BimmerWorld Racing Captures Podium Finish at the Lime Rock Park 120 Race

BimmerWorld Racing Captures Podium Finish at the Lime Rock Park 120 Race

BimmerWorld Racing owner James Clay and co-driver Tyler Cooke recorded their best finish of the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge series so far this year when they placed third in the Street Tuner (ST class) Saturday at Lime Rock Park with their BimmerWorld Racing No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis).

Ari Balogh and Greg Liefooghe also had an excellent result in the two-hour contest, as they placed sixth in a similar car fielded by the Dublin, Va.-based team, the No. 81 Powerflex BMW, to duplicate their best result of the season to date.

Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., qualified fourth, just 0.360 of a second off the pole-winning time for the 1.53-mile, seven-turn road course about 100 miles from New York City. He set the car’s fastest lap of the race on lap four and remained in fourth place throughout his stint until he led four laps around the halfway mark when the top three cars pitted under green. He pitted shortly thereafter for fuel, fresh Continental tires, and to turn the car over to teammate Cooke, of Matthews, N.C.

Cooke was back in fourth place only seven laps later. He advanced to third on lap 102 with about 14:20 remaining when the drivers who had been second and third tangled in front of him. The one who had been third got the worse end of that tussle and ended up in a tire barrier, and a little later Cooke brought his BMW home for the final podium position.

Balogh, of Menlo Park, Calif., qualified 16th but he’d advanced to ninth before most of his rivals began their pit stops, and he was fourth when he pitted under green to turn his BMW over to Liefooghe, of San Francisco. The latter was ninth at the halfway point before rising to sixth at the finish despite a track that was getting more slippery by the minute.

The race will be shown on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern. The next event is Aug. 3-6 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. More information is available at imsa.com.

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“I think we probably got what we could have gotten today, and maybe a little bit more. We definitely didn’t have the pace of the MX-5s on the track, but we had a good pace. We had two consistent cars. We were more consistent than I thought we’d be. The car didn’t fall off, and that was one of our biggest concerns. We were able to gap everybody behind us and keep the car in a good position to turn it over to Tyler. Tyler had a heck of a drive, and we’re pretty happy.”

Tyler Cooke, Matthews, N.C., driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“Not bad. Finishing third at Lime Rock is like a win for pretty much any car in the field. It was a great race. The track really fell off at the end, but we were running a consistent pace. We held it in fourth and then moved into third.

“The guys did an amazing job. We had a short time period to get this car ready, but they nailed it. Hats off to BimmerWorld, all the sponsors, and BMW North America.”

Greg Liefooghe, San Francisco, driver, No. 81 Powerflex BMW 328i (F30 chassis), which he shares with Ari Balogh of Menlo Park, Calif.:
“The car was good. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying but in the race, we were really good. I think we can be happy with the results. The car ran really well. We found some speed this weekend. I’m pretty happy. Ari drove the first stint very well, and the car was really good.

“I think Road America is going to be a good track for us. We’re a little bit more of a power car than a handling car, so we might have a little bit of an advantage there so we’re looking forward to that.”

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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 BMW 328is (F30), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Racing Ready to Rock at the Lime Rock Park 120

BimmerWorld Racing Ready to Rock at the Lime Rock Park 120

The 15-minute qualifying session for the Street Tuner (ST) class of the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge series at 3:40 p.m. Friday at Lime Rock Park may be the most important qualifying session of the season for the class. That’s because it will set the grid for the start of the series’ 2-hour race on Saturday at 10:25 a.m. at the bullring in Lakeville, Conn., and where one starts this race could be vitally important to where one finishes. Passing is difficult on the 1.53-mile, seven-turn road course, and it’s easy to go down a lap there and never get it back. Last year’s race had zero full-course caution flags to bunch up the field, and the race is 30 minutes shorter than it was last year.

All those things and more will be on the mind of James Clay of Blacksburg, Va., the owner of BimmerWorld Racing. He qualified fifth for this race last year, just 0.405 off the pole, in the No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW he shares with Tyler Cooke of Matthews, N.C. Clay’s Dublin, Va.-based team also fields the No. 81 Powerflex BMW driven by Californians Greg Liefooghe and Ari Balogh. Both cars are turbocharged BMW 328is (F30 chassis).

There are two practice sessions at 10:05 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. on Friday before the all-important qualifying sessions for the 18 cars in the ST class at 3:40 p.m. and the 13 cars in the Grand Sport class at 3:55 p.m. There will be an open-grid fan walk from 9:15 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Saturday before the Lime Rock Park 120 starts 25 minutes later.

Live video streaming and live timing and scoring will be available on imsa.com and imsa.tv. The television broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. All times are Eastern.

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
How well suited is Lime Rock to your BMWs?
“It is always tough to predict how our cars will perform, and what strengths one year remain strengths coming into another year’s race. The balance of the field is dynamic both in development and BoP changes. Certainly, the small bit of weight our cars lost recently in the last round of adjustments will hopefully help our cars stay under us for longer runs. A BMW is a well-rounded performance car platform and we are generally pretty capable in a lot of areas. I do think Lime Rock has favored our cars in the past, and I am optimistic that we’re headed there with a strong package for some good results this weekend.”

Since it’s hard to pass at Lime Rock, how important will qualifying be? How do you think you’ll fare?
“Qualifying at the front and racing at the front are critical at Lime Rock, more than any other track we visit. Not only is the track hard to pass on, but the short lap length means the front-runners will be lapping the field in short order, making it difficult for a lapped car to have a top result. I know we qualify well, and we will work to maximize our results.”

Lapped traffic can make things difficult at Lime Rock. Is there a type of car that you dread to see up ahead to pass because it takes turns so differently than you do in your BMW? If so, what car would that be?
“I think the biggest struggle at Lime Rock is the GS class. On a track with long straights, the two classes are well divided, but in this little bullring, the GS cars don’t have a lot of time to flex their straight-line speed and our ST cars are quite capable in the corners, so I anticipate that being a major factor, especially at the start of the race.”

Do you feel you have a bit of an edge here with your brake package?
“Performance Friction has worked with us through this season to further develop our brake package, and in a season when we have struggled in a straight line, brakes have been an important advantage for us. Lime Rock certainly has some light and transitional braking, which has been our focus of work. We are good under braking this year and always, and I hope to see it as a component to work our way to the front.”

How important is it that IMSA races in the New York market? Will you have any sponsors attending this race? What about manufacturer reps, since BMW North America is located in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.?
“This track is in the back yard of BMW’s New Jersey corporate headquarters, and we always see a lot of friends from BMW, as well as customers and business partners in this large New York and Northeast market. A solid result here in front of this crowd is very important to us.”

When you think of all the tracks that the series competes on, is Lime Rock one of the most difficult tracks, one of the easiest tracks, or somewhere in the middle, and why?
“Lime Rock is a relatively simple track to drive, very difficult to master, and overall a tough track to race because times matter down to the hundredths. You hardly have a moment to breathe with no significant straights and under a minute before you pass start/finish to do it all again. But it is a beautiful area, and this race is one I enjoy immensely.”

Tyler Cooke, Matthews, N.C., driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
Since it’s hard to pass at Lime Rock, how important will qualifying be? How do you think you’ll fare?
“Qualifying is always important at Lime Rock. If you get too far behind, you’ll lose a lap, and it’s hard to rebound from that. We feel we have a car that can qualify up front and run up front.”

Lime Rock is the nation’s oldest continuously operating road course. Do you get that sense of history when you race here? If so, in what way?
“You do because you see the old pictures and videos, and when you drive it, you can see all the original architecture still there. It’s still an old-school track which everyone loves.”

Lapped traffic can make things difficult at Lime Rock. Is there a type of car that you dread to see up ahead to pass because it takes turns so differently than you do in your BMW? If so, what car would that be?
“The Porsche and Mazda MX-5 are two tough cars to pass. The MX-5 is lighter and smaller which helps it through the tight track, and the lack of straights really helps its overall performance. The Porsche is a center-engine car which allows it to rotate better, and it has good legs down the straights.”

What other track that you race on is most similar to Lime Rock, and why?
“I’d say Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It has the same characteristics as the downhill at Lime Rock but nothing can come close to the uphill.”

When you think of all the tracks that the series competes on, is Lime Rock one of the most difficult tracks, one of the easiest tracks, or somewhere in the middle, and why?
“I’d say somewhere in the middle. All the tracks have their own difficulties that make it hard to race wheel to wheel. Having the confidence to do it is what makes one track easier than the next.”

Greg Liefooghe, San Francisco, driver, No. 81 Powerflex BMW 328i (F30 chassis), which he shares with Ari Balogh of Menlo Park, Calif.:
Lime Rock is the nation’s oldest continuously operating road course. Do you get that sense of history when you race here? If so, in what way?
“Lime Rock’s history is really what makes the track. Driving over the wooden bridge to get in and being so close to the cars on track at all times makes for a great experience.”

What other track that you race on is most similar to Lime Rock, and why?
“Lime Rock’s layout stands out as you are basically in a corner at all times. The only track that comes close to that is Mosport.”

When you think of all the tracks that the series competes on, is Lime Rock one of the most difficult tracks, one of the easiest tracks, or somewhere in the middle, and why?
“Lime Rock has to be one of the hardest tracks to race on. Unless your car has a big advantage in one of the sections, it’s a no-passing zone. With the super-short lap, it’s also easy to go a lap down with a small mistake.”

Are the Lime Rock fans any different than fans you meet elsewhere? If so, in what way?
“Lime Rock fans remind me a lot of Mosport’s fans. They’re into racing and most of them have been coming to the track for a long time.”

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

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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 BMW 328is (F30), where the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Takes Sixth Place and 14th at Lime Rock Park

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Hot temperatures and caution-free conditions were the themes of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race yesterday at Lime Rock Park. The short but fast “classic” layout on the 1.53-mile, seven-turn northeastern Connecticut circuit was a challenge for the two-hour and 30-minute 150-lap race, which saw Mazdas dominate the Street Touring (ST) class podium.

The No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i of starting driver James Clay and co-driver Tyler Cooke began the race from the fifth position on the grid and struggled a bit with the heat and tire preservation on the greasy track. However, they were able to manage their fuel economy to run in the Top 10 all of the race. As the race went on, the duo did their best to maintain position, manage the heat inside the cockpit and push the F30 chassis to the limit under trying conditions to finish in sixth place in class.

The No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Jerry Kaufman, who qualified the car in the 19th class position, and co-driver Kyle Tilley, advanced their BMW to 14th position at the checkered flag, despite a challenging race start. Feeling comfortable with the car setup, Kaufman clawed his way back up through the field after losing several positions early in his stint. Tilley had to manage a brake pedal issue, which proved particularly challenging in the first corner, despite having an otherwise good BMW race car with plenty of speed.

James Clay, Team owner and driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):

“It was a good race, but we were struggling with the car a little bit in the second half. We’re the heaviest car without a special tire exception, and it’s just hard to keep the car together for that burst you need at the end. I think we were lucky to run up front today at the beginning, and we were gifted a couple of spots there at the end just because we were able to run up front. Plus, we were able to push our pit stop to a little bit later, so the fuel game played in our favor. Sixth place — I wasn’t feeling that was likely, especially since we saw what was going on with the track. It was a really hot, greasy track, but I’m pretty excited for sixth.”

Tyler Cooke, driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“We started off with a pretty good car. The team’s done a really good job working their butts off, and I couldn’t be prouder with a Top 10. We just had nothing at the end for the top guys. The Miata MX5s lapped the entire field, so that’s unreal. That’s not even remotely close to anybody’s pace which just blows my mind. This [Lime Rock] is an okay track for us, so a Top 10 is perfect, but we’re happy to be heading into Road America next, which is a good track for us.

Jerry Kaufman, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“Well, it was an interesting start. We started from the inside and hung to it, but then we got caught out on the outside for turn three and lost a bunch of spaces but crawled back from 25th to 15th. It was a lot of work trying to keep the right side tires good for the second driver. The car had good pace the whole time, and it never felt like the car went away. As the fuel burned off, the tires went with them, so the car didn’t ever develop any kind of push or oversteer; I’m really happy with the way we ended up getting the car setup. I wish the start went a little bit better because we could have been a lot higher. That really killed us for positions. Once you lose laps at the start, it’s really hard to claw them back. I think our goal for the Road America race is to really focus on getting a clean race start and not getting hung up anywhere where it could cost us.”

Kyle Tilley, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“On the whole, it was a good race. We lost some track positions in the pit stop, and when Jerry was getting out he dropped the car into gear, so we were held in the pit box longer than we should have been. It just dropped us down a little further than we wanted. The first couple of laps out of the pits we had a brake pedal go to the floor every lap into Turn one. We had to do lots of pumping on the brakes into [Turn] one, so the brakes weren’t really where we wanted them to be. On the whole, our pace was good. Towards the end of the race, we were one of the fastest cars out there. We just need to nail it. The first five laps for Jerry and the first five laps out of the pits would have been a lot better if we didn’t have the brake pedal issue, but these things happen. It wasn’t a bad run by any means. It’s solid points but still not quite where we wanted to be.”

The television broadcast of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be on FOX Sports 1 on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, July 31 at 12 PM EDT.

The next race, Round 7 for the Continental Tire Challenge, will be held at Road America as part of the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase on Saturday, August 6.

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

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

BimmerWorld Gears Up for Lime Rock

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Gearing is on the minds of the BimmerWorld Racing crew as it prepares its pair of turbocharged BMW F30 328i cars for Saturday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (ICTSC) race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

James Clay, team owner and one of its four drivers, said “I know our F30 cars are coming along well, but our performance seems so dependent on gearing and our ability to make that 2-liter turbo spool up in the power band and stay in the boost on critical sections. I think it will be a solid weekend for us, but we’ll know once we get there and get a read on the car.”

Clay and Tyler Cooke will share the team’s No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i while its No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i will be driven by Jerry Kaufman and Kyle Tilley.

The ICTSC will use Lime Rock’s 1.53-mile, seven-turn road course without the chicane. It’s the shortest course on the schedule, so qualifying well will be critical. Clay has managed to put the No. 84 on the pole twice this season, including the most recent race, so the BimmerWorld F30s have the pace to make it happen.

The 27 Street Tuner cars entered in the 35-car race will have only two 45-minute practice sessions at 10:05 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday before they qualify at 3:25 p.m. Fans will get to meet the drivers during the fan walk on the false grid from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the 2-hour-and-30-minute race starts at 10 a.m.

Live video streaming and live timing and scoring will be available on imsa.com and imsa.tv. The television broadcast will be on FOX Sports 1 on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, July 31 at 12 p.m. All times are EDT.

James Clay, team owner and driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
Tell us about your history at Lime Rock, and what you think of the track.
“As a team, we’ve won at Lime Rock in various series a few times, so I know we’re capable there.”

After a smaller field at Mosport, this weekend you’ll be on just a 1.5-mile track with 34 other drivers. How much do you think traffic will play into the race outcome?
“I think the biggest factor is staying on the lead lap, and I would expect that to be a minority number. We would have to have a strong gap to pull out a green-flag pit stop, and so many little things can happen. But we have good cars and good drivers across the board, so, barring oddities, we should be ready to compete for the win when the final sprint gets started.”

You won the pole at the last race. How much does winning a pole get you pumped up for the race?
“The Mosport pole was my second of the season and our third for the car. I love that we have pace and promise in the car, but I am hoping Lime Rock is a bit better suited for our gearing so we can convert one of these poles to our first win.”

Tyler Cooke, driver, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
Tell us about your history at Lime Rock, and what you think of the track.
“I’ve raced at Lime Rock for going on six years now, and I love the track. It’s where I got my first win in cars in 2010 with the Skip Barber series. Lime Rock is a track that looks easy, with not a lot going on, but each corner is unique. At the uphill you have to trail off the brakes just right and get on the power just right or you’ll end up tagging the wall on the outside or inside of the track. West Bend is one of the corners where if you turn in too early or too late, it costs you. The downhill is a corner that you have to do right for the run down the front straight.”

What is it going to take to capture the ST championship?
“We just need to stay consistent. The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park race wasn’t the best for us and set us back a bit, but we’ve had a good car at Lime Rock the last few years. The guys have been working hard between races to make some things we learned at Watkins Glen and in Canada better for Lime Rock.”

After a smaller field at Mosport, this weekend you’ll be on just a 1.5-mile track with 34 other drivers. How much do you think traffic will play into the race outcome?
“Lime Rock is like an oval track. Lapped traffic plays a big role whether it is the GS cars coming by us or lapping ST cars that are at the tail of the field. One reason why I like Lime Rock is because it’s a very hard place to pass, but every year there’s a lot of hard racing and having to manage lapped traffic as well as your own position is part of it.”

Jerry Kaufman, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
Tell us about your history at Lime Rock, and what you think of the track.
“Lime Rock is a very cool track. Because the track is so short you would think that it has to be easy, but it isn’t. I’ve only been there once. I did the M Track Days experience put together by BMW North America. I was able to drive the new M2 and the current M3 around the track for a few laps. The cars were awesome, but it was clear to me that this track is going to be difficult for passing. I think qualifying well here is going to be very important.”

Have you done any iRacing or other simulators with the Lime Rock circuit? If so, how does that help you learn a new circuit?
“iRacing is a great resource for learning many of the tracks we race on. IMSA puts together fun, jammed-packed weekends for the spectators by having many different types of cars compete. I love sharing the track with the GTD cars and Prototypes, but it means that we don’t get much track time to practice. We need to make every second of practice count, so it is imperative that we know the track very well, even before the transporters roll in. Simulators and onboard video are great, but there is no replacement for real seat time.”

Kyle Tilley, driver, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
Tell us about your history at Lime Rock, and what you think of the track.
“I have only been to Lime Rock Park once before, but we won the race! It would be nice to continue that.”

Lime Rock is said to be like an oval with a chicane. How well suited do you feel the BMW 328i (F30) is for the short Lime Rock circuit?
“I think Lime Rock should suit the F30, as there are no really slow, tight corners like Turn 5 at Mosport, but we’ll see. It’s certainly a busy little circuit.”

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

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

Two Top-10s for BimmerWorld at Lime Rock; Road America Race Up Next

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BimmerWorld’s season of rapid development with BMW’s new turbocharged 328i platform continued last weekend at Lime Rock Park where both entries in IMSA’s Continental Tire Series scored top-10 finishes.

The No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BimmerWorld BMW 328i piloted by team owner James Clay and co-driver Jason Briedis raced to sixth-place at the tiny 1.7-mile road course, and came close to matching their season-best run to fifth at Daytona. The sister No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i shared by Andrie Hartanto and Tyler Cooke followed the No. 84 home in ninth, which marked their third top-10 finish in the last four races.

“I’m happy any time both cars finish in the top-10, and I think we got what we could this weekend from the track, even if it wasn’t a win,” Clay said, before noting the continued domination by diminutive cars in the Street Tuner class. “When one of the small cars clears the field by over a half second yet again, we know we won’t be at the top, but our BMW F30s ran strong, and I am looking for big things over the next couple of rounds at longer, flowing tracks.”

The Virginia-based BMW aftermarket and tuning experts have led the charge with the brand’s F30 chassis in competition, and as with everything BimmerWorld races, the knowledge gained will benefit their customers in the form of race-proven components. A recent heat wave in Canada and Lime Rock has helped BimmerWorld to make advancements in heat rejection under the hood, and as Clay explains, the process will continue through the remaining rounds.

“Heat is our enemy in this little turbocharged engine with smaller turbos that really heat things up when running full speed for hours straight, but I think as development continues, the situation is improving,” he said. “We haven’t fully got the package we want yet, but we are making strides in that direction and luckily the Red Line Oil fluids we use are keeping things living well in what I would consider extreme heat. The Lime Rock race finished with higher ambient and track temps, and the engine package stayed with us.”

BimmerWorld transitions from Lime Rock to its next race at Road America in Wisconsin on the weekend of August 8-9. The sprawling road course is a favorite for most drivers, and holds special meaning for Clay, who won his first professional race at the circuit. The track is also near the corporate headquarters of OPTIMA Batteries, and with its high demands on handling, power, and braking, BimmerWorld’s BMW F30s are primed for a competitive run.

“Big tracks have always suited the BMW platform well, and Road America specifically where I won my first pro race back in 2008 in our then-new E90 platform,” he said. “It would really be fitting to have a repeat this year in our new F30 platform, and in OPTIMA Batteries’ back yard. OPTIMA has believed in us in a big way, and been a fantastic supporter of BMW racing as we have moved this new F30 platform to the front of the field, and I would love to see the first win on their home turf.”

After racing at Road America in BimmerWorld’s E90s, Cooke can’t wait to lap the 4.0-mile track with Hartanto in the No. 81 BMW F30.

“My favorite corner there is Canada corner; my dad always told me stories about hearing the race cars scream down the straight after the kink into Canada corner and I finally got to experience it myself and it was truly amazing,” he noted.

“The F30 will be strong through the fast corners and the E90 always had really good pace through there, and this year I feel the F30 is better balanced and can carry better speed then the E90. It will be strong everywhere, but it will really show in the fast turns.”

QUOTEBOARD: LIME ROCK

Andrie Hartanto, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i: “I didn’t qualify as well as I wanted. We had the speed, just couldn’t put it all together. We knew track position was important as this is one of the most difficult tracks to make passes, so I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t qualify better. However, a top-10 finish is an achievement. Next for us is a track that should suit our car well, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Tyler Cooke, No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i: “The BimmerWorld boys gave Andrie and me a great car that had great potential. Putting both F30s in the top-10 shows how hard the team’s been working and it’s a great finish for us.”

Jason Briedis, No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BimmerWorld BMW 328i: “The race went well for us to bring it home sixth overall. We are making progress with heat management, and hope to keep getting stronger. The team is looking forward to Road America and hope to improve on our finishing position.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIME ROCK QUOTE BOARD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BimmerWorld On A Podium Quest In Connecticut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIME ROCK LINEUP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dublin, VA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LimeRockNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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