Now that we know what we need to reach that level, it’s just about putting in the work to make it happen, and everyone at BimmerWorld is committed to achieving everything we’re capable of in 2012.”

Follow the BimmerWorld team as they test and prepare for the 2012 season at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Caps 2011 Season With Strong Run At Mid-Ohio

September 20th, 2011

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After 10 grueling rounds of GRAND-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld capped the 2011 season with strong runs in both the Street Tuner and Grand Sport divisions at the Mid-Ohio finale.

With contact in the race limiting the final results for BimmerWorld’s two-car GS program, the team might not have had the finishing positions they deserved, but after a year filled with furious development and improvements for its new BMW M3 V8 race cars, and continual updates to its year-old BMW 328is, team owner/driver James Clay walked away from Mid-Ohio feeling proud of BimmerWorld’s performance.

“I was happy with Mid-Ohio as a team owner. We put in some work testing before the event and we made progress with the ST cars. That is one of the tracks that likely doesn’t suit the heaviest car in the field and we had a very respectable showing. The GS cars again were able to race at the front although we still need to avoid the contact that has plagued the final results this year. I think our goal is to get it out of the way so we can have a clean 2012!”

Recording highly competitive lap times in the race, the Bizrate.com-sponsored No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8 of Bob Michaelian and Seth Thomas put on a show until contact with a competitor dropped the car from contention.

The same was true for the Johnstone Supply/CRC Industries-sponsored No. 79 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8 of James Clay and Gregory Liefooghe. With 70 cars racing for 2.5 hours on the tight, twisting 2.2-mile road course, contact became a reality for many teams, and despite making every effort to avoid the mistakes of others, BimmerWorld’s GS entries were not immune to its effects.

In ST, Bill Heumann and David White saved the best for last, delivering a season-best sixth-place finish. Heumann, the 2010 MESCO Rookie of the Year and a winner of two races, and White, a two-time pole winner in 2010, extracted the most from their ballast-laden BMW 328i.

BimmerWorld also introduced Jayson Cunie and David Levine to the ST series at Mid-Ohio in the No. 81 BMW 328i. A blend of deft driving and fast pit stops helped the pair to finish 13th on their maiden outing, and as Cunie shares, stepping into an established and professional program helped ease their transition to GRAND-AM.

“Driving the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW was a fantastic experience. Having never been in an ST car before, I was unsure what to expect. With a car this good and a team this professional, it was very easy to get comfortable quickly, and honestly, being a part of a team of this caliber gave me the confidence to concentrate on just trying to get up to speed. The team made everything very easy to understand. The team meetings and driver debriefings gave me all the information and answers that were necessary, and the way the weekend was organized never left me wondering what the next step was or what was expected of me. It was a fantastic weekend.”

Taking on the daunting challenge of doubling the size of its team, the amount of cars it campaigned and entering the top class in the Continental Series, BimmerWorld went into 2011 with high, but realistic expectations. Using the championship-winning BMW brand as its foundation, BimmerWorld entered the series in 2010 with two cars in ST, but thanks to the car’s inherent capabilities–and the extra speed added by aftermarket specialists like BimmerWorld–the 328is faced an uphill climb in 2011 as the series added ‘success ballast’ to slow the BMWs.

With the ballast having its intended effect, the 2011 season became the playground for much smaller and lighter cars, but throughout the season, BimmerWorld’s drivers and engineers continued to make improvements to the chassis. After watching the performance advantage being tipped too far in favor of the smaller ST cars, all of BimmerWorld’s relentless work on its ST cars is staged to again provide results heading into 2012.

In GS, BimmerWorld recorded one of the most outstanding debut seasons in recent history. Loaded with veteran teams using cars that have years of setup information to draw from, BimmerWorld entered the class at Daytona with its self-built cars and zero data to draw from and finished sixth with the No. 78 M3 V8.

By mid-season, its thundering M3 V8s were running deep inside the top 5 and giving the establishment absolute fits. For a season that was supposed to be dedicated to simply learning about the class and car, BimmerWorld wasted little time in putting what it learned to good use. As the end of 2011 approached, BimmerWorld proved its GS cars could run with the best and, in another ‘first’ for the team, it successfully introduced multiple new drivers to the series and the GS class.

With an off-season that will be filled with even more R&D and improvements, in addition to plenty of track testing, Clay says his team of perfectionists won’t get much rest between now and the 2012 season opener at Daytona in January.

“2011 reminded us how demanding a development program is, but also reinforced my belief in the strength of our team and people,” Clay explained. “We have some months to regroup, to dig in to the long worklists that have been created to take the cars to the front, and to perfect all of our processes and operations as a team. Racing is never easy, especially at this level, but our team is full of people who won’t settle for anything less than outright success, and I look forward to 2012 when we will get another shot at delivering our best.”

Watch the Mid-Ohio race on Sunday, September 25th at 1 p.m. ET on SPEED, and be sure to follow BimmerWorld’s off-season efforts as they prepare for 2012 at www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Looking To Close 2011 Season on a High At Mid-Ohio

September 13th, 2011

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With nine races down and one to go in the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld are ready to close one chapter and open a new one.

The 2011 season hasn’t been easy–especially after moving from a two-car team in 2010 to a four-car effort this season, but with a year of knowledge and information added to the books, the team has its sights set on this weekend’s finale at Mid-Ohio and its prospects for next season.

“We took our successful BMW 328i Street Tuner program and added two new Grand Sport BMW M3 V8s to the roster, almost doubled our staff and have adapted the rest of our organization to become a bigger, stronger and more cohesive program,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay.

“There’s no question that we’ve had our ups and downs this year, but at the end of the day, we’ve learned an incredible amount, our GS M3 V8s have become regular contenders inside the top 5 and we’ve earned podiums with our ST 328is. What’s critical to me is that our team has become a greater threat at every round. As we head into the off-season and quickly to 2012, we are still rapidly gaining momentum and that is important to me.”

With almost two months between the last round at New Jersey and the season-ending race at Mid-Ohio, BimmerWorld continued its familiar practice of tearing the four-car BMW fleet down to pieces to optimize every possible area.
After the ST and GS cars received their latest batch of improvements, the team went testing to extract more performance from its BMWs. As Clay shares, BimmerWorld’s testing efforts had short- and long-term implications.

“It is always our goal to win every race we enter; that’s why we are in this business. Making the best racing cars feeds back to our core BMW aftermarket business. With what we’ve found in our most recent test, our cars should be faster at Mid-Ohio and most importantly for next season. We’re at the stage now where Mid-Ohio isn’t so much about ending the season, but more about getting a head start on 2012.”

As GRAND-AM fans and Continental Series competitors have found since BimmerWorld joined the series in 2010, the Dublin, Virginia-based team excels at forming fast and capable partnerships behind the wheel. From team veterans to those who’ve driven for BimmerWorld for the first time, Clay takes pride in being able to offer competitive cars and a positive environment to his clients.

“We’ve had new drivers in our ST and GS cars this year, and we’ve also had some of our established drivers back which has made for some great driving combinations. Being able to pair proven veterans with rookie drivers or those who want to step into a more competitive situation is one of the unique aspects of our program, and that will continue next year. It’s too early to say how our exact lineup will look when the season kicks off at Daytona in January, but we’ll have the same winning drivers, coaches and engineers in place for those who come onboard.”

Clay’s work on filling the remaining seats available for 2012 will have to wait until this weekend’s race comes to a conclusion, as the entire organization is focused on mastering the tricky Mid-Ohio road course.

With BimmerWorld’s record of scoring multiple professional wins at Mid-Ohio, Clay says he can’t wait to get going on the 2.2-mile, 13-turn circuit located in Lexington, Ohio.

“Mid-Ohio is like many of the BMW-friendly tracks that we race on. It demands the most from a car’s handling, braking and acceleration, which is tailor-made for our 328is and M3 V8s. We’re pulling out all the stops for Mid-Ohio, but we’re also viewing the race as the first part of our preparation for next year.”

Like the tweaks made to its cars for Mid-Ohio, BimmerWorld has also made some adjustments to its driver lineup this weekend.

The No. 78 Bizrate.com BMW M3 V8 will be driven by Bob Michaelian and Seth Thomas, who moves over from the No. 79 CRC Industries M3 V8. James Clay will share the No. 79 with Gregory Liefooghe, who has already stepped out of the No. 81 328i twice this year to drive for BimmerWorld in the GS category.

In ST, Bill Heumann and David White will close out the year in the No. 80 328i, while newcomers Jayson Clunie and David Levine will take the controls of the No. 81.

“It should be a great way to close the chapter on the 2011 season,” Clay explained. “This isn’t a series where you can rest, and with some of the changes to the driver lineups, it’s reasonable to have high expectations. Everyone works together to get the most speed out of the cars and each other, and now it’s time to push each other for the best results possible at Mid-Ohio.”

Follow the team progress this weekend at www.BimmerRacingWorld.com, and tune-in to watch the race on SPEED at Noon ET, on September 25th.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld’s Emerging GRAND-AM GS Program Scores Another Top 10 in New Jersey

July 26th, 2011

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With the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship winding down, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing continues to make progress with its expanded four-car operation.

Driven by two additional goals this season–to develop brand-new Grand Sport-class BMW M3 V8s during the 10-round GRAND-AM championship and to shape those M3 V8s into contenders–BimmerWorld met its objectives once again at New Jersey Motorsports Park, site of Round 9.

BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay and co-driver Seth Thomas demonstrated the growth of the team’s GS program once again, climbing from a starting spot of 15th to run as high as second during the 2.5-hour race.

In the sister No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8, Gregory Liefooghe stepped up from the team’s No. 81 Street Tuner-class BMW 328i for the second time in 2011 and put on drive with new teammate Chris Ronson that was nothing short of amazing.

Temperatures over 100 degrees during the race made conditions miserable for the drivers and crew, caused tires to overheat and created general mayhem, yet Clay and Thomas traded positions inside the top 10 before ending the day in seventh, their best finish of the season and the top result for BimmerWorld on the day.

Coming off of a 10th at the previous round in Monterey, Clay says he’s feeling positive about the direction the GS program is headed.

“Certainly I am very happy with the momentum we have, and seeing the program progress so that we have the equipment to be consistently in the hunt is important. I knew going into our 2011 GS program that it would be a development year, and it would certainly be frustrating at times as we have become accustomed to being at the front in every series we race in, but the affirmation and results for the effort at this point of the game are rewarding. Greg and Chris did an awesome job in New Jersey in the No. 78 running up front, and Seth and I pulled out another top 10 finish for the team. We are getting geared up for a strong 2012.”

Amidst the many responsibilities Clay carries–from running his four-car team to developing BimmerWorld’s expanding base of corporate sponsors, serving as one-half of the No. 79′s driving team also falls on his shoulders. As he shares, being able to don his helmet and get down to business behind the wheel is also a rewarding part of the job.

“First and foremost, the BimmerWorld team did an exceptional job at New Jersey, so that made me proud,” he said. “The temperatures and conditions were brutal and as a driver, I had to leave my team owner hat at home to perform at the level required on-track. But the crew had a more demanding job than the drivers in the car this weekend – the workload was relentless. They distinguished themselves once again on pit lane with more incredible pit stops. The knowledge that they are 100 percent on it and driven to succeed gave me the ability to do my job behind the wheel and enjoy the results of our collective effort.”

Race strategy also played a crucial role during an event where managing heat exhaustion, caution periods and avoiding contact weighed into the team’s plans. The regular practice of changing drivers at the one-third mark of the race was replaced with splitting the time in the car equally to keep from wearing out the finishing driver. The team also made bold moves to pit toward the end of a yellow flag, which helped the GS cars to gain positions as the race played out.

Beyond the race itself, and as part of an expanded relationship with CRC Industries to promote its Brakleen brand, BimmerWorld hosted its partners from CRC during the weekend, providing first-rate hospitality and giving their ardent supporters plenty to root for during the race.

“CRC/Brakleen was there en masse from their Pennsylvania headquarters to support the team this weekend,” Clay continued. “The company brought out over 150 employees, family members and guests and it was very rewarding to race around the track seeing so may Brakleen banners and knowing we were carrying the flag for them.”

The guests from CRC also witnessed a stirring performance from BimmerWorld’s second GS entry. Showing his versatility in the GRAND-AM ranks, Liefooghe got up to speed immediately in the No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8, motoring his way from 17th to third before handing off to Ronson. After jostling for positions and dealing with yellow flags, Ronson impressed on his way to finish 12th on his pro racing debut.

Running deep inside the top 10 and working closely with Ronson were highlights of the event, according to Liefooghe.

“BimmerWorld always gives me a great race car. In this case, with the extreme temperatures, we only had one lap to qualify after which the tires would drop off by at least a full second. I missed the opportunity on that lap, but the car stayed very consistent, so even though I started mid-pack, I knew I had a lot more performance available. During the race, our car was great in the long runs. After fighting my way up from 17th, it felt great to challenge for the top spots just like we usually do in the ST cars, and Chris should also be proud of the job he did in his first GRAND-AM race.”

While BimmerWorld’s GS cars enjoyed good runs at New Jersey, its ST cars found mixed fortunes in the race.

2010 Rookie of the Year Bill Heumann and his teammate, two-time ST pole winner David White who finished on the podium at the 2010 NJMP event, pushed themselves in the heat in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i to finish 14th in class. “Given the extreme heat we made the decision to split the driving more evenly and didn’t take advantage of an early driver change” explained White. “That turned out to be the wrong call with all the caution laps and we could never make back the track position lost in the pits.”

In the No. 81 car, John Capestro-Dubets was thrust into a similar position as Liefooghe, leading the charge for the second time this season when his regular teammate stepped up to BimmerWorld’s GS team.

Partnered with Jason Briedis, who was making his return to the series, the two mounted a solid run but saw their race slowed by suspension damage after being hit by a competitor.

BimmerWorld’s crew leapt into action to repair the car, but with extensive damage to overcome, the No. 81 went down three laps and fell from contention. Despite losing the possibility of earning a strong finish, Capestro-Dubets returned to the track determined to reward his team’s efforts, recovering to finish 23rd in class.

Giving up, as he explains, was never an option.

“Unfortunately, our results were limited by a racing incident but I always give a 100 percent whenever I get in the car. I believe that even with the circumstances we were dealt, I was able to show that determination is part of what’s required as a professional. You can’t quit or relax, no matter how much of a challenge you have. New Jersey was tough on everyone, but it gave me another chance to show how I’ve grown as a driver, thanks to my coach, Gregory Liefooghe, and to BimmerWorld for giving me the tools to deliver in a great car.

“When I got in my BMW we were three laps down with a tweaked alignment and yet I was able to run a fast pace the entire time. If I take anything from the weekend it is the ability to know that things don’t always go the way you plan, and that you just have to keep pushing hard no matter what happens.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as they prepare for the season finale at Mid-Ohio the weekend of September 16-17, and be sure to tune-in to watch the New Jersey race broadcast on SPEED this Saturday, July 30th at 3 p.m. ET.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready for the Heat and Heavy Competition in New Jersey

July 20th, 2011

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The BimmerWorld Racing transporter has been logging plenty of miles over the past two weeks as trips from its base in Dublin, Va., to the West Coast in Monterey, CA, back home to Dublin and now to the East Coast in Millville, NJ, will cap off a particularly busy period for the team.

Coming off a strong podium finish by Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets in BimmerWorld’s Street Tuner-class BMW 328i at Monterey, the four-car GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge outfit is ready for more action at Round 9 of the 10-round championship.

Held at the notoriously hot and humid New Jersey Motorsports Park facility, the calm, cool days in Monterey will be replaced with searing temperatures topping 100 degrees this weekend.

The team is hoping for history to repeat itself at NJMP, with BimmerWorld having earned finishes of second and fifth in the 2010 event with the team’s pair of BMW 328is.

With two Grand Sport-class BMW M3 V8s added to the stable for 2011, James Clay, BimmerWorld team owner and co-driver of the No. 79 Johnstone Supply M3 V8, says the expansion to four cars hasn’t been easy, but the momentum continues to build in the right direction as the season winds down.

“If this season has made one thing crystal clear, it is the fact that you can’t always get what you want in racing, or even what you work incredibly hard to earn,” he said. “We have a first-class group of people assembled here and they continue to plunge ahead to do the work to bring results – that is unchanging. In the last two rounds, I would love to see more of the rewards for the effort like we started to have at Monterey.”

The 2.25-mile, 14-turn track places a premium on many things–fitness, passing, and in particular, engine and brake cooling. A big part of the team’s success at NJMP last year was due to the choice of radiators and brake packages, and the same companies have been integral in getting the new M3 V8s ready for the escalating temperatures they will face.

“New Jersey was by far the hottest race for us last year and we expect the same this year,” Clay explained. “We are partnered with C&R Racing and their radiators and coolers keep the driveline as cool as possible and functioning properly in these demanding conditions. We maximize brake cooling for every event on the Performance Friction components on the cars, but regardless of temperature, they handle what we throw at them.”

With cockpit temperatures expected to be anywhere between 100 and 140 degrees for the GRAND-AM competitors this weekend, BimmerWorld’s drivers shift their training regimen into high gear to prepare for racing in sauna-like conditions for up to two hours at a time.

As Liefooghe explains, the time committed to ramping up one’s physical fitness ahead of the NJMP race is significant, but to succeed, it’s absolutely mandatory.

“It takes a lot of work away from the track,” he said. “I think everybody looks at the New Jersey race as the one race of the year where you have to be in your best shape of the season. Not only does the track have very few straightaways to rest but it’s also very hot and humid, so you are always working hard inside the car with little time to breathe and relax. My usual training consists of 250 miles of biking per week and karting year round. And it’s especially important for me to get acclimated to the heat because I live in San Francisco, where we rarely see anything above 60 degrees!”

In addition to its short straights, the relatively narrow NJMP circuit is known for its limited passing opportunities. Picking and choosing where to pass, as Clay’s teammate Seth Thomas shares, can make the difference between gaining and losing a lot of positions.

“Traffic management is going to be key to this event,” he said. “Since New Jersey is a short track with tight turns and very short sections between the corners, you’ll see a lot of similarity in speeds between the GS and ST cars. The ST cars are lighter and more nimble for the tight and twisty turns, while there is only one big straight where the GS cars can stretch their legs. It’s the kind of track where you pay for any mistakes you make. At some tracks you can stick your nose in and if you don’t get by, there’s no real harm. But at this track, moves like those make you a sitting target into the next corner, so you really have to select your passing zones ahead of time. You have to be patient and you can’t abuse your tires, so with the heat thrown in, New Jersey is a pretty tough puzzle to solve.”

Follow the team’s progress this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as practice gets under way for the 2.5-hour B+ Foundation Heroes 200 race on Saturday.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Earns Monterey ST Podium with No. 81 Brakleen BMW 328i, Top 10 in GS

July 13th, 2011

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Timing is a crucial element to success in motor racing, and for Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing, the No. 81 BMW 328i driven by Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets delivered a brilliant performance for the team and sponsor Brakleen when it mattered most.

Sporting a new livery featuring Brakleen’s brake parts cleaner bottles on both sides of the car, touring car ace Liefooghe and star rookie Capestro-Dubets waged a spirited battle against smaller, lighter cars at Round 8 of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event in Monterey, California.

Starting sixth, Capestro-Dubets opened the 2.5-hour race with speed and precision, rising to the second spot during his stint. With his own private cheering section providing inspiration, the young Californian put on an amazing show for his fans.

“This was a very important race for me due to the fact it was my home track and majority of my family was there to watch for the first time,” he said. “I grew up a few miles from the track and went to many races here, and it has always been a dream of mine to race in front of fans at this track. The whole weekend was very special to me, from beginning to end.”

After finishing on the podium in his series debut at Daytona, making the podium at his home track was the realization of a long-held dream.

“If I had to pick a highlight of my stint it would be when I found myself in second behind the Kia trying to get around for the lead before the caution came out,” Capestro-Dubets continued. “The overall highlight of the race, in my eyes, would be when Greg came around Turn 11 for the last time to give BimmerWorld and Brakleen a well deserved podium finish.

“This result means so much, and in addition to the team and my teammate, I have to credit Michael Duncalfe and Exclusive Management, Inc. He brought us together with BimmerWorld and has been instrumental in keeping me sharp and focused on achieving finishes like we got at Monterey.”

With Liefooghe taking over the reins of the No. 81 to steer the Brakleen car home to the finish, maintaining a steady, controlled aggression was necessary.

“My stint was all about saving the equipment,” he said. “We went with a very aggressive strategy and I got in the car with just under two hours to go. I knew I had to save tires and fuel if I wanted to make it to the end so I could be fast when it counted. The last 10 laps were very, very long with the Mazdas having tremendous pace. They were pushing incredibly hard at the end of the race. The track favored them as they were a lot easier on tires since they are 500 pounds lighter than us. It was a good hard fight and I encourage everybody to watch the broadcast on Sunday!”

BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay and Seth Thomas earned a top 10 for their efforts in the team’s No. 79 Johnstone Supply BMW M3 V8, but after the race, the sensational drive by the No. 81 was the major talking point.

“After much too long of a drought, I was very happy to have a car on the podium again this weekend,” Clay said. “It is fitting that with the debut of the CRC/Brakleen wrap on the 81 car that CRC shared our success with their car. The boys drove a great race and the crew has been investing an abundance of effort in the program all year. It is great to see a result for the effort!”

The Monterey race offered yet another example of the rapid growth of the Liefooghe/Capestro-Dubets driving team, and the integrated working style BimmerWorld’s technicians and engineers have developed with the No. 81′s drivers.

“The working relationship with John has always been good,” Liefooghe explained. “It’s become easier and easier to work together as we became good friends over the year and everything seems automatic now. There is a lot of trust between us and it makes for a lot of fun during the weekend. I have to give a big thank you to our crew and especially our crew chief Ryan Kuhn. They have been living and breathing our No. 81 and our racing luck has kept them very busy so far. It’s great to bring back some results for him to thank the guys for all of their hard work. Obviously, our engineer Dave Wagener always has a big role in our speed. We have a great communication and he’s able to translate our feedback into great setups. Overall, this is a very cohesive program.”

The sister No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i driven by Bill Heumann and David White had a race weekend that didn’t go according to plan, but that didn’t diminish the effort or resolve shown by the BimmerWorld crew, as White shares.

“The No. 80 sustained damage in a practice session and our amazing crew had already begun repairing the car before that session had even ended. The extent of the damage kept us from making qualifying, but our team went above and beyond what would cause most teams to throw in the towel. They kept fighting and when they were done, the car looked brand new again for the final practice session and we were able to start the race. With the pace that the car had in the final practice, we were confident that we could make a run from the back to give the team the finish that they deserved. Unfortunately a mechanical issue during the race forced us to retire the car early, but that doesn’t take away from how proud I am of our crew.”

In Grand Sport, Clay and Thomas earned their first top 10 of the season–the fourth top 10 amongst the two BimmerWorld GS entries in 2011–placing 10th, while the No. 78 Bizrate.com M3 V8 driven by Bob Michaelian and Ken Wilden had an uncharacteristic weekend, finishing 16th.

As the team adds more positive results during its first year of competition with the BMW M3 V8, Clay is pleased with how much BimmerWorld’s M3 engineering database continues to grow.

“We are still learning about the M3s and while it was nice to be in the top 10 again, it was also nice to learn more about the car,” he said. “I felt like we had the pace to really do well at Road America and we didn’t quite have the same car at Laguna, but as we build our playbook for a strong 2012, I feel like we’re gaining a lot of invaluable information that will reward us in due time.”

Watch the excitement from Monterey this Sunday, July 17th, at 1 p.m. ET on SPEED, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as they prepare for the penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 22-23.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Heads to Monterey on a Mission

July 7th, 2011

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No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8: Bob Michaelian, Ken Wilden
No. 79 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8: James Clay, Seth Thomas
No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i: Bill Heumann, David White
No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i: Gregory Liefooghe, John Capestro-Dubets

Patience is indeed a virtue, but amongst the spirited four-car BimmerWorld Racing GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series team, that patience is wearing thin.

Great potential has been shown this year as BimmerWorld’s brand-new two-car BMW M3 V8 Grand Sport-class effort has run solidly in the top 5, and its two-car BMW 328i Street Tuner-class program has come close to repeating the wins and pole positions it earned last season.

But words like ‘potential’ and ‘promise’ don’t carry much weight for BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay, or his hard-working crew. Heading home from California to Virginia with a bit of hardware–a trophy from making the podium in both classes–would be a welcome boost for the team, according to Clay.

“This season has been a character builder but I am seeing results of our work in the GS cars – now we just need to back up the speed with the finishes and these last three rounds give us the opportunity to do that,” he said. “In ST, I have faith in our drivers and team and every round is an opportunity. The series is so competitive that you can’t predict results, but we’ve put in the work and we’re as hungry as ever to show what we’re capable of.”

The famed Laguna Seca circuit seems tailor-made for BMWs, with a heavy demand placed on cornering, braking and acceleration at the 2.2-mile, 11-turn track. While BimmerWorld’s BMW M3 V8 GS cars have been on the cusp of a podium result, a strong emphasis has been placed on returning the team’s 328is to Victory Lane. The key to getting there, as Clay shares, is continued suspension R&D.

“Under the direction of our ST engineer David Wagener, our 328i development for the year has been mostly focused on suspension. We have been working with the new AST damper package and we are closer to being happy with what we have come up with. I think long-term, this effort will pay off.”

After a slight change in the driving lineup at round 7, Bob Michaelian and Ken Wilden are back in the No. 78 Bizrate-sponsored BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8 this weekend after missing Road America due to previous commitments.

For Michaelian, a California native, the chance to race on home soil is a perfect return to GS competition.

“We are super excited about racing at Laguna Seca,” he said. “Ken has won at Laguna in a variety of different series, including the GS class in 2009. I started club racing at Laguna about five years ago, so I consider this my home track. It’s a great facility and has such a rich racing tradition.”

Michaelian and Wilden own BimmerWorld’s best result in GS to date, but improving upon their sixth at Daytona is something Michaelian feels is well within their grasp in Monterey.

“BimmerWorld has shown great progress over the last three races and we feel like we are in a position to be really competitive this weekend,” he continued. “We feel like we have taken great strides in our race package, race strategy and car preparation over the course of the season, and we’re excited to see how we perform.”

On the ST front, John Capestro-Dubets, also from California and one of the rising stars of the 2011 season, brings newfound experience to his role as co-driver of the No. 81 BMW 328i, which will carry special branding from Brakleen, the leading brake parts cleaner.

After taking over a leadership role in the No. 81 at the last round while his regular partner, Gregory Liefooghe, took the helm of the No. 78 M3 V8, Capestro-Dubets got a glimpse of what will be expected from him as his road racing career continues to flourish.

“The last race at Road America was a great experience for me to learn the responsibilities of being the lead driver. It was an eye opener for me not to have Gregory to fall back on in times of uncertainty. He has taught me so much throughout the year that I was able to hit the ground running at Road America. Any time you are out running with the other lead drivers you pick up little things, whether its racecraft or all-out speed. If there’s anything new I’ll carry into to Laguna, it’s the mindset of being a more mature and patient driver. I look forward to working with my good friend and mentor again and have high expectations in the No. 81 Brakleen BMW 328i.”

Follow the progress of the BimmerWorld team this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Searching for Luck After Finding Limited Results at Barber Motorsports Park

April 13th, 2011

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If the expression “you make your own luck” is true, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing is on the hunt for the recipe.

After another promising weekend in the Street Tuner division of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, held at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, the BMW experts came away with a slight pit in their stomachs after contact with other cars left the team with little to show for their efforts.

BimmerWorld stormed the 2010 Street Tuner division, taking second in both the teams’ and drivers’ Championships, but after three rounds of ST racing in 2011, team owner James Clay says he’s still waiting for fortunes to smile on his GRAND-AM ST effort.

“Certainly this season we have seen new players in the Championship hunt, both in the form of new teams and teams with new equipment or a lot of development work and help with rules in the off-season. But we have strong cars and excellent driver combinations, which just needs to be supplemented by a little luck at this point.”

The breakout stars of the ST class this year have been the Exclusive Management pairing of ace driver Gregory Liefooghe and rookie sensation John Capestro-Dubets behind the wheel of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i. Starting the season off with a podium at Daytona, the duo appeared to be on pace for another podium at Barber, but a hit from behind while challenging for second place was all it took to send their blue BMW into the gravel trap.

They would lose more than a dozen laps and finish 23rd in class.

“I think we have all the ingredients to win a championship except for one so far: luck,” said Liefooghe. “We have one of the best driver combos in the paddock and also one of the best teams in the paddock, with my teammate John doing a great job to start the race before handing over to me. At the last race, even though we didn’t have the pace to win, we still had enough for a top 5.

“In Barber, we had a winning car, we were able to work on the setup and found one that was easy on the tires. We also had the best car in our class at the end of long stints. Unfortunately, it seems every time I’m about to get in the car, something happens and takes us out of contention. When I got back out in Barber after they pulled John out of the gravel, I got a lap back which proves just how competitive the car was and that we had the potential to win once again. I think our next move will be to weld a horseshoe or something of that nature to bring luck to our BimmerWorld BMW!”

For Capestro-Dubets, Barber marked his third professional race of any kind, yet the San Diego native found himself fighting for the top two spots in the ST class. Even with an unrepresentative finish to the weekend, he says he’s happy with the promise that was shown in the No. 81 328i.

“I am very happy with the highs of Barber. It was my first time at that track and I can’t thank my team enough for helping get ready for the race. My manager Michael Duncalfe helped to get me up to speed quickly, and my crew gave me an extremely well prepared car. We had a great race up until being hit. I couldn’t be happier with the team, though, and hope to deliver better results very soon.”

Bill Heumann and David White also had a better finish awaiting them, but had to settle for 15th in ST after their BimmerWorld BMW 328i incurred damage from contact.

“Barber was a very disappointing race for me as I was not able to bring home the finish that the team deserved,” said White, who claimed pole position at Barber for the ST race in 2010. “The BimmerWorld crew put in a lot of hard work in the Alabama heat to give us the best cars possible and it was showing late in the race when the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i had great pace.

“Unfortunately, contact is sometimes a part of racing and I took a hit that damaged my suspension, forcing me to give up several spots as I limped the car home to the finish. We have the cars working very well and when we shake some of this bad luck we’ve been experiencing, Bill and I will be fighting for wins.”

Heumann, the 2010 MESCO Rookie of the Year, says there is no reason to hit the panic button or to change anything about how the team goes racing. With a bit of patience, the bad luck streak will pass.

“I am disappointed in the results but not demoralized. I think we have a great team and we had a great car. We will keep our focus and effort on doing the best job we can and the change in luck will come our way.”

BimmerWorld has five weeks to prepare for the next race, held at the team’s home track at Virginia International Raceway, with updates on their progress and preparation available on www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

The broadcast for the Barber race can be seen April 16th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED, and On Demand at www.SPEED2.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

GS Development Continues as BimmerWorld Just Misses Top 10 at Barber Motorsports Park

April 13th, 2011

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No matter how much the BMW experts from BimmerWorld Racing want to conquer the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport division in their first season of racing M3 V8s in the class, the team will continue to chant the mantra of “it’s a development year” throughout the 10-race calendar.

That’s far from being an excuse, as the Dublin, Virginia-based team holds itself to the highest standards and expectations possible, but with just a matter of months of development behind their BimmerWorld-built BMW M3s, overcoming the years of experience their fellow M3 runners have will simply take time.

BimmerWorld’s latest race, held last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, served as the latest reminder of how far the team has come since the season opener in January, but also offered a benchmark for where they stand in the 28-car field.

With the No. 78 Shopzilla.com-sponsored BimmerWorld BMW M3 of Bob Michaelian and Kenny Wilden running inside the top 10 before ultimately crossing the finish line in 11th place, and with the No. 79 Johnstone Supply-sponsored BimmerWorld BMW M3 of Seth Thomas and team owner/driver James Clay placing 15th, more hard work is planned in the weeks ahead of the team’s home race at Virginia International Raceway in May.

“The GS class is certainly difficult, but we knew it would be,” said Clay. “The other M3 teams have a year or two on us in developing the car and the levels of GS programs are generally higher than the ST programs in the paddock. We knew success wouldn’t happen overnight, but at this point, I think we have a very good idea of what we need to do. And once we have the time to fully implement our plans and developments for the BimmerWorld M3 platform, we will start to see the results of all the hard work everyone has been putting in.”

While Clay and his talented team continue to hone their M3s into future race winners, he says he’s been extremely pleased with how well BimmerWorld’s GS drivers and crew members have been performing.

“The team is just fantastic this year. The crew guys are working like a well-oiled machine and the engineering and driving tasks are leading us down a path of continuous improvement. Certainly these are trying times as the work is going in much faster than the results are coming out, but I am confident that part will follow shortly – we have a tremendous group to work with and the results will be there.”

For Michaelian, the defending Barber GS race winner, knowing the BimmerWorld team continues to work tirelessly to improve their M3s continues to fuel his optimism.

“I feel like we had really solid weekend,” he said. “We made good progress with the balance of the Shopzilla.com car and feel like we have a solid game plan for future improvements. The team has been super supportive. I can’t say enough about the BimmerWorld engineering staff and pit crew. James Clay has been great to work with. He fully understands how competitive the GS class is and is dead set on getting us where we need to be. That is super motivating. We definitely learned a lot this weekend and can use those lessons to continue to make improvements in the next round at VIR.”

Michaelian’s co-driver shares the same opinion about the direction the team is headed.

“I think we have made good progress,” said Wilden. “I would like to see us compete for top 5s over the next few races, and if we can do that, by the end of the year we should be able to go for podiums.”

Seth Thomas, who nearly won the 2010 GRAND-AM Street Tuner championship with BimmerWorld on his first try, has been an integral part of the team since its early days in pro racing. As he’s seen before, it’s only a matter of time before BimmerWorld moves to the front of the pack.

“The season is still very young but I have seen the strengths of the BimmerWorld team to dig deep and give us what it takes to put our Johnstone Supply sponsored BMW M3 up front,” he said. “Being with the team for as long as I have, I know we have been down this path of development in the past and we always come out on top. Every race this season the car gets better and better, and our M3s get faster and faster.

“Our PFC brake package has been amazing on the M3, our RAYS wheels have stood up to the test every time and Redline Oil has kept the M3′s big V8 engine working flawlessly so far. The cars are very good, but it takes a lot of other little ingredients to win. My job is to keep driving like I have been and give the team the best performance possible so we can add in those extra few ingredients. Our teammates in the No. 78 M3 have been a big help to speed up our pace of development, as has my co-driver, James. We’ll get there, and when we do, look out!”

As BimmerWorld continues to build its knowledgebase on the BMW M3 in racing trim, Clay says they will do everything possible to make the upcoming race at VIR a success.

“We tested a bit at VIR before this event and will put more time in there before the coming race. The Barber setup didn’t seem to follow the testing work we had done as closely as we wanted, but we learned more and I think VIR should be a very positive weekend as our program develops.”

Follow BimmerWorld as they prepare to tackle their home track at VIR next month at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

The broadcast for the Barber race can be seen April 16th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED, and On Demand at www.SPEED2.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Heads to Barber Motorsports Park for Round Three

April 5th, 2011

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GRAND-AM’s premier production-based road racing series will visit a variety of venues during the 10-round championship this season, but with this weekend’s Barber 200 at the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park circuit in Leeds, Alabama, BimmerWorld’s pair of BMW 328is and M3s will get to race in a more traditional setting.

Carved within Alabama’s hilly southern countryside, Barber’s 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course kicks off eight consecutive races on purpose-built road courses after the series spend the first two rounds competing on unique ‘Roval’ tracks that use a combination of oval and road course circuits.

The appeal of a facility like Barber–especially for the group of BMW experts at BimmerWorld–comes from the demanding road course itself.

Handling–a specialty of BimmerWorld’s Street Tuner-class 328i and Grand Sport-class M3 platforms–is at a premium at Barber, as well as braking, which should give BimmerWorld’s fleet of race cars a strong chance to demonstrate the innate characteristics the German machines are known for.

Round 2, held at the Homestead-Miami Roval one month ago, failed to deliver the type of results BimmerWorld has become accustomed to, so with the extended time between Round 2 and Round 3, team owner/driver James Clay says his skilled team of technicians has been hard at work to make sure their BMWs maximize their potential at Barber.

“We left Homestead wanting a lot more, which is a major drive for improvement. We have spent a lot of time on the ST cars in our new chassis dyno and doing some general driveline analysis and tweaking. The GS program has been doing more refining of the chassis and a bit of testing on track as we continue to climb a steep development slope. The guys have been working hard and I think we will see the results show in Alabama.”

BimmerWorld’s GS line-up features Bob Michaelian and Kenny Wilden driving the No. 79 Bizrate.com BMW M3, and James Clay and Seth Thomas in the No. 79 Johnstone Supply M3. With Michaelian serving as the defending GS race winner at Barber and Clay leading the development of BimmerWorld’s brand-new M3 V8 race cars, confidence is high with the race just days away.

“BMWs are typically, by definition, a sleek, nimble, agile performer but in GS trim they are more like a brawny, brawling muscle car,” said Clay. “Certainly they take a different style of driving and more importantly for the work I usually do with setup and chassis refinement, they take a different thought process to tuning. Thanks to the work at the track between races I am starting to have a good understanding of how to make the car work. We are still early in our development with the BimmerWorld M3 V8 platform, but it is coming along at a fairly rapid pace. Getting in and racing, by comparison, is the easy part.”

BimmerWorld’s pair of ST 328is are poised for another run at Barber after David White claimed pole position for the 2010 Barber 200 race. Partnered with Bill Heumann , two-time 2010 race winner and the 2010 MESCO Rookie of the Year, White says a return to Barber in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW has been highly anticipated all year.

“I’ve really been looking forward to getting back to racing on natural road courses and Barber is a great one to start with,” he said. “Barber Motorsports Park is a beautiful facility and the track is a challenging one that rewards smooth driving and well balanced cars. Having the heaviest car in the field hurts at technical tracks like Barber but I know that the BimmerWorld crew has been working hard to provide us with the best possible cars for the job. Last year I came to really love technical tracks and Barber certainly ranks near the top of the list of tracks we will race on this year.”

With the one-month gap between races, White has found plenty of non-race activities to keep himself busy during the layoff.

“The 2011 CTSCC season will be hitting high gear in the coming months but we, as drivers, have had plenty of down time between races up to this point. Between CTSCC events, when I’m not at the race track, I try to race karts as much as possible to satisfy my competitive urges. I have also been focusing on personal fitness and endurance by cycling and running which I have already found to be very beneficial during long stints in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW.”

ST rookie John Capestro-Du Bets, who shares the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW with touring car ace and fellow Exclusive Management teammate Gregory Liefooghe, says he’s treated the extended period between Homestead-Miami and Barber as a time to push his physical training regimen to new levels.

“When I’m not at the race track working on my race craft, I am back in San Diego training a minimum of five days a week at the gym. I have a specific fitness plan put together by both Exclusive Management Inc. and Carmel Sports medicine and Fitness. My trainer works with me weekly and keeps me fit and makes sure I have the right muscles built up to succeed in this sport. My training consists of biking, swimming, running and time in the gym. I know with this program, I will be ready for any and all challenges that Barber and the rest of the tracks have to offer.”

As the Championship enters Round Three, all the car and personal preparation will be critical and thoroughly tested.

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress this weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune in to watch the race on April 17th at 3 p.m. ET on SPEED.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready to Resume the Fight at Homestead-Miami Raceway

March 2nd, 2011

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For a team that doubled in size, made its debut with a two-car effort in the Grand Sport (GS) category and fielded two new drivers in the Street tuner (ST) class at Daytona, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld Racing came away pleased from the first race of the 2011 championship. But they are also hungry for better results.

ST veteran Greg Liefooghe, partnered with series rookie and rising star John Capestro-DuBets (JCD), stormed to a podium finish on their debut for the team in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90 328i. Ken Wilden and Bob Michaelian took sixth in GS, serving notice that BimmerWorld’s new BMW E92 M3 cars would soon be challenging for podiums. And the newly expanded BimmerWorld team performed flawless pit stops throughout the 2.5-hour Daytona 200 race.

While Daytona left the team with many positives to embrace, it was the list of improvements that meant the most to BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay and the spirited workforce at the team’s Dublin, Va.-based shop.

With a month between Daytona and the second race of the season held at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, BimmerWorld’s engineers and technicians have been working at a furious pace to find the small refinements that will translate into improved results for all four cars when they race on March 5th.

“For fans that have followed our team over the years it should be no surprise that this month is incredibly busy here as we go through a long list of items on both the ST and GS-class cars to implement the improvements we uncovered at Daytona,” said Clay. “The ST cars were as expected – good out of the box — and we started right where we left off last year with that program, but building the GS cars has given us some new insights into how to improve the ST package. On the GS front, I was certainly happy with our showing on the first race weekend with the new cars, but our goal is to be winning races regularly, and we will be hard at work until we get there.”

In addition to the list of refinements for its BMW 328i and M3 race cars, BimmerWorld has also been busy making operational adjustments to get the most from the four-car team.

“Four cars and all the logistics was certainly a big chunk to bite off,” Clay continued, “but the BimmerWorld crew dug in and carried the team with their determined work ethic. You can’t create the stresses involved in a race weekend during testing and we’ve uncovered some areas for improvement and we will keep looking for areas to solidify until we are executing to perfection.”

Liefooghe, known for his circuit knowledge and chassis setup feedback, was instrumental in helping JCD to achieve the best result for a rookie in the ST class at Daytona. With the team headed for Round 2 of the 10-race championship, Liefooghe has the same expectations for a quality result, and cites the close-knit nature of the team as an influence on the early success of the No. 81.

“The first race was the first test of how well we function as a team and I think it was very successful. John and I are working together really well, and the communication we have with our ST race engineer, Dave Wagener, is really good too. He seems to understand what we want out the car, and he is always pushing hard to improve the setup. Back in Daytona, the car felt great throughout the whole race, and it already feels natural to drive it. As far as the rest of the team, they surround you with their motivation, and they take racing very personally. It would be hard not to feel integrated with that kind of atmosphere. It’s great to be around passionate people like that, and when you’re out on the track you feel like you’re fighting for them too.”

Liefooghe and JCD will compete at Homestead with their teammates Bill Heumann and David White, who pilot the sister No. 80 CRC Industries BimmerWorld BMW E90. The No. 80 was on course to finish alongside the No. 81 at Daytona until a driving infraction slowed their efforts. Round 2 will see BimmerWorld’s ST cars with two very different goals, as the No. 81 seeks to strengthen its place in the championship while the No. 80 looks to overcome the points deficit suffered at Daytona.

The same scenario can be found with BimmerWorld’s GS entries, as the No. 78 BizRate.com BMW E92 M3 of Wilden and Michaelian look to improve upon their 6th-place finish at Daytona, and the No. 79 Johnstone Supply BMW E92 M3 of Clay and Seth Thomas will battle to recover the points lost from a penalty incurred during the Daytona 200.

Wilden, the 2009 GS class champion, says Homestead-Miami’s unique ‘roval’ layout–one that features a blend of the circuit’s oval track and the road course built within the infield–will demand a lot from his BimmerWorld M3.

“You have to be a little more precise with the car’s chassis setup so you don’t scrub too much speed on the oval, which isn’t much of an issue at a track like Daytona. You also need the car to be fast and reactive on the Homestead-Miami infield, and in the tight corners as well. Being able to put the power down out of those corners, and then being able to brake late and deep–something our Performance Friction brakes did to perfection at Daytona–is also crucial. The track might not look like it’s too technical, but you have to get everything right with the car to produce a fast lap.”

From a driving standpoint, Liefooghe says navigating Homestead-Miami’s 2.3-mile, 11-turn circuit takes experience and skill every step of the way.

“Homestead is the hardest ‘easy’ track in the US. There are no real technical corners, but the low grip level of the track and the fact that every corner leads onto a long straightaway means that you have to be inch-perfect everywhere. Other than that, the key to a good lap time will be to make sure you come out fast and clean out of Turn 8, the last corner before getting on the banking. As far as racing goes, aside from Turn 4, all the other corners are suitable for passing, but it just depends where you are in the pack and where you want to come out before the banking. The traffic will also play a big role in the outcome of the race, as it is a very short track for almost 70 cars. It will be intense for all of us at BimmerWorld, but that’s why we do this. It should be a good race for our team.”

Practice gets under way on March 4th, and be sure to follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Homestead-Miami by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com. Tune in to watch the race on SPEED on March 19th at 2 p.m. ET.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Signs United BMW as New Sponsor for GRAND-AM Program

February 28th, 2011

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Positive growth and momentum continues to build for BimmerWorld Racing as the four-car GRAND-AM team announced the signing of Roswell, Georgia-based United BMW as the team’s official supplier of BMW OEM parts.

With BimmerWorld’s expansion to four cars in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge racing series this year, the need to keep its two production-based BimmerWorld M3s and both BMW 328is prepared with the highest quality factory BMW parts is greater than ever.

Together with United BMW’s support for the 2011 racing season, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay says the collaboration between the two companies will compliment BimmerWorld’s racing efforts and their thriving street car business.

“We are excited to have United BMW as a part of the BimmerWorld team this year. Ultimately, we are racing street-platform BMWs and having a strong relationship with a BMW dealer like United–one that is so passionate about these amazing machines–will pay great dividends. Their support and knowledge about the BMW parts we need to run our cars is a perfect resource for our team, and for our BMW parts customers as well.”

With performance at the heart of everything BimmerWorld does on and off the race track, United BMW’s extensive stock of BMW Performance parts will find their way into cars that pass through BimmerWorld’s facility in Dublin, Virginia as well. In kind, United BMW will also benefit from BimmerWorld’s impressive line of race-proven aftermarket products.

“United BMW is a very complimentary pairing for our BimmerWorld parts business,” Clay continued. “Through unitedBMWonline.com, their team provides Genuine BMW Parts and Accessories, as well as BMW Performance Parts, and in the future, it will also include offerings from our BimmerWorld catalog. Similarly, we will be expanding our parts offerings to include more of the BMW Performance line and Genuine BMW Accessories. This expanded and combined effort will reach more BMW owners and enthusiasts to provide the level of product and service we are collectively known for.”

United BMW’s Steve Maguire says that joining forces with BimmerWorld’s aftermarket and road racing businesses will help to showcase their extensive BMW catalog.

“We felt this was a perfect match for our business and the right opportunity to raise the profile of www.unitedBMWonline.com expand and increase awareness of our offerings to BMW enthusiasts across the country. We have watched BimmerWorld grow to be a leading race team competing in the GRAND-AM series, and they are always running at the front in very professionally turned out BMWs, which is important. Their business philosophy and core values are very similar to ours; deliver quality products together with a team dedicated to delivering the highest level of customer service. With our focus on promoting Genuine BMW Parts & Accessories through our website, and BimmerWorld’s focus on performance parts, it makes for a perfect partnership.”

The growth in popularity of the Continental Tire Series, coupled with the increase in online and linear coverage of the series, played into United BMW’s decision to align itself with BimmerWorld. With all four of BimmerWorld’s GRAND-AM cars carrying United BMW branding, and a heavy emphasis on the online parts solutions that they make available for BMW racers and enthusiasts everywhere, both parties expect their partnership to help serve the performance-minded BMW owner better than ever.

“United BMW Roswell, through our BMW Parts & Accessories website www.unitedBMWonline.com, has grown to be the leading BMW Dealer in the e-commerce marketplace,” explained Maguire. “We wanted to expand awareness of our business to a wider audience through an exciting environment and could think of no better place than the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. It offers close racing in cars that are purchased right off the showroom floor, and with sensible modifications for safety and performance, uses mostly stock components that can be purchased online directly from a company like ours. It’s a very appealing marketing platform.”

BimmerWorld’s next race–which features the debut of United BMW’s branding on the fleet of BimmerWorld 328is and M3s–is March 5th in Homestead, Florida. Follow the team’s progress on www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune-in to watch the race on March 19th at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Earns Top-6 Finish with Wilden and Michaelian on GRAND-AM GS Debut at Daytona

February 1st, 2011

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The bar was set exceedingly high for the BimmerWorld Racing Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team after nearly winning the Street Tuner teams’ and drivers’ championship at its first attempt. Adding two new cars to the team for 2011–to run in the bigger, faster Grand Sport class–required unparalleled amounts of work and dedication in the off-season, as two new BMW M3 V8s were transformed into GS race cars in just a matter of months.

And with a highly competitive showing at the opening round of the 2011 GRAND-AM championship last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, BimmerWorld’s efforts in the Grand Sport (GS) category made for a seamless transition from one season to the next.

2009 GS driver champion Ken Wilden and his teammate Bob Michaelian drove their Bizrate.com-sponsored No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW E92 chassis to a remarkable sixth-place finish in their maiden race with the team. With the majority of the BMW E92 runners in GS armed with years of experience racing their GRAND-AM M3s, BimmerWorld’s quick progress with their new GS cars impressed Wilden.

“We have a lot to do and a lot to learn with the E92, but we aren’t miles off. What I like about this team is that right after the race, [team owner] James Clay called us right into the trailer and had us detail every little thing we as drivers thought could be improved. He didn’t want to celebrate; he wanted to create a plan to make us faster for the next race.”

Despite the team’s business-like approach, Wilden rejoiced in their race result.

“Taking sixth was a great way to start the year for Bob and me. Our goal is to be in the top-6 at every round, and if we can do that, we’ll have a shot at a championship.”

Michaelian, a driver who is accustomed to being at the sharp end of the field, came away from their sixth-place at the GRAND-AM 200 with similar impressions.

“Kenny and I both feel like there is a huge amount of potential with the car. The fact that this was the first race for BimmerWorld in the GS class, and both cars were already very competitive gives us a lot of confidence. We know that with more work, both cars will be vying for podium finishes. The BMW E92 platform has proven that it can win races and championships. We are definitely looking forward to the opportunity to work with James and Seth to further develop the program at BimmerWorld.”

Having raced and won for a well established GS team in 2010, Michaelian was quick to offer praise for the BimmerWorld team after his first race with the Dublin, Va.-based outfit.

“The overall takeaway was that we were super impressed with the operation that BimmerWorld has put together. We were able to work very closely with the crew to improve the Bizrate.com car over the weekend. The progress we were able to make over the test days and throughout the race weekend was really encouraging. The crew, strategy, and pit stops were all first rate. I don’t think we could have asked for anything more in our first weekend.”

The potential was also there for James Clay and Seth Thomas in the No. 79 Johnstone Supply sponsored BimmerWorld BMW E92. After posting impressive times throughout practice and again in qualifying, a penalty for body contact forced Clay to pit lane, and around a big track like the 3.56-mile Daytona circuit, losing the slightest amount of time will can ruin a race.

“We should have been right there with Ken and Bob, but we were penalized and had to accept it and move on,” said Clay. “It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but we did learn a lot with both cars and seeing the No. 78 do well will only make us work harder. The GS class is just as intense as ST has proven to be, and the top cars are well-sorted and highly developed. Getting our E92s to that state is our mission in 2011, and we’ll be pushing to get there as fast as possible. It will be an intense month of work until we go to the next race at Homestead.”

As a veteran member of the BimmerWorld team, Thomas says he was delighted to see the hard work that went into building two new E92s pay off at the season opener.

“I won’t lie and say we’re where we want to be. Winning is about the only thing we’ll consider as a good result, but with that being said, we have a good foundation to build from here. Ken and Bob drove their hearts out, and the BimmerWorld mechanics should be proud to get a top-6. It isn’t easy in GRAND-AM. But I’m really proud of the team and our teammates. Having two great drivers like Bob and Ken makes all the difference, and these new E92s are just awesome.

“The build quality is like nothing I’ve seen, and they still have that BimmerWorld DNA. They brake better than anyone out there, and we’re going to get the handling to that level too. Just give us some time. I’d say we exceeded expectations for our first GS race, and the cars were 100 percent reliable. Everyone huddled up after the race to brainstorm on our next steps to move up the finishing order, and all of our partners and sponsors are right behind us pushing like crazy to get us into Victory Circle. We’ll get there. I’m as confident of that as I’ve ever been.”

BimmerWorld races with unrivaled support from key business partners. Learn about them by visiting Bizrate.com, CRC Industries, Escort Inc., GearWrench and Johnstone Supply.

Tune into SPEED on February 5th at 3 p.m. ET to watch the race broadcast, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress as they ready themselves for Homestead-Miami by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld’s Capestro-DuBets and Liefooghe Score Top-3 at Daytona Season Opener

January 31st, 2011

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Breaking into the professional ranks of any sport is a pressure-packed endeavor, and for a young driver like BimmerWorld Racing’s John Capestro-DuBets, the need to deliver a strong performance in his first pro race was critical.

Thankfully, the 21-year-old Californian not only performed well in his professional debut at the GRAND-AM 200, he completed a dream weekend by standing on the famed podium at the historic Daytona International Raceway. After earning a third-place finish in the grueling 2.5-hour Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener with his teammate, veteran driver Gregory Liefooghe, the pilots of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90 celebrated a top-3 result to open their account on the 2011 season.

Starting seventh, Capestro-DuBets, known as ‘JCD’ to his teammates, looked poised within the 77-car field during his turn at the wheel. Handing off the car to Liefooghe, the duo raced their way to third to start the year in spectacular fashion.

“This is a dream come true,” said JCD. “Just driving through the tunnel and seeing Daytona from the inside for the first time was surreal. Sitting here now–I just raced on this legendary track and finished third…I just can’t put it into words. The BimmerWorld team did an incredible job; the car was so fast and our pit stops–they were my first in competition–were so smooth. Greg drove an amazing stint when he took over and I was just thrilled to share in this with him and the team.”

Liefooghe, like JCD, made his debut with the BimmerWorld team at Daytona. Based on the first race, the 29-year-old says he’s highly encouraged with what the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW program can achieve.

“I’m very pleased with how our Daytona 200 race went,” he said, “and it gives us a very good starting point in the championship. John should be very proud of the job he did, and everyone on the BimmerWorld team worked so hard to make this possible. This podium just makes us more eager to get to the next round and go racing immediately.”

James Clay, owner of the BimmerWorld team, says he’s glad to see the ST drivers working together so closely.

“I think we have four amazing drivers, and on most weekends, I’d expect them to be running together in the lead pack. They contribute a lot to our team and we have every confidence both cars will be in the championship hunt all year long. You have to be happy with what Greg and JCD achieved–it’s our second podium at Daytona in two years–and Bill and David could have been right there with them. All of the potential to succeed is within our grasp.”

2010 GRAND-AM MESCO Rookie of the Year winner Bill Heumann, and two-time 2010 Street Tuner pole winner David White had a more challenging start to the new season in their No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW E90.

An impressive run from their 22nd starting spot to 12th aside, the duo expected more from the first race of the season but a penalty dropped the No. 80 to the back of the field, ending their chance of running in tandem with the sister No. 80 BMW.

“I made a mistake and sped on pit lane,” Heumann said with a tone that revealed his frustration. “You never want to make mistakes, but I did and I’ll come away knowing that I have to be perfect behind the wheel if David and I want to win together in the series. We won’t dwell on it; we know what our car and team can do, so we’ll come back for the next race even stronger.”

White, who took over for Heumann to complete the race in the BimmerWorld E90, says they will treat the next round, held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL, like it’s the first race of the year.

“We took 12th, which helps in the championship, but our mindset is to go the next race and show everybody what we’re capable of. The good thing is the E90 is really fast, its Performance Friction brakes give us an advantage under braking and Bill and I are fired up to go after wins and the title. Sometimes you have races that don’t go your way, and this was one of them. Like Bill said, you learn from it and move on. We’ll be ready to go at Homestead and we know the BimmerWorld crew will prepare the best cars in the paddock for us.”

Tune into SPEED on February 5th at 3 p.m. ET to watch the race broadcast, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress as they ready themselves for Homestead-Miami by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Prepared for Second Season of GRAND-AM ST Competition

January 26th, 2011

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For some teams, finishing second in a major auto racing championship would be received in a positive light–as an indicator of how much progress had been made. For BimmerWorld Racing, the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner (ST) class runner-up, finishing second has only served to fuel a relentless off-season of work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Speed, reliability and consistency were hallmarks during BimmerWorld’s 2010 ST campaign, but despite the team’s collection of wins, pole positions and fastest laps, improvements in every area of BimmerWorld’s program were targeted for 2011.

Led by long-time crew chief Jason Marks, the Dublin, VA-based BMW experts tore through their two BMW E90 chassis to freshen and improve each component and system in preparation for the season opening race this Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

While the technicians at BimmerWorld have paid special attention to improving their cars, the same focus has been placed on the drivers who will pilot the No. 80 and 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90s. The progress shown on and off the track by everyone involved with the ST cars has given BimmerWorld team owner James Clay a lot of confidence about their chances.

“BimmerWorld had an outstanding debut in the ST class in 2010, but a mechanical issue in the last race left us short on the Championship we all but had locked down. The BimmerWorld ST teams for 2011 were chosen to jump right in to where 2010 left off. With a well-developed car and top-shelf drivers, I am certainly expecting a lot of great racing with all the teams, but I feel good about our championship potential as well.”

Returning to the cockpit is Bill Heumann, a two-time race winner and the MESCO Rookie of the Year in 2010 with BimmerWorld, and David White, his ‘new’ teammate in the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW E90.

White spent the 2010 season partnered with Clay, earning two poles as a rookie, but for 2011, and with Clay and BimmerWorld driver Seth Thomas joining forces to drive one of the team’s new BMW M3 V8s in the Grand Sport class, Heumann and White have come together to form an incredibly strong combination in the No. 80.

Although they drove in different cars last season, Heumann says that the rapport and feedback he and White built in 2010 will allow the duo to hit the ground running at Daytona.

“David and I were teammates last year and friends for years prior so the change to being co-drivers is a very small adjustment for us,” he said. “I think we communicate well and will have no problems in this regard. David has proven to be a good coach and has already given me some tools that have helped make me faster. We have the right chemistry and the right team supporting us.”

White says that he and Heumann have a common goal for the new season, and starting it off with a fast and clean race at Daytona will be critical.

“The 2011 ST field is shaping up to be very competitive with plenty of fast cars and top notch drivers,” he said. “A podium finish at Daytona would be awesome but more importantly we need good, consistent finishes all year to have a shot at the ST team and drivers’ championships. My focus at Daytona will be to start the season off with a finish that will put us on the right path to winning those championships.”

Heumann and White will have new teammates this year, as GRAND-AM standout Gregory Liefooghe and series rookie John Capestro-Du Bets, affectionately known as ‘JCD’ within the team, will drive the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90. Liefooghe, who has quickly adapted to the rear-wheel drive E90, and JCD, who trained in smaller, lighter touring cars, impressed everyone with the pace they showed at the final pre-season test at Daytona earlier this month.

“The test went very well,” said Liefooghe. “After finding our marks, we were able to work on the setup and ended up with a car that was very competitive and consistent. We left Daytona very optimistic for the upcoming race.”

Being surrounded by three experienced ST drivers will help JCD to learn the ropes in GRAND-AM, and with a veteran team and proven car beneath him, the 21-year-old says he’s looking forward to what his first ST campaign will offer.

“Since day one–when I first tested with BimmerWorld at VIR–they have made me feel like family,” he said. “The team is extremely efficient and very motivated. The E90 is amazing! Being an avid BMW fan, I can’t say enough good things about the chassis. The car is great to work with. It’s very responsive to the setup changes we made throughout the test days at Daytona. I feel that competing with BimmerWorld in my rookie season will enable me to demonstrate my talent behind the wheel and desire to continue competing in the GRAND-AM series.”

Like Heumann and White, JCD says he and Liefooghe are heading into Friday’s race seeking the same outcome.

“The goals for Greg and me at the Daytona 200 are to keep the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW in the top-10 while running consistent lap times. I want to hand off a near-perfect car to Gregory so he’ll have the opportunity for a strong finish for our team, and to our championship run. As this is my rookie season in the GRAND-AM, I know I have many things to learn, however, I am confident that with the support of my team, Gregory and Exclusive Management Inc., I will adapt quickly.”

Opening practice for Round 1 of the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship starts on Thursday, January 27th, with the 2.5-hour GRAND-AM 200 race beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday the 28th. Tune into SPEED on February 5th at 3 p.m. ET to watch the race broadcast, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Daytona by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready for GRAND-AM GS Debut at Daytona

January 26th, 2011

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After an intense off-season dominated by building two new cars for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport (GS) category, the BimmerWorld Racing team is ready to unload their BMW M3 V8s at Daytona International Speedway to go racing this week at the season opener.

Drawing from a year of success in the Street Tuner (ST) division, BimmerWorld made the bold move to expand their Dublin, Va.-based GRAND-AM operation from two cars to four in 2011 with the addition of the No. 78 and 79 GS entries.

Built on the heavily refined E92 chassis platform, the BMW experts at BimmerWorld have crafted their finest racing cars yet after drawing from more than a decade of knowledge gained from racing the German cars.

Team owner/driver James Clay, who will pilot the No. 79 BimmerWorld BMW E92 M3 with Seth Thomas, says fans can expect one thing from BimmerWorld’s new GS cars and drivers: “Excellence! We entered GRAND-AM in 2010 with the ST cars with a winning effort and nearly won the championship. The GS cars certainly put us in a field of stiff competition, but just like 2010, we are doing everything at 110 percent and I expect some great results from our team.”

To compliment BimmerWorld’s growth into the GS class, 2009 GS champion Ken Wilden and 2010 GS race winner Bob Michaelian have signed to drive the No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW E92 M3. The formidable pairing in the No. 78 further adds to Clay’s confidence in their GS program.

“I am thrilled to have teammates of Ken and Bob’s caliber. Having two contributing cars to work with speeds up the learning curve on any given weekend and from our Daytona test a few weeks ago, I feel like we will all work together well and will be able to bring different perspectives to the table.”

With a recent GS championship to his credit, Wilden says an aggressive but controlled approach to the Daytona race–the first of nine rounds this year–is the right frame of mind to help earn another GS title.

“The goal is to get points,” he said. “Fireworks are good at the right time if they are needed, but you have to know the right time to push and when to bide your time. Everyone will be going all out in the last part of the race and I expect to be in the battle and competing for a podium.”

It can take quite some time for a driver to settle into a new team, but Michaelian says the environment and resources offered by BimmerWorld have allowed he and Wilden to get down to business immediately.

“Kenny and I have been super impressed with the BimmerWorld team,” he said. “They have a successful track record of winning in every form of motorsports they have competed in. They’ve built very competitive GS cars for us this year, but have also coupled that with a very professional operation. We definitely learned a ton by gong to the test in early January, and the BimmerWorld BWM E92 is an awesome car to drive. We are certainly looking forward to building on those lessons to ensure a successful GS campaign in 2011.”

While Wilden and Michaelian have raced together in GRAND-AM, Clay and Thomas will are embarking on their first season as co-drivers in the No. 79 BMW E92 M3. Just as the drivers in the No. 78 BMW E92 M3 used the early January test at Daytona to familiarize themselves with the team, Clay and Thomas used the test to refine their working process as teammates piloting the same car.

“The test days were just that for us,” said Thomas. “They were days for us to work together, to get the kinks out of our system and get the cars up to speed. When the cars unload at Daytona and we set foot on the track, it is time to attack. The pre-season is over, and now it’s time to get in that championship mindset. We are going to be giving it everything we have to put our BimmerWorld BMWs on the top step of the podium and start this season where we left of last season.”

With the Jason Marks-led BimmerWorld crew is ready to race and the four BimmerWorld GS drivers are eagerly anticipating the start of practice, the technical partners and sponsors supporting the new BimmerWorld BMW E92 M3s are also ready to get the season under way. As a leader in the BMW aftermarket business, BimmerWorld relies on their racing activities to improve their line of parts and services, and with their new GS cars, the R&D process will continue.

“With the higher level of tune of the GS cars, we are fortunate to have Performance Friction involved with a full brake caliper brake kit,” said Clay. “With the GS cars tipping the scales at a hefty 3300 pounds dry, having Performance Friction in our corner will be a huge asset. We have also partnered with AST both on the race and sales side. With all the technology we pour into our race team, it is always good to have a brand like AST involved who offers a wide range of product so that we can apply our hard-earned knowledge for the benefit of our performance tuning and race customers. Rogue Engineering has supplied a couple of technical parts for the new cars and Rays Engineering has sent us some custom TE37 wheels what will take the beating that typically bends other wheels.”

Care and feeding of the BimmerWorld BMW’s powerful V8 engine has also been addressed.

“With the higher power output of the GS cars, driveline stress and heat will be more of a factor for us,” Clay continued. “Red Line Oils is back with us for full engine/driveline lubrication and cooling which gives me confidence when we are pounding away for a few hours straight in 100-degree heat. And C&R Racing Radiators provided radiators and oil coolers for the new cars as well which will undoubtedly provide the same flawless performance their other products have throughout our years together. A lot of knowledge went into our E92s, and I expect that to show throughout the upcoming season.”

Opening practice for Round 1 of the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship starts on Thursday, January 27th, with the 2.5-hour GRAND-AM 200 race beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday the 28th. Tune into SPEED on February 5th at 3 p.m. ET to watch the race broadcast, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Daytona by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Announces CRC Industries, Johnstone Supply as New Partners for 2011 GRAND-AM Season

January 24th, 2011

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BimmerWorld Racing revealed today an energized roster of sponsors and partners for the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season.

BimmerWorld’s familiar blue, white and yellow colors will continue to dress the team’s two BMW E90 Street Tuner (ST) entries and its two new BMW E92 M3 Grand Sport (GS) cars, but fans will find a revised livery and new sponsors in CRC and Johnstone Supply featured prominently in both classes. GearWrench and Chin Motorsports will also return to support BimmerWorld’s four-car team.

CRC Industries, known for its range of popular specialty automotive chemicals, has sponsored BimmerWorld for some time, but as CRC Industries marketing manager Julie Williams explains, CRC’s expanded support of BimmerWorld matches the increased promotional value the team offers with its GRAND-AM racing activities.

“CRC Industries has sponsored BimmerWorld on a smaller level over the past few years and we are so impressed with the growth and hunger we’ve seen from this team,” she said, “that it was an easy decision to increase our partnership with them for 2011. The timing is perfect, too. As we celebrate the 40th birthday of CRC Brakleen(R), the #1 selling brake parts cleaner in the industry, BimmerWorld will play a pivotal role in conveying our brand message and awareness to the next generation of specialty-chemical users.

“It’s a perfect fit for CRC, as we’ll be reaching both professional technicians and heavy DIY’ers with BimmerWorld through the GRAND-AM series. Race fans will recognize that since a winning team like BimmerWorld depends on CRC chemicals for fast results done right the first time, they can rely on CRC for top-tier quality, too.”

The familiar CRC logos will be found on all of BimmerWorld’s GRAND-AM cars, with CRC most prominently displayed on the hoods of the No. 80 and 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90 ST entries.

Johnstone Supply, through Harold Petit, owner of a chain of Johnstone Supply stores, will be found on the hood of the No. 79 BimmerWorld BMW E92 M3 driven by team owner James Clay and his co-driver, Seth Thomas. With more than 350 stores nationwide supporting the HVACR industry, Petit has partnered with Clay’s team with a specific goal in mind.

While CRC Industries is looking to create brand awareness in the sports car community with BimmerWorld, Johnstone Supply is targeting the B2B opportunities that an alliance with BimmerWorld can bring.

“I’ve partnered with BimmerWorld for several reasons. First, as a company, they are friendly, helpful and honest, which matters in a customer service business like mine. Next, I see a great chance to develop new relationships through our partnership with the team to entertain customer and new potential clients through this wonderfully exciting sport. It’s hard not to get excited and motivated to bring your business and your passion together, and even for those who’ve never seen a race in person, I think what we’ll have to offer at the track will open a lot of new doors for our company.”

GearWrench, the maker of precision hand tools and one of BimmerWorld’s most enduring supporters, returns for 2011. The BimmerWorld team found itself in need of lightning-fast fixes throughout the highly competitive 2010 GRAND-AM season, and as Crew Chief Jason Marks explains, having the best tools in the shop, in the paddock and on pit lane is a major advantage when speed and accuracy is required.

“GearWrench products are very innovative and somehow thousands and thousands of years since man began using hand tools, GearWrench still seems to engineer truly impressive tool designs that allow us to do our job faster. Having their products behind us with our expanded 2011 car count is very important to our success.

Chin Motorsports returns to the BimmerWorld fold for 2011 as well as the two companies continue to expand their relationship. Known for their premier high-performance driving experience (HPDE) events, Chin Motorsports will serve as the primary host to BimmerWorld’s large customer base of HPDE enthusiasts, and as a platform for the high-caliber driver coaching services offered by Clay, Thomas, and David White through their NextLevelDriving.com operation.

Fans will get their first live look at BimmerWorld’s new sponsors and livery later this week. Opening practice for Round 1 of the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship starts on Thursday, January 27th, with the 2.5-hour GRAND-AM 200 race beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday the 28th. Tune into SPEED on February 5th at 3 p.m. ET to watch the race broadcast, and follow BimmerWorld’s progress at Daytona by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Completes GRAND-AM GS Lineup with Wilden, Michaelian

January 5th, 2011

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Expanding a racing team from two cars to four requires immense planning and labor, but to make all of that extra effort worthwhile, the best drivers are required. With today’s announcement of Ken Wilden, 2009 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport champion, and 2010 GS race winner Bob Michaelian as the drivers of the No. 78 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M3 V8 GS entry, the team has everything it needs to succeed.

Wilden, who draws from a massive amount of racing experience in open-wheel and touring cars, and Michaelian, who has worked his way up the tin-top ladder with impressive performances at every level, arrive at BimmerWorld after driving together for six races during the 2010 GRAND-AM GS season.

Wilden and Michaelian compliment BimmerWorld’s new-for-2011 GS program that will see team owner/driver James Clay and Seth Thomas partner in the No. 79 BMW M3. BimmerWorld’s two-car GS effort, coupled with their two-car Street Tuner program, gives the Dublin, VA-based outfit the strongest possible program to earn a championship.

Having two proven stars in the No. 78 BimmerWorld entry is a major boost to the team, according to Clay.

“As we were working on our driver lineup for 2011, I had a very short list of GS drivers I wanted as we expanded our program. Having Seth with me in a car was important and filling the other car with a driver pairing equally capable of winning the championship was critical to our program goal. Bob and Kenny are battle-proven and complete our lineup of four championship contenders perfectly.”

For Michaelian, getting a taste of success in GS last year spurred him and Wilden to find the most competitive team to pursue a title.

“I have followed the success of the BimmerWorld team over the last few years and have been super impressed by the competitiveness and professionalism of their operation. Kenny and I both are excited about the opportunity to partner with BimmerWorld. Given the competitiveness of the team as well as the strength of the BMW M3 platform, we are looking forward to putting together a strong effort for the championship in 2011.”

As Wilden shares, the decision to move to BimmerWorld and the renowned M3 V8 package was done only after careful consideration.

“It was a long vetting process for sure, and I feel it was very thorough. We looked at multiple teams and manufacturers. The history and past performance of each team and car was reviewed, and we had multiple conversations over the last few months before coming to a conclusion. Bob and I really felt that BimmerWorld ranked higher in our assessment.”

With so much promise shown in 2010, Wilden believes he and Michaelian have the right tools and team beneath them to succeed.

“We are going into this year with the expectation of being able to compete for wins with the BimmerWorld package, and to have a very high average overall finishing record. We expect the reliability of the BimmerWorld BMW will get us to the finish of every race consistently, which is crucial in this series. That might seem like high expectations, but that is what you need to win a championship. That’s the formula that helped me to win the 2009 GS championship, and that’s the same focus we’ll have in 2011.”

Commercial support is a vital element of fielding a competitive effort, and as Michaelian explains, his sponsorship roster is the driving force behind his championship aspirations.

“Bizrate.com is coming on board to support our 2011 GS efforts. I have had the great fortune of working at Shopzilla, Inc. for almost 11 years. Shopzilla, Inc. owns and operates multiple web properties including Bizrate.com, Shopzilla.com, Beso.com, and TaDa.com. The company is a special group of people and I feel privileged to showcase our product on the BWR car in 2011. I have helped run both the Shopzilla and Bizrate websites for the last 5 years and am excited about the opportunity to showcase the Bizrate brand in the GRAND-AM series. The GRAND-AM brand is synonymous with putting out a quality product so we feel like it’s a great place to highlight the quality service that Bizrate provides its consumers.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com as they prepare for the 2011 GS season opener during this weekend’s test at Daytona International Speedway.

Bizrate is the trusted shopping resource, linking shoppers with over a million products, brands, and stores with one click. Bizrate enables shoppers to search for virtually every product, store, brand, and deal on the web. Shop the biggest names you know to the small but trustworthy stores just waiting to be found. Compare across products, prices, and store information. Quickly access all the ratings and reviews you need to make a confident buying decision. With Bizrate, shoppers can find the right product, at the right price, every time.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld’s Clay and Thomas Unite to Drive GS-Class BMW M3 V8

December 22nd, 2010

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The names James Clay and Seth Thomas have been synonymous with BimmerWorld’s multi-car assault in touring car competition and, starting in 2010, the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Street Tuner (ST) championship. Despite their long association, the two veterans have never shared a car in a professional racing series.

All of that will change starting next January when Clay and Thomas partner to drive the No. 79 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8 in the Grand Sport (GS) class as the season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway.

Clay, who owns and runs BimmerWorld’s successful BMW performance shop and the four-car BimmerWorld Racing team, says the opportunity to partner with Thomas behind the wheel of their new BMW E92 chassis has come at the perfect time.

“The ‘driver/team owner’ label that I am often given is actually more ‘team owner/driver,’ honestly. I have to make decisions based on what is best for the team and unfortunately that usually puts my opinions as a driver at the lowest level of consideration. However, this year everything fell into place perfectly with Bill Heumann and David White returning to impart their experience in the ST program and Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets filling the other car with a competitive driver package. This leaves me with the freedom to put my driving focus toward the GS program where I am most needed. Being able to finally team up with Seth in the new program is awesome – it has been a long time coming.”

Thomas says he leapt at the invitation to partner with Clay in 2011.

“Honestly, we have talked about partnering in a car for the last few years, and this year seems to be the perfect year to make this partnership come true with the new E92 M3 effort. When James asked me, I jumped in immediately. BimmerWorld just came off one of its most successful years in racing; having James and I in the same car will give us the strongest chance possible to win the GS championship. Last season–our first in GRAND-AM–gave people a taste of what we could do. 2011 is a year for us to drive home what BimmerWorld is really about.”

Both drivers are incredibly fast and share almost 20 years of combined racing experience, yet Clay and Thomas bring different strengths and skills to the No. 79 E92.

“Beyond the team owner duties which go into autopilot on a race weekend, my strongest ability as a driver is setup and chassis development, which will be important in this new program,” said Clay. “I have an engineering background and I have built cars from the ground up, so I have a strong grasp of how everything works mechanically. Wayne Yawn, our engineer for the last four years, and I work together like a well-oiled machine which will be very important in getting us up to speed immediately.”

After five years of driving the BMW E90 platform, Thomas expects to carry all of the knowledge he’s gained to compliment his share of the E92′s driving duties.

“Driving the E92 is going to be a lot different than what I am used to from the E90. The car is heavier, has two more cylinders, more power, wider tires, and bigger brakes. But, it is still has that classic BMW feel in the way it drives and performs. The races are going to be about keeping the car under me for the duration of my stint, which I feel is one of my strong points. Driving with James will help me to develop this style further along with pushing the limits of the car better to be a faster all around driver. I can’t think of a better balanced team than James and I.”

With the driver lineup of BimmerWorld’s first GS entry in place, Clay says he would rather let their performances do the talking next year, rather than make bold predictions for what he and Thomas can accomplish.

“Certainly we will have our work cut out for us in the GS program, but we don’t enter a series if we don’t think we will be competitive. The new cars are awesome and we have already learned a lot about the chassis in World Challenge and the tweaks required for Continental Series cars in our ST program and so far everything seems to be translating to the GS program.”

Thomas expects the GS class–one filled with big, V8-powered cars from Detroit–to be just as tough as the ST class proved to be in 2010.

“I think the competition with the E92 will be tough just like last year with the E90s, but our strengths compared to what our competitors have to offer is still very similar. One of our strong points last year was the Performance Friction brakes; they never faded or changed throughout a race. With PFC brakes returning on our E92 M3s, we know what kind of punishment they can take, and best of all, that they will be there for us when other cars are struggling.”

Clay partnered with David White in 2010, while Thomas shared driving duties with Bill Heumann, which helped White and Heumann to establish themselves as top pilots in the Street Tuner class. White earned two pole positions during his rookie season of GRAND-AM racing, while Heumann scored two wins, the MESCO Rookie of the Year award and finished second in the ST championship. Based on their standout performances, White and Heumann have teamed to drive the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW E90 next season.

Although Clay and Thomas will no longer be sharing the cockpit with rookies, they will still provide the same level of coaching and support to all of the drivers under BimmerWorld’s tent in 2011.

“Seth and I won’t have rookie drivers with us, but that won’t change how we work as a team, how we debrief as a group, or how we coach and analyze data after each session. With Greg and John in the No. 81, David and Bill in the No. 80, and our teammates in the pending sister GS BimmerWorld entry, all of our resources and experience will go into the team. All the tools for winning have been put in place.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s progress as they prepare for the 2011 season by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

BimmerWorld Completes ST Lineup with David White and Bill Heumann

December 9th, 2010

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Dublin, VA

The final piece of BimmerWorld Racing’s 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner puzzle fell into place today, as two of the team’s stars from the 2010 ST championship have joined forces for the upcoming season.

Bill Heumann, a two-time ST race winner in 2010 and also the MESCO Rookie of the Year, and David White, a two-time poll winner and one of the most impressive rookies in the 2010 field, will partner to drive the No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW E90 in their quest to win the championship.

While Heumann co-drove with Seth Thomas in 2010, and White shared a car with BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay, the sophomore ST drivers will come together in 2011 to create one of the most formidable entries in the class. Heumann and White will be joined by Greg Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets in the sister No. 81 BimmerWorld E90.

As two of his star pupils last season, Clay says Heumann and White are ready to deliver on the talent and promise they regularly showed in their first season of GRAND-AM racing.

“I was very excited to have Bill and David back for 2011. They are solid team members and excellent drivers. Certainly the 2010 season was a learning experience for these two new pro drivers, but their progression through the season was fantastic and I think in year two, they will be a very solid combination. They work incredibly hard to become the best drivers possible, and I expect that kind of dedication to continue to translate into results next year.”

Although Heumann and White will serve as teammates for the first time, White says the close-knit structure within BimmerWorld during the 2010 season helped the two to form a strong working relationship.

“I’ve known Bill for years and while we’ve never shared a car, our familiarity with each other should help us be competitive right out of the gate in 2011. All of the BimmerWorld drivers spent a tremendous amount of time reviewing each other’s data and video last season in an effort to maximize our performance so Bill and I are very familiar with each other’s driving styles and habits. This will certainly help minimize any adjustment period of having a new co-driver.”

Learning a new series and new racing tracks is a daunting task for any rookie driver, but for Heumann and White, returning for their second season of ST competition and racing on familiar circuits is a proposition they look forward to.

“The only new tracks for me this season will be Laguna Seca and Road America,” said Heumann, “and we will make sure I know them by the time qualifying rolls around. Dave showed throughout 2010 that he had the speed and consistency to do what the anchor driver needs to do.”

Being able to draw on the setup information from the 2010 season will also help the No. 80 and 81 entries, according to White.

“I think that returning to eight out of the ten tracks we raced at in 2010 will play in to our favor. We now have a wealth of driver and setup data for those tracks that we didn’t have last season which will help us get the cars dialed in and provide a baseline for driver performance.”

The competitiveness of the BimmerWorld-built BMW E90s last season served notice that the Virginia-based BMW experts would be a force to reckon with throughout the championship. With the benefit of a few months between seasons, the BimmerWorld team has worked non-stop to make their cars even better, which White believes will pay off once the season gets under way.

“The BimmerWorld Racing crew has been extremely busy this off-season tearing down, rebuilding, and improving the two ST cars in addition to building two brand new GS cars. Anyone who knows these guys won’t be surprised by what they can and do accomplish in short time frames; their work ethic was the biggest factor in BimmerWorld’s success last year. The cars got better each time we drove them last year and I know that they will be better than ever at Daytona in January.”

BimmerWorld’s team owner confirmed White’s assessment, and says that despite the lack of racing, the work has never stopped in their newly-expanded shop.
“The E90 328i cars are currently in the middle of their winter teardown,” said Clay, “in which we strip them down to bare shells, inspect every part and replace all of the worn items with fresh units for 2011. We then implement all the items we wanted to but never had time to during the course of the 2010 season. Certainly we are never content to rest on our heels and approach 2011 with the 2010 car, and I expect our package to be strong for the coming season.”
The excitement within the BimmerWorld camp was obvious when Heumann and White spoke of their goals for the 2011 season.

“My goal for 2011 is to win the ST driver’s and team championship,” said White. “Of course that is every other ST driver’s goal as well, but I wouldn’t mention it as a goal if I didn’t believe we or the team couldn’t deliver on it.”

Heumann’s goals are similar to White’s.

“I want to do the things I did well in 2010, but do them a little faster! I plan to be up to race speed a little earlier in the weekend, to qualify in the Top 5 and give Dave the car at the front of the field. If I do those things well, we’ll be in good shape.”

Finalizing BimmerWorld’s ST plans for 2011 has Clay feeling positive about their E90 program, but reiterated that the team will be run as a single unit with four cars in two classes, rather than as two separate teams vying for individual ST and GS honors.

“I’m incredibly happy with the strength of our ST lineup, but it’s worth repeating that BimmerWorld’s focus for 2011 isn’t our new GS program, it is winning two championships in two different programs. To do this, we have to have potent driver combinations to match the equipment in every car we are fielding and I think our chosen ST pairings fit the bill perfectly to attack that championship and finish where we left off in 2010.”

Follow BimmerWorld Racing’s progress throughout the off-season at BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Signs Liefooghe and Capestro-Dubets for 2011 Continental ST Season

December 2nd, 2010

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BimmerWorld Racing announced the first of its two 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge entries today after signing Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets to drive in the 10-race championship.

Liefooghe, 29, joins BimmerWorld after a successful 2010 season in the ST class adjusting to the nuances of production car-based racing after cutting his teeth in the world of open-wheel competition. With support from Exclusive Management Inc., Liefooghe will transition to driving one of BimmerWorld’s race-winning BMW E90s. With numerous poles and wins in 2010, BimmerWorld’s proven platform of providing its clients with the best machinery and team support is expected to bring Liefooghe closer to his goal of becoming a GRAND-AM champion.

“When looking at BimmerWorld,” Liefooghe said, “it’s easy to see how much focus and determination they bring to their racing program. You can feel a very strong culture coming from years of experience and commitment. Obviously, all that hard work showed on track where their E90s where always running upfront. When and I talked about my 2011 plans with my manager, Michael Duncalfe, it just seemed like a logical choice to go after a championship with BimmerWorld.”

A measured performance throughout the year is what Liefooghe expects to make the difference in the championship standings.

“We will be focusing on consistency because that is what wins championship at the end of the year, and we will be fighting hard for podiums as well. I feel that with BimmerWorld’s support, I can develop further as a driver and the motivation will be very high with that many people pushing hard behind you.”

The talent and potential shown by Liefooghe in his first season of Street Tuner will be complimented in 2011 with the addition or rising star John Capestro-Dubets as his co-driver.

“I think driving with John will be great,” said Liefooghe. “Even though he has limited experience in sports cars, he is already up to speed and he learns very fast. He’s coming in with the right attitude and I feel that I have been paired up with a strong driver who will be able to hand me a very solid car in a great position.”

While the 21-year-old JCD is still adding to his pro racing resume, the resident of San Diego, CA spent 2010 preparing for his graduation to GRAND-AM by competing in the highly-respected Skip Barber Mazdaspeed MX-5 Challenge series.
The move to BimmerWorld, as JCD shares, was made after careful consideration of what would benefit his burgeoning career the most.

“Because 2010 was my first season in racing and I was so focused on the task at hand, I didn’t want to make a hasty decision on which teams to consider in the Street Tuner class. However, with the help and guidance of my manager and coach, Michael Duncalfe of Exclusive Management Inc., we selected BimmerWorld for the 2011 season. The team has an incredible work ethic on and off the track – which was a big draw for us. BimmerWorld’s team owner, James Clay, and the rest of the crew made us feel like we were a part of the BimmerWorld family from the moment we walked into their race shop. We tested at VIR a month ago and I knew instantly that we had found the right team for my first year in a professional racing series.”

JCD’s speed and consistency will translate perfectly to the rigors of the Street Tuner class, and after earning four wins and eight Top 5 finishes in the Skip Barber series, the “California Combo” of he and Liefooghe should make for one of the most exciting duos next season.

Like Liefooghe, Capestro-Dubets is also supported by Exclusive Management Inc., and the existing ties between the two drivers should help to accelerate Capestro-Dubets’ career.

“My goals for the 2011 season are to learn from my teammate Greg and the entire BimmerWorld crew,” he said, “and also to develop into a front-running driver at every event. Since my season in the Skip Barber series concluded, I have continued to train extensively at the gym and on my driving simulator. I want to be in the best shape possible, mentally and physically for our first race in Daytona in January. Greg and I work really well together, and I expect that we be challenging at the front in Daytona. It won’t be easy, but I’d love nothing more than to help deliver a championship to BimmerWorld in 2011.”

BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay says helping his two new drivers to maximize their potential is just what the BimmerWorld Racing program is designed to do.

“We had a great first year in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, and for 2011, our goal is to step up even further. Our team delivered poles and wins for our two rookie drivers in 2010, and with the benefit of having two experienced drivers like Greg and John in the car for 2011, everyone at BimmerWorld is really excited to go racing.”

Liefooghe and JCD will make their public debut behind the wheel of their BimmerWorld BMW E90 at the “Roar Before the 24″ test in early January. Based on what he saw of Liefooghe’s driving last season, and on how JCD has fared in private testing with the team so far, Clay has high expectations once the season gets under way on January 28th at Daytona International Speedway.

“Greg is an extremely solid driver to begin with and will continue to impress people, and although John is at the early stages of his career, he’s shown us that he has the right ingredients to succeed in this sport. I am looking forward to the results these two will achieve in their BimmerWorld car.”

The rest of BimmerWorld’s 2011 driver line-up will be made shortly. Follow all of the latest news and progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld On Pace for 2011 GS Debut

November 24th, 2010

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Hot on the heels of one of the strongest Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge debuts in recent history, Dublin, Va.-based BimmerWorld Racing has been working non-stop towards their goal of adding two brand-new Grand Sport class BMW M3s to their GRAND-AM program for 2011.

Growing from two cars to four for 2011 has been a part of BimmerWorld’s plans since it entered the series, and special attention has been paid to expanding the team’s personnel and infrastructure to make BWR’s addition of a GS program as smooth and seamless as possible.

“We are always working on our future plans well ahead of schedule,” said BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay, “and the addition of GS M3s has been kept quiet while the work has gone on behind the scenes. For us, this has always been about expanding to four cars, and less about ‘moving up’ to GS. Both classes of racing are equally important to us, and both programs receive identical levels of commitment and expertise from my team.”

The team’s two-car Street Tuner effort in 2010 netted BWR pole positions, wins and almost resulted in the ST championship in their first attempt. While an updated and improved pair of BMW 328s will return to fight for the ST championship next season, they will be joined by two V8-powered M3s that have been engineered and built by BWR’s respected team of fabricators and technicians.

With more than a decade of experience in building top caliber BMW racing cars, Clay says their new GS M3s represent the finest cars to come out of their expansive shop.

“10 years later, our same adage still holds true – every car we build is better than the last. Our E90 Touring cars were built with engineering features I had never seen in practice and turned out to be an incredibly solid and durable platform through their four years of life and beyond. A change of series and rules dictated a different approach to our GRAND-AM ST car builds but the craftsmanship and quality continued to progress. Never relying on BMW Motorsport as a chassis supplier, we have years of chassis fabrication and design knowledge and the E92 M3 GS design is the next evolution of what I feel is industry-leading work.”

BimmerWorld recently tested the GS M3 for the first time at Virginia International Raceway, and Clay says the shakedown run went according to plan.

“I had the honor of driving the first laps in the new GS M3, and under the watchful eyes of our team of craftsmen, I gingerly left the pits watched the gauges, and radioed in my reports of systems checks, followed by saying ‘man, this chassis is amazing!’ There is no doubt the new car is full race-bred now and even while we wait on some of the bits we will run in race trim, the underlying platform is just fantastic. I can’t wait to test the car in anger shortly!”

As BimmerWorld continues to refine their new-for-2011 GS cars, Clay explained how the technical partnerships that make their ST 328s so successful have been carried over to the GS M3s.

“In addition to our chassis work, we have strong ties with our technical partners from years of professional racing. In the new GS program, where racing brake calipers are allowed, Performance Friction will be involved in a bigger way. We have partnered with AST, the new suspension damper supplier who I feel will provide us with a superior product and we are in the process of becoming intimately familiar with their parts. Rays is making us a special BimmerWorld Edition race wheel and just as the TE-37 was in 2010, I expect it to be both very light and amazingly durable. We have a host of other industry friends at work as well and I think the culmination of our creation will be impressive. This is by no means a run-of-the-mill GS M3.”

The BimmerWorld M3′s will see their race debut at Daytona on January 28th, and according to Clay, and intensive testing program will take place leading up to the event. After finishing on the ST podium in their series debut last January, repeating that feat in GS is clearly motivating the team.

“We will have a rigorous testing schedule to ensure that we are ready to cross the starting line at full speed when we race at Daytona in January. Results are hard to guarantee in a series as competitive as this one, but the one thing we can guarantee is that everyone is working as hard as humanly possible to deliver top finishes for our drivers and sponsors. Our driver slate is not full on the GS side, so we will be working with interested drivers through this period as well to find the correct fit for the season.”

The depth of talent within the ranks of BimmerWorld Racing — from crew chief Jason Marks to engineer/race strategist Wayne Yawn to everyone else that touches the cars — has been the team’s secret to success. For what is arguably the most driven team in the paddock, an insatiable hunger for winning is what continues to fuel BWR’s fire.

If losing the 2010 ST championship on a statistical tie wasn’t enough to push the team harder for 2011, Clays says everyone within his camp has a point to prove once the new season arrives.

“I will say that we left 2010 feeling deprived of our championship season. The ST cars will be back in full force and with a seasoned team and well-sorted cars, I have high expectations. We never stop working or developing, and the ST program is sure to benefit from a little off-season love. After a season spent at the front of the field, I’d say we learned an amazing amount about the series, the rules, the strategy and how to field the best cars possible. I look forward to showing what we can do with all of that experience on our side.”

Follow BimmerWorld Racing’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Goes Three-in-a-Row at VIR 13 Hour

November 10th, 2010

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After securing the overall win at the 2010 edition of the VIR 13 Hour, held at the daunting 3.2-mile in the Virginia countryside, the Va.-based BimmerWorld Racing team had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

BimmerWorld’s latest VIR 13 Hour win marked their third straight overall win at the event, and not only did they achieve the impossible by winning three-in-a-row, they’ve done it with a nearly identical car, crew, and driver lineup that started the streak in 2008.

With the growing popularity of the event and bigger teams joining every year, taking their battle worn 1992 BMW 325i back to contest the race this year was a risk. But after 13 hours of racing – nearly half a season’s worth of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car challenge series action – the trusty BMW that started life as a $1000 donor car delivered the BimmerWorld team to Victory Circle once again.

In what the team has described as an annual reunion of friends, the close-knit BimmerWorld Racing outfit returned with a familiar driving combo – team owner/driver James Clay, Clay’s GRAND-AM teammate David White, BimmerWorld crew chief Jason Marks, BimmerWorld crew member Lance Boicelli, and 13 Hour veteran Tim Smith.

The only new addition to the driving ranks came with Nathaniel Sparks, and as Clay shared, entrusting his young new co-driver with the keys to the 325i was not a concern.

“This race is won with consistency and smart driving and I was both comfortable with Nate in the car and happy to have him join us. Otherwise, the other five spots were filled by the same perennial cast of characters, and they all know how to win.”

The team’s BMW 325i was also largely unchanged, with Performance Friction, Red Line Oils, GearWrench, Hank Thomas Fuels/Sunoco, and ATL all playing integral roles in the performance of the car. The only major difference to note was a switch to Hoosier Race Tires, and as the team soon found, that move alone was worth a few seconds per lap while delivering incredibly consistent grip.

BimmerWorld’s 13 Hour event was preceded by the team’s first test of their new-for-2011 GRAND-AM BMW E92 M3 that is destined to race in the Grand Sport class alongside their BMW E90 Street Tuner cars. After a successful shakedown test at VIR with the E92, Clay stepped into the 18-year-old 325i and qualified third overall.

With qualifying out of the way, Clay handed the car over to his teammates for the rest of Friday and the BimmerWorld crew prepared for a long Saturday filled with racing.

David White, who used his experience from the 2009 13 Hour to prepare for his first season of GRAND-AM racing, took the start of the race for the team and settled into BimmerWorld’s game plan of fast but consistent laps. While six-figure racing cars streaked out into the lead, White fell into a rhythm that allowed the 325i to stretch its fuel tank farther than the leaders.

In a classic case of the Tortoise and the Hare, White was promoted to the lead as the high-powered cars were forced to pit for fuel. The BMW’s combination of great handling, incredible braking and a fuel-sipping engine might not sound like the perfect endurance racing tool when compared to Porsches, American V-8s, and other exotic machinery, but with the competition spending so much time in the pits to top up their tanks, BimmerWorld’s classic 325i began to overwhelm the field.

With White handing over to Sparks, the same “efficiency beats brute horsepower” scenario played out once again, and Boicelli continued to execute the plan when he took over for the third stint. Running in second place when he pulled out of the pits, Boicelli – also a BMWCCA road racing champion – swapped the lead with a rather persistent Porsche, and completed his run in first before handing Clay the controls.

With a one-lap lead over the Porsche, Clay continued the follow the script by preserving the car, avoiding contacts and handing over the BMW to Tim Smith to carry the baton. The workman-like performance by the BimmerWorld drivers allowed the team to start dreaming of another 13 Hour win just past the halfway mark.

Problems with mechanical reliability is the most common reason for a team to suffer a poor result in endurance racing, and as they found in 2008 and 2009, the choice of a simple, proven car like the 325i paid huge dividends as the race moved towards the final chapter. Smith logged his usual flawless performance, but BimmerWorld’s main challenger – the Porsche – began to suffer some form of mechanical malady, losing a number of laps as a result.

As time wound down in the 13-hour event, the car’s owner, Jason Marks, got his first taste of racing as the sun fell and held the lead before pitting to give one driver a special treat. After years of dedicating his free time to flying out from the west coast and crewing for BimmerWorld, the team chose to put Boicelli back in the car to take the sturdy BMW to the checkered flag.

With the Californian crossing the start/finish line to secure BimmerWorld’s amazing run of wins at the VIR 13 Hour, the team also celebrated a third-place finish by their sister car, making for an all-BMW podium.

The art of winning an endurance race is hard to perfect, but as Clay explained after the race, having the right people within the program makes all the difference.

“When we won the first two times here we were learning a lot about endurance racing. We took what we learned into pro racing with GRAND-AM this season and almost won the championship, but coming back to the 13 Hour really showed me how much BimmerWorld Racing has grown in this sport. We worked like a unit, and had a lot of fun while doing so. Now we’ll go back to preparing for our assault on the 2011 GRAND-AM ST and GS championships and this win is the perfect springboard to get there.”

The first GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car challenge race of 2011 takes place at Daytona International Speedway on January 28th. Follow BimmerWorld’s progress during the off season at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Suffers Heartbreak at 2010 Street Tuner Finale

September 14th, 2010

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The hardest defeats to suffer are often the ones where no errors were made and no fault can be found.

After following a perfectly crafted game plan from the first race of the season in January to the final race last weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, BimmerWorld’s dreams of earning a championship were dashed by a freak drivetrain problem with the No. 81 BMW of Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann.

Leading the Street Tuner division of the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship for the last three races, Thomas and Heumann came into Miller Motorsports Park with 19 points in hand and feeling confident about their chances to take the ST championship home.

For Thomas, a veteran BMW road racer, and Heumann, a rookie to the pro racing ranks, 2010 had been a magical season highlighted by two wins and a fast, steady approach that kept the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW in contention at the first nine of 10 events.

But as so often happens, and despite all of the amazing accomplishments by the first-year Street Tuner team, when bad luck strikes, there’s nothing one can do but try to persevere and overcome, as team owner/driver James Clay shares.

“Miller was a terrible race result from us, but I am proud to be surrounded by the guys we have on the team. Even knowing the harsh consequences, they handled the adversity in stride and did a fantastic job getting the No. 81 car back out on the track. I never thought the championship was locked up – I have been in racing long enough to know better. But at the end of the day, I know we did an awesome job, we got tangled up in bad luck at the absolute worst possible time, and that is just how racing can be.”

Leading up to Round 10, as the team says, was no different than any other race. The Jason Marks-led crew worked just as hard to deliver two perfectly prepared BMW E90s, and the team’s sponsors and vendors gave their all to ensure the BimmerWorld/GearWrench cars had every ounce of speed and reliability they needed to clinch the title.

Yet a broken differential early in the race forced Heumann to pit for immediate repairs where Marks and his technicians leapt into action. Replacing a searing hot differential is normally an hour’s work, but the BimmerWorld team, equipped with an arsenal of highly-efficient GearWrench tools, had the car back on track in just over 30 minutes. With an impossible gap to overcome, Thomas took the controls of the No. 81 and put in the drive of the year, climbing from dead last to 20th place by the time the checkered flag fell on the 2010 season.

The heroic efforts by the team, Thomas, and Heumann meant the No. 81 car ended the season tied for the points lead at 274, tied for wins and also second-place finishes with the No. 74 car. Deciding the 2010 ST championship came down to which car had the most third-place finishes, and with the Utah third-place finish, the no. 74 car was awarded the title.

For Thomas, the having the championship decided on third-place finishes is still hard to fathom.

“Honestly I am still at a loss of words after the MMP race. The BimmerWorld crew performed as they have all year, above and beyond what every team in the paddock is capable of. They were incredible. Changing the complete diff in 30 minutes under a hot racecar to keep us in the fight for a championship is nothing short of amazing. I hate that we couldn’t bring home the big trophy after their hard work but the results from this season are because of each one of them.

“Losing the championship due to a tie in the points is tough. I wanted this more than anything I have ever wanted in racing and to lose it after our only tough weekend all year is hard. January can’t get here soon enough as I feel BimmerWorld and I have some unfinished business left in ST.”

Thomas’ teammate was thankful for the job the BimmerWorld crew performed, and says he looks back on the 2010 season with great fondness.

“It was incredible that our crew was able to not only get No. 81 back on track but in a short enough time that we were still in contention for the championship,” said Heumann. “The opportunity to be part of this team and to do as well as we did this season are clearly accomplishments that I am very proud of. Simply to be counted as BWR team driver with Seth, James and Dave is an awesome ego stroke!

“I joined the BWR team to insure that I continued to grow and develop as a driver and person. I knew the learning curve was going to be very steep in the driving department but I wanted the challenge. With the help of the team, and particularly Seth’s coaching, I met my goals. But I had no idea that what I would learn in life lessons would be even more significant. After all, I have had a few more years of experience in this department than most of the guys. Without adversity and challenge, there aren’t any real lessons to learn so I don’t have any regrets at all.”

Heumann’s incredible performances throughout the year also netted him the MESCO Rookie of the Year award.

The race for the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car of Clay and David White was short-lived in Utah, with White retiring just 16 laps into the race.

“The Miller race was certainly disappointing for us and leaves me wanting to get back behind the wheel more than ever,” said White. “This season was a huge learning experience for me and I look forward to using that knowledge to capture some race wins and a championship in 2011.”

Clay echoed White’s sentiments.

“As a driver I am certainly left unsatisfied after this season, but when I look back in retrospect to learn what I can about it, there isn’t a lot I would change other than our luck. Certainly I will regroup and enter next season even more focused, and with some experience in the series under my belt. And while luck is random at times, I do realize you make your own luck as well and with the BimmerWorld team behind us, I feel good about that part of the equation.”

With the 2011 season just four months away, Clay believes the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team is poised to make an even stronger run at the 2011 ST championship.

“We came in to 2010 prepared with all the book knowledge we could glean about how the series runs and what we needed to do to win. Unfortunately at a few key places along the route, we had to learn a few lessons that had to do with the ‘way things run’ in GRAND-AM and didn’t fall as we would have expected. I have said through the season that what made our team so strong in our first year is that we were always actively learning and fine-tuning our procedures and as we prepare for 2011, we have the street knowledge to back up our formal education and our team doesn’t repeat mistakes.”

After an amazing debut season in GRAND-AM, Clay says a difficult loss to end the season will only serve to inspire BimmerWorld in the off season.

“All of our partners and sponsors are committed to earning the championship next season. GearWrench allowed us to make a differential change in record time, for example. Performance Friction gave us a braking advantage at every track on every lap. Red Line Oil kept our BMWs cool when a lot of our competitors began to fade in the heat of summer. And RAYS delivered wheels that withstood a lot of bumps and bruises throughout the year. Everybody contributed. We have a new Grand Sport BMW in the works for 2011, and all of our partners are working incredibly hard so that our second season of GRAND-AM will be even stronger.”

Tune in to watch the 2010 ST finale on SPEED this Saturday, September 18th at 9 p.m. ET.

Follow BimmerWorld Racing throughout the winter at www.BimmerworldRacing.com as they prepare for the 2011 Street Tuner championship, and as they prepare their new BMW E92 Grand Sport car for the 2011 championship.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready for Street Tuner Showdown at Season Finale

September 7th, 2010

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Dublin, VA

The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge finale this weekend is loaded with ‘make or break’ opportunities for Dublin, Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing, and it’s just the kind of pressure the BMW experts have prepared for.

After a year’s worth of hard work, building two brand-new racecars, and moving the team to a new series with a different style of racing, everything comes down to the race this Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. And if everything goes according to plan, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team could earn a lot of new hardware to add to their trophy case.

Sitting atop the Street Tuner class with a slim 19-point lead in the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships, the two-car BimmerWorld team can clinch the driving title for Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann and the team title for the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench entry provided their recent run of strong results continues.

Heumann is also leading the MESCO Rookie of the Year standings, giving BimmerWorld a shot at collecting three major titles in their first season of GRAND-AM competition.

With a finish of 14th or better, Thomas, Heumann and BimmerWorld/GearWrench will be champions, and after focusing on achieving this result non-stop since the season opener in January, team owner James Clay says he can’t wait for the action to get under way.

“We are all very excited to get to Miller and get this season wrapped up. I don’t think we are living on pins and needles, but I wouldn’t say anyone here is terribly relaxed these days. Luckily, we have plenty to fill our plates to keep us occupied with the new shop and new GS cars for the 2011 season coming together.”

Earning two wins from nine races would be enough to satisfy most teams that are new to a series, but as Clay explains, the growth of his team has been the most impressive part of the 2010 season.

“This year has been not only a great year for us with race results, but it has been a phenomenal year behind the scenes. Our partners and sponsors have been great to work with and very supportive of our new program. Team members, including management, mechanics, drivers, and even our photographer have gelled perfectly. I think our results are a testament to the team we have assembled, and they are the reason for what we have been able to achieve.”

Preparation has been one of the hallmarks for the BimmerWorld team, with a particular emphasis being placed on getting Heumann and David White, rookie driver of the No. 80 BMW, seat time at the majority of the circuits they’ve never driven on. For Seth Thomas, coaching his co-driver at a track like Miller Motorsports Park ahead of the grand finale is the best way to improve their chances of succeeding this weekend.

“With one race left in the season and the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car leading the points, I can’t wait to get back to Utah and get the job done. Bill and I have worked hard all season long to perform at our best, and that includes leaving no stone unturned. We want every advantage we can find, and getting Bill and David ready for each new track ahead of time is part of our game plan. My old high school basketball coach used to tell us ‘there’s no ‘I’ in team,’ and that’s a perfect description of how we’ve approached this championship. We are 100 percent prepared for Utah, and in our No. 81 car, Bill has been working his tail off to get ready for the race and our team has put in countless hours to give us a car that will run up front. We’re ready.”

In the world of professional racing, it’s rare to find a rookie on the cusp of winning a championship, but thanks to steely nerves and a rock steady approach to his craft, Heumann says his nerves are anything but frayed as the finish to an amazing season approaches.

“I feel really good about the upcoming race. We have worked hard all season and I am well rested for this one. I don’t really feel any more pressure for this race than any of the others, and actually quite a bit less than most. The track is big and open and our BMW E90s should do very well with the multiple transitions and big brake zones. This should be a lot of fun.”

The sister No. 80 BMW E90 of Clay and White are out of the running for a championship, but that doesn’t mean they’ve set their sights any lower for Miller Motorsports Park. Sitting 5th in drivers’ points, the two have come tantalizingly close to winning this year, and with one chance left to make that happen, Clay says they will give it everything they have, but won’t go over the top.

“Looking back, we have had a lot of challenges, but I am sure Bill and Seth appreciate having a bad luck magnet on the team. As we go into Miller, David and I are still looking for that first series win, but going for broke to force it to happen is rarely a smart move. I am going to put my head down, work hard, and take what comes our way.”

David White echoed Clay’s comments, and would clearly like to end his first season of ST competition on a high.

“I’d love to capture that elusive first win at Miller to close out the season and I plan on working just as hard as I have all year to make that possible. The outer course at Miller should suit the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMWs well and their proven consistency throughout the race will be the key to a strong finish. This is a highly polished team, but we’re also fighters. If we have a clean shot at victory, it will be hard to pry it away from us.”

The 2.5-hour Salt Lake City 200 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on the 3.048-mile Miller Motorsports Park circuit starts this Saturday at 4:45 p.m. MT. Follow BimmerWorld’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Expanding to Grand Sport Class for 2011

August 24th, 2010

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After a debut season in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series that has gone just as team owner/driver James Clay envisioned, the Dublin, VA-based BMW experts are proud to officially announce their expansion into the Grand Sport (GS) class for 2011 with brand-new BMW E92 M3 chassis cars.

Leading the Street Tuner (ST) driver and team championships with one race to go, the GearWrench-sponsored outfit is perfectly positioned to add the GS program to their stables after gaining invaluable experience during their first season of GRAND-AM competition.

As Clay shares, the endurance racing format that GRAND-AM offers is a perfect match for his company and his clients, making BimmerWorld’s growth possible.
“I am very happy with our entry into GRAND-AM racing in 2010 with the ST program. This was our year to learn the series and develop our procedures and behind-the-scenes structure, as well as to make sure we were choosing a good home for our racing efforts. I couldn’t be any happier with GRAND-AM and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series – they are a truly professional and forward-thinking organization and this is where we want to be. Now that we have settled in and have our team framework in place, we are ready to grow into our next planned step – our GS program.”

One point Clay stressed was that while GRAND-AM offers a clear ladder for teams to climb, the addition of a GS program is by no means an indication of their desire to move away from the Street tuner class.

“For the BimmerWorld team, the GS program is not our new focus or our ‘step up’ into a faster class. The level of competition in the GS class is certainly top-notch, but we have found the same to be true this season in the ST class. I feel our GS cars will allow us to diversify and expand, and both the ST and GS programs will have the same requirement of us as a team – our absolute best effort, every weekend.”

A major part of BimmerWorld’s success in 2010 can be attributed to the team that Clay has spent nearly a decade crafting into one of the most respected operations in North America. With veteran crew chief Jason Marks overseeing the build of the GS cars – just as he did for both of the ST BMWs – and Wayne Yawn looking after the engineering and race strategy in 2011, an amazing amount of talent will carry BimmerWorld into the new season.

“This season has involved an appreciable learning curve for us all year,” said Yawn. “Everyone at BimmerWorld has taken that in stride. We are looking forward to taking everything we have learned this year in ST, and applying it to both our ST and GS programs next year.”

To make the running of the GS car a seamless transition, Marks says that every aspect of the BimmerWorld team is being amplified.

“We move into our GS program with great enthusiasm, and are in the midst of expanding our facility in Virginia to house our ever-growing operations. We tackled our ST program with a dedicated, professional approach and it leaves us chomping at the bit to add a GS program to the team. We are all looking forward to expanding and we will be taking everything we learned about the series, the cars, and endurance racing with our ST cars and bring it all back next year with the addition of a large caliber GS program. Everything is more fun with more firepower!”

The final component to completing BimmerWorld’s GS plans involves the signing of the right drivers to pilot the fearsome BMW E92 M3. A great source of pride for Clay has been the success BimmerWorld’s two rookies have achieved so far in 2010.

Clay’s co-driver in the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW, David White, has claimed two pole positions, with a best finish of second at New Jersey Motorsports Park. White is currently sixth in drivers’ points.

Bill Heumann, who shared the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW with veteran driver Seth Thomas, has earned two wins so far, and leads the Drivers’ Championship and the MESCO Rookie of the Year standings. As a team, BimmerWorld also leads the championship for ST entrants, offering what Clay believes to be one of the strongest packages for a rookie or an experienced driver to take advantage of in GS next season.

“We haven’t solidified the final decisions on drivers for the 2011 season at this point, but I have spoken with both existing GRAND-AM drivers and drivers from other series, and of course, I welcome additional inquiries. It is important to me to both develop new talent like we’ve done with David and Bill, and to do so while building a winning program, and we will be choosing likeminded drivers that give us the most competitive package. I hope to solidify our line-up shortly so we can focus on our main goal – building and developing fast, winning cars.”

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Scores Vital Points in Canada Towards Street Tuner Championship

August 16th, 2010

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It wasn’t a perfect first appearance for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench GRAND-AM team on the streets of Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, but when the checkered flag fell on Saturday’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres event, Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann drew closer to earning their first championship in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner series.

Driving the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, Thomas and Heumann made the most of a tough day in French Canada that saw a number of their competitors diving for pit lane to replace their brakes while the no. 81′s Performance Friction brake components ran flawlessly to the finish.

Entering the race with just a 13-point lead in the drivers’ championship, a steady performance by Thomas and Heumann stretched the lead to 19 markers with the final race of the season a little less than a month away. While the drivers of the No. 81 are always focused on the win, taking fourth and building more championship momentum is an acceptable outcome, according to Thomas.

“This was another result that came from great teamwork between Bill and me, and from our entire crew. Bill really came up to speed quickly this weekend and shouldered the monster portion of the race, bringing in an undamaged car well inside the top-10 after about an hour fifteen. I got by a few cars but I was driving a very conservative race and didn’t push the issue with anyone, but in this series, that means dialing it back from 100 percent to 99, honestly. We needed a good finish with no problems to spread the championship lead and we got it.”

Thomas also credited the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team, and his BMW E90 for providing such a decisive advantage when their rivals’ cars buckled under the heat on the streets of Trois Rivieres.

“Our crew was awesome this weekend, executing a pit stop for two tires, refueling, and a driver change in 30 seconds, which picked up a lot of positions for us. That was huge. We knew coming into the weekend that we had to preserve our equipment, and as the heaviest car in the field by over 100 pounds, the brakes take a beating. It wasn’t easy for us – we had to conserve brakes on the track while lots of cars seemed willing to run theirs off, and when we left the pits the right front brakes were on fire, but we have Performance Friction pads and rotors on the car and they seem to make magic happen in the braking system.”

It’s easy to forget that the BimmerWorld/GearWrench GRAND-AM team is a rookie in the series, making the transition last January from sprint racing in another series to the rigors of endurance competition. The Dublin, Virginia-based outfit has maintained a fast but steady approach to racing in the Street Tuner class, culminating in two wins for the No. 81, the championship lead, and a 19-point lead by the team in the teams’ championship.

But even with all of their good fortunes this season, Heumann says a top finish never gets old, and is never taken for granted.

“Our team goal is to win the championship and to do so we need for No. 81 to finish in the top-10 every race. A fourth place finish is great! Even though the smaller and lighter cars were much faster than us at Trois Rivieres, I have no doubt that Seth could have kept some of them behind. It would have forced them to try an aggressive move to get around, which they would have surely tried since they aren’t in the championship contention. On this course that could have easily resulted in a DNF for us. We are after the big prize and being smart is the way to get there. The car was absolutely flawless, our strategy was right, our pit stop was spot on, and we increased our lead in the championship by 9 points. I like winning, of course, but I don’t see much to be down about!”

The tale of Trois Rivieres was a tad bit different for the sister No. 80 BMW of James Clay and David White. The BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW had plenty of speed, with White qualifying second, missing the pole position by a scant .051, but a first lap incident brought an immediate end to their day.

White, starting on the front row, was challenged by the lighter no. 75 Honda, the sister car to the No. 74 car which sits seconds in the championship behind Thomas and Heumann. The No. 75 executed a clean pass, taking second from White, but a split second after clearing the No. 80′s front bumper – and well before the normal braking point – the No. 75 appeared to make a panic braking maneuver at over 100mph while just a few feet in front of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW.

Attempting to move left to avoid the No. 75′s premature braking effort was unsuccessful, as the Honda didn’t leave enough room for the BMW to take avoiding action. The ill-advised move by the No. 75 ended the day of both cars on the spot, causing heavy front end damage for both entries.

“I knew the Hondas needed to conserve their brakes if they were going to be able to finish well at this race, but with no cars immediately in front of us to require jamming on the brakes, I had no warning that the Honda driver would start braking a full 75 feet before the normal braking point. And since he had also chosen to take my line away by pulling in front of me after clearing my bumper by no more than three feet, I immediately went into evasive action. Unfortunately there is only so much you can do at 110mph and the outcome is no real surprise. This is just basic stuff you should learn when you get your drivers’ license – you can’t cut right in front of someone, brake unexpectedly, and think they can avoid hitting you, and the result was unfortunately bad for both of us.”

Team owner James Clay was philosophical about the incident, noting how the two teams locked in the championship battle have raced each other cleanly all year long.

“The race for the championship between the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car and the #74 Honda shows how we play the game. We came into Trois Rivieres with very solid, well-prepared cars and a very solid race strategy – all we needed to do was preserve the equipment and the results followed. The No. 80 was put in a position by the no. 75 that no one involved benefitted from, and it was a very poor end to the weekend.”

With Trois Rivieres behind them, Seth Thomas says that after taking a quick breather after an intense eight month championship battle, his full attention will be on getting himself and Bill Heumann prepared for the finale in Utah.

“I headed directly out to Montana with my family after the race, but I will have my driving hat back on in a week. Bill and I are then visiting Miller Motorsports Park to learn the track, but at this point, we just need to keep doing what we have been all season and come into Utah mentally prepared to earn a title for BimmerWorld, GearWrench, Performance Friction, Redline Oil, RAYS, and the rest of our partners. We love this kind of pressure, and can’t wait to get the finale under way. We should also have some news to reveal in the next few days on our plans for 2011, so there’s nothing but anticipation and excitement in the BimmerWorld/GearWrench camp right now.”

The end to BimmerWorld’s amazing 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season takes place on September 11th at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Follow the team as the ready themselves for the race at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Heads North For A Canadian Street Fight

August 10th, 2010

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With two races to go in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner championship, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing might have been tempted to take it easy in an effort to protect their points lead, but for the hard charging BMW experts, sprinting to the checkered flag is what you can expect to see.

Making their debut in GRAND-AM’s hotly contested racing series for production-based cars this January, the two-car BMW E90 effort has found a level of success during their rookie campaign that most teams spend years pursuing. Yet the team’s maximum effort approach to this weekend’s tough race on the streets of Trois Rivieres, located in Quebec, Canada, is no different than their first Street Tuner race seven months ago.

Despite a small advantage in the drivers’ championship held by Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann, drivers of the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW, the focus for the tight, punishing 1.5-mile street course will be survival. Packed with 10 turns, narrow confines and concrete walls, BimmerWorld’s drivers can’t afford to take it easy at Trois Rivieres, nor can they take any risks that might jeopardize the No. 81′s championship aspirations.

Striking the perfect balance of aggression and self-preservation is what’s best for Thomas and Heumann, while the sister car, the No. 80 BMW E90 driven by team owner James Clay and David White, will likely shift towards more of an attacking game plan. Sitting sixth in the drivers’ championship, Clay and White aren’t racing for championship glory: they want to win.

“I think our two cars come into this weekend with two different approaches,” Clay said. “Street courses are by nature demanding on equipment and put the cars at increased risk of damage. For the No. 81 car, we need a solid weekend with no major issues, which I feel our team can facilitate. For my No. 80 car, I think we can push a little harder and maybe take a few chances other guys are more hesitant to. Street courses have always been a lot of fun for me and they suit me as a driver, so I am eager to get to Quebec and do some driving!”

With the No. 81 in the thick of the championship battle, Clay also says that depending on the situation during Saturday’s two-hour race, the No. 80 BMW drivers might have to temper their desire to win for what’s best for the team.

“If there is an opportunity to help the No. 81 car in their battle, we will certainly take it. Everyone on the BimmerWorld team, including David and I, want the No. 81 to win the championship, but certainly there is a happy medium to be reached and we have hit our stride in the No. 80 car, so our focus is another strong finish in Canada. There won’t be any team orders, but we will be working together, rather than fighting each other for every inch on the track. Trois Rivieres is a ‘big picture’ weekend for us.”

For David White, piloting his BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW through a street track that feels like a lane at a bowling alley will be a new experience, but it’s one he’s looking forward to.

“Trois Rivieres will be my first race on a street circuit and I’m excited about the challenges it will bring. This season has been all about learning for me and this event provides another unique opportunity for me to continue my growth as a driver. Beyond that, I’m hopeful that James and I can carry the momentum from our 2nd place finish in New Jersey, and turn that in to a strong finish in Canada.”

Jason Marks, crew chief for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team, says that preparing two cars for the bump and grind of a street course requires a slightly different approach from his staff of top-tier technicians.

“It’s August, which is traditionally hot in Quebec, so we are doing everything we can to beat the heat. Aside from bringing the cars in a ready to race condition, we are working hard to manage the temperatures our BMWs will face. We’ve made improvements to both the engine cooling systems and the brake systems, and partners like Red Line Oil and Performance Friction have given us the best tools to handle what we expect to face. Other than that, all of our drivers are really smart and know what the objectives are for the race. The entire team will unload and go racing with our ‘game face’ on. We like a good fight, and that’s just what I expect at Trois Rivieres.”

With two wins so far this season and a 13-point lead in the drivers’ and teams’ championships, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team will face the biggest test of the year in Canada. If all goes according to plan, Thomas and Heumann will come home with a bigger lead in the championship and Clay and White will move further up the order heading into the final race of the year.

One thing is for sure: Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres 2010 won’t be lacking in pressure, drama or excitement for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team.

Saturday’s race starts at 10:30 a.m. ET, and regular updates can be found at www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Places Both Cars in Top-5 at New Jersey

July 21st, 2010

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In what can only be described as the closest example of “trial by fire,” BimmerWorld’s drivers and crew faced a menacing foe last weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park – temperatures near 100 degrees and stifling humidity – that made placing both cars in the top-5 that much more rewarding.

But getting both of their cars into the race, as the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team found out, was more than half the battle.

After suffering a crash in practice after a tap from behind by a GS-class car, the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW 328i required a massive about of repairs, led my BimmerWorld’s veteran crew chief, Jason Marks, and more repairs were soon to come with the sister car.

“I’m so happy to see we put James (Clay) and David (White) on the podium, but like everything we do here, it took the complete efforts of the entire team to do so. It was a Herculean effort by everyone. It was insanely hot to start with, and then we had to change motors and flywheels and drivelines, fixed a lot of other damage, and didn’t leave until 3 a.m., before coming back and having to sort through more work to repair the No. 80 after qualifying. My crew came through like true champions. Some days you win on the track, some days you win in the pits, and this time, our success came from our crew’s work in the paddock all week. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The sense of relief for Marks and the No. 80 crew was easy for all to see, and for the drivers of the GearWrench-sponsored car, their second-place finish at New Jersey was a major accomplishment. Not only did team owner/driver Clay and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series rookie White reward the miracles their crew performed, they also broke through to earn their first podium of the year – something White says has been long overdue.

“Standing on the podium for the first time was a huge feeling of relief for me. James and I finally had a race where everything went our way, and now we have the result to show for it. That’s not to say it came easily since the BimmerWorld crew put in some long hours in the heat this weekend to make it happen and executed flawless pit stops during the race putting us in position for our strong finish. This result was for them, our sponsors and all of our technical partners who helped us make the race. Now that we’ve got the monkey off our back, I’m ready to see what the view is like from the top step!”

For Clay, the satisfaction from their NJMP podium comes from realizing their potential with a very capable result.

“David handed off the car in a good position and from the out lap, I knew I had a fast car that could win. I executed well, preserved our tires and equipment and used our car’s speed when we needed to and it gave me the ability to run fast until the end. The (race winning) MINI was a rocket and it was good to see them have the race that car is capable of. I couldn’t have touched their speed this weekend so I consider our No. 80 BMW 328 ‘the best of the rest’ and that’s almost as good as the win – I guess.”

If one aspect of landing both BimmerWorld/GearWrench entries in the top-5 impressed Clay the most, it was how effectively the team administered the event. Reacting to a major car rebuild to begin the weekend was hard enough, and starting behind the proverbial ’8 Ball’ could have seen both cars suffer come race day, but that’s not what happened.

“I am extremely proud of our race strategy, pit strategy, driving strategy – really everything on the administration side of things that makes a normal weekend run smoothly and a tough weekend like this one manageable and even successful. Jason Marks has stepped up this year to cover more of the management duties and be a true team leader across the board. Wayne Yawn has provided endurance racing experience and is constantly refining his work and planning to give the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team success. Any time you can recover from such a huge hurdle at the outset of a weekend and finish second and fifth, that’s a testament to the people and procedures you have in place. And the winning attitude of these guys is pervasive through our whole team.”

Behind the charge led by the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car, championship leaders Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann made all the right moves to add to their points total. With a scant 1-point lead in the season championship entering New Jersey, Thomas and Heumann made the most of tough race to take fifth, extending their points lead to 13 by the checkered flag.

But Heumann, leading the MESCO Rookie of the Year championship as well, says that when it’s time to go racing, thoughts of points and championships quickly fade away.

“Frankly, I don’t think about that stuff when I am racing. I try to focus on the racing and driving! This race was particularly hard due to the heat in the car. There is enough jostling and wild stuff happening at the beginning of the race that my attitude is to race as hard and get as far up as possible without risking the car. I know that if I concentrate on my job, the BimmerWorld crew will handle the rest just like clockwork.”

Like his teammates, Thomas attributed his result to the BimmerWorld/GearWrench crew.

“It was a great drive for the No. 81 car this past weekend. We had a huge setback in practice with a nearly 100mph crash. This created a lot of work for the crew guys on one of the hottest days we have seen all year, and after replacing the whole suspension on the car it ran flawlessly for 2.5 hours helping us stretch our points lead. I really can’t say Bill or I did anything special to make this result possible. It was all the awesome, hard work by the ‘BimmerWorld Boys.’ We’re ‘team first’ here, and this was a weekend for our crew to shine. What an amazing group of individuals.”

With a 13-point lead in the driver’s championship (238 to 225) for Thomas and Heumann, a stronger position in the same championship or Clay and White (sixth) thanks to their NJMP result, and a 13-point lead for BimmerWorld/GearWrench in the team’s championship, both entries head to the penultimate round at Trois Rivieres in Quebec, Canada, on August 14th ready for whatever challenges they may face. If New Jersey proved one point, it’s that there’s no quit in the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team.

The broadcast of the Garden State 250 from New Jersey Motorsports Park can be seen on July 25th at 1 p.m. ET on SPEED, and be sure to follow the team at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

Heads Down for BimmerWorld with New Jersey on the Horizon

July 13th, 2010

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When BimmerWorld Racing team owner/driver James Clay chose to move his winning BMW touring car team from a professional sprint racing series to the fiercely competitive world of endurance racing, GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series was the only option to consider.

With the 2010 championship winding down, and with almost seven months of competition behind the team, what they’ve achieved during their rookie campaign in the Street Tuner class has been nothing short of amazing.

Two wins from seven races, the lead in the teams’ and drivers’ championship, and the lead in the ST Rookie of the Year standings might be cause for celebration with just three races remaining, but for a focused team like Clay’s, facts, figures and championship standings aren’t a part of normal conversations. As the team heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park for Round 8 this weekend, it’s business as usual.

“We may be one point ahead in the championship race at this point but I definitely wouldn’t say we are sitting on top of it at this point – not by a long shot,” said Clay. “We aren’t talking about it or making a big deal because until the checkered flag flies at the final race at Utah in September; it simply isn’t a big deal. That being said, we are certainly happy to be in this position challenging for the championship and we will continue to develop and prepare our cars and team as we have all year to be our best and hope at the end of the season, we turn that into some fancy hardware. Until then, we’ll keep our heads down and focus on each race, starting with New Jersey.”

BimmerWorld’s impressive season-to-date has reaffirms one major point, and it centers on how critical it is to have the right technical partners involved with both sides of Clay’s business. With a success BMW aftermarket, tuning, parts and service business, and also the successful GRAND-AM racing team working from the same facility in Dublin, Virginia, the tech transfer from the track to the street is being generated at every race.

As Clay shares, competing in the Street Tuner class with production-based BMW E90s only helps to solidify BimmerWorld’s stance as the leader in providing ‘Race Proven Performance’ solutions for the German marque.

“We built our BimmerWorld business on solid, race proven, developed parts and knowledge. For us, the transfer of this knowledge between all facets of our business is critical and certainly, it extends to all of our racing partners as well. The guys on the team and in the shop constantly discuss tools and new applications with GearWrench, for example. We are their testing ground and our work is evident in their products. On the other side of the spectrum, there are a lot of customers we work with on their own BMW race programs and we put the same knowledge and effort in and our help is obvious in their results. We do everything here at 100% and from a major tool company to our own customers, it is rewarding to see the impact that racing has on our business as a whole. The parts we develop and sell, the work we do on customer cars, and the racing we do in GRAND-AM is all intertwined.”

While it is impossible to start every race weekend by having their cars handle perfectly from the very first lap of practice, that goal is always present for BimmerWorld’s crew and their drivers. Bill Heumann, MESCO Rookie of the Year leader for the ST class, says that even if his BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90 needs some tweaking once the action gets under way in New Jersey, he expects the team to deliver the same high quality cars for qualifying and the race.

“I am ready and looking forward to getting on track. I like the circuit and I am looking forward to incorporating what I learned at Mid-Ohio into my driving at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The most important thing for me is to be on pace and solid when qualifying rolls around, and more importantly, at race time. Having said that, getting up to speed quickly helps the team and drivers focus on car set up and getting the cars dialed in. BimmerWorld’s expertise is invaluable and I have all the faith in them during the last three races.”

The BimmerWorld/GearWrench team has enjoyed success in their maiden GRAND-AM season due to consistent performances at each circuit they’ve visited. Some tracks suit the BMW’s natural handling and braking traits, while others play to the raw horsepower of a few rival marques. Now headed for New Jersey, BimmerWorld’s Seth Thomas likes what the track might have in store for their E90s.

“Coming off a great race at Mid-Ohio I think we have a huge momentum swing in our favor. New Jersey has been good to our cars for speed in the past where we qualified 2nd in a different series last year. Also, the track is very similar to Mid-Ohio with a fast long straight and a very tight technical section. The downside to New Jersey is there isn’t a big hard brake zone like at Mid Ohio, so we won’t get to fully exploit our PFC brakes. Instead we will have to rely more on the suspension tuning and pit strategy that has helped us run up at the front all year. There are a lot of BMW fans on the east coast, and I hope they come to watch us put on a display this weekend. It should be an amazing race.”

Saturday’s 2.5-hour race starts at 2:45 p.m. ET, and be sure to follow the progress of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team this weekend at BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Celebrates a Strong Team Finish in Ohio

June 22nd, 2010

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Two wins from three races. One pole position. 41 laps led. Lead in the driver’s championship. Lead in the team’s championship. Not bad for a weekend’s work for BimmerWorld Racing.

Ask BimmerWorld owner James Clay if he likes the Mid-Ohio circuit – the site of his team’s first professional win back in 2007 – and he’ll not only give you a resounding ‘Yes!’ but he’ll also tell you he wouldn’t mind if every round of GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series was held as the twisting 2.2-mile Ohio track.

After such a positive rebound from the frustrating turn of events at Watkins Glen, Clay was happy to see his team move on and move up in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series after a dominating weekend at Mid-Ohio.

“We are all very proud of this weekend’s results and Mid-Ohio has been very good to us over the years. The weekend started out right when after the first session, we were really left scratching our heads to decide what we could do to make the cars better. You never want to say ‘that’s good enough’ but we were really quite pleased with our performance off the trailer. We instead spent a little time experimenting as drivers and then working hard on both a specific qualifying and race setup. The team did a ton of hard work in the shop preparing for this weekend and that allowed us to succeed.”

While it looked like Clay and teammate David White, the pole sitter for the EMCO Gears Classic, were the early favorites for the win, the drivers of the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 were forced to settle for a fighting fourth-place finish. The win would instead go to Seth Thomas who took over from Bill Heumann and continued to speed off into the distance, leading the final 25 laps of the 81-lap race to post BimmerWorld’s second victory in the span of three weeks. Putting in another fantastic drive, the GRAND-AM rookie Heumann says his rapid growth and success is becoming easier to embrace with each race.

“In the last two races I feel like I have continued to make a lot of progress and I am feeling very comfortable and confident on the track,” said Heumann. “Since the racing in this series is so tight, it isn’t just a question of if you can drive a few fast laps. It is how to run consistent fast laps while competitors are all around you bumping and jostling, GS cars are cutting through, and cars are going off track and jumping back on. It is very exciting and a lot of fun. With the help of the team and a lot of hard work from Seth we have gotten to where I am just a tick off the top pace and getting faster every race.”

As he’s done repeatedly in 2010, Thomas credited the hard work from his team and the advantage his brakes provide for allowing him to carve through the field at Mid-Ohio – a track where cornering and stopping are most critical to running up front.

“Everybody on the team has been saying the same thing all weekend – the BimmerWorld/GearWrench cars were hooked up as soon as we rolled off the trailer. Bill gave me the car in top shape. All of this made my job easy during the race. The car during the race was handling like it was on rails. And part of racing is luck. Luck was with me today as I was able to use other cars to help make my passes easier. And as we have said all year the car was really the best under braking. I could use the consistent Performance Friction brakes lap after lap making pass after pass. Teams are free to choose which brakes they want to use, and we’re thrilled to have the best in the business on our cars.”

The No. 81 BMW’s fastest race lap was just the fourth fastest in the ST class, but Thomas and Heumann were able to run those fast laps consistently. This allowed Thomas to stretch his lead as the race drew to a close, but with a late caution flag, the Georgia native saw the margin evaporate. It made for a harrowing run to the checkered flag.

“There was a stalled car parked at the entrance to pit lane where it starts to go downhill. I remember thinking there is no way they will bring out the caution for this, but it did happen. I had a four second lead at this point that became erased. The ST top-5 was mixed in with the top-5 of the GS class. This made the last few laps chaotic as each class was fighting for position. I had more contact after this caution than I did in the previous 40 laps. Throw in the contact with the low fuel light coming on the last couple of laps and it was nerve racking. It wasn’t easy, but winning in the series has never been easy.”

If finishes of first and fourth at Mid-Ohio could be described as ‘highs and lows,’ James Clay and David White will go home satisfied with their performance. White, who earned his second pole position out of seven races – both in his rookie season – has marked himself as a man to watch in the Street Tuner class. While his poles and his efforts in leading races might look easy from the outside, he says it is far from it.

“It’s really not coming that easily; the speed is the product of a lot of hard work by the whole BimmerWorld/GearWrench team. The cars get better every race, which makes our job as drivers that much easier and allows us to focus on getting all of the speed out of our BMWs. I am very happy with my growth as a driver this season and feel that I am a much better racer now than I was just six months ago. I would have certainly liked to have had some better race results this season but I’m confident that you will see James and me on the podium soon.”

After watching White lead the first 16 laps, Clay was hoping the day would end with the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car in Victory Circle, but instead, he watched as the sister No. 81 took its second win of 2010. As both the owner and a driver within the team, Clay was ecstatic to see Thomas and Heumann win, but admits he wouldn’t mind taking the next victory with co-driver White.

“I have been in a bit of a slump as a driver, but I have been working hard and I finally made the change in driving style I needed to provide results in these specific cars. I was fast this weekend and knew that out of the box we were capable of standing on the top step on Saturday. Unfortunately, as close as this series it, there are multiple cars that are capable of the same and we lacked a little luck at a critical point in the race, so the result I wanted wasn’t there. However having a team car take the checkered first runs a close second to doing it myself and taking the lead in the championship dogfight is an even better step. I am leaving Ohio happy, but still hungry.”

With BimmerWorld now leading the driver and team championships by a scant one point advantage, the final three rounds will place a premium on making it to the finish ahead of their rivals. As Heumann shares, it’s impossible to protect such a small championship lead – they will have to battle on every lap until the final lap of the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

“It is nice to be the leader and let the other guys try to figure out how to catch us. It was pretty disappointing to be 13 points down after the Watkins Glen fiasco. We knew we needed a good race at Mid-Ohio to stay in the championship hunt. The fact that we now have a one point lead really just means we have kept ourselves in contention. It is way too competitive a series to be defensive at this point. We knew this is where we wanted to be when the season started and we just need to keep racing like we have been racing all season.”
Watch the broadcast of BimmerWorld’s Mid-Ohio victory June 26th at 1 p.m. ET on SPEED, and learn more about the team and their sponsors at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready for More Highs at Mid-Ohio

June 16th, 2010

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BimmerWorld/GearWrench Racing, the leading BMW team in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner class, is hoping to pull a repeat performance from its past at Mid-Ohio, the site of their first professional win in 2007, at this Saturday’s EMCO Gears Classic, held at the historic track in Lexington, Ohio.

With six rounds down and four left to go in the 2010 championship, BimmerWorld is in the thick of a Street Tuner title hunt, and based on their recent form, winning a championship in their maiden year of GRAND-AM competition isn’t out of the question.

Their first series win, at Round Five in Lime Rock, proved how far the Dublin, Va.-based team had come in just a half-season of racing, but as so often happens in racing, the next round, held at Watkins Glen just two weeks ago, put a temporary halt in their progress.

Poised for another podium finish, the team fell victim to an officiating error that moved the Nos. 80 and 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90s to the back of the pack. James Clay in the No. 80 and Seth Thomas piloting the No. 81 charged to inside the top-10 by the end of the race, but valuable points were lost in the mix-up.

With BimmerWorld’s proven success at Mid-Ohio, the twisting 2.2-mile circuit is just the place to gather more points as the team hunts down its first professional championship.

“We took a bit of a hit at Watkins Glen in the championship points due to the error in the waive-by,” said owner/driver Clay, “but we are eager to regain the lost ground and Mid Ohio is our first chance. There are a lot of transitions and tighter turns on this track so it will certainly be a test for our relatively heavy BMW 328i cars. We are hoping to have a lot of green flag racing which seems to be where our cars shine; our whole package is solid and durable, but the Performance Friction brakes are the standout as the competition has to manage their brake pad use or fade in the braking zones.”

Seth Thomas, a winner of three Touring Car races for BimmerWorld in 2009, expects their BMWs to be fast and competitive when practice gets under way.
“Our advantage this weekend will be the overall balance of our car and our team. It seems that no matter what track we go to the BimmerWorld BMW E90 is always fast and is right there at the end to fight for a top finish. Most of this starts in the shop where the guys prepare the car to roll off the trailer as one of the fastest cars on the track and once it’s there, they keep it fast. The car, thanks to our sponsors and parts suppliers, has all the perfect ‘go fast goodies’ that allow us to hunt down our competitors throughout the race. And our race strategy is always designed to keep us running up front, even if it means stretching our fuel to the very last drop. Everything is coming together for us right now.”

BimmerWorld/GearWrench has seen stellar drives from its two veteran drivers, Clay and Thomas, but it has been the performances of their rookie drivers – the teammates to Clay and Thomas – who have made quite an impression so far in 2010.

For Thomas, having Bill Heumann as his wing man has proven to be the perfect ingredient to grab second-place in the driver’s championship, and then to hold it throughout the season to date.

“Bill has the focus of winning a championship and that is what is making him the best teammate in the paddock. He has been working hard to improve himself both physically and mentally in the car ever since the first test weekend at Daytona. He has been doing everything he can to gain the knowledge it takes to drive in a pro series at a competitive level. We have spent time at almost every track we will race at this year to get him familiarized. And his hard work is paying off too. Every race weekend he gets consistently faster, qualifying the 81 car higher and higher. His drive to win this championship is the helping to push this team right and it is showing.”

David White, partnered with James Clay in the No. 80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench entry, has also distinguished himself in his first season of pro racing. With one pole position to his credit already, White is earning a reputation of being one of the fastest drivers in the Street Tuner class. With his knack for mastering a track in short order, White shared his insights on what it takes to set a flying lat at Mid-Ohio.

“Running fast laps around Mid-Ohio can be very tricky as it’s a very technical track with several brief elevation changes and blind crests. The important corners include the Keyhole leading on to the back straight, the Carousel leading on to the front straight, and Turn 1 which also leads on to a straightaway. The Keyhole and Carousel are both late apex corners that reward patience getting the car to rotate so you can get on the gas as early as possible. Turn 1 is a high speed left hander between two straights that requires a quick brush of the brakes before you turn in and focus on getting back on the gas as soon as possible. Having a well balanced car and nailing the setup is critical at Mid-Ohio and I’m confident that the BimmerWorld team will give us cars that are capable of running at the front.”

Thomas and Heumann head to Mid-Ohio second in driver’s championship, just 14 points out of the lead (190 to 177), and BimmerWorld/GearWrench also ranks second in the team’s championship by the same margin. Clay and White are currently ranked 11th, 75 points out of the lead.

Saturday’s EMCO Gears Classic starts at 1:15 PM ET.
Follow the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team this weekend at www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Fights Through Adversity For Two Top-10s at Watkins Glen

June 8th, 2010

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As most racers will attest, some events are worth remembering and some can’t be forgotten quickly enough. For the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car challenge team, last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen isn’t one they care to see repeated.

Coming off their first win in the Street Tuner class at the previous round held at Lime Rock Park, expectations were high for the veteran BMW specialists. Rookie drivers David White and Bill Heumann continued their impressive form by placing both GearWrench-sponsored E90s in the top-5.

With one pole position to his credit, White’s lap time, good enough for second, had the No. 80 car poised for a strong finish. Heumann, in the No. 81, took fifth. The art of setting fast qualifying laps is something that takes most rookies a few years to master, but as White shares, performances like what he delivered at Watkins Glen is a result of many factors.

“Qualifying is all about preparation and mental focus. Having fast teammates and a crew that I can count on to give me the best possible car have played a major role in our qualifying success so far this year. We are constantly reviewing data during a race weekend to see where we can find more speed and qualifying is the chance to put all that together for a perfect lap. The BWR team does all the hard work by always giving me a car to drive that I know has the capability to run up front. My job as a driver is the easy part!”

Starting their respective cars, White and Heumann delivered their customary stellar performances, with White handing off the No. 80 to co-driver James Clay, and Heumann turning over a spotless No. 81 to Seth Thomas.

As a team, BimmerWorld is known for its honesty, which makes the universal praise Heumann received for his opening stint at Watkins Glen that much more meaningful. In his typical humble tone, Heumann credited his team for his rapid growth in professional racing.

“With the amount of seat time I am getting coupled with help from James, Dave and Wayne and a lot of concentrated one on one coaching from Seth, I am learning how to focus and drive my own race while all the chaos is happening around me. I still haven’t mastered it by any means, but with experience, it is getting better each race. David is a great teammate to share the track with. When we are close we work well together. Even when we aren’t, he is frequently on the radio giving me information about debris or incidents around where he is. It’s a total team effort and it shows in our results.”

For all of the positives that came out of the first half of the race, the second half tested the resolve of Clay, Thomas, engineer/strategist Wayne Yawn, and the entire crew. Capitalizing on the work done by White and Heumann, Clay and Thomas were on pace to what looked like a pair of podium finishes, but a mix-up during a caution period left the BimmerWorld/GearWrench drivers pleading their case to be moved to their correct positions in the ST class.

With a somewhat complex procedure employed to separate and sort the GS and ST class cars during a yellow flag period, both BimmerWorld/GearWrench cars weren’t properly accounted for. Rather than resuming the race towards the front of the ST field, Clay and Thomas were sent one lap down. Then in a partial correction in the next double-yellow, the duo regained their lap but were positioned at the back of the 37-car ST grid. Facing an almighty comeback with just over 30 minutes left in the race, team owner/driver Clay says emotions ran high before the action got back under way.

“I have to admit, anyone tuned in to our radios would have gotten an earful during the caution period when the issue was developing. However, I stand by Wayne’s call to follow the officials’ instructions even if we disagreed, and that makes the situation easier. I have an engineer and strategist I put full faith in and as a driver my focus is on providing the best result given the situation we face. Wayne made a tough call this weekend and I support his decision – there was a failure in the system and that does not indicate an error on the part of our team. At the end of the day, maybe I wish we could blame someone I have control over as a team owner; instead this feels like a pretty helpless situation.”

As temperatures continued to rise inside the cockpit, Yawn did a masterful job of taking control of the situation, re-focusing his drivers, and unleashing them on the scenic Upstate New York road course.

“James and Seth are as professional as they come, but they are also human. Anyone would be angry after losing all of the hard work the team had put in, but that’s where I have to work with the series to see what kind of resolution we can come up with. When it turned out we were stuck with having to come from behind, the only thing I could do was help them to get back in the ‘zone’ and chase down the leaders. They locked in right away, and did an amazing job to finish in the top-10.”

Coming off of the highs at Lime Rock, Clay was understandably disappointed for the loss of what was another impressive performance by his team.

“I feel like the results last weekend are not at all representative of our strategy and in a championship race, this is a tragedy. I discussed at length with GRAND-AM officials and they feel the same as I do, but I am not sure that helps matters. This isn’t a backyard game – you can’t have a re-do. Certainly we have discussed internally as a team how to prevent this in the future, but I am hoping that GRAND-AM will come up with a better solution. They have a lot of good and smart people in their organization and I have faith that they will get this resolved.”

From Seth Thomas’ perspective, the one positive to come out of the race was BimmerWorld’s ability to recover from adversity in such an impressive manner. Rather than wilt under the size of the task ahead of them, everyone rose to the challenge.

“Mentally this was a very challenging race for me and the team. We were put into a situation that nobody was happy about, but that is all a part of racing which is similar to playing poker. You are dealt your hand and you have to make the most out it. The object is to do your best no matter how well you like the cards you are dealt. So our genius of a strategist, Wayne Yawn, tells James and me over the radio to settle down and just do what you came here to do. That’s the approach everyone has in the team. We accepted it, dealt with it, and went after reclaiming what we lost. That’s what a championship caliber team does.”

Watch BimmerWorld’s recovery at Watkins Glen on SPEED, Jun 13th at 1:00 p.m. ET, and follow the team all year long at www.BimmerworldRacing.com.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Scores an Unforgettable First GRAND-AM Win at Lime Rock

June 1st, 2010

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120 days. That’s how long it took the BimmerWorld/GearWrench racing team to win its first GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series race. In a thrilling pass made by Seth Thomas to take the lead with just moments left in the race, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team finally made it to the top step of the podium after coming close on two previous occasions in 2010.

After an off-season switch from sprint racing to the tougher, more challenging endurance racing format offered by GRAND-AM for production-based vehicles, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing needed just five rounds of competition to find Victory Circle.

Starting off their GRAND-AM campaign with a second by Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann, drivers of the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, at Daytona International Speedway, Thomas and Heumann would follow that up with finishes of fourth, sixth, another second, and at Lime Rock Park last weekend, the pair finally broke through for their first win.

The win at Lime rock boosted BimmerWorld’s place in every aspects of the various championships the team is vying for.

If three visits to the podium in five races wasn’t enough, the win also moved Thomas and Heumann to within four points of taking the lead in the drivers’ championship, and Heumann further stretched his lead in the Rookie of the Year competition. BimmerWorld Racing is also just four points out of leading the teams’ championship, and thanks to the strong efforts of the No. 81 and the No. 80 of James Clay and David White, BimmerWorld has BMW only 12 points out of taking the manufacturers’ championship lead.

As Heumann shares, the ability to compete for two hours and thirty minutes plays right into the hands of the BimmerWorld team, and after coming close to a win twice before, everything went their way this time.

“Not to sound too simplistic, but the real difference between this and our two other podiums earlier in the season was that we had enough time to race without drama. We were able to show all of our strengths without interruption. Today, and with the help of my partner Seth driving the #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90, we were consistently faster than the other front runners at the end of the race. Our car performed flawlessly and our pit stops were fast thanks to great preparation and effort from our crew. I did my job and we got some luck with the timing of the last full course yellow. It all added up for us at Lime Rock!”
For team owner/driver James Clay, seeing all of the hard work put in by his drivers, his crew, and his sponsors made the Lime Rock result a memorable one. BimmerWorld prides itself in building the best cars in the series, but Clay credits the men and women who produce those cars and execute the pit stops for the success they’ve achieved.

“Several people this weekend asked me how amazed I was that we could win in our first season. Honestly, we came to this series expecting to win. Certainly the other teams we are competing against are top-shelf and I didn’t expect it to be an easy task, and it hasn’t been. We know this E90 platform extremely well through four years of development at a fairly high technical level. But the most satisfying thing for me is to see how the crew has transformed and taken on their new roles for an endurance format. It helps us to have most of our guys working in-house full time, so this isn’t a weekend-only gig for them and they are able to come up to speed faster. Still, watching them succeed through some pretty demanding circumstances gives me a big sense of pride.”

With Seth Thomas engaged in a fierce battle for the lead in the dying moments of the race, the touring car ace made a daring pass to take the Street Tuner class lead, and never looked back. Fans of production-based road racing are accustomed to seeing Thomas standing in Victory Circle with a BimmerWorld BMW E90, but the Georgia native says their first GRAND-AM win has a special meaning to him.

“Winning at Lime Rock is just so important to us. It confirms what we’ve known all along, and it’s that we have the best crew in the business. What they have done to get us here is nothing short of amazing. I want to thank our crew chief, Jason Marks, our engineer, Wayne Yawn, and everyone who has made our move to GRAND-AM such a success. Lime Rock is also the home track to BMW, so to show the strengths of the BMW E90 chassis in front of the loyal BMW fans makes this win even more rewarding. It wasn’t easy and it took a total team effort, and let me tell you, I used every inch of advantage our Performance Friction brakes offered to take the lead into Turn 1. This win belongs to every person and every technical partner involved with our team.”

Thomas also singled out his teammate for playing such a vital role in their win.
“Bill did a masterful job of qualifying and starting the race. He had never been to Lime Rock before but he still went out and set his fastest lap in qualifying, placing him 10th on the grid. Then to start the race with a wet track and come out of his driving stint in without a scratch on the car and in the top-10 proves he did his part for the team. Driving with Bill is just a joy for me – he’s fast and he takes care of the car. There are a lot of young drivers who could learn from him.”

With Heumann embarking on his professional racing debut later in life, he the rewards he’s gained as a driver and as an individual has benefitted his personal and professional life.

“First, without the support of my wife Lynn, pursuing this kind of lifestyle would be impossible. She is fully behind me because I am getting so much pleasure and education out of it. While the time and energy commitment to race at this level is huge, the benefits in my life have been huge also. The number one benefit of this season is that is simply a blast. The racing is super competitive but very rewarding when you succeed. Being part of this team is real honor. I am having so much fun that I kind feel like I am going to get arrested!

“The second benefit is how much I am learning. This applies not only to on the track race skills, but about myself. Racing at this level has a big psychological component. Learning how to manage your emotions so that you can be your best when it counts is a great life skill that applies outside of racing. It is vital for me to be engaged in activities where I am continuing to grow. The pace of learning for me has been fantastic. Seth has been pouring knowledge into me and the bottleneck is really how fast I can practice it and integrate it. James and Dave have been great influences also. Everyone on the team has taught me at least one thing this season, and it goes to show you what kind of success and experiences a team like BimmerWorld can deliver.”

The No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 was almost joined by its sister car on the podium, but after contact late in the race with James Clay behind the wheel, Clay and co-driver David White were forced to settle for 16th in class. But their result at Lime Rock didn’t reflect the effort it took to run up front.

After an amazing month of reconstructing their heavily damaged car – one that was forced into the barriers at VIR – the BimmerWorld crew loaded the No. 80 onto the transporter for Lime Rock with no time to spare. Clay and White turned their first laps in the car during practice, and later, White continued his impressive form by qualifying fifth. Odd sounds coming from the transmission in the pre-race warm-up forced the team to change transmissions, which they completed in an unrivaled 30 minutes – just in time for White to take the start. Altogether, the effort by everyone on the No. 80 was a reminder of how a well honed team can overcome almost any hurdle put in front of them.

“The herculean effort to get the our BimmerWorld/GearWrench car back together for the Lime Rock race was nothing short of amazing,” said White. “Similarly, the BimmerWorld crew had to thrash to get the car ready to race after a mechanical issue was discovered late in the game at Lime Rock. I’m continuously amazed by the work ethic of the BWR crew and hope to reward their hard work with some race wins in the No. 80 in the second half of the season.”

James Clay was proud of not only his team’s efforts to get their car onto the grid, but also at how well White drove in the first half of the race.

“David did a great job showing up ready to race and putting down good lap times. He put in a solid qualifying effort which I have become accustomed to. Unfortunately we ran into an issue before the race that the crew did an amazing job of resolving in time for the No. 80 car to take the green flag. David drove a great race and my race was a little less spectacular this weekend, but there is a lot to be happy about still. Our team won, and that’s what matters most.”

Clay and White are now 10th in the drivers’ standings.

With Round Six, held at Watkins Glen International in New York just days after Lime Rock Park, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team has very little time to prepare for the next event, but White says he’s confident the team will carry its momentum into the storied Upstate track.

“The hard work of our crew and the continued development of our cars are really showing. The cars were fast right out of the box at Lime Rock and they have gotten better each race. I’m hoping a combination of hard work, strong cars, solid strategy, and a little bit of good luck will propel both of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench cars to the front of the pack at Watkins Glen.”

A winner at Watkins Glen in 2009, Seth Thomas expects to get down to business quickly on the rolling 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course.

“LRP is known to be a track that suits the BimmerWorld BMW E90 very well, and the same can be said about Watkins Glen. Both are tracks where having a well balanced car that needs to be fast both entering a turn and exiting the turns. The BMW E90 did this all very well all race long at Lime Rock, and I think you are going to see a similar trend at the Watkins Glen. The E90 has a great engine that helps to pull the car up the long hills, and the chassis is balanced enough that we can be fast all around the track and without wearing out our tires. I like to think that Watkins Glen and Lime Rock are two tracks that are completely different but tracks that favor the BMW. We will find out this weekend!”

The Continental Tire 150 from Watkins Glen starts this Saturday, June 5th, at 10:15 a.m. ET.

Follow the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

After a Few Bumps and Bruises, BimmerWorld is Ready for Lime Rock

May 25th, 2010

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Dublin, VA

 

The #80 car sustained rear-end damage at VIR, which set into motion almost a month of repair work to get the car ready for Lime Rock.

Bumps, bruises and a seriously bent BMW have all been healed in the month since the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team last raced, and with the next round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Championship this weekend at Lime Rock Park, the Dublin, VA.-based team is ready to get out of the shop and back onto the race track.

After receiving a bump from a competitor at the fastest section of Virginia International Raceway, the #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 of James Clay and David White sustained rear-end damage that had an accordion effect on the race car, which set into motion almost a month of repair work to get the car ready for Lime Rock this weekend.

“I am amazed that the #80 car can be put together again after the impact it took at VIR,” said Clay. “I would say it took the perfect hit to be able to spread the forces, absorb with the crumple zones, and minimize the passenger compartment impact. It may be a racecar, but it is a BMW they are safe cars and this is another reminder of why I drive them and have convinced my parents to drive them on the street.”

While Clay’s veteran staff of BMW experts spent the month of May working the #80 back into racing form, he says the process of reanimating the E90 didn’t start on the BimmerWorld shop floor, but rather, at a partner’s facility.

“Once again, the mastermind of the car’s reconstruction is Steve Bassen at Bassen Autobody. He is a true asset to our team and had already located the clip to repair the car the day after the race. The BimmerWorld crew dealt with the car in an efficient manner and had it to Steve’s shop by Tuesday after our return from VIR and he took over from there. We can relax knowing the chassis reconstruction is in good hands and will be completed quickly and properly, while we focus on a few things to make our cars faster. This is the most important part of running a successful program – not scrambling to reach the status quo but having the right partners in place to reach forward and excel.”

With the #80 BMW looking fresh and new and ready to go racing, it will be joined by its sister car, the #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, in carrying the logos of new team partner, CRC Industries. As BimmerWorld moves from strength to strength in GRAND-AM, joining with the right sponsors is critical to the team’s growth. According to Clay, having the perfect tool partner in GearWrench and having the perfect automotive chemical partner in CRC provides BimmerWorld with a definite advantage.

“CRC is our brand of choice when it comes to automotive performance chemicals in our tool box. For more than 50 years, CRC has gained the respect of mechanics, technicians, race-car drivers and do-it-yourselfers alike – worldwide – by providing superior-quality products formulated and proven to enhance vehicle parts and performance. CRC manufactures all of their products in the USA and we rely on CRC chemicals to keep our parts and cars running at peak performance.”

Now that the waiting is almost over, David White says he can’t wait to get behind the wheel of his #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW at a track where all of the E90′s performance attributes can be exploited.

“It’s a narrow and short track, but the high-speed nature of Lime Rock will suit our BMW’s balance very well. The brake zone for Big Bend is where our Performance Friction brakes will shine. Big Bend and The Esses reward smooth inputs and patience with throttle application while the Uphill turn requires confidence that the compression of the hill will catch the car and keep you on the track. The Uphill turn also has a blind crest that gets the car very light and can cause some wheel spin so you have to make sure you are pointed straight as you go over the crest. West Bend and the Diving turn are two high speed turns where it’s important to balance corner entry speed with getting on the throttle as early as possible. LRP truly is a driver’s track and I’m looking forward to making our #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW fly there.”

Clay and White will have their usual partners in Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann alongside them at Lime Rock for what has become the most consistent 1-2 punch in the Street Tuner class. Coming off a second-place finish at VIR – the #81′s second trip to the podium in just four races – rookie driver Bill Heumann sits second in the ST-class driver championship, tied with co-driver Seth Thomas, and leads the Rookie of the Year standings. For Heumann, having so much success so early in the season hasn’t been entirely unexpected.

“I am certainly proud to be part the team and for our results so far. Seth and I set the goal of winning the Driver Championship at the onset of the year and that is still our intent. So far, we are where we need to be. The difficulty with big goals like that is that they aren’t actionable by themselves. For me, I have to reduce the big goals to smaller, more distinct segments.

“During the race the focus has to be on each turn of each lap. If I get distracted by something like the points or Rookie of the Year position, it could lead to a mistake that hurts our chances. If we take care of the small stuff, I believe the big items like championships will look after itself. The BimmerWorld crew does an unbelievable job of putting us in a position to succeed at every event, and then it’s our job to go out there and deliver. For a driver, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

The green flag drops on Round 5 at LRP Saturday, May 29th at 10:30 a.m. ET, and be sure to follow the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team this weekend at LRP at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Makes an Amazing March to Take 2nd and 6th at VIR

April 26th, 2010

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Dublin, VA
The two BimmerWorld/Gearwrench cars started back in the field but strategy, consistency and some luck led to a strong finish.
Due to contact on Thursday’s test day, the #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench car was out of commission. Luckily, RRT Racing came through with a backup car for the weekend.

If BimmerWorld’s maiden season in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was the subject of a reality show, viewers of the series would agree that each episode keeps getting better and better.

For starters, the opening episode at Round 1, held at Daytona International Speedway, produced an amazing finish of second-place for the #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 driven by Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann.

Episode Two, at the Miami-Homestead circuit, brought the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team slightly down to Earth, as the #81 took fourth and the #80 BMW E90 of James Clay and David White finished in seventh-place.

Episode Three at Barber Motorsports Park held early promise when David White earned his first career series pole position, but with the track configuration playing right into the hands of their rivals, the team was forced to settle with a fifth and sixth-place finish with their two-car assault.

Episode Four, held last weekend at Virginia International Raceway — the home track for Dublin, Va.-based BimmerWorld — had a season’s worth of drama and excitement packed into a single event.

Records will show that the #81 of Thomas and Heumann earned another podium with a second-place finish, and that Clay and White’s #80 landed in sixth-place, but how the two cars arrived at their respective finishing positions hardly went according to the script.

We’ll begin with the #80, which started out on Thursday as BimmerWorld’s usual #80 BMW E90, but come Saturday, Clay and White were still racing the #80, but not the #80 owned by BimmerWorld. Huh? What?

“We nearly destroyed the #80 car on the Thursday test day when an inexperienced driver took me out, and I ended up backing our car into the wall at over 100mph,” said Clay. “It was extremely disappointing to me to come into the race I was most looking forward to this season and have something this silly and pointless happen, and as much as I hate to make a mistake, I think it is even worse to know I was a passenger with no control or fault for the whole chain of events.”

A deal was quickly made with the RRT Racing team to rent their BMW E90. With the usual camaraderie and spirit within the GRAND-AM paddock, RRT aided BimmerWorld’s immediate needs and with the ‘surrogate’ E90 in hand, BimmerWorld’s peerless team of technicians began the foreboding task of ‘BimmerWorld-izing’ the RRT E90 to their specification.

“We got the RRT car at 4 AM Friday morning, went over it and then teched it as the #80,” Clay continued. “RRT handed us a solid car, but every team has their own way of doing things, so Jason Marks and the rest of our crew went to work on it making it like the BimmerWorld car we are more familiar with. It’s hard to start a race weekend off with an all-nighter, but that’s what was required and everybody dug in.”

With the replacement #80 ready to go, David White says getting used to a ‘new’ car took some time prior to the race, but with the team’s guidance, it was business as usual when it came time to buckle in and start the race.

“Adapting to any new car can be challenging, but the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge cars are relatively simple race cars which makes the process easier. Beyond the basic controls that every car has, there are only a handful of important switches, like the radio push-to-talk button and pit speed limiter for example, that you need to be very familiar with. Before the race, James, myself, and our crew practiced several driver changes to ensure that we wouldn’t miss a beat during the pit stop in the race. We started the race as prepared as usual and it showed in our sixth-place finish.”

Achieving a sixth-place finish isn’t normally something Clay’s team would be satisfied with, but after the harrowing events leading up to the race, they’ll make an exception.

“With so much work before we took the Green Flag, our result was a testament to everyone involved in getting us back on track. During the race, our crew pulled off some amazing pit stops, our strategist made a brave call on fuel strategy that paid off for both cars, and we even had some help from CMA Racing that allowed us to pit both of our cars at the same time. We earned this one the hard way and while I drove a hard race that I am proud of, my work and the result was only possible with the work of all the others involved with us this weekend. The beginning was rough, but the ending was fantastic and showcases the teamwork needed to be successful in endurance racing.”

As if the #80′s storyline wasn’t exciting enough, the #81 came home in second-place gasping for fuel and sputtering across the finish line, thanks to a masterful plan hatched by BimmerWorld’s race engineer and strategist, Wayne Yawn. Not to mention the masterful and fuel-miserly drives by Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann.

“Wow that one was close!” said Thomas. “James Clay put the plan together with the CMA Racing team in the short time between Barber and VIR so both teams could pit 2 cars at the same time if needed. This plan worked out flawlessly. Bill passed a ton of guys during his opening stint, brought the car in the pits in the top-10, and I left the pits in the top-10 to continue the job he’d started. Wayne told me leaving the pits that we should have enough fuel for the rest of the race as long as we really conserved fuel during the caution period. I did my best to do that and luckily I conserved just enough.”

Thomas says he drove with faith that they had enough fuel to make it to the finish line…but he still couldn’t believe he had to stretch a tank of fuel as far as he was being asked to.

“The last lap was the only lap I doubted Wayne! I was starving for fuel coming out of Turn 1 so I knew we were going to be cutting it close. I knew if I made it to the turn called ‘Rollercoaster’ I could coast to the finish. The car made it there and then some…I ran out of fuel just past the checkered flag. If Wayne says we could make it then I know we can. I definitely know he had it worked out down to the last lap, if not the last few inches on the track!”

With two podium finishes from four races, Thomas and Heumann continue to forge an amazingly strong and productive partnership behind the wheel of their BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW. Heumann says that with similar goals and personalities, their partnership is equally as strong on and off the track.

“You never know how these things will play out when you embark on a new adventure, but as we learned right off the bat, Seth and I make a great team. First, it is important to mention that Seth is a true professional and is very easy to get along with. We are great friends away from the track but at the track we work incredibly hard. I think one of the main reasons our personalities mesh well is because we have quite a few similar life experiences. We both need to balance the demands of our families and business obligations with those of professional racing, which is no easy task. We both understand the importance of good communication and I think that’s a big part of why Seth and I have been so fortunate this season.”

With the 2010 season almost at the halfway point, Thomas and Heumann sit second in the drivers’ standings, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team holds second in the teams’ championship, just six points behind the 2009 ST-class winners, and Clay and White have also marched up the driver’s points after being taken out at Round 1, and are now tied for 11th, all in the team’s first year in the series.

Who knows what Episode Five will have in store for the team in five week’s time at Lime Rock Park, but after the dramas this past weekend, James Clay says he wouldn’t mind it if the plot was a tad bit boring going forward.

“It will take a while for things to slow down, that’s for sure. We have a lot of work to do to repair our own #80 now. The car is headed to Steve Bassen at Bassen Autobody right away. He spent the VIR race weekend looking over the crashed car and has everything in place to make it perfect again. After last weekend, we don’t need any more cliffhangers or suspense. As for the next race at Lime Rock, I think a normal, boring event where everything goes according to plan would be nice!”

Tune into SPEED on May 1st at 1 pm E.T. to watch BimmerWorld’s amazing performance at the Bosch Engineering 200 from Virginia International Raceway, and follow the team’s progress at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Homeward Bound for Round Four

April 21st, 2010

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Just as stick-and-ball sports teams look to their own stadiums and arenas for home field advantages, racing teams are no different. As Dublin, Va.-based BimmerWorld visits their home track at Virginia International Raceway this weekend for Round 4 of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the team hopes to enjoy a similar advantage.

With too many laps to count around the picturesque track, the team would like nothing more than to visit Victory Circle during Saturday’s race. Based just three hours away, the BMW specialists at BimmerWorld have used the challenging VIR circuit as a regular proving ground to develop and improve their range of BMW street and racing cars.

But this weekend will have little to do with R&D

BimmerWorld Banks More Points at Barber

April 13th, 2010

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Team earns its first ST-class pole position in just its third race in the series with rookie David White behind the wheel
White and co-driver James Clay take fifth at the finish, followed closely by the sister BMW E90 of Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann in sixth
Thomas and Heumann leave Barber second in drivers points, White and Clay moved up to 11th and BimmerWorld/GearWrench maintains second in team points

White takes command of the lead in ST at the start of the race.
White and co-driver James Clay take fifth, Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann in sixth.
Consistency and progress have been the two most notable aspects of BimmerWorld’s maiden effort in the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season — a point they proved yet again last weekend at Round Three at Barber Motorsports Park.

After scoring their first ST-class pole, leading a significant number of laps, and banking more valuable points in the championship, the Dublin, VA-based BMW experts have been slowly rewriting what can be expected from a new entrant in the series.

At a track with more ups and downs than any other on the GRAND-AM calendar, Barber’s 2.3-mile, 17-turn layout allowed the BimmerWorld-built BMW E90s to post fast individual laps, as evidenced by David White’s first career pole position in the #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90. But over the span of the 2 hour and 30 minute race, the lighter cars in the class enjoyed an advantage on a track that has been likened to a rollercoaster ride.

“We knew going in to Barber that it was going to be a tough one for us

BimmerWorld Primed for Barber Motorsports Park

April 6th, 2010

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Dublin, VA
BimmerWorld ready for Barber Motorsports Park
Pleased with Daytona’s podium finish, BimmerWorld is looking for even better results at Homestead.

What does the fastest-rising new GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team do with nearly a month between its last race at Homestead-Miami and this weekend’s race at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama?

Work hard to improve their car and team, and then work some more.

Finding success in a top-tier series like the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge requires an incredible amount of time and commitment, and when a team like BimmerWorld starts off the season strongly, it actually gets harder to move up the last few positions needed to win a race.

With the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team placed second in the teams’ championship after two rounds, team owner/driver James Clay reaffirmed just what’s required to win.

“It might seem like the closer you get to Victory Circle, the easier things get, but it’s actually the opposite. You have to scratch and claw even harder now because we’re looking for fractions of a second to catch our competitors. It’s the ‘needle in a haystack theory.’ Finding those tiny bits of time in a well-proven car like the BMW E90 is hard enough, and when you add in that our rivals are also improving their cars between each round, it’s a cycle that never ends. The only way to get there is through hard work.”

After a month of tireless effort by the Jason Marks-led BimmerWorld crew, everyone on the team is looking forward to resuming the fight at the track located just outside Birmingham. Rounds one and two were held on ‘Rovals’, tracks that use portions of an oval and the oval’s infield road course, but at Barber Motorsports Park the team expects their cars to excel on the first natural terrain road course on the 2010 GRAND-AM calendar.

Compared to the Rovals that favor brute horsepower, Barber should suit the BimmerWorld-built E90s as cornering and stopping have always been the car’s strong suits. Power is also key, but with so many turns on a relatively short track, all three attributes are equally as important to produce fast and consistent lap times.

As team owner/driver James Clay shares, transitioning their cars from Roval to road course configuration and shifting his team’s mindset over to tackle a track like Barber has been a welcome change.

“While I have been on Rovals since the beginning of my driving career, this was our first year on one in a professional series. Daytona and Homestead were definitely fun and challenging, but we are looking forward to getting back to our bread and butter

BimmerWorld Rallies for Strong Finish at Homestead-Miami GRAND-AM Event

March 10th, 2010

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Dublin, VA
#80 and #81 Cars
The BimmerWorld crew did their jobs perfectly making pit stops go smoothly.

#80 and #81 Cars
Thomas and Heumann have caught the attention of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series fans and competitors.

After an amazing run to finish on the podium in their debut GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway in January, the new BimmerWorld/GearWrench Street Tuner-class team came away with more valuable points at last weekend’s Grand Prix of Miami, Homestead 200 race after placing their BMW E90s fourth and seventh out of 31 entries.

The Grand Prix of Miami, Homestead 200 found the #80 and #81 E90s mixing it up in the lead pack, with Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann holding the point in the #81, leading seven laps after starting the race from pit lane, and ultimately taking home a fourth place finish. The #80 of James Clay and David White led for two laps on their way to seventh place. Thomas also took the honor of setting the fastest race lap for the Street Tuner class.

With incredibly strong outings in BimmerWorld’s first two Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge outings, team owner/driver James Clay placed the Virginia team’s early success on the experience within his unit of BMW specialists. BimmerWorld might be new to GRAND-AM, he says, but the move to the Street Tuner class was made after nearly a decade of road racing BMW cars in other series.

“A lot of people tell me that it is surprising to see a new team come in and be in contention immediately

BimmerWorld Ready For Round Two

March 2nd, 2010

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Veteran BMW racers take 2nd in Street Tuner class at the season opening Fresh From Florida 200 held at Daytona International Speedway and look to carry that momentum into Round Two
Despite limited experience at Homestead-Miami, BimmerWorld has logged a number of laps with Chin Motorsports and other events in preparation for the upcoming race

Coming off a near-dream debut at the opening round of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway, where the #81 BimmerWorld GearWrench BMW E90 of Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann took second in the Street Tuner class, team owner/driver James Clay came away from the event with a sense of pride and accomplishment, but took very little time to bask in the team’s podium performance.

“I was very pleased with our performance at Daytona. We have shown good pace and more importantly our development and preparation efforts to make the cars consistently and reliable seems to have paid off. Our cars didn’t fall off as much as some competitors allowing us to be strong late in the race, which proved to be more important than having the fastest car on every lap. However, I feel that in racing, if you spend time celebrating your achievements you quickly fall behind. A racecar is never lacking in things to improve and while they may be small items, we have been working hard to make our BMW E90s even better for Homestead-Miami.”

BimmerWorld’s crew chief, Jason Marks, and his talented staff of technicians have remained busy after Daytona, checking each and every component on the blue and yellow BMWs.

“Tearing the cars down after each race is our normal procedure, but even more important with the demands of endurance racing. We want to inspect every aspect of the car and to look for anything that might become problematic. We were a little concerned about an oil pressure drop due to the high G-loads at Daytona in Turn 1, but the Red Line fluids kept everything inside looking good through about 10 hours of Daytona track time. Even more impressive was our Performance Friction brake setup which showed minimal wear in the race. Those parts went right back on for Homestead-Miami, which is pretty unheard of.”

The focal point for drivers of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMWs prior to Round Two has been about gaining circuit knowledge ahead of the race. The BimmerWorld pilots all have varying amounts of experience at Homestead-Miami, but gaining adding additional practice time was listed as a priority. While 2010 marks the team’s first season of GRAND-AM competition, Clay says they will do everything possible to shorten their learning curve ahead of each round.

“We’ve been to most of the circuits on the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge calendar, but there are some, like Homestead-Miami, where we knew our drivers would benefit from some additional track time before the race weekend. Our goal is to enter each race with our BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMWs as prepared as possible, and making sure Seth and Bill in the #81, and David White and I in the #80 are also tuned up and ready to go is just as important. We want to have no excuses when it comes time to go racing.”

Coming off of two outstanding performances at Daytona during their first full-season Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge campaign, Heumann and White say they feel ready for what the Homestead-Miami ‘Roval’ has in store for them.

“Being able to learn the circuit with the help of James and Seth has been invaluable,” said Heumann. “It’s a lot shorter than Daytona, but it has similar characteristics. Getting the infield section right, and powering onto the oval is important for a fast lap. Doing that cleanly during my stint is my primary job. Handing the car over for Seth to drive the wheels off of worked like a charm last time!”

For White, the Homestead-Miami race presents an opportunity to gain more invaluable experience before the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season kicks into high gear.

“I learned a lot at Daytona with James, and that’s a testament to the overall preparation of the cars, the coaching that BimmerWorld has to offer and the entire focus of the organization. Everything is designed to make us better as drivers, kind of like a college course that helps you to graduate from one level to the next. We just did our ‘homework’ in testing at Homestead-Miami, and now I’m ready to take the final exam during the race.”

Follow the progress of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team throughout the Homestead-Miami weekend at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Partners With Chin Motorsports for 2010

February 16th, 2010

chin_logo

Dublin, VA
Chin Motorsports
Chin Motorsports will see a stronger alliance with the heavily active BMW HPDE community through their association with BimmerWorld.

GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) team BimmerWorld/GearWrench Racing announced the formation of a partnership with Chin Motorsports that will see the two highly-respected firms collaborate throughout the 2010 season.

Chin Motorsports, known for their premier high performance driving events (HPDE), has been a mainstay for BimmerWorld’s driver coaching and development program for a number of years. With the formalization of their relationship, BimmerWorld will carry Chin Motorsports branding on their pair of GRAND-AM CTSCC BMW E90s, in addition to playing a greater role in Chin’s driving events.

Chin Motorsports will see a stronger alliance with the heavily active BMW HPDE community through their association with BimmerWorld, where team owner James Clay plans to provide an upscale learning environment for his customers.

“I have known Chin Motorsports director Mark Hicks for a few years and I have always been a fan of his HPDE events

Practice Makes Perfect as BimmerWorld Takes Second on GRAND-AM CTSCC Debut

February 2nd, 2010

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For those expecting Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing to ease into their GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series (CTSCC) debut, the BMW specialists served notice that they’re aiming for wins from the outset.

Transitioning from sprint racing to the 2.5-hour endurance racing format used in the CTSCC could have been a major hurdle to overcome, but after years of preparing for professional endurance races by competing in local 12- and 13-hour events, all of that practice paid off when Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann drove their #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 to second place in the Fresh From Florida 200 on Friday.

While Thomas and the BimmerWorld team are no strangers to finishing on the podium, doing so in their first CTSCC race was especially rewarding.

“This was just a fantastic day,” Thomas beamed. “I’m so excited for us to finish second today, and it was also Bill’s first professional race, so looking at what we’ve achieved, this BimmerWorld/GearWrench team is right on pace with where we should be.”

Thomas wasn’t surprised to see his team and teammate perform so well right out of the gate. “I’ll be honest. It usually takes a lot of time to adapt to a new series, but if you have the right people and the right partners, you can succeed from the beginning. That’s what we proved today.”

For Bill Heumann, it took a little bit of faith to believe in the endurance racing mantra his co-driver had drilled into him.

“Seth kept repeating that if I handed over a car that was in good shape and in a decent position on the track, that we could score a podium in our first race. This is my first professional race, mind you. I wasn’t sure if he was just giving me positive encouragement, but he was 100 percent right. The car made it easy for me; I could brake at the last moment with our Performance Friction brakes on every lap, and the handling was dialed in perfectly. I did my part, gave him our car in pristine condition, and then he went and drove the wheels off of it!”

The elated Heumann was also quick top praise his co-driver and team.

“The crew guys executed flawless stops. Our driver change was smooth as silk, and overall, I’m going home even more fired up to do the next race. This is a dream for me, but I guess I’ve learned my lesson. No matter what Seth tells me from now on, I won’t doubt him!”

The #81′s charge from 27th to 2nd, an improvement of 25 spots, was the highlight of the day for BimmerWorld. Unfortunately, the sister #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, driven by team owner James Clay and David White, would have a less deserving result.

Starting an impressive 3rd on the grid, Clay and White were poised to score an impressive finish alongside the #81, but after being hit from behind, resulting in a multi-car accident, Clay’s day ended with a broken suspension and an assortment of crumpled body panels.

Clay was pragmatic after the incident, and preferred to recognize the performance of his team.

“I hate what happened to David and I, but what’s important is to see all of our hard work pay off. Endurance racing is the ultimate form of team-based racing, and everybody involved in our organization delivered today. Our drivers performed like endurance veterans, our crew looked like they’ve been racing at Daytona for years, our BMW E90s had the speed all weekend long, and all of our sponsors and partners helped to pull off the GRAND-AM debut we knew we were capable of.”

White echoed Clay’s comments, and got to see just what the team was made of throughout the weekend.

“What happened to us in the #80 was a fluke, and with such a big hit, I’m really happy with how our car held up. BimmerWorld builds and amazing car, and they also choose the right partners to be involved. The right front took a heavy shot when James was hit, but the RAYS wheel is in perfect shape, and that’s a testament to their products.”

Having seen what Thomas and Heumann achieved at Daytona, White is eager to join them on the podium at the next race.

“What these guys did in the #81 is exactly what we expect from ourselves. We know we can do this with both cars, and that’s comforting. BimmerWorld is all about preparation. They came to the track with every item completed and ready to hit the track, and we saw all of that play out today.”

The smooth execution of BimmerWorld’s Fresh From Florida 200 race came after a few hectic weeks of preparation and repairs to the #81 BMW E90. A crash in testing found the Jason Marks-led BimmerWorld crew taking the car down to the bare chassis in order to have it straightened before a complete reassembly and rebuild prior to Friday’s race. The road to Daytona, as Marks shared, was long, but ultimately rewarding.

“All of my guys put everything they had into getting the #81 ready to go again. We knew what we could do at Daytona, and that provided all the motivation we needed. I think we put every GearWrench tool we had to use on the #81 over the past few weeks! Now that we’ve gotten a 2nd, we’ll be focused on getting our first win in the series. It won’t be easy, but that’s what makes the challenge so worthwhile.”

Team boss Clay agreed with Marks and also reflected on his choice to move his team to GRAND-AM.

“The test crash set us back, but for anybody that knows what we are about, getting the #81 to the race was never in question. The CTSCC series is easily the toughest endurance championship to race in, and coming in, we knew it would be a huge undertaking. That hasn’t changed, and we have so many things to work on for the next round, but I think we made a statement about how well we fit in the CTSCC. We moved to the right series at the right time, and today’s result just confirmed that.”

Follow the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team as they prepare for Round 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 5-6, by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Ready For GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series Debut at Daytona

January 27th, 2010

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After spending most of the last decade as one of the featured teams in World Challenge, Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing is just days away from adding a new chapter to their history books.

With an off season move to GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, the BMW specialists have spent the past few months preparing two new ST-class E90s to race throughout the 10-round championship which kicks off this Friday at Daytona International Raceway in the Fresh From Florida 200.

As team owner and co-driver of the #80 BMW E90, James Clay believes his team is ready for the challenges of competing in a new series and adapting to a new style of racing.

“We are very proud of our success and victories in Touring Car, but we also relish the opportunity to take our team and cars into new arenas. We like to push ourselves; it is the core of our business, and racing in the Continental Tire series will teach us new things about the BMW E90 that we can deliver right back to our customers. The endurance racing format of the series will also test the limits of our E90s and their performance components like never before. It has taken a lot of long days and nights to get here, but everyone is ready to get the season under way.”

After a successful outing during the official “Roar Before the 24″ test at Daytona two weeks ago, Clay and his BimmerWorld team have continued to work hard as they prepared for the Fresh From Florida 200.

“For me, the last couple of weeks have been filled with detail work to make sure every aspect of our new program is at 100 percent when we get to Daytona,” said Clay. ” I was incredibly impressed with our crew and the cars we built at the recent Daytona test and that went a long way toward being able to relax a little. But, one universal truth in racing, is that our work is never done and we can always improve.

Amidst preparations for their first GRAND-AM race, Clay was proud to announce the return of GearWrench as a major partner for 2010, marking their third season of involvement with BimmerWorld. Makers of precision hand tools, the continued relationship between the two companies will see the team once again referred to as ‘BimmerWorld/GearWrench.’

“GearWrench makes a full line of innovative hand tools – not just high quality stuff, but tools that have lots of hours and smart guys tweaking the design to make the tools more efficient. This means they not only bring higher productivity in the shop, but on the racetrack in endurance races where it means the most. I consider having a cart full of GearWrench tools a critical factor in our ability to win races and a championship.”

As the man tasked with leading the effort to prepare and run both BMW E90s, crew chief Jason Marks knows firsthand how important GearWrench’s involvement with the team will be throughout the season.

“GearWrench gets it done. They make the finest quality of all hand tools imaginable. Always having the right tools allows us to arrive ready to go and to resolve issues quickly. After using GearWrench exclusively since 2008, they’ve become extensions of our hands, and that is just the kind of competitive advantage we want.”

With Marks and his BimmerWorld technicians having completed their Daytona race preparations on the #80 and #81 E90s, Clay and co-driver David White joined the crew to practice refining their pit stop procedures.

“Week One back to the shop was focused on tweaking the cars – mostly little changes to aid in the pit stops and driver comfort,” said Clay. “Then David and I spent a couple of hours doing pit stop practice with the crew and the guys also did their own practice without us. A lot of time can be made up or lost in the pits and we intend to be prepared in all aspects of the program.”

Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann, drivers of the #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90, also took their turn getting in pit stop practice at BimmerWorld’s Virginia base.

“It’s an intricate dance, but Bill and I continue to improve our steps,” said Thomas. “Come race time at Daytona, we’ll be more than ready.”

As a relative newcomer to pro racing, Heumann added some additional seat time after the ‘Roar Before the 24′ to ensure he is ready for Friday’s race.

“Seth and I went to Sebring for a little more practice and coaching. I have been reviewing data, watching in-car video from the ‘Roar’ test and practicing on a simulator of the Daytona track. I have also stepped up my physical conditioning. As the oldest guy on the team, I want to be sure that I am physically up for the job!”

Like Heumann, White has also been studying hard since the ‘Roar.’

“I’ve been preparing for the first race by reviewing data to find areas that I can improve upon, as well as trying to mentally prepare myself for the weekend. There is a lot of excitement within the team and we all want to do our part – in and out of the car – to continue BimmerWorld’s record and reputation for delivering success.”

With a new challenge ahead of BimmerWorld’s four drivers, each one says they have specific goals for their 2010 Continental Tire Series season.

“I raced in the series in 2008 and know how steep the competition is,” said Thomas. “No one underestimates how tough it will be, but I also know that BimmerWorld has a winning track record for a reason. I want to win; that’s my goal. Everyone here wants to win.”

“It’s never completely about results but they are important,” offered Heumann. “My personal goal is simple: hand over a front running, clean and solid car to Seth. The season will not be won in the first race, and we’re keenly aware of that. We do need a good finish to achieve our personal and team goals for this first race, and I hope to keep living up to what we’ve set out to achieve as a team.”

David White’s goals mirror those of Bill Heumann. “My personal goals for this weekend and the rest of the year are to hand over the car to James in a good position to contest for a strong finish; to learn as much as I can to continue improving as a driver, and to have a great time. Of course, individual race results are important, but we are focused on winning a championship, so being consistently fast and finishing well in each race is our top priority.”

James Clay’s influence on his team is obvious, and like the other three drivers, he’s looking at 2010 as one long endurance race – a contest that is measured using the sum of all their performances, not just the highlights.

“At the end of raceday at Daytona, I would certainly be happy with a win, podiums, and fast E90 race cars, but we are in this for a championship, not just a few shining moments. Everyone on our team is putting forth a huge amount of effort toward this goal and one thing that can absolutely derail us is to take a ‘win at all costs’ approach. The first of many steps to earn that championship is Daytona, and we are focused on putting in the work to achieve what we know we are capable of.”

Follow BimmerWorld’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series debut this week at www.BimmerworldRacing.com, and follow live timing and scoring from each session at Daytona at www.grand-am.com.

###

Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

Seth Thomas Leads Perfect Day For BimmerWorld/GearWrench With 1-2-3 Finish

September 29th, 2009

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“I think I’m going to have to go home, go to bed, and wake up to make sure this is real,” said BimmerWorld’s Seth Thomas after winning his home race at Road Atlanta and leading a BimmerWorld/GearWrench 1-2-3 sweep of the podium.

“This is the one I’ve wanted more than any other; my teammates, my crew and my family will tell you that. The best part of this is that we did this as a team. Nick, James and I, our sponsors and partners – we all won today, and took every award the series has to offer. That’s a testament to how far BimmerWorld has come in 2009.”

The Road Atlanta event started off in style for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team, as owner/driver James Clay – carrying a special GearWrench paint scheme for the event – put his #36 BMW E90 on pole position. Thomas would line up third in the #38 BMW and Nick Esayian’s #34 followed right behind in fifth.

“We came close on our first run in qualifying,” said Clay, “so we came in, cooled our tires, and went for one final shot at the pole. I’m glad we did, and we all helped to give each other a tow to earn our best qualifying positions as a unit. Qualifying was a total team effort.”

Clay’s time to celebrate his first Touring Car pole position was short-lived, as World Challenge’s ceremonial coin toss didn’t fall in James’ favor. With the flip of that coin, the top-5 starters were inverted, moving Clay to fifth and teammate Esayian to first.

“It’s a good thing we had our bases covered,” Clay said with a smile. “A BimmerWorld car still started from pole, and that’s all that really mattered. It just meant we’d have to work together even more in the race.”

And that’s exactly what the BimmerWorld/GearWrench trio did. With Esayian rocketing away to take the lead, the pilot of the #34 Debt Cures BMW found the view from inside his E90 to his liking.

“Man it was great! It was like every other start but it was nice not driving into a 15 car accident which is what you are doing when you start mid pack. The front row is NIIIIIIIIIICCCCE. I’ve been knocking on the door and the guys have the car just where I want it, so getting a good start and holding onto the lead for more than half the race was awesome.”

Behind Esayian, a fast-starting Thomas moved into second and shadowed the #34 car for the first fourteen laps. “Seth and I just drafted and pulled out a gap over Kuno Wittmer in third place,” said Esayian. “There’s nothing better than having a teammate act as your tail-gunner, and that’s exactly what we did.”

As Esayian and Thomas controlled things up front, James Clay was reclaiming spots lost in the coin toss, passing Wittmer for third on lap six. With a BimmerWorld/GearWrench 1-2-3 circulating the 2.54-mile, 12-turn track, the only question left to answer was which driver would win.

The answer to that question came on lap 14 as Esayian lost some time in Turn 5. It was all Thomas needed to zip past into the lead. “You certainly can’t accuse me of not pushing as hard as possible!” Esayian said. “The car just got out from under me for a split-second, and that’s the difference between leading and not leading in this series.”

Once in the lead, Thomas would never relinquish the position, holding the point through the 27th and final lap. The BimmerWorld/GearWrench running order would change once more behind Thomas, as Esayian suffered a rear brake lockup that caused a lurid slide, promoting Clay to second.

Thomas, Clay and Esayian settled into a rhythm for the last half of the race, putting on a show for the team’s guests from GearWrench. “We had sixty guests from GearWrench here to support us and to see the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team dominate the race,” said Clay, “and every one of us is proud to have given them a day to remember.”

Clay was also proud to see his friend Thomas finally get the home win he’d been so close to claiming in year’s past. “We all know how much Seth wanted this race. It’s every racing driver’s dream to win in their home state, on their home track, and no one deserves this more than Seth.”

Thomas was thankful for the support of Clay and Esayian in the outcome of Saturday’s race. Being a part of such a tight unit is something Thomas cherishes.

“Of course each one of us wanted to be the one to win, but I can tell you that there’s something different about this team that you might find in others,” said Thomas. “Sprint racing is about individual achievement, but we approach it as a team. We want BimmerWorld to win, and that comes first. Which one of us stands in victory circle comes second, and I really do mean that.”

Esayian couldn’t agree more about the team-first mentality. “I’ve had the privilege of being on some great teams; Robert Davis Racing, RealTime, etc. The thing I love about our BimmerWorld crew is the guys love being at the track. They really put emotion into what they do and the results mean as much, if not more, to them than any other team in the paddock. These guys could all be doing something else that would require less travel and potentially be more lucrative but they are all there striving for the outcome we had at Road Atlanta.”

Esayian’s performances inside the BimmerWorld fold have drawn a lot of attention from fans and competitors, and his drive at Road Atlanta was further proof that the

BimmerWorld Headed to Autobahn Focused on Results

July 22nd, 2009

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“2009 has been a year of hard work that has delivered results for our team,” said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay. “Seth’s won two out of five races and Nick had his best finish ever with a fourth at Watkins Glen, but as anyone that follows this series knows, making forward progress is a constant here. We’re going to Autobahn with our heads down and focused on the championship.”

In the three weeks since Thomas’ win for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team at Watkins Glen, the Dublin, Virginia-based team has used all of the available time to improve their trio of BMW E90 SPEED Touring Car racers.

“Certainly a weekend like we had at Watkins is a motivator, but we have been hard at work to further refine the cars

BimmerWorld’s Thomas Earns Pole, Leads Every Lap and Wins at Watkins Glen

July 7th, 2009

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After taking his breakthrough series win at Round 1 in Sebring, Florida this year, BimmerWorld/GearWrench driver Seth Thomas proved that win was only the first of many to come.

After a light-to-flag victory at the famed Watkins Glen circuit on the Fourth of July, the Georgian confirmed he’s driving better than ever.

“This was just a magical day for all of us. To win a race on Independence Day is incredible, and to do it like we did, with a strong car expertly prepped by the BimmerWorld crew, this is one I’ll cherish. I’d also like to thank my wife who’s busy taking care of our new daughter Adelyn. This is my first win as a father!”

Thomas made the most of the event, taking pole position and then leading every lap on his path to the win.

“That’s about as complete a weekend’s work as you can have in this business. I know Nick (Esayian) and James (Clay) weren’t far behind, and that’s a testament to how hard the BimmerWorld team’s worked in the six weeks between races. These guys never stop trying to improve our cars, and the win and all three of us in the top-10 is the result of everybody that works for BimmerWorld.”

Thomas crossed the finish line 1.118 seconds ahead of Charles Espenlaub after the Mazda driver spent the entire race following in Thomas’ footsteps.

Teammate Nick Esayian in the #34 Debt Cures/SOWF BMW E90 took a close 4th place, just 2.195 seconds behind Thomas at the end of the twenty lap race. Esayian ran as high as 3rd, but settled for 4th after a lively battle with Espenlaub and Andrew Aquilante towards the end of the race.

“After a simply awesome launch and a fast/consistent race I really thought I had a 2nd or 3rd in the bag. I could catch Espenlaub but couldn’t pass him. He would get away and pressure Seth and when I would get in his mirrors he would fall back a bit. It was amazing to watch. We were running a qualifying pace for almost 50 minutes. The Subaru ran us down and got by me…it was really surprising. I got along side him a few times on the last lap but without making contact, I couldn’t make the pass stick. Overall it was a great race for our hardworking team and my hat’s off to Seth for running that pace for the whole race with no mistakes.”

Esayian’s support of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation also carried added motivation for the World Challenge veteran. “We had two families of injured SF guys that were to attend this weekend that couldn’t make the three hour drive. They were with us in spirit and I had a phone conversation with one of the guys after the race. They listened to the live audio streaming and watched the online timing and scoring. Although their injuries precluded them from making the drive I knew they were there in spirit. These guys are tough and never quit so to have them thanking ME for what I was doing was a bit embarrassing but I was proud to give the American flag a tour around the track on their behalf prior to the race.”

BimmerWorld team owner/driver James Clay had the most frantic day of the three BMW E90s entered. After a stellar start moved Clay up to 4th, he raced in 5th place for the majority of the race. The Virginian would eventually feel the heat from Acura’s lead drivers in the latter stages of the race.

“I had to fight it out a little at the start with Kleinubing and Aquilante and came out in front in 4th place. I was happy to see the two of them scrapping in my mirrors, which afforded me a bit of a gap behind. Unfortunately, the time I spent with them made me lose touch with the top-3 and while I could maintain the front gap, I was using my tires up to do it.”

Once Clay’s tires had passed their useful stage, fending off the cars chasing his BMW E90 became challenging. “The tires gave up their grip, my times started to slow, and the Subaru blasted past me. Then I saw Cunningham and Kleinubing getting closer and closer in the rearview mirror and working in tandem, so I knew I was never going to be able to make the car wide enough to keep them behind me. This was the toughest World Challenge race I have run and while 9th isn’t where I want to be, the depth of the talent in the field here is amazing and I can’t be overly upset.”

While his own race wasn’t as solid as he’d hoped, the combined efforts of the team left Clay feeling incredibly proud.

“I could see Seth and Nick up ahead and knew they had the goods today. The team was keeping me updated on their progress and I don’t mind playing the role of tail-gunner if it means our hard work keeps paying off like this. All the credit goes to our crew chief Jason Marks and our BimmerWorld technicians.

“Thanks to Seth, we get to have two Fourth of July celebrations today. This will be one to remember!”

The impressive Watkins Glen results for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team elevated Thomas to 3rd in the championship points standings, just six markers out of the lead. Nick Esayian holds 8th and James Clay holds 9th.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld to Honor Soldiers at Fourth of July Watkins Glen SPEED TC Race

July 1st, 2009

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The upcoming Fourth of July weekend marks two important happenings for the BimmerWorld SPEED World Challenge Touring Car team. First, the Dublin, Virginia-based BMW racers look to honor the men, women and families of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) as the SPEED TC series stops in Watkins Glen, New York.

Second, the trio of BMW E90s, driven by team owner James Clay, 2009 race winner Seth Thomas, and series veteran (and longtime SOWF supporter) Nick Esayian are also motivated to erase the memories of the infamous crash at ‘The Glen’ in 2008 that took out all three cars in an instant.

For Clay, racing this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact on and off the track. “I was happy when Nick came on board with the SOWF and even more proud when they came out to visit us last year at Atlanta and I got to meet some of the families. It is an honor to be able to help and be associated with this dedicated group.”

For Esayian, involving the SOWF in his racing activities is a natural extension of his charitable endeavors with the organization. “We’ve given in excess of $25,000 over the years and hosted more than 100 individuals related to the United States Special Forces personnel. Since 1994 we’ve really had a change to expose to the general public what a fantastic charity the SOWF is. The exposure has led to increased support from musicians, athletes, and corporate America.”

Incorporating the SOWF into this weekend’s Fourth of July race weekend will allow Esayian, the BimmerWorld team and the entire World Challenge paddock to give back to the Special Forces and their families. “From an individual standpoint the kids that have lost a father get an ‘easy day’ where they get to live the racing dream. We’ve got some SF guys, their families, and some of the families of the guys killed in action or training coming to the track. We’ll split the groups up and the various WC teams will adopt them for the weekend. They get great insight into WC racing, a respite from the rigors of their real life, and we get an opportunity to show how much we appreciate them.”

While this isn’t the first time Esayian and BimmerWorld have hosted the SOWF, the opportunity to do so on Independence Day is especially meaningful. It’s a great feeling to provide them with the appreciation they’re due on such an important day for our military and our country as a whole.. A few years ago one of the SF guys was finishing up lunch with the RealTime crew and said, ‘<i>This is the first time civilians have done something this nice for us…</i>’ That comment was pretty telling. We owe these guys our thanks at the very least. Ensuring that their children get the finest education available in the event they unable to provide it themselves is an important function. The SOWF is there to do that and they have my full support.”

Once the BimmerWorld team’s attention shifts from the SOWF to this weekend’s race, Clay knows he’ll receive more than a few questions about last year’s accident. After footage of the 2008 Watkins Glen crash flooded the web, Clay’s team got plenty of attention, but not for the reasons he’d been looking for.

“I AM looking forward to coming back and I am looking forward to redo and a podium finish

BimmerWorld Wins 12 Hours of Summit Point with Supreme Team Effort

June 23rd, 2009

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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

BimmerWorld Set for Back-to-Back Canadian Races

May 13th, 2009

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With the 2009 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season in full swing, BimmerWorld has their three BMW E90 cars loaded on the trailer, ready to take two shots at victory once activities get underway for this weekend’s double-header at Mosport in Canada.

Located just outside of Toronto, the picturesque 2.5 mile, ten turn circuit demands the maximum from cars and drivers. Known for its rolling hills and long straights, Mosport places a premium on handling and traction

BimmerWorld Perseveres Through New Jersey

May 7th, 2009

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With the highs of winning the season opening race at Sebring still firmly in their minds, top SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car entrant BimmerWorld Racing was reminded that a follow-up win is even harder to achieve, as seen last weekend at Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey.

Team owner/driver James Clay was the top BimmerWorld/GearWrench entry at the finish line in 7th, followed by Nick Esayian in 9th and Seth Thomas in 14th.

Seth Thomas, first-time winner for the team at Sebring, continued his promising form by qualifying the #38 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW in second place. An unforeseen driveline failure would end the Georgian’s day a split-second after the starting lights turned green. “Unfortunately that is part of racing. As a driver we get to experience all the highs and lows of racing. I went from winning Sebring to qualifying 2nd at New Jersey. I was in a good position to repeat Sebring and was psyched up to do so; it was a big disappointment, but it’s still early in the season.”

Despite the letdown at New Jersey, Thomas is keeping a positive outlook. “The only thing I can do is put it in the past and look to the next race where I plan to get as many points as I can so we can stay in the fight for the championship!”

While he fell from 1st to 3rd in the driver’s championship, Thomas doesn’t expect the lack of results at Thunderbolt to have a lasting impact on his title aspirations. “We still managed to score some points, and with it being early in our championship bid, we still have a shot at it. I am looking at the big picture here and keeping my hopes alive. This was just one race and we still can win the championship.”

The BimmerWorld team is working overtime to remedy the situation says team owner James Clay. “Certainly the forces we have in the driveline due to standing starts and rear wheel drive on this car are causing a mess

BimmerWorld Ready for Round Two at New Jersey

April 28th, 2009

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Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld Racing turned a winter of non-stop work into a captivating win for Seth Thomas at the season opening round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series last month in Sebring, Florida.

Followed home by teammate Nick Esayian in 5th and team owner/driver James Clay in 6th, Thomas was not only elated with his own success, but with his BimmerWorld/GearWrench team having filled half of the top-6 spots in the race.

And now with a six week break between Sebring and this weekend’s round two at New Jersey Motorsports Park having passed, the three-car BMW E90 effort is ready for another strong performance at the twisting 2.25 mile, 14-turn circuit in Millville, NJ.

For Thomas, the hiatus has given him ample time to reflect on his first Series victory. “Starting off the season with a win and leading the points has been a huge confidence booster for me. This is the situation BimmerWorld and I have been trying to put ourselves in since we first started racing in World Challenge.

“To come out of the box fast in a new season with new rules and lots of unknowns is just great. James Clay, our crew chief Jason Marks, and all of the boys have been working overtime since Sebring to keep the momentum going in our favor. Winning was great, but you can’t rest on your last performance

BimmerWorld’s Thomas Claims Decisive First Victory at Sebring

March 24th, 2009

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Thomas attends press conference following his victory
Thomas attends the press conference following his victory.
Thomas maintains the lead from the start to the checkered flag
Thomas leads from the start to the checkered flag.

If there’s been a list of World Challenge drivers who’ve been most overdue for their first win, BimmerWorld’s Seth Thomas has been atop that list for the past few years.

After second place finishes, front row starting spots, and numerous fastest laps, the Georgia native took himself off that ‘most overdue’ list with a commanding win at the 2009 SPEED TC opener at Sebring.

The weekend was capped off by strong finishes by all three BimmerWorld / GearWrench BMW E90s. Nick Esayian drove a spirited race to claim 5th while team owner/driver James Clay secured 6th place.

“Honestly I never expected the first win to be like this one” said an ecstatic Thomas. “Leading from lap one to the final lap is what everyone hopes for and that’s what happened this weekend. For the last 6 years I have been looking for this win and there have been great battles getting here. The only thing that would have made this a better day would have been celebrating the win with my two BimmerWorld / GearWrench teammates on the podium with me. With a win under my belt, I am looking forward to seeing my BMW E90 in victory lane more often!”

After being close on so many occasions, it’s understandable that Thomas wasn’t counting his Sebring win prematurely. “I felt comfortable with my lead, but as the race progresses you always start to imagine noises going on in the car and the rough Sebring surface is notorious for shaking the cars up. I thought, ‘Please don’t fail me now,’ but being behind the wheel of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW, I didn’t have a reason to believe the car would let me down. I knew if I drove my race, it would go my way especially with the final laps counting down.”

Seth’s parents have been a fixture at his World Challenge races and after years of support, they were able to watch their son cross the start/finish line a winner. “My wife and my parents have been the most supportive people of my racing habit. Having all of them here with me today made this day extra special. My family is my life and I would not want to experience my first win without them. And it was great hearing my wife tell me our unborn child was turning flips during the race is very exciting. I can’t think of a better way to start out this new chapter of my life!”

After a rough and tumble 2008 season, Nick Esayian was ecstatic to finish the first race of the year without drama and without body contact. “The guys gave me a great car to drive — that was the first piece to the puzzle. My start was certainly better than last year so the gene pool of people I was around on lap one make better decisions and it was nice to get a clean race in.

“Last year I got hit more times than Muhammad Ali in the ‘Thrilla in Manila.’ After that I just put my head down. Holding onto 4th would have been nice but I had used the tires up early in the race. A 5th place finish was a solid way to get the season started. Our guys have been working hard and I only expect the results to improve.”

If James Clay’s 6th place finish wasn’t as strong as he’d hoped for, the success of his team was a great source of pride. Having spent years assembling the right team and building their unique BMW E90 cars, seeing all three BimmerWorld / GearWrench cars finish in the top-6 validated the team’s place amongst the elite World Challenge entrants.

“It takes years of work and a lot of dedicated guys to get where we are currently. I am proud of my teammates for their drives today and I am proud of the guys in the crew that don’t get their fair share of credit for making it happen for us. They have spent the ‘off’ season rebuilding the cars, working on a long list of developments and testing with us with a pretty hectic schedule. Lots of hours went into this

BimmerWorld / GearWrench Racing Returns with Familiar Lineup and Faster Cars for 2009

March 5th, 2009

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Building on the success of 2008 has been the focus of Dublin, Virginia’s BimmerWorld / GearWrench Racing while preparing for the 2009 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car championship.

The BMW E90 team sees all three drivers returning for another attack on the Touring Car championship, with team owner/driver James Clay joined again by series veterans Seth Thomas and Nick Esayian.

“Continuity is critical, especially when you have the right team in place,” said Clay. “Seth has been a key factor in our advancement through the racing ranks for the last 5 years, and Nick’s technical contributions last year, in addition to being a plenty capable driver, have been huge. We are able to pick up in 2009 right where we left off instead of working to build a new rapport. That pays dividends.”

Esayian’s Debt Cures-sponsored BMW will be on the move to the front of the pack if he has his say. “2008 was rough at times…I got knocked around a lot on track, but I’m confident in my crew, teammates, the cars, and my abilities for the new season. I got back on track in the last few races of ’08 and was zeroing in on a top-five finish, so I expect that momentum to carry through to 2009. We’re going to get results.”

Seth Thomas put on the fight of the season at VIR last year, nearly claiming his first win on the twisting track. After watching James Clay score his first win later in the year at Elkhart Lake, Thomas is more dedicated than ever to earn his place in victory lane.

“My focus hasn’t changed for 2009 – I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got to bring home wins for me and my team. James is driving better than ever, Nick is like a caged animal waiting to be released, and I can hardly wait to get the season underway. The hunger inside the team to succeed is just incredible. Between the three of us, I think the BimmerWorld / GearWrench team is ready to take that final step and earn a championship.”

BimmerWorld can also boast a rarity in these economically-challenged times: the return of all their 2008 sponsors, and an increase in the partnership between the team and hand tool maker GearWrench. “It’s tough for everyone this year, but we’re incredibly thankful for the continued support from all of our partners. When other teams are seeing their sponsors stepping back, GearWrench is stepping up to take an expanded role with the team after coming on board last season. Our aim is to deliver the results they and the rest of our partners deserve.”

Clay’s dedicated crew of technicians have spent the past five months perfecting their trio of 4-door E90s, and knows the team stands their best chance at success in 2009. “Our crew chief Jason Marks and the boys have poured over every inch of this car looking for ways to make it even faster and with the support and components from our performance partners, I know we’ll be ready to charge when the championship kicks off at Sebring.”

After a brief hiatus, BMW of North America returns to the World Challenge series as an official supporter. Clay knows this commitment from BMW will only help the team’s efforts to secure a manufacturers championship. “It is great that BMW is stepping up their involvement this year to support us in the manufacturers’ championship. It is kind of a pat on the back for all the effort we have put in, and validation of our results. As we battle throughout the 2009 season, their support will help us tackle the non-BMW teams that receive factory support.”

Stopping short of making any predictions, Clay is ready to stand on the hard work and potential the BimmerWorld / GearWrench team has to offer. “Racing is about the people and the work they do to deliver success. I’m confident that we have the drivers, crew, and sponsors to get the job done.”

BimmerWorld is proudly supported by: GearWrench, aFe, Alpinestars, BBS, Bimmerforums.com, DiffsOnline, JB Racing, Moton, Performance Friction, Powerflex, Red Line Oil, Rogue Engineering, and BMW.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld and GearWrench Partner Again in 2009

February 4th, 2009

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The 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season found leading BMW entrant BimmerWorld Racing and GearWrench teamed up to showcase their abilities under the most trying conditions.

After a win by team owner/driver James Clay at Road America and numerous top-5 finishes within the three car team, the only thing left for BimmerWorld and GearWrench to do was to return for 2009 with an expanded partnership to vie for the SPEED TC championship.

For Clay, the growth of BimmerWorld’s alliance with GearWrench in such trying economic times is a sign of a strong relationship. “From my perspective as a business owner, smart companies are not just doing broad stroke cutbacks; they are evaluating the effectiveness of all their operations, including marketing and sponsorship.

BimmerWorld Claims VIR 13 Hour Endurance Race Win

November 3rd, 2008

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BimmerWorld Leaves Road Atlanta Finale Wanting More

October 9th, 2008

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The members of BimmerWorld Racing will look back at 2008 with a full range of memories and emotions. The final tally will reflect a win, numerous podiums, fastest laps, and awards across the three-car BMW E90 World Challenge Touring Car effort. But the ultimate goal of the team

BimmerWorld: Ready to Roll at Road Atlanta

October 2nd, 2008

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“It has certainly been a season of ups and downs and coming into Road Atlanta, I feel like we are hitting on all cylinders both as a team and behind the wheel,” said BimmerWorld’s owner/driver James Clay about the team’s season to date. “We just got back from testing and I feel good about our upcoming race weekend.”

2008 has been a mixed bag of results for the team from Dublin, Virginia. A win in August at Elkhart Lake by James Clay has certainly added momentum to help BimmerWorld close out the season on a high note. The team has made a huge leap forward in competitiveness, and Clay wants to end the year in style. “I had higher expectations than having our three drivers in the top 10 in points coming into this year; we’re hungry for a championship, but winning two of the last three races will go a long way as a consolation prize.”

With the cars carrying added support from sponsor GearWrench for the Road Atlanta finale, Clay’s says his BMW E90 team is gaining strength at just the right time. “I was excited to work with them through the full season, and the increase in their support is certainly welcome. It is a valuable partnership to the team and one that not only helps the racing effort but helps the guys on the team who are able to have boxes full of GearWrench tools to make their jobs easier.”

For Seth Thomas, driver of the #38 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW, the growth of GearWrench’s participation is a sign of bigger and better things to come. “I think GearWrench stepping up their support of BimmerWorld is just perfect – it

BimmerWorld Drivers Send a Message at Mosport

August 26th, 2008

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“As soon as the lights went out and I rocketed into second to start pressing for the lead, I was completely convinced that we would win,” said James Clay, owner and driver of the #36 BimmerWorld BMW E90.

Clay, a winner just two weeks ago at the Road America round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car championship, endured the frustrations that can come when a top finishing position is at hand.

Clay’s E90 suffered an axle shaft failure with the race leader firmly in his sights. “If you race long enough, you will have mechanical failures. That’s the first time we have broken that specific part, but we will certainly be doing some engineering analysis and replacements on the cars to prevent this from happening again.”

The outcome of the race might have been different had the part held on for just a few more laps. “I would say that it came at about the most inopportune time possible at Mosport, but it is a part of racing. I feel like I had the race well in my control and it was a matter of time before I made a move on Chip Herr for the lead. The car was perfect up until the axle went, and I think we had a great shot at claiming two in a row.”

Clay wasn’t the only BimmerWorld driver to agonize over a lost opportunity. Teammate Seth Thomas was poised to deliver a top-3 finish when an unsuccessful pass for second place relegated the #38 BMW E90 back to 12th place.

“My race was probably a little bit better than James had, but I don’t have the results to show it. I made a mistake trying to gain one more spot on the last lap — not being able to pull off the attempted pass for 2nd is the only downside of the weekend for me, but we aren’t satisfied with scoring safe results. We know we can win and that’s where our focus is at. If I see an opportunity to move up a spot or two, that’s just what I’ll try to do. Even if it didn’t work out here, everything else is very positive from this weekend.”

The #34 Debt Cures BMW of Nick Esayian encountered far less drama during his march from 13th to 9th at the checkered flag. “Unlike James and Seth, my race was relatively uneventful. I had a good start but lost momentum when I was pinched into the wall. Picking up four spots was good, and now I’m focused on a big finish at Road Atlanta to get into the top ten in Championship Points. Having all three of us in the top-10 in points at the end of the season would say a lot for the growth and strength of this team.”

While the results last weekend might not show it, the BimmerWorld trio left Mosport with high expectations for the season finale at Road Atlanta, October 4th. With a month to prepare and test, the BimmerWorld crew will be working non-stop to get their cars back to victory circle. Clay is confident the cars and crew led by Jason Marks will be ready to put on a show in Georgia. “We have a few more things in development for our E90′s for Atlanta. I can’t say exactly what they are, but we’re confident of our chances. We’re aiming to fill the podium in front of the home crowd!”

BimmerWorld’s Seth Thomas can’t wait to get the race weekend in his home state under way. “We have these cars figured out and dialed in. Mosport was a great track for us to show what we can do, and so was Road America, but Road Atlanta is my home race; it’s the one I want more than anything. We came close last year and I’m counting the days until I can show everybody what we can do this year. We’ll be ready to put on a show, I guarantee it.”

Watch BimmerWorld battle to the front in Mosport at 1 p.m. ET this Wednesday, August 27th on SPEED.

BimmerWorldRacing.com offers exclusive driver blogs, photo galleries, and in-car videos for a complete media experience from the leading BMW Touring Car team in North America.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld: Mosport SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Preview

August 19th, 2008

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The BimmerWorld BMW World Challenge team sets down at one of their favorite events this weekend at the high speed circuit just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by picturesque hills at the tree-lined 2.5 mile circuit, Mosport famously demands both car and driver to perform at their maximum to earn a top finish.

After a commanding victory at Elkhart Lake two weeks ago, BimmerWorld’s owner/driver James Clay has his sights set on taming Mosport’s rollercoaster-esque track.

“Elkhart Lake was a wonderful achievement for BimmerWorld and I think it confirmed that we’re at a good stage of development with our BMW E90 race cars. We figured something out at Road America on the setup and the car is very good right now. Hopefully, that advantage will continue for a few races. One thing we are able to bring into Mosport is some enthusiasm from the entire team, which always makes the workday seem shorter. It’s never easy to win in World Challenge, and I don’t expect Mosport to be anything less than another huge fight, but we’re up for another battle.”

Seth Thomas, driver of the #38 BMW, doesn’t mind the spotlight shining on the BimmerWorld team. “I would say that we now have everyone talking and have the other team’s attention. They have known we can win for a while now but until we delivered they didn’t really pay attention to it. I hope to follow James’ example and drive to the front at Mosport.”

“I think any type of real sport requires a certain level of confidence to be successful,” said Nick Esayian, pilot of the #34 Debt Cures E90, about the team’s boost in morale. “Tom Brady doesn’t walk onto the field and say, ‘Maybe I’ll throw a completion today.’ When you have had some misfortune that confidence level isn’t where it needs to be

BimmerWorld: James Clay Wins Elkhart Lake SPEED Touring Car Race

August 11th, 2008

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In a season thus far dominated by factory teams, BimmerWorld’s breakthrough at Elkhart Lake was a popular one amongst fans and drivers. “I never knew what to expect after I got my first win the Touring Car, but it seems like the entire paddock-guys like Peter Cunningham, Pierre Kleinubing, and the rest of the guys made a point to congratulate me and the rest of the team. It means a lot. I think they understand how hard we’ve been working to make this happen.”

After heartbreak at Elkhart Lake in 2004 and 2006, Clay wasn’t willing to let the likelihood of winning distract him until he dove past the checkered flag. “I’ve been here before…I’ve had races I could have won before and have known it was something our team was ready for, but so often something silly would happen and the win would slip away. I wouldn’t let myself celebrate until I passed the start finish line.”

At a time when most drivers would be jumping up and down in a burst of emotion, Clay took his first win in stride. “I knew we could win all weekend long. I don’t mean to sound matter of fact, but this result is what I knew I was capable of and what I knew our car and team was capable of all year long. I’m really happy to have won, but I’m not surprised; if anything, it reaffirms that we have the right ingredients and can win more races.”

Clay’s elation to claim his first win was measured with appreciation and respect paid to the technicians that build and run all three BimmerWorld BMW E90′s. “The biggest thing I have to say is that this wasn’t my win today

TheRaceSite.com catches up with James Clay

August 8th, 2008

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld: Elkhart Lake SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Preview

August 7th, 2008

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While they’ve all had highs and lows, the team’s mixed fortunes at Elkhart are a blend of comedy and misery. For Nick Esayian – pilot of the #34 Debt Cures BMW E90, the state is responsible for his college education and also his racing education.

“It was my home track when I started racing there in 1992 until I moved in late 1995. I had quite a few wins there along the way, but I’m still fishing for one in World Challenge.” You’ll have to excuse Nick–his memories of the track have a few gaps, thanks to one race that ended in unconsciousness! “Certainly one of my worst memories was getting KO’d in the Kink a few years back. I didn’t even remember my son’s 1st birthday party which occurred later that day.”

Team owner and driver James Clay, pilot of the #36 BimmerWorld BMW, has avoided head trauma at the track, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been knocked around a bit. “My last two World Challenge weekends at Elkhart amassed 4 incidents, split evenly between 2 barrel rolls and 2 walls. I love the track and I think it is about time it loved me!”

Lumps not withstanding, Road America has also left a few presents at Esayian’s doorstep. “My fondest memory was the Cat SCCA National in 1994. Chrysler arranged for me to get the first NEON ACR (American Club Racer) off the line so we could run the race and promote the ACR program. Something broke on the car the first practice lap and we had it towed back to Milwaukee. The late Jerry Zimmerman and I had to drive it back to the track that night after we fixed it in a blizzard on shaved tires! We were almost killed a dozen times during the drive. It’s a longer story with a lot of twists, foul weather and phalanx of great folks involved, but in the end, I think I finished 2nd to Galati in the race. It’s a grand track that brings back a lot of memories for me.”

Now racing the finest BMW touring car in North America, Esayian’s anxious to get this year’s race weekend underway. “The E90 should stretch its legs there, and we should do just fine, but I am done with predictions. The guys wrenching on our cars have done great work for us this year and they deserve a win. The time for talk is over.”

Seth Thomas hopes his #38 BMW E90 can push back against the Japanese cars that have remained in a favorable competitive specification all season. “They’ve won all 7 rounds this year, but I know our cars are capable of winning too. We’ve worked tirelessly all year. Let’s hope the Series steps up before the season is over.”

James Clay is in a similar frame of mind. “Certainly if we have a speed advantage we will do well and the sweeping corners help our cause, but if some of the other teams pull out more Mystery Speed Oil, we’ll be in store for another challenging event. We’ll know in a few days time.”

Unlike some race weekends that are held in less than inspiring venues, the BimmerWorld team is prepared to make the most of their time spent in the colorful surrounding’s of Wisconsin’s most famous race track. Clay sees the opportunity to enjoy the local foods as something that can’t be missed. “With the race on Sunday, I plan to be in Wisconsin for 5 hard days of work on the track. Unfortunately, this may eliminate a little bit of fun that the area offers, but we’ll be sure to make some time for double-brats and a bit of steak.”

Esayian’s goals for an overload of carnivorous delights and sampling the local libations are a notch or two above Clay’s. “Let the dining and drinking commence! Swartz’s is one of my favorite places to eat so I’ll most likely be hitting the prime rib there five nights straight, and then plan to wash it down with some booze to keep my heart from calcifying. No fancy atmosphere; just great food. My James Hunt years of bad behavior are over so I’ll save the heavy boozing for a post podium romp.”

Follow all of the action from Wisconsin this weekend at BimmerWorldRacing.com with driver blogs, photo galleries, and exclusive in-car videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Courtesy: BimmerWorld Media Services
mediaservices@bimmerworld.com

More information about the team, cars, and drivers can be found at www.bimmerworldracing.com
Information on BimmerWorld’s Customer Car Services can be found at www.bimmerworld.com
Details on PowerFlex Suspension Bushings can be found at www.powerflexusa.com

BimmerWorld Drivers Make the Most out of a Challenging Mid-Ohio Race

July 22nd, 2008

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The BimmerWorld SPEED World Challenge Touring Car team unloaded their rapid BMW E90′s at Mid-Ohio with dreams of repeating their 2007 win at the Lexington, Ohio track firmly in mind. The three-car team would leave Mid-Ohio without that win, but have high hopes for their cars to be able to show their true competitive form at the remaining rounds.

“Certainly none of the teams are sitting still, including us,” said team owner/driver James Clay. “We not only managed to repair the cars after Watkins but also upgraded the suspension design and got some testing in. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to close the gap. The other teams also sped up a bit through the weekend

BimmerWorld: Getting to Know Nick Esayian

July 11th, 2008

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BimmerWorld BMW SCCA World Challenge driver Nick Esayian is known in the racing world as a lighthearted character, but behind the quick wit and biting sarcasm stands a self-made businessman whose interests and skills are as varied as any in the World Challenge paddock.

New to the BimmerWorld fold in 2008, Esayian quickly adapted to the team

BimmerWorld: Watkins Glen SPEED TC — When Good Turns to Bad in 45 Minutes

June 20th, 2008

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The old racing adage about needing to ‘win or be spectacular’ was never more evident as a crash in the final corner found all three BimmerWorld BMW E90′s involved and out of the race on the spot.

Recounting the events of the impact, BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay, at the center of the crash that involved teammates Nick Esayian and Seth Thomas, stated “I came into Turn 11 and just couldn’t find any front end grip. I got the car pointed, but needed about 3″ more track than I had. As soon as the car touched the tire wall, it got sucked in and started this chain of events. I am very glad that Daniels who was behind me, as well as my teammates and myself made it through the incident without any real injury.”

Bumps and bruises are a normal part of top-tier touring car racing, but despite this, Clay’s crash left him in awe of the BMW E90′s BimmerWorld has built. “This wreck was violent and the scariest I have ever been in. It is a real testament to the safety we’ve engineered into these racing cars.”

Despite the lost opportunities of a strong finish at Watkins Glen, the competitiveness of the cars has Clay remaining upbeat for the rest of the season. “The cars keep getting better. I know we have the power right now, but we still seem to be fighting a little bit of an uphill battle with the grip. I was running in 5th and also visited 3rd place briefly on the first restart before losing a place to slot in, and being shuffled. This seemed like it was going to be a good race before disaster struck, but there’s no reason for us to let a bad weekend at Watkins set us back.”

A team like BimmerWorld would rather gain media attention from its success, but Clay has seen the interest come pouring in over their crash footage. “Our crash made SPEED on Wind Tunnel AND SPEED Report

BimmerWorld Builds Momentum at Lime Rock World Challenge Double-Header

May 28th, 2008

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In the unique ‘two races in three days’ format held over Memorial Day weekend at the Lakeville, Connecticut track, drivers Seth Thomas, Nick Esayian, and James Clay found mixed fortunes between the first race held on Saturday and the second race held on Monday.

Seth Thomas, starting 5th on Saturday and 10th on Monday, had a reversal of fortune, finishing 10th on Saturday and 4th on Monday.

3-car BimmerWorld BMW team continues to build momentum going into the Lime Rock double-header this weekend.

May 21st, 2008

BimmerWorld Back on Track after Thrilling VIR World Challenge Race

April 28th, 2008

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Add in the massive crowd supporting the BimmerWorld boys, and round two of the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car championship was a classic event for all of those in attendance.

For Seth Thomas, VIR served as a weekend of career bests and highlights at every turn.

BimmerWorld: Down Time

April 23rd, 2008

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In addition to owning the BimmerWorld Racing team, Clay also owns and runs the parent company, his BimmerWorld BMW aftermarket, sales, and development business that serve owners and enthusiasts of the famed German brand. With two businesses on his shoulders and his weekends packed with other track activities, this weekend

BimmerWorld Video: Seth Thomas Sebring In-Car Race 2008

April 2nd, 2008

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Thomas, forced to start from the back of the brutally tough SPEED World Challenge Touring Car field at the season opening round in Sebring, Florida, has just 45 minutes to work his way to the front of the field. Seth has no choice but to start attacking immediately; his car control on cold tires on the opening lap is a sight to be seen. Thomas clearly isn

BimmerWorld’s Nick Esayian Featured on SPEEDtv.com

March 31st, 2008

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The sharp wit and occasionally sharp tongue of BimmerWorld BMW World Challenge Touring Car driver Nick Esayian is featured this week on SPEEDtv.com. Esayian, enjoying his first weekend in the three-car BMW E90 team, shares an unfiltered recap of the highs and lows of his Sebring race weekend, round one of the Touring Car championship.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/speed-tc-esayians-sobering-sebring-satire/

BimmerWorld Survives Rollercoaster Opener at Sebring

March 19th, 2008

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BimmerWorld BMW E90 team mates James Clay, Seth Thomas, and Nick Esayian will look back at the 2008 Sebring opener with mixed feelings.

BimmerWorld Enters 2008 World Challenge Season with New Names and Faces

February 29th, 2008

BimmerWorld Unveils New

January 18th, 2008

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SPEED Touring Car BMW team BimmerWorld announced today the launch of their new

Nick Esayian Joins BimmerWorld SPEED Touring Car Team for 2008

December 13th, 2007

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Esayian, ready to start his fifth season of SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car, sees the move to James Clay”s team as a strategic, but friendly move, intended to boost his goals of becoming a regular visitor to the podium.

“There

2007: A Year of Change and Success for BimmerWorld in SPEED Touring Car

November 25th, 2007