FINAL ROUND: SRO Championship – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Flags at Indy

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the previously successful set of races at COTA, James Clay was still leading the TC America Driver’s Championship points while the team rolled into Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a long week full of racing. These final two races would seal the fate for the overall season championship, so the pressure was on for James to finish close to the podium to be awarded enough points to clinch the championship.  

James Clay with helmet on

Right off the bat, things were looking great as James qualified his PÖRQ/OPTIMA Batteries No. 36 BMW M240iR on the pole for the first race of the weekend. Chandler Hull qualified his TAC Energy No. 94 M240iR close behind in P4— there was less than a second between the top eight cars!

BimmerWorld M240iRs racing at Indy

M240iR action at Indy

The numbers were being crunched in the pits before the race started to figure out where James needed to finish to clinch the championship, and that magic number was P4. If he could finish in P4 or better, the championship would be his, but James isn’t one to sit back and let everyone else have the fun. Throughout the race, James diced it up with the top four cars nonstop, running in second for most of the race. While dealing with lapped traffic going into T2, a rookie TCR driver made a fairly unpredictable move which forced contact with James, sending him spinning and dropping to the back of the field.  With less than half the race left, James fought hard to get back up through the field, but when the checkers flew, it was P8 for him and P10 for Chandler.

PORQ M240iR at Indy

TAC Energy M240iR at Indy

Obviously very disappointed with this outcome, James knew that the final race of the season would be the deciding factor for the entire championship. Finishing in P8 didn’t net him enough points to clinch it, so now it would all come down to Race 2. Starting near the middle of the pack, James knew it would be important to not only get close to the front for those crucial points, but he’d also have to stay out of trouble and keep the car in one piece all the way to the finish.  

M240iRs down the front straight at Indy

Dicing through the field right from the start, the BimmerWorld Racing team was pulling their hair out behind the pit wall watching every second of the race and reacting with gasps or yells each time they saw Clay driving hard to gain positions. Teammate Chandler Hull stuck right with him, and both drivers managed to navigate through the field of M240iRs cleanly, with James finishing P4 and Chandler in P7.  

BMW M240iR racing at Indy

TAC Energy M240iR ahead at Indy

PORQ M240iR leading the pack at Indy

The final finishing position in the last race of the season gave James enough points to be locked in as the 2020 SRO TC America Driver’s Champion! It came right down to the wire, but when things mattered most, he got the job done.

James Clay in his M240iR crossing the finish line at Indy

James Clay holding Driver's Champion sign at Indy

James Clay holding Driver's Champion sign in front of Indy building

Switching over to our Red Line Oil BMW M4 GT4 America Sprint X car, Bill Auberlen and James Walker, Jr. also had their final pair of races to end the season. Race 1 had James Walker, Jr. behind the wheel first starting in P12. Walker, Jr. managed to move the car up through the field a bit before handing it over to Bill who finished out the race strong in P6. 

The second race was almost the same, with the BimmerWorld M4 GT4 rolling off in P13 and the dynamic duo working the car up to P8, which was also enough to lock them into a podium finish for the overall season points in their very first year of driving the car together. It was a huge accomplishment and a testament to the consistency of these two drivers behind the wheel of this BMW.

BimmerWorld Red Line Oil M4 GT4 in the pits at Indy

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 racing at Indy

Auberlen and Walker, Jr. on the podium at Indy

After the dust had settled and the awards were given out, everyone could breathe easy knowing they were done for the year, and the stress of bringing home a championship or a podium position was finally gone for the season…

But wait, there’s more!

That’s right, the boys at BimmerWorld thought the only way to cap off a brutal season with an insanely compressed schedule — sometimes with three back-to-back race weekends — would be to race even more. We aren’t talking about another Sprint race.  Oh, no… James, Chandler, and Bill were going to tackle the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge Indianapolis 8-Hour Endurance Race. That’s right, as soon as the BimmerWorld Red Line Oil M4 GT4 was done with its regular season, the BWR crew went to work preparing it for its next mission of tackling an 8-hour-long endurance race with competitors from all over the globe.

Clay, Auberlen, Walker, Jr. in front of the Red Line Oil M4 GT4 at Indy

Prepping the car with fresh PFC brake pads, topping off the OPTIMA Battery, checking the Red Line Oil fluids, along with the normal level of inspection that’s usually done back at the shop post-race over a couple of days was done in a matter of hours at the track. The very next day, the RLO M4 GT4 rolled onto the Brickyard once again to qualify for the 8-hour race.

OPTIMA Battery getting charged in BMW M4 GT4 at Indy

New PFC race pads being installed on the Red Line Oil BMW M4 GT4 at Indy

While Bill Auberlen was busy putting down fast laps, a wheel stud failed. This caused him to come in early, and not being able to fix the car while on pit lane meant no other drivers could get in the car to complete their qualifying sessions. In this series, your starting position is based on an average of the 3 driver’s qualifying times; therefore, we were forced to start at the back of the field since we couldn’t post a qualifying time. This failure — which was a BMW Motorsport part — was quickly remedied back in the garage with a full set of wheel studs that BimmerWorld regularly sells to their customers and installs on their own builds.

BimmerWorld Red Line Oil BMW M4 GT4 ready for racing at Indy endurance race

On to Sunday morning and Bill Auberlen was suited up and ready to take the green.  The weather was on everyone’s mind while the cloud cover started to look threatening, and the radar showed a line of heavy rain quickly approaching. The big decision to stick with slicks or change to rains was something every team was struggling with down to the very last moment. Everyone was watching what their competition was doing to see what call would give them the biggest advantage. Everyone stuck to slicks, and as the green flag waved to start eight hours of racing, the rain started falling.

Racing at Indy in the rain

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 racing in the rain at Indy

Taking the green on the very first lap, Auberlen didn’t waste any time rushing to the front, picking up four positions in Turn 1. As the rain got heavier, everyone started getting nervous about their tire choices, and when it eventually got to be too much to handle, the Red Line Oil M4 GT4 came to pit lane for a fresh set of rains. With his confidence restored, Bill continued to push to the front, quickly landing himself in P2 while still battling in extremely rainy conditions.

RLO M4 GT4 racing in the rain at Indy

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 leading at Indy

The second driver to get behind the wheel was James Clay who managed to push the BimmerWorld car to the lead during his stint on a now-drying track. Handing the car off to Chandler mid-race resulted in even more flawless pit stops from the BWR crew, allowing the car to remain in P1 for several hours.

BimmerWorld Red Line Oil BMW M4 GT4 chasing a Ferrari at Indy

BimmerWorld Red Line Oil M4 GT4 charging hard at IndyWhile we approached the final hours of the race, the BimmerWorld Red Line Oil M4 GT4 remained out front due to the perfect strategy of Dave Wagener and Wayne Yawn.  Decisions made on the fly at the perfect time always landed the BimmerWorld M4 GT4 back in P1 after pit cycles and driver changes. In endurance racing, the strategy behind pit wall is just as important as the talent behind the wheel. If those two don’t work perfectly in concert, you stand no chance of winning.

BimmerWorld crew in the pits at Indy

BimmerWorld crew working in the pits at Indy

In BimmerWorld’s case, everything did work perfectly together, and eight hours after taking the green flag in last place, the team was taking the checkered flag in first.

Bill Auberlen, James Clay, and James Walker, Jr. on the podium after winning the 8-hour endurance race at Indy

James, Bill, and Chandler got some well-deserved champagne on the top step of the podium, putting the best possible cap on an already extremely successful 2020 SRO season.  

Clay, Walker, Jr., and Auberlen celebrating after winning at Indy

BimmerWorld drivers kissing the bricks at Indy after winning the 8-hour endurance race

HUGE thanks to our technical sponsors:

OPTIMA Batteries – Red Line Oil – PFC Brakes – Diffsonline – Lifeline Fire Systems –  BMW Motorsport

This season would not have been possible without the amazing work from the entire BimmerWorld racing team.

Bill Auberlen – Driver – No. 82 Red Line Oil M4 GT4 – Sprint X Pro/Am

James Walker Jr. – Driver – No. 82 Red Line Oil M4 GT4 – SprintX Pro/AM

James Clay – Driver – No. 36 PORQ / OPTIMA Batteries – TC America

Chandler Hull – Driver – No. 94 TAC Energy M240iR – TC America

David Wagener – Team Manager/Engineer

Wayne Yawn – Engineer

Dave Simpkins – Crew Chief

Jordan Allen – Car Chief No. 82

Bryce Allen – Lead Tech No. 82

Tommy Gallant – Tire Engineer

Zach Lovingood – Lead Tech No. 36

Matt Berg – Car Chief No. 94

Theo Bialk – Car Chief No. 36

Rod Owens – Hauler Driver

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BimmerWorld Names Strong Driver Lineup for 2020 SRO Racing Season; Team Will Represent BMW in Two Classes

BimmerWorld-Names-Strong-Driver-Lineup-for-2020-SRO-Racing-Season--Team-Will-Represent-BMW-in-Two-Classes

BimmerWorld has announced its return to the 2020 SRO America season in both GT4 America and TC America. The team will include some of the top sports car drivers in an assault to claim two class championships for BMW.

The 2020 four-person driving squad consists of Bill Auberlen, James Clay, Chandler Hull, and James Walker, Jr., all from the United States. Auberlen and Walker will share the No. 82 BMW M4 in the GT4 series, while Clay (No. 36) and Hull (No. 94) will compete in the TC America series in a pair of BMW M240i Racing cars.

Auberlen comes to the BimmerWorld team with a long history with the BMW brand. He has driven BMW cars in more races than any other driver in the world to become the all-time winningest American driver in a leading series. Having claimed six professional championships (four with BMW power) and competed in over 500 professional races to date, Auberlen is the most decorated and prolific BMW driver in the world. His results include over 90 race victories, 190 podium finishes, 55 pole positions, 80 fastest race laps, and 110 lap records.

Clay returns full-time to the TC America series for the first time since 2009. In 2019, he competed in GT4 America as well as the TC America weekend at Road America, taking home a victory and podium. In 2019 alone, he competed in over 20 races on American soil with three wins, 10 podium finishes, one pole position, and three fastest race laps, all in BMWs. He also races in Germany at the ADAC 6-hour and 24-hour Nürburgring races and competes at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Hull, in his inaugural professional season, surprised the touring car class by finishing third in the driver’s championship and was named Rookie of the Year for his season’s success. His rookie season in TC captured four podiums, seven top-5 finishes, and one pole position. In 2020, he will also be teaming up with Tyler Cooke in the SRO GT4 European series and with Cameron Evans in the VLN series at the Nürburgring in Germany, as well as running the ADAC 6-hour and 24-hour Nürburgring races.

Walker ran the TCR series in TC America in 2019, finishing with three podiums and two fastest laps. Over the past three years, he has entered 32 professional races, finishing with three victories, thirteen podiums, two pole positions, and ten fastest race laps. His day-job expertise in vehicle dynamics will bring further expertise to the veteran team.

Clay, President of BimmerWorld and team manager commented, “We’re very excited about this season of racing! We have a mix of very seasoned and accomplished drivers partnered with the most up-and-coming drivers in North America. Our stable of BMW racing machines will be a perfect complement for the aggregated driving talent.”

TC Team Owner, Jeff Hull, added, “With driver talent like this backed by BMW power, along with our outstanding line-up of sponsors, we expect great results in 2020.”

The BimmerWorld Racing team is supported by the following sponsors:

  • No. 82 primary sponsor – Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation manufacturers more than 100 high-end lubricants that have the reputation of performing better than any other product on the market, regardless of price. Using cutting edge technology, Red Line responds to the technical challenges of today’s performance industry, utilizing knowledge from racing to create high-performance products for track cars and street vehicles.
  • No. 36 primary sponsor – PöRQ Snacks is a new line of artisanal pork rind snacks by Benestar Brands, the world’s largest pork rind manufacturer. These snacks are made with the highest quality ingredients and come in Herb & Vinaigrette, Black Pepper & Sea Salt, and BBQ & Chipotle flavors.
  • No. 94 primary sponsor – TAC Energy is one of the largest independent wholesale fuel distributors of refined petroleum products in the United States. With an extensive supply network across the U.S. as well as regional sales offices across the country, TAC can service almost any customer’s fuel needs.

Other team sponsors include:

  • Kernel Seasons – America’s #1 Popcorn Seasoning.
  • Go Organic – Leader in organic hard candy and soft chews.
  • Ozium Air Sanitizers – Clinically proven to eliminate, not mask, odors.

Core BimmerWorld technical partners include:

  • OPTIMA Batteries – Delivering long-lasting, unsurpassed performance.
  • PFC Brakes – Leading brake friction and component manufacturer.
  • Lifeline Fire & Safety System – Leading manufacturer of fire safety equipment and fire safety systems to the motorsport industry.

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ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a pair of BMW Motorsport M4 GT4s, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. BimmerWorld Racing also continues to race in the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars, as well as competing in the GT4 series in a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4.

BimmerWorld Enters New Decade Seeking More IMSA Glory at Daytona

BimmerWorld-Enters-New-Decade-Seeking-More-IMSA-Glory-at-Daytona
For race car drivers in any discipline, the excitement of competing at Daytona never goes away.
You can count the BimmerWorld Racing competitors among those enamored with Daytona International Speedway. But when the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series kicks off its 2020 campaign there on the afternoon of Friday, January 24, they will be all business.
The two-car BimmerWorld team from Dublin, Va., will hit the track in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a pair of F82 chassis-based BMW M4 GT4s looking to add to the operation’s success at the World Center of Racing during the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge.
James Clay of Blacksburg, Va., team principal and co-driver of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor-livered car, finished second in the GS class at the Florida track in 2018, and came home fourth last season.

“We have been successful in GS at Daytona, and really I think on average we’ve been quite good at any track since the start of our M4 GT4 program because the base BMW car is quite good,” Clay said. “Plus, we have years of engineering experience with the cars we have built and developed in-house, which also apply to rubbing on this car and making it even better. We have a solid team and driver squad that have been core to the success as well.”

The all-around prowess of the M4 GT4 does indeed make it a formidable option for both the drafting zones and flat-out big banks of Daytona, as well as its tight turns and braking zones.
Devin and James at Sebring 2019

(L-R) Devin Jones and James Clay, drivers of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor
BMW M4 GT4 celebrating a podium finish last year at Sebring, team up again in 2020.

Clay’s co-driver in the No. 82, Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C, won at Daytona for BimmerWorld in the Street Tuner (ST) class in 2018 and campaigned alongside Clay for the full season in GS last year. He returns to the team for his third consecutive season in 2020. He’s raced at Daytona since he was a youngster in karts and turned in BimmerWorld’s fastest lap during the “Roar Before the Rolex 24″ test earlier this month.
 
“Any kid who grows up in racing wants to someday have a chance to race at Daytona,” Jones said. “I first went there in 2004 for a karting event and that’s when I really started to fall in love with the sport and everything it entails. Daytona will always be a special place for that reason, driving through the tunnel and coming into the track for the start of a new season never gets old and I still get just as excited as I did when I was a kid.”
 
The other full-season GS entry for BimmerWorld, the No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s M4 GT4, also features plenty of Daytona success behind the wheel. Nick Galante of Greenfield, Mass., returns to BimmerWorld for the first time since 2018 when he competed in the ST class and won at Daytona paired with Jones. That year the duo won the season championship as well. In 2020, young but veteran racer Dillon Machavern from Charlotte, Vt., will handle driving duties with Galante in the No. 80, whose livery is designed to raise awareness and funds for an Alzheimer’s disease cure. Jones and Machavern have been teammates in the past, allowing them to enter the season with some chemistry.
 
According to Galante, the length of the four-hour race on the 12-turn, 3.56-mile track adds another element of strategy for MICHELIN Pilot Challenge competitors, as it is one of the longest on the schedule.

“We’ll definitely change the plan of attack for a four-hour race,” he said. “Not to give anything away, but we tone down things a bit with our driving so we have some car and rubber remaining in the final moments allowing us to fight with some all-around strength.”

Dillon Machavern, ready to race

Dillon Machavern, driver of the No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4.

Machavern meanwhile may be a newcomer to BimmerWorld and the No. 80 team, but he has had plenty of experience and success across a variety of classes and series. He’s been getting acclimated to the BimmerWorld team quickly thanks in large part to testing earlier this month.
 
“The Roar was really valuable for me to get familiar with the team and the way they operate and communicate, as well as to get accustomed to the driving dynamics of the M4 GT4,” he said. “Having some laps in the car and understanding its unique driving characteristics will pay dividends this weekend because we already have a solid baseline setup established. That means we can spend the sessions more effectively fine-tuning the setup for the race.”
The BMW Endurance Challenge will also provide a special opportunity for BimmerWorld, with the brand serving as the title sponsor of the event.
“We certainly want to win the BMW race for BMW and having some of the core Motorsport guys over from Germany for the week makes us want to shine even brighter,” Clay said. “But of course, we always want to win, so this just makes success feel that much better when we can share it with the BMW brand as a whole.”
The BMW Endurance Challenge can be seen live on TrackPass at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, January 24. Television coverage will air on NBCSN from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, February 6.

BimmerWorld M4

The BMW M4 GT4
GT4 is a global racing class for mid-sized sports and GT cars. The unified set of rules allows manufacturers to offer a single racing car for multiple series around the world. BimmerWorld is one of the premier customers for BMW GT4 racing in North America, having competed continuously with the M4 in multiple series since the car was introduced. The race car is based on the F82 M4 street car, using the same S55 twin-turbo inline-6, 7-speed DCT transmission, and suspension layout. Only minor changes are made to make the M4 into a highly competitive race car. The M4 competes with more purpose-built sports cars like the McLaren 570S, Audi R8, and AMG Mercedes GT, along with other GT cars like the Ford Mustang.

BimmerWorld Racing
BimmerWorld is the preeminent BMW racing/performance specialist in North America, racing professionally in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (BMW M4 GT4), World Challenge GT4 America (BMW M4 GT4), and World Challenge TC America series (BMW M240i Racing). The team also made its third entry in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2019 with a V8-powered BMW E36 M3. BimmerWorld also builds cars and supports racers in various BMW CCA, AER, NASA, and SCCA club series. Off the track, the business is the last, and only, independently-owned major BMW parts specialist in North America. The catalog at www.bimmerworld.com has everything from accessories and OEM replacement parts to highly specialized racing parts with a knowledgeable staff, competitive pricing, and quick service.

DAYTONA ADVANCE QUOTES:

NO. 82 OPTIMA BATTERIES/VERISTOR BMW M4 GT4

JAMES CLAY:
What is the best part of racing at Daytona?
“Daytona was new for me when we moved into GRAND-AM (now IMSA) racing in 2010, and it is as amazing as any NASCAR diehard can imagine-and more amazing than our ‘it’s just a roval’ road racing friends would ever believe. The moment that trumps all is the first time, or actually every time, you are the tail of a three-car draft and the front two cars fan out-it’s like a video game boost button and you suddenly go from 165 mph to 175 almost like you got shoved there. The draft and the aero is certainly the essence of this track.”

How do you feel the Roar testing helped get the drivers and team dialed in for this week’s start to the 2020 race season?
“More than anything, the Roar is our dress rehearsal before the season goes live. We took the opportunity to train some of our new team members and work out the kinks in our processes, and we come to Daytona for the race week ready to execute.”

You’ve finished in the top four in the past two races at Daytona in the GS class, do you have any thoughts regarding the reason for that recent success? Is there any place the BMW M4 GT4 excels at the track?
“We have been successful in GS at Daytona, and really I think on average we’ve been quite good at any track since the start of our M4 GT4 program because the base BMW car is quite good. Plus, we have years of engineering experience with the cars we have built and developed in-house, which also apply to rubbing on this car and making it even better. We have a solid team and driver squad that have been core to the success as well.”

With this being a BMW-sponsored race, does it add any additional pressure or change your perspective in any way?
“We certainly want to win the BMW race for BMW, and having some of the core Motorsport guys over from Germany for the week makes us want to shine even brighter. But of course, we always want to win, so this just makes success feel that much better when we can share it with the BMW brand as a whole.”

DEVIN JONES:
You first raced here when you were a young boy (as a 10-year-old in a go-kart). Do you still get chills when you come to Daytona to compete?
“Any kid who grows up in racing wants to someday have a chance to race at Daytona. I first went there in 2004 for a karting event and that’s when I really started to fall in love with the sport and everything it entails. Daytona will always be a special place for that reason, driving through the tunnel and coming into the track for the start of a new season never gets old and I still get just as excited as I did when I was a kid.”

What stands out about racing at Daytona?
“Daytona is a unique track for our series. It’s a marquee event and with it being the opening race of the season everyone from the teams to the drivers digs a little deeper and really pushes to perform well here to start the season off on a high note.”

Do you approach or prepare for a four-hour race differently than others?
“I prepare for the longer races just like I normally would. Obviously more can happen in a four-hour race so that’s something we all think about especially from a strategy aspect.”

This is your third consecutive year with BimmerWorld, how does that familiarity help your confidence heading into Daytona and another season?
“It’s a huge confidence booster to be back with the BimmerWorld team again this year. These guys are the best in the paddock and I’m really lucky to be driving for this team. We have big goals for 2020.”

Devin Jones and Nick Galante, 2018 ST Champions

(L-R) BimmerWorld drivers Devin Jones and Nick Galante celebrating their 2018 ST Championship in 2018 at the Road Atlanta series finale. Galante is back for 2020 in the No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4

NO. 80 RACING TO END ALZHEIMER’S BMW M4 GT4

NICK GALANTE:
What is your favorite aspect of racing at Daytona?
“You can’t beat the atmosphere and the historic feeling of racing at Daytona. I also love the aero battle that is unlike another track. The drafting and planning you have to do way in advance is a fun challenge.”

You won Daytona with Devin Jones in the ST class in 2018. Is there a knowledge from that win you can transfer to this race?
“There is. I think we learned a lot from that race about thinking long term and thinking ahead about our plan to be there at the end of this four-hour race.”

This is a long race for the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, how do you approach a four-hour race differently from a shorter sprint race?
“We definitely change the plan of attack for a four-hour race. Not to give anything away, but we tone things down a bit with our driving so we have some car and rubber remaining in the final moments so we can fight with some all-around strength.”

How has the chemistry developed between you and Dillon in advance of your first race together for BimmerWorld?
“We had a pretty good relationship before this pairing ever came about. We’ve learned a lot about each other while being teammates in the past. Dillon is a tremendous driver. I think we’ll be a force that’ll be hard not to notice. I’m excited to run this season with a fellow New Englander as well.”

DILLON MACHAVERN:
How did coming here for testing during the Roar help you get acclimated to the team, the car and the track?
“The Roar was really valuable for me to get familiar with the team and the way they operate and communicate, as well as to get accustomed to the driving dynamics of the M4 GT4. Having some laps in the car and understanding its unique driving characteristics will pay dividends this weekend because we already have a solid baseline setup established. That means we can spend the sessions more effectively fine-tuning the setup for the race.”

What are your goals and expectations for your first race with BimmerWorld?
“It’s never too early to start thinking championship so I want to focus on maximizing points. If we have a car to win, I definitely want to go after it, but most importantly I want to focus on clean results.”

What do you think you can bring to the team based on your experience and success in a variety of cars across diverse series?
“GT4 is a class that I really enjoy competing in so I’m really excited to be back. I had two very successful seasons and learned a lot about the discipline and strategy it takes to win a championship. My experience in many different cars and classes over the past few years will definitely help me adapt to the M4 chassis quickly. We have a really talented group this season who have all celebrated success before, so I’m looking forward to combining everyone’s knowledge as we fight for a championship.”

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#82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4

BWR_M4_82-210w

Engine: 3.0L Turbo Inline-6, BMW Motorsport electronics, AiM data acquisition

Driveline: 7-gear DCT with Motorsport software, Motorsport differential with separate cooling

Suspension: Motorsport-specific control connections, 2-Way adjustable dampers, adjustable motorsport anti-roll bars front and rear

Wheels: 18-inch Motorsport race wheels

Brakes: 6-piston, fixed calipers front; 4-piston fixed calipers rear; adjustable brake bias via balance bar

Drivers: James Clay, Devin Jones

#80 BimmerWorld M4 GT4

BWR_M4_80-Temp-210w

Engine: 3.0L Turbo Inline-6, BMW Motorsport electronics, AiM data acquisition

Driveline: 7-gear DCT with Motorsport software, Motorsport differential with separate cooling

Suspension: Motorsport-specific control connections, 2-Way adjustable dampers, adjustable motorsport anti-roll bars front and rear

Wheels: 18-inch Motorsport race wheels

Brakes: 6-piston, fixed calipers front; 4-piston fixed calipers rear; adjustable brake bias via balance bar

Drivers: Nick Galante, Dillon Machavern

IMSA 2020 Announcement

IMSA-2020-Announcement

BimmerWorld has confirmed its 2020 plans for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge season with a pair of BMW M4 GT4 race cars and fast and familiar faces at the controls. The BMW specialists return for their third season with the F82 M4 platform in GT4 trim and 11th straight IMSA endurance season. The team has committed to the full 10-race MICHELIN Pilot Challenge schedule with the traditional opening round at Daytona taking place January 23-26, 2020.

Behind the controls of the No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4 will be Nick Galante and Dillon Machavern. Galante and Machavern are past teammates with strong chemistry. Galante, a two-time Champion in the IMSA Street Tuner class (2016 and 2018), claimed his last title behind the wheel of a BimmerWorld BMW F30 328i. In 2019, he finished in the top ten of the intensely competitive TCR series. Machavern has won races in just about every form of GT motorsport and earned the 2017 IMSA GS Championship and multiple SCCA club championships. He finished the 2019 season with the GTD victory at the Petit LeMans in a BMW M6 GT3 and was runner-up in the TransAm championship.

In a second M4 GT4, team owner James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va. will again pair up with Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. in the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4. The pair earned third place in the GS standings in 2019 with three podiums and eight top-ten finishes which also landed the duo top-finishing BMW team honors in the GS class. This will be Clay’s 11th straight season of IMSA endurance racing. Jones is the 2018 ST-class driver champion with a BimmerWorld F30 328i. The No. 82 BMW will carry the OPTIMA and Veristor livery.

The No. 80 BMW will carry the livery for Racing to End Alzheimer’s with a focus on raising both awareness of the disease and money to fund the cure. Throughout the season, donors will add names to the living livery to honor friends, family, and loved ones affected by this debilitating disease.

The 2020 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge will be a 10-round series at race tracks across the U.S. The season kicks off with the BMW Endurance Challenge 4-hour race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on January 23-26. Other rounds will take place at Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Mosport, Lime Rock, Road America, VIR, Laguna Seca, and Road Atlanta.

Additional 2020 racing plans will be announced in the coming weeks.

The BMW M4 GT4
GT4 is a global racing class for mid-sized sports and GT cars. The unified set of rules allows manufacturers to offer a single racing car for multiple series around the world. BimmerWorld is one of the premier customers for BMW GT4 racing in North America, having competed continuously with the M4 in multiple series since the car was introduced. The race car is based on the F82 M4 street car, using the same S55 twin-turbo inline-6, 7-speed DCT transmission, and suspension layout. Only minor changes are made to make the M4 into a highly competitive race car. The M4 competes with more purpose-built sports cars like the McLaren 570S, Audi R8, and AMG Mercedes GT, along with other GT cars like the Ford Mustang.

BimmerWorld Racing
BimmerWorld is the preeminent BMW racing/performance specialist in North America, racing professionally in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (BMW M4 GT4), World Challenge GT4 America (BMW M4 GT4), and World Challenge TC America series (BMW M240i Racing). The team will be making its third entry in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a V8-powered BMW E36 M3. BimmerWorld also builds cars and supports racers in various BMW CCA, AER, NASA, and SCCA club series. Off the track, the business is the last, and only, independently-owned major BMW parts specialist in North America. The catalog at www.bimmerworld.com has everything from accessories and OEM replacement parts to highly specialized racing parts with a knowledgeable staff, competitive pricing, and quick service.

Pre-2020 race season quotes follow:

No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4
Nick Galante: “A return to team BimmerWorld racing is an amazing opportunity I can’t wait to capitalize on. The memories of our 2018 championship season are still vivid. The top-level team that James Clay has built has proven itself over and over. To be paired up with Dillon Machavern this season is as good as it gets. I know we’ll be looking ahead and working hard all year. I’m excited with not only the strategic planning, but also the familiar friendship dynamic that’s here. Honored to run alongside James Clay, Devin Jones, and Dillon Machavern again. The opportunity couldn’t exist without the epic heart of Phil Frengs and his Racing To End Alzheimer’s initiative. I know this will be a great platform to make huge strides in the fight against Alzheimer’s and the R2EndAlz.org cause.”

Dillon Machavern: “I’m excited to return to the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge for a full championship effort in GS. The opportunity to co-drive with my former teammate Nick Galante with a top-level team like BimmerWorld is a recipe for success. I’m also very proud to be part of the Racing To End Alzheimer’s initiative, a program I’ve been following from its inception when I first met Phil Frengs years ago. Nick and I both know what it takes to win a championship and we already have great chemistry which will pay dividends in what’s shaping up to be a very competitive GS field. I’ve had great success with BMW in GTD and I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum into GS with BimmerWorld in the M4 GT4.”

Phil Frengs, Founder at Racing to End Alzheimer’s: “Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation goes racing for its fourth season. Our premise of honoring loved ones who are or have been affected by Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia depends on the generosity and participation of our fans, our racing team, and our cosponsors. 100% of all donations go to our beneficiaries along with corporate matching. All costs and expenses are funded by sponsor Legistics.

“By putting the names and hometowns of our loved ones on our race car over the past three seasons, funds raised have exceeded $250,000 and have benefited the work done at the Nantz National Alzheimer’s Center at Houston Methodist Hospital, The Alzheimer’s Care Program at UCLA, and Baycrest Foundation in Toronto.

“As founder of our foundation and CEO of Legistics, we are delighted to return to the BimmerWorld family for the upcoming season. We have high expectations for competitive success and record fundraising.”

No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4
James Clay: “I think we have one of the strongest driver line-ups in recent memory. Devin and I will team up again, and he’s just a terrific co-driver. We work extremely well together, and we have a proven track record which we aim to improve on those last couple of spots. We welcome Nick back to the team, and not only is he fast, but he’s experienced as well. His driving will be complemented by Dillon Machavern who is also super quick and crafty. I expect these guys will be our own best competition, which will be fun. We have a couple of seasons now with the M4 with a tremendous amount of data at our disposal, and I expect us to win.”

Devin Jones: “I’m extremely excited to be returning to BimmerWorld Racing for the 2020 IMSA season and co-driving once again with James. It’s a great feeling to have continued support from OPTIMA Batteries and Veristor. With their backing, we can’t wait to make another run for the championship in our BMW M4 GT4 next year after coming up just a bit short in 2019. James and I had solid chemistry last year and enjoyed some success throughout the year, I’m looking forward to building on that. I can’t wait to get down to Daytona and start working towards the goal of a championship in 2020.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a pair of BMW Motorsport M4 GT4s, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. BimmerWorld Racing also continues to race in the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars.

BimmerWorld is Top American GT4 Team for Second Year in a Row; Third Place Overall

BimmerWorld-Racing-Takes-Third-Place-in-2019-IMSA-MICHELIN-Pilot-Challenge-GS-Championship

BimmerWorld drivers James Clay and Devin Jones capped off the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season this past weekend, securing third place in the Drivers and Teams Championship, the highest-finishing BMW team in the overall standings. While this weekend’s FOX Factory 120 did not go to plan, Jones recorded the race’s fastest lap and enough points for another solid Championship run.

Road Atlanta has been especially good for BMW teams in recent years. The combination of fast corners and challenging braking zones plays to the strengths of the BMW M4 GT4. While unable to match the top speeds of the supercar-based cars in the class, the sedan-based M4 GT4 showed exceptional balance everywhere else. In proven BMW fashion, the M4 had the right package to keep the speed of the McLarens, Audi R8, and Aston Martin in check. The BimmerWorld M4 GT4 recorded the race’s fastest lap at 1:26:770. Were it not for bad racing luck, the team might have realized their fifth top-five finish of the season.

That bad luck came about on lap 26 during an overtaking maneuver on the back straight between the BimmerWorld M4 and the Winward Racing Mercedes. James Clay in the M4 feinted a pass to the right, the Mercedes defended, and Clay took to the left to complete his pass. However, the Mercedes moved left as well with an illegal block, and the two cars made contact. Both cars were assessed a drive-through penalty, and that dragged the BimmerWorld car far out of the top ten.

Clay’s teammate Devin Jones fought back and advanced five positions in the closing stages of the race to finish on the lead lap and record a twelfth-place result as the top-finishing BMW.

The FOX Factory 120 race at Road Atlanta will be broadcast on NBCSN on Friday, October 18 from 7-9 p.m.

BimmerWorld is not putting its racing arsenal away just yet—the Pirelli World Challenge season has one more round for the Copart/BimmerWorld BMW M240i Racing car this coming weekend in Las Vegas.

Post-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4GT4:
“We had a decent qualifying spot and had a little more pace with the car. That allowed me to work my way through the field, which I was methodically doing. We had a great team strategy; I stayed in the car at the first yellow in a fast pit stop and we were on the leading edge of our chosen sequence. The second yellow was due to an unfortunate exchange with another competitor and our car. I fainted right on the No. 33 Mercedes coming down the back straight. As soon as he moved right to defend, I jived left, then he did his second move, which was blocking. Unfortunately, I was already committed at that point, so he took himself out on my front bumper. Unfortunately, they (Race Control) gave a drive-through for both cars.

“Devin had to serve that penalty, otherwise I think we would have been standing on the podium. I’m not very happy that our race ended that way, thanks to another competitor. I’m sure they’re less happy about it based on the damage to their car. We still ended up third in the GS championship this year, so it’s been a great year.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“This weekend we had a little more speed in the car than we’ve had in the past few races, which was really encouraging. I was really looking forward to today. This is a really big race—the last race of the season, so we have a lot of people who come out to watch. James did a great job in the opening stint and kept it near the Top 5. Unfortunately, that issue with the 33 caused us to get a drive-through. We didn’t necessarily agree with that, but we had the penalty which kind of ruined my stint in the car, or at least I wasn’t able to make up any ground because of it. We did end up third in the championship, which was our main goal coming into this weekend. We know the car had a lot of speed in it, which is encouraging going into next season.

“I just want to thank everyone on this team as they’ve been really great all year, and the same for all of our supporters. I’m really happy to reward them with third place in the championship, so it’s a big deal overall for us.”

BimmerWorld Racing team plans have not yet been announced for 2020. Stay tuned in the coming months.

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. It was also the Street Tuner champion of that series in 2018. 2019 also marks BimmerWorld Racing’s return to the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars.

Bimmerworld’s Biggest Win at Laguna Was for Their Racing to End Alzheimer’s Effort

Bimmerworld’s Biggest Win at Laguna Was for Their Racing to End Alzheimer’s Effort

While the BimmerWorld team struggled with an uncharacteristic lack of pace for their car during Saturday’s two-hour IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Laguna Seca, there were bright spots in team performance in the pit lane. However, it was ultimately Racing to End Alzheimer’s that was the big winner at Laguna, with more than $20,000 raised in this single event for the team’s charity effort.

The No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 of James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. was as high as tenth but finished 14th in the Grand Sport class.

The driving duo went into the event tied for third in the driver point standings, and despite a less than ideal finish in Saturday’s race, bringing the BimmerWorld drivers remain tied for third in the championship. The drivers who were leading the point standings going into the race placed second on Saturday and now have a big enough advantage to win the championship simply by showing up at the season finale next month.

Clay qualified 15th with a time of 1:33.380 but spent most of his stint in 13th place, successfully staying out of conflicts in order to give Jones a good car for the finish. Clay set his fastest lap of the race on lap 4 with a time of 1:34.684.

An accident brought out the first full-course caution on lap 24, and the pits opened just as the driver’s minimum drive time was surpassed. Clay took advantage of the opportunity and pitted under that yellow with 45 minutes gone. The BimmerWorld team responded with excellent service on that first of two pit stops, gaining three positions as Jones began his stint in tenth place before dropping to 14th shortly thereafter. Like Clay, he ran in 13th or 14th during most of his stint.

The championship-leading car pitted for right-side Michelins and fuel on lap 46 with about 38 minutes remaining. BimmerWorld countered that move with right-side tires and fuel for Jones under green on lap 47 with 36 minutes remaining in the high-speed chess match. Once again, the BimmerWorld crew was up to the challenge and got the car in and out of the pits at lightning pace.

Jones set the car’s fastest lap of the race on lap 50 with 31 minutes to go with a time of 1:33.280. He was 11th one lap later as other drivers began to make their final pit stops.

The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 will be broadcast on NBCSN on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 1-3 p.m.

The Fox Factory 120, the final round of the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series, will take place on Friday, Oct. 11 from 1:25-3:25 p.m. at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. All times are Eastern.

Post-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4GT4:
“This was just a frustrating weekend, all weekend. We fought through some mechanical issues and did work to improve the car, but we never had pace. I’m aware that we’re still playing a little injured with the current BoP [Balance of Performance], but it feels like we missed on more fronts than carrying a little more weight and with less power this weekend. A big thanks to everyone on the team who pushed hard to the end. Weekends like this with no reward for the result are the most challenging for everyone, and every person on the team worked with the same drive and effort as they would have for a podium finish.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“This weekend was a struggle, but I’m still proud of everyone for fighting right until the end. We didn’t have the pace in the car, but we really tried to make as many changes as possible in practice to find something that worked. James did well in the starting stint, keeping us in the hunt, and we had amazing pit stops so I was able to hold that track position. I’m hopeful we can turn it around and end the season strong at Road Atlanta. I have to thank everyone who supports us.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. It was also the Street Tuner champion of that series in 2018. 2019 also marks BimmerWorld Racing’s return to the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars.

BimmerWorld Racing Captures Podium Finish at VIR in Unpredictable Race

BimmerWorld Racing Captures Podium Finish at VIR in Unpredictable Race

The Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge two-hour race at VIRginia International Raceway was filled with mayhem. Four full-course cautions brought about unpredictable lead changes due to numerous accidents between leading cars, and the on-and-off rain around the 3.27-mile circuit only intensified the bedlam.

With solid driving and a bit of luck on their side, the No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing/Airbnb BMW M4 GT4 of Ari Balogh and Mike Sheen was able to take advantage of the dynamic situations. Their third-place result in the Grand Sports (GS) class gave them their first podium finish of the season in their first co-driving effort.

Unfortunately for BimmerWorld’s team owner/driver James Clay and co-driver Devin Jones, the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 was caught up in the madness. Just three laps before the race finish, a Mercedes-AMG driver hit the BimmerWorld car, causing them to spin and resulting in a broken rear suspension which ended their race and greatly reduced the team’s overall points standing.

Again this season, rain conditions were a major factor in the outcome of today’s race as many drivers befell to the changing conditions.

Qualifying was canceled due to weather, so the starting grid was set based on points. That resulted with Clay starting on the front row, second in class, and Balogh starting in 24th.

The first caution came out on Lap 4 when rain caused the first off-track excursions as a McLaren and Mercedes-AMG collided hard. By that point, Balogh had already charged his way up 10 spots into 14th overall while Clay maintained his runner-up spot.

IMSA officials were able to open Pit Lane while the safety car stayed out, allowing teams to change to rain tires if they so desired. The green flag was displayed nearly 40 minutes in with the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 in fourth place and the No. 80 in eighth after both entries had taken advantage of tire-change pit stops.

With just 45 minutes remaining, both BimmerWorld cars pitted for driver changes and new tires. Jones replaced Clay in the cockpit, while Skeen replaced Balogh. Skeen soon found himself wedged between the TCR class leaders as he fought for position before a second full-course caution came out. The top 16 GS cars were all on the same lap with just 10 laps remaining, and approximately 20 minutes left in the race.

On the restart, the two leaders collided and went off track, causing the third full-course caution which lasted only two laps. On the restart from that caution, Jones, running sixth in the scrum, was jostling for position when a Mercedes hit him at Turn 5 and spun the No. 82 BMW M4 off-track, breaking the rear suspension and bringing out the fourth and final caution of the race with just three minutes to go.

The final restart was run in tandem with the white flag, setting up a one-lap shootout. The leading Porsche went a bit too deep into Turn 1 and made contact with the second-place McLaren, causing him to spin. This brought Skeen up into fourth for the checkered flag.

Although the Porsche crossed the finish line in first, a post-race penalty was assessed for the last-lap incident, and the win was awarded to the second-place Ford. This elevated the Skeen/Balogh BMW M4 GT4 entry to third place, giving Skeen his best MICHELIN Pilot Challenge finish while Balogh matched his previous best finish. The 19th-place finish for Clay and Jones moved them down to third in the GS points championship, 29 points out of first with two races remaining.

The VIR MICHELIN Pilot race, the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix, will be televised tape-delayed on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.

The next and penultimate round of the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series will be the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Laguna Seca, Calif. on September 13-14.

Post-race quotes follow

Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., driver, No. 80 BimmerWorld/Airbnb BMW M4 GT4:
“The whole weekend has been awesome, but surely the last few minutes of the race were hectic. I didn’t know if we were going to be able to finish under green with the conditions and the timing, but I’m really happy we could move up a few more positions and put the car on the podium. Ari did a killer job to drive it from the back and get the BMW up into the hunt. Then I just tried to finish it off from there.”

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4GT4:
“We knew it was going to be a crazy day. It seems weather has affected every race this year. We weren’t as good as I’d hoped in the wet. Unfortunately, that shuffled us down a little bit. Devin was making up a couple of spots before he got drilled early on, and then we had a little bit of a handling problem after that. Then it started raining again, and everyone wanted to be on the top step with the final lap restart. Ultimately, we got taken out by one of our competitors.

“Certainly, I’m not thrilled with the results of our race, but as a team owner, I’m thrilled for our No. 80 car. They drove a great race, ended up on the good side of the luck out there today, and capitalized to bring home a very solid result for the team!”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“Starting from the beginning of the weekend, it was great to be here at VIR, a home race for us. We have a lot of friends and family that come out for this one, so we always want to try to do well. We didn’t have quite the pace we wanted in practice, but we were pretty optimistic about it going into the race. The first part of the race, our pace seemed pretty good; we were on par with everybody. James did a great job at the beginning in another race with mixed conditions of dry, rain, then dry again.

“I got in the car and it seemed like we were in a pretty good spot, able to work our way up to sixth. I knew those last restarts were going to start to get crazy. A lot of guys started driving a little bit over their head, trying to make something happen. I probably got hit four times in this race, which I think is more than I’ve gotten hit all year, so that was frustrating. Then the No. 35 car finally finished us off and really drilled us pretty hard, which was unfortunate to have happened. Overall, a big bummer because it set us back in the points, but we have to keep marching forward and try to make the best of the next two races for everybody who supports us. We’ll try to finish the year out strong.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. It was also the Street Tuner champion of that series in 2018. 2019 also marks BimmerWorld Racing’s return to the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars.

#82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 – SRO

BWR-blank-temp

Engine: 3.0L Turbo Inline-6, BMW Motorsport electronics, AiM data acquisition

Driveline: 7-gear DCT with Motorsport software, Motorsport differential with separate cooling

Suspension: Motorsport-specific control connections, 2-Way adjustable dampers, adjustable motorsport anti-roll bars front and rear

Wheels: 18-inch Motorsport race wheels

Brakes: 6-piston, fixed calipers front; 4-piston fixed calipers rear; adjustable brake bias via balance bar

Drivers: Bill Auberlen, James Walker, Jr.

BimmerWorld Racing Charges to Podium in MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race at Sebring

James and Devin with champagne on podium - BimmerWorld Racing Charges to Podium in MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race at Sebring

BimmerWorld Racing executed its game plan to near perfection today, and it almost paid off with a victory in the second round of the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series at Sebring International Speedway.

James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., and Devin Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., drove their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 to a second-place finish in the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 race, just 7.750 seconds out of first place.

Qualifying driver James Clay started from the seventh position in the two-hour race on the 3.47-mile, 17-turn circuit in Central Florida and made a dash to the front, quickly battling in the top three.

On the first of two cautions, Clay pitted for fuel and tires and handed the driving duties to Jones. Although it was a bit earlier than their planned pit stop, tire wear under the 80-plus degree Fahrenheit conditions required it. Jones kept the BMW M4 GT4 in the top three and soon elevated himself to the second place. When a second caution flag was thrown a few laps from the end of the 49-lap race, Devin dashed into second place and nearly grabbed the lead from eventual winner Jeff Westphal in an Audi R8. During his hard charge, Jones, the reigning IMSA ST class champion, set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:11.945 and a speed of 100.964 mph.

Clay and Jones are unofficially tied for first place in the GS class points standings after two rounds.

Friday’s race will be shown on NBCSN from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, March 28.

This race supported the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The next event will be the Mid-Ohio 120 held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on May 3-4.

Post-race quotes follow:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“It was a great day—an almost perfect day. We had a good car over a long run. We knew we had a good car. Devin put it at the top of the charts in one of the practice sessions, which is not necessarily what we focus on, and we weren’t at the top of qualifying, but we knew we had a race car under us that was going to move forward, especially as the hot surface wore out the tires. I was proud of my stint, and I’m obviously super proud of Devin. What a teammate! What an awesome job. The guys executed fantastic pitstops, and it was a really good day.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“This was an awesome race. James did such a good job in the beginning keeping the car up in the top three. He moved up really quickly from seventh and got us in a great spot. The driver change went really well. All the pitstops were good. We got shuffled back a little bit in the last caution just with differing strategies, but overall, I’m really happy. This is a good result for us. It’s nice to be on the podium at Sebring.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. It was also the Street Tuner champion of that series in 2018. 2019 also marks BimmerWorld Racing’s return to the SRO TC America Championship in the Touring Car (TC) class with two BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars.

BimmerWorld’s No. 80 BMW Unveils Historic Tri-Colored Livery In Honor of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary

BimmerWorld's-No.-80-BMW-Unveils-Historic-Tri-Colored-Livery-In-Honor-of-IMSA’s-50th-Anniversary

In honor of IMSA’s 50th Season, the No. 80 Bimmerworld BMW M4 GT4 in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge will be adorned with one of the most iconic liveries in the racing paddock – the original red, blue, and purple stripes of the BMW M1.

The BMW M1 Procar of the early 1980s became the first of many BMWs to boast the diagonal stripes. After a commanding later season in 1981, the M1 dominated the GTO class for years to come. Decades later, the iconic stripes reappeared on the BMW Z4 GTE car, which debuted at the 2013 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The stripes were also featured on the 1980’s E30 M3 DTM car with its Warsteiner livery. The No. 80 competing in this week’s upcoming BMW Endurance Challenge has the Warsteiner livery duplicated with modern sponsors: Stance, Richard Mille, and Hot Scream Ice Cream.

Aurora Straus and Kaz Grala, the drivers of the No. 80 car, and one of the youngest-ever pairings in the paddock, are elated to be sporting such a historic livery for their debut as a team.

“I am honored to be racing with the classic BMW stripes. BMW has a long, successful history in IMSA, and while racing technology has evolved, this historic livery reminds me of all of the work that has gone into the M4 GT4 that I will race this weekend,” said Straus. “As a young BMW driver, I think of it as making my own mark on professional racing.”

“It’s going to be surreal driving such an iconic paint scheme up the high banks of Daytona,” said Grala. “The history of BMW in our sport is so rich; there’s no doubt we will have a lot to live up to this weekend. It’s amazing to have this opportunity from a powerhouse manufacturer. We hope to make them proud on Friday when we take the green flag in their colors.”

“My love of BMW cars and Motorsport started with the E30 M3, and the DTM cars were the pinnacle of performance to me,” said James Clay, owner of BimmerWorld Racing. “The Warsteiner E30 M3 with the M Stripes stood out to me as an icon in those days. A little over twenty years later, our BimmerWorld Racing team is running a modern version of this same livery to represent BMW in the first race of the 2019 season, with two eager drivers at the top of their game. This whole event is very special to both the team and me, and we are honored to be a part of the rich BMW Motorsport history.”

Victor Leleu, BMW North America’s Motorsports Manager, reflected similar sentiments.

“BMW is delighted to see this iconic M livery return to the track. It’s a wonderful tribute from Aurora, Kaz, and BimmerWorld and quite fitting as we kick off IMSA’s 50th anniversary celebrations,” said Leleu. “BMW NA has been a pillar of IMSA competition for over four decades, and we can’t wait to get the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge season started. These colors are associated with countless wins and podiums for BMW, including here in IMSA with the BMW M1 in the early 80s and more recently on the Z4 GTE that took two consecutive second-place finishes in the Rolex 24 in 2014 and 2015. I think the colors fit the M4 GT4 perfectly and I hope they will bring luck and success to both drivers and team in this Friday’s BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona.”

The No. 80 BMW will be competing in the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, January 25th. Tune in to IMSA.com to watch live at 12:15 pm EST.

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a BMW Motorsport M4 GT4, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a winner and championship contender. It was also the Street Tuner champion of that series in 2018.

No. 80 BMW Unveils Historic Tri-Colored Livery In Honor of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary-003 No. 80 BMW Unveils Historic Tri-Colored Livery In Honor of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary-002 No. 80 BMW Unveils Historic Tri-Colored Livery In Honor of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary-001

BimmerWorld Racing Claims Victory in GS Class plus Podium and Championship in ST Class

BimmerWorld-Racing-Claims-Victory-in-GS-Class-plus-Podium-and-Championship-in-ST-Class

BimmerWorld Racing saved the best for last.

After three previous podium finishes in the Grand Sport (GS) class this year, including two second-place finishes in which they came very close to the overall victory, BimmerWorld Racing co-drivers James Clay and Tyler Cooke were victorious in the season finale for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series on Friday at Road Atlanta. Not only did they win, but their OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4 was a whopping 8.999 seconds ahead of the second-place McLaren after two hours of grueling competition in the Fox Factory 120.

The team’s entry in the Street Tuner (ST) class, the BimmerWorld Racing No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis), was in the spotlight too. Nick Galante grabbed the team’s ninth ST class pole, he and co-driver Devin Jones led most of the race, and they ended up on the podium in third place to seal the drivers’ and team championship for that division, which ended with the running of this race. The BimmerWorld pair was the one to beat all season, as Galante, of Greenfield, Mass. and Jones, of Mooresville, N.C. had nine podium finishes in the 10-race series that started with the first of their four victories at Daytona in January.

Two other ST cars led 11 laps total, but the BimmerWorld No. 81 truly dominated, as either Galante or Jones were in front for an incredible 60 laps. Galante was in the lead when he handed the car off to Jones during a pit stop on lap 28. Jones maintained the lead, but with just 6:19 minutes left in the race, the No. 81 was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, which allowed a MINI and a Porsche to sneak ahead. Still, Jones was just 0.686 behind the second-place car at the checkered.

In GS, team owner/driver Clay started sixth. The Blacksburg, Va.-based driver maintained fourth place for most of his stint, trying to conserve both his car and his tires. He turned the car over to Cooke, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., under yellow on lap 26. Cooke took the lead for the first time on lap 40 with about 50 minutes remaining, but he had to make a final pit stop about 10 minutes later for left-side tires and fuel. The Dublin, Va.-based team’s stop was timed to perfection, as Cooke got out of the pits faster than many of his rivals and before some of them even made their final stop. He was fourth after the stop but he regained the lead on lap 55 with 26:33 remaining and then left everyone behind him as he powered around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course.

With the hard-earned victory, Clay and Cook advanced one spot to tie for third in the GS drivers’ championship out of 93 drivers who earned points this season. BimmerWorld also finished third in the team standings in GS.

In the next-to-last race of the year in September in Salinas, Calif., the BimmerWorld cars bore the names of hundreds of supporters and people affected by Alzheimer’s disease in a tribute generously provided by donors to the “Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation.” That effort continued at Road Atlanta and was notably successful in raising both money and awareness for the fight to end that debilitating disease.

The FOX Factory 120 race will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern time.

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“I’m super excited for our first win! We had a good car all weekend. We qualified sixth, which I believe matches our best qualifying. That typically means we’re going to have a solid race, and race to the front. I was pumped with my drive and thrilled with Tyler’s. I was waiting for the trouble to happen and it never did. What a great team behind us, and what a great finish to the season!

“It’s been really special to take the ST points championship in the final year of the class. That’s the class we entered when we sprouted our roots in IMSA, and to close it out with a championship after so many years of hard work is very special.”

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“It was an awesome race! The team did a flawless job, and we’ve been there all year. Finally, finally, we get that win! It was quite special and a very emotional win. The last time we got a win, my dad was still alive, and I remember getting that phone call from him right after the race with him just screaming and excited. So it’s been tough for the memories, but I’m glad to get that win for him and for the team, James, and BMW Motorsport. BMW gave us a great car out of the box, and we proved that at Daytona. I’m looking forward to celebrating. I think James and I have a lot to celebrate!

“Hats off to the ST guys; they deserve that championship. I’m happy for them and happy for James and me for winning the last Continental Tire race of the year.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“Nick got another pole, which is just incredible how many poles we’ve gotten this year. That was a huge deal. The race started out great and he did a fantastic job maintaining it up front. We were in a great position, just like we’ve been in almost every race this year. He kept it up front and kept it clean.

“I got in the car and cautions fell at bad times like we’ve had in some of the previous races this season, and we struggled a bit. We were about 10 minutes short [for fuel] when I got in the car. I can save fuel, but I can’t quite save 10 minutes. We went from saving, to just go for it and hope some other guys run out, too. We had to go in and do a splash-and-go while leading, so it was definitely a little bit of a disappointment to not end the season with a win, because I know we were capable of doing it. The season as a whole has been incredible. This team has come together really well. It’s been a pleasure to drive with Nick and race this car. It’s been just an incredible season.

“I have to thank the ‘Racing to End Alzheimer’s’ campaign. It’s been a big deal, and we had the names on the car again at Road Atlanta with even added more since the Laguna race. Obviously, I have to thank Veristor too. This is their home race, so a lot of their employees came out from Atlanta, and it’s just really great to have the support from two great companies.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“It was a good opening stint. Right at the start, I was getting pressure from Max Faulkner in the Bodymotion car. He put on a great outside pass into Turn 1 and passed me for the lead, but I found a good opportunity a couple laps later on the restart after a caution. We got him going into Turn 10 and repassed him for the lead. We maintained the lead for most of the stint and then the track got rather slick out there, but the Continental tires held up well. It was just really tough spacing for the cautions, and we were just maybe a gallon short on gas and had to stop for a splash which really cost us the win here. But we wrapped up the ST drivers’ championship, which was our main goal. I’m a little disappointed we couldn’t get the manufacturers’ championship for BMW, but it was really close and a really fun weekend.

“I want to thank Phil Frengs from Legistics who created the ‘Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation,’ the guys at Veristor, who have been with us all season, and everyone at BimmerWorld – James Clay, Tyler Cooke, the whole entire team, Trent Brown, Wayne Yawn, Jason Marks, Dave Simpkins. The entire team is amazing.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series in both the Grand Sport (GS) class with a brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 and in the Street Tuner (ST) class with a turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Racing Ready to Take 2018 Championship at Road Atlanta

BimmerWorld-Racing-Ready-to-Take-2018-Championship-at-Road-Atlanta

The Dublin, Va.-based BimmerWorld Racing team returns to Road Atlanta for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series race finale with the series championship on their minds.

The Fox Factory 120 race on Friday, Oct. 12 at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta road course in Braselton, Ga. will be the final race of the hugely competitive 2018 IMSA Continental Tire Challenge season.

BimmerWorld Racing’s Nick Galante of Greenfield, Mass. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C., drivers of the No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis), lead the ST class points championship by 16 points heading into the tenth race of the 10-race series.

BimmerWorld Racing team owner/driver James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Tyler Cooke of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., drivers of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4, continue to maintain fourth place in the GS points championship, 44 points out of the GS class lead.

Although Road Atlanta has not always produced the best results for the BimmerWorld Racing team, the drivers still enjoy the popular 48-year-old racing circuit which is just one hour north of Atlanta, Ga., and they are optimistic about producing good results this weekend while ending the season on a high note, especially as the ST class takes its final bow this weekend.

Galante and Jones have captured four victories (Daytona, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Road America, Laguna Seca) and eight podiums in nine races in the ST class, which will be retired by IMSA after this season. They are coming off a huge victory at Laguna Seca where their car was bearing the names of thousands of supporters and people affected by Alzheimer’s in a tribute generously provided by donors to the Racing to End Alzheimer’s foundation.

Teammates Clay and Cooke have collected three podiums in nine races in their impressive inaugural season with the new BMW M4 GT4 as they enter the finale at Road Atlanta.

BimmerWorld, which Clay founded in 1997, has developed many BMW fans at Road Atlanta over the years and hope their support will add to the team’s strength as they go for the gold this weekend.

The three practice sessions start on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8:55 a.m., 1:05 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. Qualifying for the ST and TCR (touring car) classes will follow at 5:00 p.m., with Grand Sport qualifying at 5:20 p.m.

The FOX Factory 120 features a pre-race grid walk at 12:30 p.m. on race day, Friday, Oct. 12 before the race start at 1:25 p.m. for two hours.

Live video coverage and live timing and scoring of the race, which supports Saturday’s 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans, will be available on imsa.tv and imsa.com. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season finale will air on FOX Sports 1 from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Oct. 21. All times are Eastern.

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
This is the final race of the 2018 season. Share your most memorable moment of the year with us.

“Daytona this year was really special. The ST car won the race, our new M4 GT4 finished second, I had my dad with me celebrating his 75th birthday, and we had a group of German BMW engineers in our pit box watching their M4 come to life. There was a lot to like about that weekend.”

This is the end of the era for the ST cars, with Road Atlanta being the final race for this class. What’s been the best thing about the ST class and the BMW 328i? What’s your favorite memory?

“This will be a bit of a sad farewell to the class, but the challenges it presented as we were on the bleeding edge of developing new technology won’t be something I miss. But looking back, that whole program made us work hard, be fully engaged, and learn a ton, and I appreciate that about it.” 

Devin and Nick have had a fantastic season and look poised for the ST championship. How important would it be to close out this chapter on the ST class with a championship this year?
“I’m eager to see how this ends, but superstitious enough to not talk much about it. I hope for the best, and our team is working hard this weekend just like any other, and Nick and Devin will do their thing.”

How has the first year of the new BMW M4 GT4 gone for BimmerWorld? Have you been able to accomplish the goals you set for its first year?
“I’m really happy with our return to the GS class and the gains we’ve made through the season with the GT4 car.  We were immediately successful, which I think is a nod to both the product BMW developed and our team’s capability to optimize it—and Tyler and I have become a formidable pair in the driver’s seat.  I almost feel like we did too well early and we’ve really struggled with the power reductions handed out through the season, but I think if you’d have asked me before the season started what my expectations were, we have exceeded them and are on an upward path for the future.”

Managing tires is always critical at Road Atlanta. What are some of the most important ways you can manage them at this track?
“We are going to get a little help from the weather this weekend with some reasonable temperatures, I think, although I’m not sure that the higher temps and greasier conditions don’t play to our advantage. Or they have in past events, I think. We have a little more weight to carry this weekend but have regained some power from the regulations, so I like the cooler temps for both.  It will just require us to be consistent and save enough of the car to fight at the end, which I feel Tyler and I both do well.”

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:

This is the final race of the 2018 season. Share your most memorable moment of the year.

“I would have to say the charge at the end of the Daytona race was the most memorable. It was a special moment to share with James, the team, and BMW Motorsport. It was the first podium for the M4 in North America which made it that much better.”

How do you feel the first year of the new BMW M4 GT4 gone for you and the team?

“Very well. The class change is a tough transition, and I think James, myself, and the team handled it very well with three podiums and seven top-10s. I think it’ll get better with all the extra knowledge we have now.”

What’s your favorite part about Road Atlanta? Where does the track stand in your list of favorites?
“Road Atlanta is in my top ten. The racing is typically very close, and it’s the last race. A lot of guys take more chances because most of the field has nothing to lose. It ends up always being very action-packed.”

You’ve had extensive heat and sometimes rain at this race in past years, how do you plan for just about anything?

“As a driver, you have to know how to drive in many different types of conditions. You always have to plan with the team and co-driver on how the car will be set up and how the pace of the race should go, but you learn to adapt to anything.”

The 2018 points championship is coming down to the wire this weekend. Do you expect much craziness on track when the championship is so close?
“There will be some dicey moves and people taking chances, but more moves would come from the guys not in the hunt and trying to leave the year on a high note.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):

This is the final race of the 2018 season. Share your most memorable moment of the year.

“I instantly thought of our race at Sebring. It was very early in the season. Even though it was our worst finishing of the year, we battled many elements that were out of our control and came together as a team and never quit pushing. I knew from there that we would not stop fighting for this championship, no matter what was thrown at us.”

You and Devin have had a fantastic season and look poised for the ST championship. How important would it be to close out this chapter on the ST class with a championship this year?
“It’s very important, not only for Devin and I, but the whole team. We’ve all been trying to master this unique class in racing, and to top off the final year with a Championship title would be even sweeter.”

The 2018 points championship is coming down to the wire this weekend. Do you expect much craziness on track when the championship is so close?
“I think we have to expect some shenanigans. I’ve been trying to imagine every possible scenario in my head, and it’s kind of funny where my thoughts go. It’s a fun problem to have. This is part of what makes racing great, these unique scenarios. The weather and the MINIs have been the main subject on my mind.”

Managing tires is always critical at Road Atlanta. What are some of the most important ways you can manage them at this track?

“I think turn one is a spot that can help or hurt tires. It’s possible to get in there hot and drift all the way up the hill. But with the tires in mind, I’ve seen tight shorter routes up that hill that are just as fast. I agree that it will be something to keep in mind on this demanding track.”

With all three classes fighting for their respective championships. What are the concerns for lap traffic as these classes try to coexist?
“It’ll be very important to pay attention to when and where you come near any other class battles on the track. As a driver, you don’t want to interrupt any other class outcomes in the championship. It’ll be a tough challenge as we’re focused on our own task at hand.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
This is the final race of the 2018 season. Share your most memorable moment of the year.

“This has been a memorable year for a lot of reasons. The win at Daytona was very special and it really set the tone for the season; everyone on the team has really meshed well and it shows with our results. Our most recent race at Laguna Seca was really meaningful, too, with all the names of people that have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease on the car. It was a great feeling to win with that car.” 

This is the end of the era for the ST cars, with Road Atlanta being the final race for this class. What’s been the best thing about the ST class and the BMW 328i? What’s your favorite memory?

“The ST class has produced some of the best races in the series for years. The history of the drivers, cars and amazing battles through the years are something I’ve been thankful to be a part of. I made my first start in ST during the 2015 season, and since then, I’ve had the chance to race with the best of the best in MX-5s, Caymans, and the BMW 328i. All the cars in this class require a real skill set to push them to the limit. I’m going to miss the raw and unfiltered nature of racing an ST car and the competition that was unmatched for years.”

You and Nick have had a fantastic season and look poised for the ST championship. How important would it be to close out this chapter on the ST class with a championship this year?
“We’re thankful for the position we’re in, but we still want to finish the year with a win. It would be an amazing honor to win the final championship in ST class history, but I’m trying not to think about it too much until the checkered flag waves at Atlanta.”

What’s your favorite part about Road Atlanta? Where does the track stand in your list of favorites?
“I’ve spent a lot of time at Road Atlanta and it’s a special track for me. It’s very high speed and requires a high level of commitment to turn fast lap times. From Turn 1 all the way to Turn 7 is one of the most fun sections of any track in North America. With the elevation change and unique sets of corners, it’s a one-of-a-kind track.”

Many drivers use the curbs at Road Atlanta to gain a better lap time. How do you manage using the curbs to your benefit without creating drivetrain issues?

“Usually in practice or early weekend test session we try to limit how much curbing we use to save the car. At Road Atlanta, you have to use as much of the track as possible to run a good lap during the race.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series in both the Grand Sport (GS) class with a brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 and in the Street Tuner (ST) class with a turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

Both BimmerWorld BMWs Finish on the Podium at the Glen with the GS Car Now Tied for First in Championship

Both BimmerWorld BMWs Finish Second in Class at the Glen with the GS Car Now Tied for First in Championship

Both of BimmerWorld Racing’s BMWs finished on the second step of the podium in the four-hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race Saturday at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. The double runner-up finishes vaulted the Dublin, Va.-based team’s Grand Sport (GS) entry into a two-way tie for first in its overall championship, while its Street Tuner (ST) car rose from third to second in that division’s point standings heading into the next event this Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

Team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va., did his best to keep the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4 in contention in the GS division while protecting it so his co-driver, Tyler Cooke of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., could mount a charge at the end. Their strategy worked well. There were 18 GS cars on the lead lap after the four-hour slugfest, and Cooke took the checkered only 7.938 seconds behind the winning Ford Mustang.

The strategy was different but the results were the same for the team’s ST entry, the No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis). Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. captured the class pole and then dominated the race lead for most of the first half and built up a healthy lead before turning the car over to his co-driver, Nick Galante of Greenfield, Mass.

Clay qualified eighth, avoided a multi-car wreck in the esses on the first lap, and stayed in the top 10 during his double stint. He had several good battles, particularly with Kyle Marcelli and Dillon Machavern, and on lap 19 he was hit by Andy Lally, who struggled with handling problems all weekend with his Mustang. Clay survived it all. He was seventh at the halfway point and third due to pit stops by others when he pitted too and turned the car over to Cooke with about 1:47 remaining in the race.

Cooke started his stint in tenth. He broke into the top five with 1:15 remaining on lap 73, passed Al Carter for fourth six minutes later and rose to third with 56 minutes remaining when a lot of his rivals pitted. He pitted himself on the following lap with 55 minutes remaining under a full-course caution, and he was fifth for the restart with 45 minutes remaining. While the BMW M4 has air-conditioning, it was primarily turned off fo conserve every last horsepower, making the sealed cockpit even hotter as the track temperatures registered 128 degrees.

After another yellow, Cooke passed Eric Foss for fourth on a restart with 31:20 left. After another battle with Marcelli that saw them side by side for almost a full lap, Cooke wrestled third away from him on lap 90, only to have Marcelli regain the spot with 26 minutes left. Cooke passed Marcelli back on the following lap, however, and with 23 minutes remaining he was 4.5 seconds behind the second-place driver, Owen Trinkler, who ended up fifth at the end. Cooke was able to methodically cut that distance down and he passed Trinkler for second with 16:47 remaining. He set the entry’s fastest lap of the race on lap 99 while trying to catch the eventual winner, Chad McCumbee. That proved impossible, but he was able to hold off Marcelli’s Mustang by 0.912 to finish second with 106 laps completed in the time span.

In ST, the BimmerWorld entry led the most laps by far, heading the field for 65 of the 101 laps the class’s three podium finishers completed in the four-hour time span. Jones led the first 28 laps, gave the lead up when he pitted, and then led again from laps 34 through 56 before pitting to let Galante take over. The latter started his stint in fourth but led laps 65 through 78 before he had to make another pit stop.

While pitting for tires and a final fuel fill, disaster struck as a hose broke on the team’s fuel rig, leaving Galante sitting in the pits waiting for fuel that wasn’t flowing.  Through some quick calls and crisis management from the BimmerWorld team, the car was sent out to stay on the lead lap, the fuel rig repaired, and the fuel cell filled the next time by which enabled the 81 to start at the tail end of the lead lap, which gave a fighting chance for a podium finish with 55 minutes left.  With 23 minutes left he was third, only 0.430 behind the second-place driver, Mat Pombo. He set the car’s fastest race lap on lap 89 while in third and moved into second place with 9:57 left on lap 100 to seal the runner-up finish.

The race will air in the U.S. on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 8 at 7:30 a.m.

This coming Saturday’s Continental Tire Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport) will be half as long as the Watkins Glen race. Three practice sessions will precede it at 1:45 p.m. and 5:25 p.m. Friday and 9:50 a.m. Saturday. Qualifying is at 10:15 a.m. Saturday for the ST class and 10:35 a.m. for GS. The race is slated to get the green flag at 3:05 p.m. that afternoon.

Live video coverage of the race will be available on imsa.tv from 2:55 p.m. to 5:05 p.m., with live timing and scoring on imsa.com. That race will air on FOX Sports 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15. All times are Eastern.

Post-Watkins Glen quotes:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“Awesome race! We were watching the weather and it was going to be a hot one, and we knew that. The biggest question was ‘Is the car going to stay under us?’ We got dinged a little bit with Balance of Performance [BoP], but we had a BMW and that counts for a lot.

“The heat was brutal. The track temperature was 120 degrees, but our Red Line fluids were up to the challenge. With a turbo engine and all the required coolers for both cars, heat management is critical to keep components from failing, or a car with factory electronics from going into a reduced output mode. Red Line has clearly dropped our temperatures and put us in a safer operational zone.

“I was pretty happy with my drive. Tyler just drove a stellar race. I’m thrilled about this result. To have two of our BimmerWorld BMWs on the podium as a team owner and to have cars that are all together, ready to go to the next round next week is fantastic. We’re one step short, but I’m thrilled!”

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“We had a good race at The Glen. If you had asked me at the beginning of the race if we were going to stand on the podium, I probably wouldn’t have had that answer. The team worked really hard. Our race engineer, Wayne, made some great calls; James drove a great stint, and it was a great points weekend for us. I think we may have tied for the points lead. That was our main focus of the whole weekend, so we’re leaving Watkins Glen happy as we move on to Mosport.

“James and I tend to be pretty good at Mosport. We think we have a good base set up for that, so we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do. It should be quite a bit cooler than we experienced at Watkins Glen, which will be great. I’m ready to go.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“Every time I get in the heat I notice that I’ll start overdriving, and then I see the other drivers start overdriving. So you have to remind yourself that everybody is going through the same thing. You have to just take a deep breath, under drive just a hair, and let the pack come to you. It started to happen there at the end, but we got a couple of things wrong. It was so greasy out there [on track] that the Continental tires were hanging on as long as they could, but it was just so hot we couldn’t do anything. Our tire pressures may have been too high for that middle stop. But I tell you, the BimmerWorld guys nailed this one. The pole position Devin ‘Too Fast’ Jones put in, his opening stint, gapping that field…it was all phenomenal. He did his part better than I could in the race. I was just hanging on; he was comfortable. The kid is fast.

“I know these BimmerWorld guys are going to polish these cars up and get them ready for Canada. They’ll probably be ready the morning after the race, knowing the way these guys work. I think at Mosport we’re going to have some speed. I think we can still hang on and fight for this championship, no problem. We’re still in it and we’re not even halfway through the season.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“The BimmerWorld Racing guys did a great job preparing this car. It was fast all weekend. The heat played a little bit of a role today from the standpoint of track conditions. The track was a little greasier and there wasn’t as much grip today for the race, so that caught everybody off a bit. We were chasing the rear end of the car a little bit during the first stint. We made a little tire pressure adjustment for the next stint and it seemed to help the car a lot. I really thought we had the car to win. We had an unfortunate little issue with fueling the car on our final pit stop which kind of set us back a little bit, but everybody rallied well. And we still came away with second, which is good for points and something to build on when we go to Canada this week. I just have to thank Veristor; Nick did an awesome job, and we’re really looking forward to the rest of the season.

“I think we have some good momentum going into the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race. We are hungry for a win and came pretty close at The Glen, but that just makes us want it even more this coming weekend in Canada.”

Pre-race Q&A for Saturday’s upcoming race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park:

James, you and Tyler qualified just 0.154 off the pole and led the most laps in this race in ST last year, got hit twice, and still finished fifth. What do you think will happen this year, now that you’re in GS and with a new car?
James Clay: “The best thing about IMSA racing and this insanely competitive class is that I have absolutely no idea how it will go — but it will be spectacular! The BMW M4 GT4 is a well-balanced car and BMWs are historically very good in the long, flowing turns there, and I know I love the track and level of commitment it requires. I feel good about it, but I wouldn’t even stick my neck out very far at the green flag as to how we will fare.”

Mosport has predominantly high-speed corners but is very easy on brakes. How will that benefit you and your BMWs?
James Clay: “It has very few significant hard-braking zones because it has primarily fast, flowing corners, but I think the braking performance of the car is more critical here than almost any track! The ability to slow the car down into Turn 8, but with a smooth release so the car will float through the corner at about 150 kilometers per hour is something our Performance Friction Brakes excel at. And braking into the steep hill into Turn 5 is the most pedal pressure we will throw at the car all year, and a critical area for speed. We hope we will have good straight-line speed, but with the fast flow of this track, the few braking areas are where we are going to have to make or defend our position.”

How do you like back-to-back races? Are they exhausting, or do they really get your momentum going?
Tyler Cooke: “I love it; racing is my passion and I love to be in the seat racing wheel to wheel.”

The Mosport track is treacherous in the rain. How do you prepare for a rain race/driving in the rain? Do you like it?
Tyler Cooke: “Rain racing is great. It’s where you see some awesome racing and brings everyone to a level playing field. You prepare for it from years of doing it. If it’s a rainy race, it will keep people on the edge of their seat.”

James and Tyler have proved your car can be a real contender at CTMP. What are your thoughts going into this event?
Nick Galante: “I’ve been watching some videos of our car at that track and am really looking forward to it. This will be my third race there, and I’m finally comfortable at this beast of a track.”

How do you like back-to-back races? Are they exhausting, or do they really get your momentum going? 
Nick Galante: “I love being in the car as much as possible. I think I’m like a goldfish and forget a lot if there is too much down time in between races. I get excited for this busy part of the season. Also, my wife gets to come to most of these upcoming races, and she’s a proven good luck charm.”

Mosport has predominantly high-speed corners but is very easy on brakes. How will that benefit you and your BMW? 
Nick Galante: “I’ll be a little bummed not to be able to use those great brakes, but will have a lot of fun in the corners. Our car has been very predictable and stable thanks to our great engineers.”

Historically, if you go off track at Mosport, the car is usually damaged. That usually leads to a number of cautions. How can you take advantage of that?
Devin Jones: “We just have to stay out of trouble and keep our nose clean through TCR and GS traffic. Hopefully the added cautions will help our current fuel situation with the car.”

What does Canada have that is better than its counterpart in the United States?
Nick Galante: “I love the United States, but sadly this would be a long list. I’ll keep it short and sweet. The top three: kindness, health care, and poutine.”
Devin Jones: “Milk sold in a bag?!”

Do you have a memorable “Mosport Moment” that you can share?
James Clay: “One of my favorite memories involves a much younger BimmerWorld team from over 10 years ago and a series of events in a pair of rental vans that ended with us driving to the track and through the paddock with one side door open and a very questionable windshield — and parental supervision for the rest of the weekend. I blame the whole incident on Seth Thomas.”
Tyler Cooke: “Mosport was my race first out of the U.S. and is where I met my girlfriend, so it’s definitely memorable to me.”
Nick Galante: “I guess I can share my not-so-great moment. My first time here was back in 2015 and I found out the hard way that this is one of the only road courses in the world where a downshift into Turn 1 will make things very interesting. I had a momentary lapse of judgment in the first practice and spun the car on my third lap around.” 
Devin Jones: “The best moment for me was 2015 when I got my first pole and the track record. It was unexpected and a fond memory from Mosport.”

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ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series in both the Grand Sport (GS) class with a brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 and in the Street Tuner (ST) class with a turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Takes Victory and a Podium in First Round of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series at Daytona

BimmerWorld-Takes-Victory-and-a-Podium-in-First-Round-of-IMSA-Continental-Tire-SportsCar-Challenge-Series-at-Daytona

What a race for BMW at Daytona International Speedway! The BimmerWorld Racing team from Dublin, Va., had a near perfect weekend, collecting the pole and victory in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (ICTSC) series on Friday, as well as second place in the Grand Sport (GS) class.

The BMW Endurance Challenge race, a part of the 56th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona race, was a four-hour enduro with its fair share of cautions.

Polesitter Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. and teammate Nick Galante of Greenfield, Mass. dominated the race in the ST class in their No. 81 BMW 328i (F30 chassis), never putting a wheel wrong, and it paid off in a proud victory for the duo. It was also the first victory for the F30 328i in the ST class, after multiple podiums. Devin, who collected his first IMSA Continental Tire victory today, drove the first 85 laps before changing to teammate Galante.

BimmerWorld team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Tyler Cooke of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. started from the 18th position in the GS class in their international GT4-spec No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4. Qualifying and starting driver Clay charged into the Top 10 and even led one lap (lap 17) in a convincing run to the podium in the inaugural Continental Tire race. Clay drove for the first 67 of 106 laps before Cooke came in fresh and continued the gallant charge for their first podium of the season.

Driver Quotes:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“My stint was awesome! I knew I had some traffic to work through and I’m just happy we got through Turn One together safely, and then it was just a matter of picking it off. I knew we had a car with pace. The key today was avoiding incidents and somehow we did. There were some really close calls. I worked my way up to lead at one point. A win in ST and the debut of the GT4 car with a P2 finish feels great. We knew we had an awesome car under us, despite a bad qualifying, and sure enough, we did. What a fantastic machine and teamwork from the guys, and what a fantastic weekend overall!”

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“Gosh, it was quite a race. The BMW guys never gave up on us. They really put a lot of effort in and it showed today. We were running on a liter and it was a good battle at the end with the Mustang, and the Mercedes was there. Hat’s off to the BMW 2-4 finish (second and fourth place). It’s setting the tone for the year and I’m really proud to be in the BMW, and I’m proud to have them joining us. The BimmerWorld guys work their tails off and I’m just happy we can take home a piece of hardware for them and they can enjoy it. Now I’m looking forward to Sebring.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“Devin drove the first three hours and 58 minutes, I think. I’m kidding, of course, but I only felt like I was in the car for a minute. Devin did a great job of putting the BMW on pole and setting the car up. The BimmerWorld team did most of the hard work getting this car where it needed to be. Hats off to the team and the strategy. Unbelievable job on the strategy by Trent, our engineer. He nailed it perfectly, and Devin drove a great first stint and got the pole, which is awesome. My job was easy, he did all the hard work.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“It was definitely a great start to the year. It can’t get much better than a pole and a win at Daytona; it’s huge. It’s been a massive day for us and the whole BimmerWorld team with a second place for their GS car, too. I just have to thank Veristor and everyone that supports this car. It’s really a dream to win here, and I’m just going to absorb it all.

“I grew up watching races here and always being a fan. My dad and I came here in 2004 to race a go-kart, and to see where we’ve come since then is amazing. To win at Daytona is really a dream and it’s all because of these BimmerWorld guys. It’s going to be a great season and what a way to start it.”

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

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

ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. It competes in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series in both the Grand Sport (GS) class with a brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 and in the Street Tuner (ST) class with a turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Announces New BMW M4 GT4 Entry for 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

BimmerWorld Announces New BMW M4 GT4 Entry for 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

BimmerWorld Racing has stepped up the competition a notch with a brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 entry to compete in the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge (ICTSC) Grand Sport (GS) class.

Team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. will once again pair with Tyler Cooke of Matthews, N.C to contest the competitive GS class beginning with the Continental Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway on January, 26th. The duo will use this weekend’s Roar Before the 24 test days, January 5-7, to sort out their new No. 82 (for the BMW F82 chassis designation) BimmerWorld Racing steed.

“This is a big undertaking,” said Clay. “We’ll be working directly with BMW Motorsport as we tailor the GT4 car to the Continental Tire Challenge series specifications. This is important to us, both as drivers competing in a Motorsport product and as a business specializing in BMW aftermarket products. We’re still also competing with a BimmerWorld-built 328i (F30) in the Street Tuner (ST) class, as we have for many years, with Devin Jones and Nick Galante this season, but the factory car will be a new program for us. So far, we’re happy with the testing we’ve done, and it shows great promise for a competitive season ahead.”

“Both the test in November as well as the BOP (Balance of Performance) test for BMW in December were great experiences,” added Cooke. “The car is built very well and fits like a glove. It shows a lot of potential, and I’m looking forward to the Roar and starting the 2018 season. I’m happy James and I are back together, as we have been a good pair and we really solidified our driving dynamic towards the end of the 2017 season. The M4 is going to be a great fit for us and the BimmerWorld crew working with BMW Motorsport.

“I’m sure James and I are on the same page when I say this season’s goal is to win the championship. James and I were so close to a second-place finish in the championship at the end of 2017. We are go-getters and have the capability to run at the front of the pack consistently. With our determination and the strength of the BimmerWorld crew to know how to consistently run a great car, I have no doubts of this being achievable.”

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

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

ABOUT:  BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise and competes in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge series with a pair of BMWs, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.