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 Racing Ready to End Season on High Note at Road Atlanta Finale

BimmerWorld-Racing-Ready-to-End-Season-on-High-Note-at-Road-Atlanta-Finale

As the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Series finale comes to Road Atlanta this weekend, the BimmerWorld Racing Team is ready to end the season on a high note.

Drivers of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4, James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C., seek to battle to a victory and finish the season strong. Although they enter the final round of the 10-race series tied in third place in the GS points championship, they are still in contention for the runner-up spot as they look to add an additional triumph to their history at Road Atlanta.

The Dublin, Va.-based team, has had much success at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta road course. One of their most sensational finishes took place ten years ago when BimmerWorld came to Road Atlanta with three entries and took an entire sweep of the podium, plus the pole position. Last year, they bookended that masterful success by capturing the Sport Touring (ST) championship at the season finale in the final year of the class, while the sister GS-class car won the race. With numerous successes throughout the years, BimmerWorld Racing considers Road Atlanta one of their favorites.

The FOX Factory 120 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race is a two-day event with three practice sessions on Thursday, at 8:45 a.m. for one hour, from 12:35-1:20 p.m. and 4:10-4:25 p.m. GS qualifying follows TCR at 4:55 p.m. for 15 minutes. On Friday the Open Grid/Fan Walk commences at 12:30 p.m. and the field will warm up its Michelin tires at 1:15 p.m. The two-hour race is scheduled to start at 1:25 p.m.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 18. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
As you end the second season with the BMW M4 GT4, what would you say are the biggest accomplishments or advances you’ve made?
“In our sophomore year of the effort, I feel like we’ve had some solid competition from the field and the other BMW teams as well, and it’s satisfying to have come out at or near the top again. We continue to develop this GT4 platform and even with a less favorable BoP (Balance of Performance), we’re still collecting podium finishes. That has been a real challenge and a meaningful reward.”

You and Devin had some good races and some tough ones this year. Please give us an overview or assessment of the season up to this point.
“Devin has been awesome to drive with and we absolutely killed it this year together. We were consistently on the podium in the first half of the year with a good BoP, and even when that changed, we’ve had good strategy and teamwork and still kept putting solid points on the board. This season seems to have been a lot about the weather with some consistent rain disruption, and I feel good about how we’ve dealt with that and the results.”

Where does Road Atlanta stand on your favorite track list and why?
“I like Road Atlanta a lot—I’ve been going there since the early days of my racing. The blind Turn 12 is a ton of fun, and there are multiple larger sections of curb to skip over, which provides some amazing images from the racing.”

Road Atlanta is a fast track with a variety of corners of different types and keeps the driver busy in order to lay down a fast lap. How do you master a good lap here?
“It helps to have a car that’s good on the very long back straight, but downforce matters a lot, all the way from the entry of Turn 1 through 5, or really onto the back straight. If we can get the car hooked up in the turns and spend more time on throttle, we’ll be fast.”

You’ve raced at Road Atlanta many, many times. Do you have any favorite or special memories that stand out?
“My favorite memory at Road Atlanta is easy to recall. In 2009, we ran a team of three touring cars and qualified on the pole, swept the podium, and won every award for speed and performance given. That was a dominant weekend, and in pro racing at this level, one that is hard to replicate. It felt like a 300 score bowling game or a round of hole-in-one golf.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
Road Atlanta must have a special memory for you from last year when you and BimmerWorld teammate Nick Galante won the ST class championship following your third-place finish at Atlanta. Share your memories.
“Last year was a special one. Knowing that we only had to start the race to win the championship was a nice way to spend the week. We started from the pole and finished third and were really able to enjoy our time with the team and have fun after the great year we had.”

You and James had some good races and some tough ones this year. Please give us an overview or assessment of the season up to this point from your point of view.
“The team has been spot on all year, even during the races where we have struggled and not finished where we deserved. The balance of performance has hurt us during the second half of the season, but we want to end this year on a high note.”

How have you found the switch from the BMW 328i you raced last year to the BMW M4 GT4 this year?
“The switch has been seamless. The GT4 is a great platform to race with and a lot of fun.”

How important is using the curbing when racing at Road Atlanta and where can you go all wrong?
“You use a lot of curbing at Road Atlanta. Turns 3, 5, and 10 all require a decent amount of curb use to be fast. You do have to be mindful of this, though, and not overuse the curbing because it can affect the alignment of the car.”

In the past, you’ve said that Road Atlanta has one of the most fun sections of any race track in North America going from Turn 1 to Turn 7. How important is racing at Road Atlanta to you each year?
“Road Atlanta is really like another home track to me. I’ve spent a lot of time here over the years and enjoy the chance to race here. We have a lot of friends and sponsor partners that come and join in on a great race weekend. I’m really looking forward to 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 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 Focused on Winning at Laguna Seca While Supporting Racing to End Alzheimer’s

BimmerWorld-Racing-Focused-on-Winning-at-Laguna-Seca-While-Supporting-Racing-to-End-Alzheimers

The next and penultimate stop of the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series is at one of the most scenic race tracks in North America, world-famous Laguna Seca, outside of Monterey, Calif.

James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. will once again be using their No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 as a national billboard to raise awareness for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. They partnered again this year with Legistics and have been raising funds for Racing to End Alzheimer’s charity campaign via donations over the past few weeks. Along with matching contributions, they’ve also been giving fans the opportunity to add the names of loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s on the car for the two-hour WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120.

Seeing so many names on the BimmerWorld BMW in 2018 was inspiring, especially as Devin Jones and his former BimmerWorld co-driver, Nick Galante, put their ST car on pole and then won the race. They went on to capture the ST class Team and Driver’s Championship at the season finale.

This year, Jones and Clay hope for the same positive energy and outcome as they bring their GS class BMW M4 GT4 to the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in Salinas, Calif. A victory would certainly be welcome to get them back to the top of the points charts as the end of the season draws near. They currently sit third in GS points heading into this weekend, just 29 points from the lead.

The Laguna Seca race weekend starts on Friday, September 12, at 9:35 a.m. with a one-hour practice, followed by Practice 2 from 2:10-2:55 p.m. Practice 3 will take place Saturday morning from 10:05-10:20 a.m. Qualifying for the GS class follows TCR qualifying immediately after the third practice from 10:50-11:05 a.m.

The open-grid fan walk begins at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The field will warm up its Michelin tires at 2:55 p.m. for formation laps, and the race will start at 3:05 p.m. for two hours of wheel-to-wheel action and excitement.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN on Wednesday, September 18 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race quotes follow:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
You and Devin are still very much in the hunt going into the penultimate race of the season. What’s your game plan for the final two races?
“As always, our goal is to do our best. Win races. Get points. Nothing changes—we’re focused on winning.”

Do you think you will finally have a rain-free race this weekend after so many rain races in a row this season?

“I’ve turned into quite the weather enthusiast this year and have been watching it like a hawk. It seems like we may avoid the rain in California, and also the brutally hot temperatures of last year’s race. I’m personally fine with whatever we get at this point, but as we look back at this year, the weather has certainly been a major disruptor at multiple events.”



What do you find as the most challenging aspect of the Laguna Seca circuit?
“The biggest challenge at Laguna is the constantly changing grip. We always start the weekend with no rubber on the track and chase the grip, and then the sand and fine dirt just off the track make the surface continuously variable and the setup work a little difficult.”

Your No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 will have a lot of signatures from donations for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s cause again this weekend. Has this been another successful charitable campaign to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s this year?
“Every time we can have a positive effect like this with both awareness and donations to a charity that we believe in is a win, and this year is no exception. We’re proud to partner with Phil Frengs and his Racing to End Alzheimer’s group again, and our contribution to the fund thanks to our customers is once again noteworthy—I’d really like to thank all those who supported us in the cause.”



This area is known for the beautiful Monterey Bay, among other things. Have you taken part over the years in any activities in the area like kayaking, whale watching, or just touring the Aquarium?

“I love the Bay, and the whales are cool if you can catch them. But it will come as no surprise that on a trip to California, I turn my focus to the outstanding Mexican eateries. And while it’s rare but not unheard of to bring a pup home, the SPCA for Monterey County is right across the road from the main track entrance, and hanging out with shelter dogs is fun and rewarding—and they love it!”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:

Your No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 will have a lot of signatures from donations for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s cause again this weekend. Has this been another successful charitable campaign to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s this year?
“It’s amazing to have Racing to End Alzheimer’s on our BMW again this year at Laguna Seca. Hopefully, we can pull off the same result as last season and make all the names of loved ones on the car who’ve been affected by Alzheimer’s proud.”



You and James are still very much in the hunt going into the penultimate race of the season. What’s your game plan for the final two races?
“VIR was a big hit to our championship hopes. The only thing we can do now is really push hard for a good result this weekend. We need a strong finish to have a chance going into the final weekend at Road Atlanta.”

Last year, you and your teammate won the ST race at this circuit and departed with an excellent points lead and ultimately won the ST championship. How pivotal will this race be for you and James this year in your GS point hunt?
“This race is huge for the championship. However it shakes out here is where we’ll sit going into the final race of the year. We need a super-strong run here, and I know our guys are the ones to make it happen.”

This area is known for the beautiful Monterey Bay, among other things. Have you taken part over the years in any activities in the area like kayaking, whale watching, or just touring the Aquarium?
“I love Monterey and the whole surrounding area. I spent my childhood in San Luis Obispo, Calif., which is down the coast a bit. I always loved going on bike rides on the coast when I had a chance.”

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.

Copart/BimmerWorld Racing Team Ready to Maximize Momentum at Watkins Glen

Copart_BimmerWorld-Racing-Team-Ready-to-Maximize-Momentum-at-Watkins-Glen-International

The SRO TC America series returns to Watkins Glen International August 30 through September 1. The two-car Copart/BimmerWorld Racing Team is looking for their fourth consecutive weekend on the podium in TC America, and they’re highly prepared for the 15-car field in the Touring Car class. Drivers Chandler Hull and Cameron Evans will contest two 40-minute events in BMW M240iR Cup racecars at the renowned 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course. With three podium finishes and three fourth-place finishes, this is clearly an up-and-coming team.

Coming off his second podium finish of the season at Portland International Raceway in July and a debut in the VLN series at Germany’s famed Nürburgring, Chandler Hull, in the No. 94 car, found the confidence that a young rookie needs to be successful in a field full of veterans. Hull sits sixth in the TC America championship points, while the Copart/BimmerWorld team is 3rd in the overall team championship standings. More impressive is how Hull continues to accelerate his racing career with two podiums and two fourth-place finishes this season. Very few drivers have only one year of club racing under their belt and come out with highly experienced drivers to compete at this level.

Evans had a disappointing sixth-place finish at Portland, losing a podium position on the last lap of Sunday’s race due to a fuel problem. He was the Sunday winner at the third stop in Sonoma, after gaining pole position and leading flag-to-flag in a hard-fought battle. It was Evans’ first pro-series victory after a long career of competitive club racing, and he also had a fourth-place finish in the Sunday race at VIR and sits 4th in the TC championship points. He had a busy few weeks of racing since, with a competitive run at the VLN 6-hour race at Germany’s Nurburgring, as well as a third-place overall finish at the ChampCar 24-Hour at VIRginia International Raceway.

Hull, Evans, and the whole team are in the hunt for overall top-three point finishes with three race weekends remaining. BimmerWorld president James Clay will be on site with the team, as well as racing in a BMW M4 GT4 in the Sprint X competition.

The Saturday race at 1 p.m. and Sunday race at 8:30 a.m. will be streamed at the tcamerica.us website, where live timing and scoring results can also be found. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race Quotes Follow

Chandler Hull, Dallas, TX, driver, No. 94 Copart/BimmerWorld BMW M240iR:
“The Portland weekend ended on a high note for me. It was a challenge all weekend, but I’m ready to carry that momentum into the Glen. Having a lengthy break in between SRO weekends allowed me to try my hand at the famed ‘Ring in Germany and prepare for this race. I’m really looking forward to this weekend as I love this circuit—it’s fast and flows well, which should allow my driving style to shine through. Our Copart/BimmerWorld cars should be dialed in this weekend, and we’re ready to fight for podium spots.”

Cameron Evans, Ketchum, ID, driver, No. 82 Copart/BimmerWorld BMW M240iR:
“It was disappointing to be in a position for a podium and lose the points, but we overtook tough cars on a track that doesn’t offer much passing. We showed the field that we’re quickly gaining the pace to run up front.

“We tested at Watkins Glen a few weeks back and found insights on both car setups, and I got some time off the clock as well. I’ve raced here in years past with BMWCCA Club Racing and really appreciate the challenge.”

James Clay, Blacksburg, VA, Team Principal
“Chandler and Cameron have put in a lot of work this year, and we get better every race and every weekend. For us to assemble this team so quickly and repeatedly finish on the podium is no small feat. With just three weeks before the first race, we received the cars, and in a very short period, we had them race-ready and prepared to kick off the season. In fact, in the first stop of the season, on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, they lead one-two for almost half the race in a rainy track situation. We’re still getting fully on top of the cars and setup through our first season with them, and I think we have most of the pieces together to be at the pointy end of the field after our recent test here. I’m excited to see the boys take another step forward this weekend!”

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 Copart-sponsored BMW Motorsport M240i Racing cars. Additional sponsorship comes from Lund International, OZIUM Air Sanitizer, Cyclo Industries, Red Line Synthetic Oil, Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, AMP Research, and Performance Friction Brakes.

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.

BimmerWorld Racing Returns to VIR with Two-Car Team and Support for Racing to End Alzheimer’s

BimmerWorld-Racing-Returns-to-VIR-with-Two-Car-Team-and-Support-for-Racing-to-End-Alzheimers

The BimmerWorld Racing team continues with a two-car effort this week at their home circuit, VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race, August 24.

The Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge two-hour race is the eighth of 10 rounds in the 2019 season. Team owner/driver James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. will co-drive the BimmerWorld Racing No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4. Ari Balogh, of Menlo Park., Ca. and Mike Skeen of Charlotte, N.C., will pilot the No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing/Airbnb BMW M4 GT4. Both cars will compete in the Grand Sports (GS) class at the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course.

Clay and Jones continue their championship quest as they head to VIR in second place in the tight GS class standings with three races remaining.

The Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix weekend starts on Friday, August 23, at 9:40 a.m., with a one-hour practice, followed by Practice 2 at 3:25 p.m. and Practice 3 at 6:50 p.m. Qualifying for the GS class immediately follows TCR qualifying Friday evening at 7:35 p.m.

The open-grid fan walk begins at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday. The field will warm up its Michelin tires at 2:05 p.m. for formation laps, and the race is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. for two hours of wheel-to-wheel action and excitement.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN on Friday, August 30 from 10:00 p.m. for two hours. All times are Eastern.

Announcement

BimmerWorld Racing is once again partnering with Legistics to raise awareness for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s charity campaign. The No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 will serve as a national billboard for the penultimate race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Donors can get the name and hometown of a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s emblazoned on the BMW race car, and donations will be tripled for a limited time. Visit www.r2endalz.org/bimmer for more information.

Pre-race quotes follow:


James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
VIR is your home track and always a favorite for you. You’ve said the Uphill Esses are the most challenging and rewarding. What is your favorite memory at your favorite track?
“It’s really hard for me to narrow that down because this really is an amazing track and facility, and I enjoy it every time I’m here. But a win here this weekend in the middle of a tight championship battle would land pretty close to the top of the heap I think.”

There have been some pretty epic wet weather races at VIR. What’s your view on racing in the rain at VIR?

“It’s wild—I suppose it’s the time of year we race here, but this VIR weekend so often ends up being a mixed-weather challenge on race day. And in a year which has already had so many mixed conditions, it seems like the stage is set for VIR to do something really big. But I love driving here, rain or shine, and I think we’re ready for whatever the track throws at us. I may even prefer the challenge of a wet or mixed track.”

You are using your No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 as a national billboard to raise awareness again for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s cause. Tell us about that.

“This is a great cause and an organization we started working with last year. It was very well supported by our customers, and we wanted to keep going with it, and this year we’re adding in a donation batch from our team. OPTIMA and Veristor have generously donated their space on the car for us to add names for this year’s Laguna race honoring family members and friends of our donors.”

You have Mike Skeen joining Ari Balogh this weekend. Tell us about that pairing and how it came about.

“We’re happy to have Ari back with us for a couple of races this year, and given the VIR venue, longtime BMW driver and VIR resident expert Mike Skeen came to mind as a solid driver pairing. I’m looking forward to adding both to the team for this year’s race.”

The state slogan is Virginia is for Lovers. What do you love about Virginia?
“I travel across the country and the world for racing, and I think VIR really encompasses one of my favorite aspects of Virginia—a rolling road with lots of elevation, rolling through a classic and picturesque setting with lush green trees and grass.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
You are using your No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 as a national billboard to raise awareness again for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s cause. Tell us about that.
“It’s very exciting to have Racing to End Alzheimer’s back on our BMW. It was an absolute honor to sport the names of individuals and families that were affected last season, and I’m looking forward to having more names on the car for upcoming events this year. If anyone wants to donate and have your donation tripled in value, you can go to http://www.r2endalz.org/bimmer to learn more!”

VIR is your home track and also a favorite for you. Share your favorite VIR racing story.
“VIR is my home track, and I have had lots of great memories here. My favorite would have to be in 2016 where it rained so hard the pits flooded and made for an absolutely crazy race. It’s something about this time of year at VIR; the weather is unpredictable.”

There has been some great racing this year in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series. What makes this such an outstanding racing series?
“The mix of manufacturers, drivers, and teams are what makes this series so much fun for everyone involved. People always come up to me and say our series is their favorite to watch and I think that says a lot about IMSA and the fans that support us.”

The state slogan is Virginia is for Lovers. What do you love about Virginia?
“I am a North Carolina boy at heart, but since Virginia is the neighboring state, I can’t say there is much to not love about Virginia either.”

Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., driver, No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4:
Welcome to the BimmerWorld Team. Tell us your thoughts about joining the team and co-driving with Ari Balogh this weekend.
“Ari has experience with the team as well as VIR and this car, so I’m sure we’ll all hit the ground running. We all know the series is very competitive, but I expect that we’ll be right in the thick of the fight, and hopefully we can bring home a solid finish.”

You and James Clay have known each other for a number of years and even both raced up Pikes Peak a couple of times. Tell us a little about your history together.
“I’m very excited to race with BimmerWorld at VIR. I’ve known James and followed his race team for many years having grown up in the BMW enthusiast community and in the same region. We’ve attended many of the same track events over the years and have even tried to work together in the past, but the pieces just fell into place this time.”

You were born in Virginia and now live in Charlotte so VIR must be your home track as well. Share your thoughts about how you like the VIR circuit, your history driving at the track, and your plans this weekend.
“VIR is my home track and I have many laps and race wins, including one just last year in GT3. There will be many friends coming to enjoy the event with us, and I hope we can put on a good show. I’ll also be racing in the IMSA Michelin Prototype Challenge race at the end of the day on Saturday, so it’ll be a busy weekend!

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 Finishes Ninth in the Rain at Road America

BimmerWorld-Racing-Finishes-Ninth-in-the-Rain-At-Road-America

Rain delayed, shortened, and complicated Saturday’s MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Road America, but BimmerWorld Racing’s James Clay and Devin Jones still recorded a top-10 finish despite the treacherous conditions and uncompetitive package under the current rules. They remain second in the point standings with just three races remaining.

After the race was delayed more than an hour due to rain and lightning, IMSA officials shortened the original two-hour contest by 45 minutes. Rain continued to play a starring role in the racing drama; at times the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course was drying and at other times the drivers could barely see due to the deluge of water their cars kicked up. The team’s race strategies came down to simply guessing as to what the weather would be and whether to run on slick or rain tires.

Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., had an opening lap for the ages in the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4. Choosing wet tires for the first stint, he started 17th but advanced nine positions immediately and was up to sixth by lap three. Setting his best lap on lap nine, he pitted under green for the driver change, fuel, and much-needed dry tires with 48 minutes to go.

Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., began his stint in 11th place, but it only took him three laps to vault to eighth, setting the car’s fastest lap of the race on lap 16 with a time of 2:21.221.

Unfortunately, it was pouring two laps later in Canada Corner and raining steadily in the pits, so Jones was forced to hang on for the final half-hour of the race. He dropped to 15th at one point, but then the BimmerWorld crew brought him in for rain tires. Some rivals had to pit too, and despite an electrical problem, he was able to rise to ninth before a yellow caused a one-lap dash to the checkered flag. He finished in that position, holding off the McLaren that finished tenth by a mere 0.422 seconds behind at the finish line.

BimmerWorld fielded a second BMW M4 GT4 in this weekend’s race, making two of the three BMWs in the Grand Sport field BimmerWorld cars. All three qualified together, with Ari Balogh of Menlo Park, Calif. recording the best time of the three in the BimmerWorld Racing No. 80 Airbnb BMW M4 GT4 that he shared with Seth Thomas of Cumming, Ga.

Like Clay, Balogh had an excellent start, advancing five spots on the opening lap to rise to tenth. With one hour to go, Clay was seventh and Balogh was eighth.

The BimmerWorld team brought the No. 80 in for its first pit stop at the same time the No. 82 pitted, and Balogh was 11th when he pitted for Thomas to take over. Thomas dropped to 15th with the stop, but he set that car’s fastest race lap on lap 15 with a time of 2:20.725.

With 33 minutes to go and Thomas holding the 13th position on dry tires, the rain picked up. With 24 minutes to go, he spun, making a couple revolutions before nosing into a wall to bring out the first full-course caution of the race. The car had to be towed back, and the entry ended up 20th in class.

The Road America MICHELIN Pilot race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on the NBC Sports Network on Monday, Aug. 12 from 3-5 p.m. Eastern time.

The next MICHELIN Pilot Challenge event, round eight of 10, will be the Michelin GT Challenge at BimmerWorld’s home track, VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., Aug. 23-35. That track is about 100 miles from BimmerWorld’s headquarters in Dublin, Va. On July 26, BimmerWorld announced it would invest $1 million to expand its operations, bringing 15 full-time jobs to Pulaski County. The expansion will primarily help with warehouse space and the company’s customer care center.

Post-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4GT4:
“This was a tough weekend and unfortunately, unless something changes heading to our home track [VIR], it’s going to be a tough weekend too. We know this track well; we love it, and we’ve won here multiple times, but we didn’t have anything we could put on track this weekend that was competitive. It’s super frustrating.

“Thank goodness we had some curve balls thrown at us so we could advance and kind of sneak our way up there a little bit further. We’ll see how the next round shakes out—certainly, we have our work cut out for us with the current weight and power regulations for the BMW.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“This weekend was a real struggle for us. Right from practice, we didn’t have much pace at all. The BMWs seemed pretty far off, which was a little bit surprising.

“James did a really great job in the opening stint trying to manage all the tough conditions. We were hoping for rain because we knew we had just about zero chance of anything in the dry since we had no pace. We got the rain we wanted, and James did a great job getting the car up well into the top 10. We went out initially on slicks, but it started raining again so we went to rain tires.

“We felt like we had decent pace in the rain, but then we had a little electrical problem and lost some track position but then gained some back with the one lap we had green again. Overall, ninth is not what you want at all, but it still keeps us in the hunt for the championship.

“We always want better than that, but I guess we’ll take it. VIR is the next race, and it’s our home track, so we’re really looking forward to it. We plan to come in there really strong and hopefully get our pace back and be fast.”

Seth Thomas, Cumming, Ga., driver, No. 80 Airbnb BMW M4 GT4:
“Coming back to the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge paddock was awesome. Getting back into the BMW M4 was like a duck to water. It was easy to adapt to and get up to speed again.

“The race was probably one of most testing races I’ve been in for a while. With the mixed conditions, [I had to] adapt to the car [in response to] what it does in the wet. Everything was going pretty well, and then we had an unfortunate spin. We were coming in for tires, and I needed about two more turns and we would have been good. I had a good time, and I’m glad the BimmerWorld guys had me back out for a 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 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 Expands with Two-Car Team at Road America

BimmerWorld-Racing-Expands-with-Two-Car-Team-at-Road-America

Round 7 of the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series moves to Elkhart Lake, Wisc. this week for the Road America 120 two-hour race on Saturday, August 3. The BimmerWorld Racing No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 of team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. will be on a mission to climb back to the top of the Grand Sports (GS) points.

Even with their strong fourth-place finish at the recent Lime Rock Park round, Clay and Jones were bumped into second place, just three points down in the GS championship chase. If fans know anything about the BimmerWorld team, they know that winning races and leading the championship are always on their mind, so there’s plenty of exciting racing ahead.

For the Road America weekend, BimmerWorld Racing will be fielding a second BMW M4 GT4, the No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing/Airbnb BMW entry for Georgia’s Seth Thomas and California’s Ari Balogh. Both veteran IMSA drivers have previously competed under the BimmerWorld Racing banner and are thrilled to get behind the wheel of the BMW M4 GT4.

The 4.048-mile 14-turn historic Road America race track is a driver and fan favorite on the 10-race IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge schedule. With just four races remaining, the always stout competition is expected to be as furious as ever, and the BimmerWorld boys are ready to battle to the finish.

The Road America 120 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge sessions commence with a one-hour practice on Friday, August 2, at 9:55 a.m. and a second Friday practice from 3:20-4:05 p.m. Saturday’s Practice 3 runs from 10:15-10:30 a.m. This leads into qualifying, with the GS class following TCR at 11:00 a.m. The open-grid fan walk begins at 3:10 a.m. on Saturday, and the field will warm up its Michelin tires at 3:55 p.m. for formation laps. The race is scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN on Monday, August 12 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:

Road America is always a favorite track of drivers who enjoy the long straights and the challenging Kink. What’s a perfect lap at Road America look like for you?
“Road America is certainly one of my favorite tracks, and where I got my first professional win. To me, the perfect lap is all about maximizing those long straights, getting on the gas early, and running as flat as possible through the Kink. To me, some of the high-speed turns like T1 and T7 and, of course, the Kink really define the lap.”

Getting on the brakes is part of a lap around this track. Talk about your Performance Friction Brakes package on your BMW M4 and why it is better than other brake packages in the field.
“I won my first pro race at Road America with an outside braking-zone pass into Turn 5 on Performance Friction brakes—something I will never forget. Whether it’s a crazy deep braking zone like Turns 5 and 8, or something that requires finesse like 6 and 14, I think we have developed a brake package with PFC that’s certainly one of the tools in our toolbox for success.”

Although you are not currently leading the GS points, you are definitely in the hunt with four races remaining. Competition at the front of the GS field seems as strong as ever. Address the challenges you feel you’ve got to overcome in these remaining four races.
“I’m not big on constantly discussing the series-issued Balance of Performance, but I’m aware with the mid-season power reduction and weight addition that we’re struggling to land on the podium. We have an awesome team and our BMW is a solid, reliable platform, and combined with Devin and me, we’re able to scrap together some pretty solid points finishes. I’d really like to see the podium a few more times this year, and we’ll keep digging for it, and our best chance is to put together a solid overall performance that lands us there. Consistency will definitely be our best tool as we grind out the last handful of races this year.”

You’ve added a second BMW M4 for Seth Thomas and Ari Balogh, who have both raced with BimmerWorld in the past. How did that come about, and share thoughts about them as drivers?
“It’s great to have both of them back with us! Seth was part of the early history of our race team and was with us for over 10 full pro seasons, so it’s great to have my good friend and veteran team driver back for this weekend. Ari was with us for a couple of years as well, and while his schedule didn’t allow for a full season this year, I had previously told him we’d always have a seat for him, and I’m glad he had enough of a break to give me the call. These guys are a known quantity, and as we work to wrap up a strong season, they’ll be an asset to our team. And I just enjoy working with good friends!”

At the last race, you said that after the Road America race you were going to get a break. What do you plan to do on your summer vacation?
“I have a break in the racing action, but I don’t think it will turn into much of a summer vacation for me. I hope to get a little time on a jet ski this year, but I’m working on both a house renovation and a new warehouse expansion for our BimmerWorld business, so I’ll be mostly focused on juggling all the other balls I have in the air currently.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:

Road America is always a favorite track of drivers who enjoy the long straights and the challenging Kink. What do you enjoy best about the circuit?
“Road America is a pretty epic track with a little bit of everything. The kink is one of the highest risk corners in racing, so it’s always a challenge. There really isn’t a dull corner around the track. Add them all together and it’s a huge and special track to race.”

Although you are not currently leading the GS points, you are definitely in the hunt with four races remaining. Competition at the front of the GS field seems as strong as ever. Address the challenges you feel you’ve got to overcome in these remaining four races.

“It’s a very tight battle for the championship, but I’m confident going into this weekend. Everyone has a different agenda this time of year, with some teams going for wins and some trying to score points. We’re going to focus on our team and run our own race just like we’ve done all year.”

When you have race after race every week or couple of weeks as we’ve had since late June, do you get in a rhythm or is it wearing on you?
“I enjoy this time of year, and I think you really get into a rhythm and start to perfect things with your own driving and car setup. I love being at the racetrack.”

Heat has been a big factor in the past few races. Talk about your fitness program and how you hydrate before and after a race with extreme temperatures and prepare for them.
“I’ve been a bike racer for years and ride 10 hours a week for most of the year. I love to do it, and it really helps me in the car. The heat has been rough this season, but I always hydrate days before the race to prepare. Lime Rock was the hottest race in a long time, but I feel my fitness training helped me stay focused at the end of the race.”

Seth Thomas, Cumming, Ga., driver, No. 80 BimmerWorld Racing/Airbnb BMW M4 GT4:
You are back with the BimmerWorld Racing team in the No. 80 BMW M4 GT4 for Road America. Share your thoughts about being reunited with your team that you’ve raced with off and on for the past 15 years.
“I feel like a kid at Christmas and can’t wait to be back with my friends and family at BimmerWorld. They’ve been such a big part of my development as a driver that it’ll be good to be reunited with them since my last racing effort with them was in 2016. It’ll be like coming back home. I’ve been doing a few races in Europe since that time, but being back home running a BMW on Michelin tires for the first time with my favorite team in the paddock and with Ari will be great, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Share your thoughts about how you like the Road America circuit, your history driving at the track, and your favorite part and why.
“Road America is one of the tracks that I’ve enjoyed going to, but I feel slightly snake-bitten by it. I’ve run in the top-5 on multiple occasions only to fall short in the results category due to many circumstances outside my control. But it is a track that every time I drive it, I feel like I want more. The best part of the track to me is the Canada Corner to Turn 13 complex section. The big braking zone and the elevation changes remind me a lot of my home track of Road Atlanta. Plus, there’s nothing better than feeling a BMW M4 sliding through this section of the track as the elevation gains and then falls out from under you. It’s like a roller coaster ride that I’m in control of.”

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 Finishes Just Off Podium in Valiant Drive at Lime Rock Park

BimmerWorld-Racing-Finishes-Just-Off-Podium-in-Valiant-Drive-at-Lime-Rock-Park

The BimmerWorld Racing duo of team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. took their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 to a fourth-place finish in the challenging Lime Rock Park 120 race. The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series’ two-hour race featured 33 cars vying for victory in two classes, Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR), around the tight 1.478-mile, 7-turn road course in the northwest corner of Connecticut near the Berkshire Mountains.

Qualifying driver Clay started from the 10th position on the grid in the GS class in the nail-biting race that was run under sunny skies. The record-setting heat and humidity forced the team to deal with a heat index of 99 degrees F, and the track’s surface temperature registered at a whopping 109 degrees, making the short and technical track that much more challenging under race conditions.

Clay quickly moved up one spot before confronting a familiar Mercedes that brought about unneeded contact in the previous race. Joined by former teammate Tyler Cooke in an Audi R8, the duo finally shoved their way past the very wide car. Clay then focused on turning clean laps and passing lapped traffic for a long, hot driving stint, eventually pitting his BMW M4 from third position in class before the first stop on Lap 55 at approximately 53 minutes into the two-hour race.

The BimmerWorld Racing executed another great pit stop with the driver change, a full load of fuel, and four tires in a green-flag stop late in the pit cycle. This had co-driver Jones rejoining the field in the 14th position and one lap down, but with the pit cycle completed, the No. 82 settled out on the lead lap and inside the top 10 again. After ten more laps of foot-down driving, Jones elevated himself into seventh before setting his first fastest lap of the race on Lap 66 with a time of 54.8.

Several competitors had come in for their second stop with a short fuel fill, but the BimmerWorld team, along with several others, were on a daring strategy to wait for a yellow flag that might have prevented the need for the additional fuel. But as the minutes ticked down and time was running out, it was clear that the team was being boxed into a losing strategy. Just as the team made the call to pit, they were gifted the yellow flag they were hoping for, which was the only full-course caution of the race, came out on lap 87 with just 35 minutes remaining for debris on the track.

Jones stayed out in the initial pit cycle while the majority of top cars came in, putting the No. 82 BMW M4 on the lead lap in the pass-around process as the pace car caught the new leader positioned behind him. The BimmerWorld team then made the daring call to pit off-sequence on the very short track for two left-side tires and a splash of fuel, sending Jones out of the pits mere seconds before the leader as the track went green. This put Jones in the podium-fighting position of fourth after jumping multiple cars in the pits.

Jones put his head down from the lap-94 restart in a valiant effort to finish on the podium, even besting his earlier fastest time on lap 98 with a time of 54.777 around the small and tight Lime Rock circuit. As close as he got in the final minutes of the edge-of-your-seat race, he couldn’t quite break into the top three and had to settle for fourth position on the final lap.

Although it was a strong finish for the BimmerWorld team, they fell from first to second position in the GS championship points battle and three points down, having had a one-point advantage coming into the Lime Rock race weekend.

The Lime Rock Park 120 race will be televised taped delay on the NBC Sports Network on Friday, July 26 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The next MICHELIN Pilot Challenge event, Round 7 of 10, will be the Road America 120 race held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on August 3rd.

Post-race quotes follow:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4GT4:
“After our BoP (Balance of Performance) change before the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park race, I think we’re really scrapping hard for anything we’ve got. I think these next races are going to be a challenge and, unfortunately, I believe we’re in a prevent type situation. But we’re still bold with strategy and still trying to win races. I think Road America is going to suit our car better than this track did, so I like our chances going in there. But with the Audi in the points lead right now, that’s going to be a really tough car because they’re also really solid right now. So we’ll see.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“Going into this race, we knew it was going to be tough. Practice was up and down, and we weren’t sure where we were speed-wise, but we were pretty confident in our long-run pace. I think that showed today, along with a great job by James in keeping his nose clean and keeping us on the lead lap in the beginning because that was a concern. We went a lap down under the caution but had good strategy and were able to get it back. We came in and put on left-side tires and started running good lap times and salvaged a fourth-place finish. We can’t really be too disappointed with that. Every weekend you want to win or be on the podium, but you’ve got to take what you can get, especially because it’s a long season. It was a solid points day, even though we lost the lead. We’re still right in contention and we’ve still got some good tracks coming up for us. I’ve got to thank all the guys for the hard work this weekend. It was really hot. I’m exhausted!”

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 Pushing Hard to Maintain GS Points Lead at Lime Rock Park

BimmerWorld-Racing-Pushing-to-Maintain-GS-Points-Lead-at-Lime-Rock-Park

The BimmerWorld Racing team and their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 of team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. heads to Lime Rock Park inspired to maintain their point lead. The driving duo sits atop the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Grand Sports (GS) championship points by a mere single point over the second-place duo and two points over third place.

The competition in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge is expected to be as challenging as ever at the two-hour Lime Rock Park 120 race on Saturday, July 20 at the 1.478-mile, 7-turn road course. Clay and Jones do not plan to give up their points lead and are resolute to continue their GS championship quest this season as they enter Round 6 of the 10-race calendar.

The Lime Rock Park MICHELIN Pilot Challenge abbreviated two-day event starts with one practice session on Friday, July 19, at 11:05 a.m. A second Friday practice will be from 1:15-2:00 p.m., followed by Practice 3 at 3:40-3:55 p.m. This leads into qualifying with the GS class following TCR at 4:25 p.m. for 15 minutes. The open-grid fan walk begins at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday. The field will warm up its Michelin tires at 11:00 a.m. for formation laps and the race is scheduled to start at 11:10 a.m. for two hours.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN on Friday, July 26 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
It’s now the middle of the season, and you and Devin are leading the GS points. What is your plan to stay on top of the points when you have a bullseye on your backs with everyone aiming to dethrone you?
“The points battle is very tight at the front this year, and quite honestly, I expect there to be some position swaps in the next few rounds. We got hit with weight and a power reduction recently, and that hurts. We still have a solid car, but the next rounds won’t be easy, and, as always, our strategy is to prepare the best we can, race hard, and let the result come.”

Lime Rock is a very different circuit with no long straights and short, tight corners. How well does this circuit play for your turbo BMW M4 and Performance Friction Brakes?
“I’m not totally sure we’ll be strong at Lime Rock—we certainly weren’t last year. I’m aware that it’s easy to put other cars a lap down if we get a lot of green flag running, and I hope that plays in our favor.”

In the past, you’ve said the uphill is your favorite turn because it either is a passing zone or sets up for a pass into West Bend. How easy will that be this year with this challenging GS field?
“I love the Uphill and it has been a strength on this track in the past for us. West Bend is a really tight place to pass, but so is this whole track. I think at this point in the season, it’s all just challenging at the front of the field. Nothing is a given or expected, which will lead to some really good hard racing.”

Most every race this season has had multiple in-race cautions because of accidents and offs. You and Devin seem to be able to stay on track very well. Is there an art to knowing when to take a chance as well as how to avoid someone else who makes a risky move?
“I think this is racing experience combined with tempered goals. We aren’t points racing—we’re racing to win. But I think we’re also acutely aware that you don’t win by taking excessive chances, and in the moment in situations where things have gone wrong around us, we’ve just left a little change on the table for avoidance. As I look back through the season so far, I’m aware that we could’ve taken more chances and maybe moved slightly forward in doing so, but you can’t argue with the results of our approach.”

Do you and the team ever get to do something fun when you’re up in the Berkshires like boating, hiking, or something during this classic mid-July race week?
“Lime Rock is a very fast in and out event for us. In years past, we’ve raced on the Monday of a holiday weekend and had some time to enjoy the area, but this weekend we’ll be intensely race-focused for 28 hours, then looking forward to a small break in the action before Road America.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
It’s now the middle of the season, and you and James are leading the GS points. What is your plan to stay on top of the points when you have a bullseye on your back with everyone aiming to dethrone you?
“We’ve had a really solid first half of the season, but it’s still way too early to be worrying about points standings. We know it’s going to be a fight right down to the end of the year, so our focus is to execute one race weekend at a time. I have full faith in our team to continue performing well during the second half of the season.”

You have said that the short, tight Lime Rock circuit reminds you of the quarter and half-mile short track ovals on which you started your racing career. How does your racing history of the short tracks help you sling your BMW M4 around this circuit?
“Lime Rock is the shortest track we go to, and I love it. The first time I came here, I was still fresh off oval and stock car racing, and the track immediately meshed well with me. A lot of the same driving techniques apply to ovals and being fast around Lime Rock. The biggest difference is you’re going right most of the time instead of left!”

Cautions and avoiding accidents are part of the game in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series, especially on a small track like this. How do you best avoid getting caught up in another driver’s bad choice?
“It really just comes down to racing instinct and knowing when to push the issue and when not to. These races are long and a lot can happen—sometimes a little patience pays off with a good finish.”

You and James both seem to be good at gaining positions, particularly after a pit stop or restart after a caution. Not to give away any of your racing tricks, but what do you look for?
“James is the start/restart master! I think he’s gained at least two to three spots each race this year on the start. My main key would be quick decision making and trying to be as efficient as possible when battling for position with other cars. It’s the best way to make up positions, aside from beating others out of the pits, which our guys do an amazing job of as well!”

The first automobile law was passed by the state of Connecticut in 1901 to set the speed limit at 12 miles per hour. Do you think you could go 12 mph if you even tried?
“Only if I was on the bike going up a hill… or it probably would’ve been a safe speed for a period of time this year at Watkins Glen when the heavy rain hit and we were on slicks!”

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 Retains Points Lead With Sixth-Place Finish in Canada

BimmerWorld-Racing-Retains-Points-Lead-With-Sixth-Place-Finish-in-Canada

Two days after celebrating Independence Day in the U.S., Canadian Tire Motorsports Park offered plenty of fireworks north of the border for BimmerWorld Racing at the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race. The Dublin, Va.-based team finished sixth with the only BMW competing in the Grand Sport (GS) class, and the team unofficially holds on to its lead in the points championship by a single point in the extremely competitive series.

Team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and co-driver Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. nearly finished fifth in their No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4. A total of 24 Grand Sport and 14 Touring Cars were entered for this contact-heavy race on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course, formerly known as Mosport.

Clay started 16th but was determined to get into the top 10 quickly while preserving the car’s PFC brakes as much possible. He passed two cars on the first lap and spent most of his stint in a fierce battle with a Mercedes which ultimately led to contact between the pair. Stewards reviewed video footage of the incident, but no action was taken.

Clay passed his former co-driver, Tyler Cooke, for 11th place on lap 21 and was only 0.472 of a second behind the 10th place car when the first full-course caution flew on lap 24, just 36 minutes into the race. That yellow was important to the team’s strategies, as it occurred right before the 40-minute minimum drive time.

All but four cars pitted during the first caution. With tidy and fast pit work, the BimmerWorld crew gained two positions in the stop (from 11th to ninth) as Clay pitted to turn the car over to Jones.

Thanks to the BimmerWorld crew’s quick pit stop, Jones came out of it with good track position and moved quickly into seventh when the green waved again. As the remaining cars pitted, there was some post-caution shuffling as Jones settled into the sixth-place position where he set his fastest race lap on lap 33 with a time of 1:24.313.

Jones juggled positions throughout the race and through the team’s final pit stop, eventually elevating his BMW M4 GT4 into fourth place until a McLaren passed him on lap 56 with 33 minutes remaining. He held on to fifth until a Mustang got by with less than one minute remaining on the penultimate lap of the 78-lap race. Jones finished 0.986 behind the fifth-place finisher and 0.748 ahead of the seventh-place finisher at the checkered flag.

Although the BimmerWorld team did not repeat their podium appearance at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 120, they do continue to hold the GS points lead at the halfway point of the season.

Saturday’s race will be shown on the NBC Sports Network on Tuesday, July 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT. Prior to that program the June 29 race from Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. will air on the same network on Thursday, July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. EDT. BimmerWorld Racing finished second in class in that race.

The next event is at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. July 19-20. It will air on NBCSN on Friday, July 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT. All the races are also streamed live on imsa.tv.

Post-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“I clearly wasn’t happy with qualifying; I didn’t put down a good lap anyway, but I had my top two laps removed with some contact there, unfortunately. I just wasn’t happy with that effort at all.

“Of course, during the race, I paid for that and had to work my way forward in some challenging traffic. I don’t think we were trying to be a hero here today; we just needed to get some solid spots, and we needed to have a solid finish. I wasn’t going to take excessive chances, and after getting banged around by the No. 57 Mercedes a couple of times, I was pretty content to let them keep the spot and deal with it later. I don’t think that ultimately affected our outcome or my race, but it certainly added to some frustration we had to get through today.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“First, the guys in the pits did a great job of getting us out and gaining us a few spots in the pits. James did a really good job racing smart with some of the other cars he was around.

“We wanted to play this race a little bit conservatively. We knew we didn’t quite have a winning car today, but we definitely had a top-five car. With the strategy and a good pit stop, we were in a solid position to get a top-five finish. We came up a little short of that, which was a little frustrating, but overall, we can’t complain about finishing sixth and still maintaining the points lead.”

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 Charges to Mosport in GS Points Lead for MICHELIN Pilot Challenge

BimmerWorld-Racing-Charges-to-Mosport-in-GS-Points-Lead-for-MICHELIN-Pilot-Challenge

The BimmerWorld Racing team from Dublin, Va. charges into the next round of the 10-race IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series in the Grand Sports (GS) points lead.

Round five of the 10-race series will be the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 120 for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge two-hour race on Saturday, July 6 at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada road course.

Team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. and teammate Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C. drive the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 for BimmerWorld Racing. The duo is tied for the lead in driver’s points and leading in points for the GS class after finishing second at Watkins Glen International in an exciting fight to the finish last weekend. Clay departed from the track immediately after his stint to compete in the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, where he finished an impressive sixth in the Time Attack 1 class in the No. 36 BimmerWorld Racing 2018 BMW M4 GT4.

In previous IMSA races this season, Clay and Jones finished ninth at Mid-Ohio, second at Sebring International Raceway, and fourth at Daytona International Raceway in January. Holding onto the points lead is their goal this weekend and for the remaining six races.

Last year, Jones took the pole with a new track record in the former Street Touring (ST) class in the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing 328i and followed up with a class victory with former BimmerWorld teammate Nick Galante. Along with the team’s second-place finish last weekend, Jones also set a new track record for fastest lap at Watkins Glen International during that thrilling four-hour race.

Practice for the CTMP 120 on Friday, July 5, at 10:00 a.m. for a one-hour session and from 3:05-3:50 p.m. Saturday has a practice session at 9:15 a.m. for 15 minutes then leads immediately into qualifying with the GS class following TCR at 10:00 a.m. for 15 minutes. The open-grid fan walk begins at 1:00 p.m. The field will warm up its Michelin tires at 1:45 p.m. and the race is scheduled to start at 1:55 p.m.

The event will be streamed live on imsa.tv, and there will be live timing and scoring on imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16. All times are Eastern.

Pre-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
You just came out of a whirlwind week of going back and forth between Pikes Peak and Watkins Glen. Now you are jumping right into another IMSA race in Canada. Have you caught your breath yet, or are you running on pure adrenaline?

“The pace has actually been quite fun. I touched down at home for about 20 hours, and if anything, it’s a little tough for me to dial it back right now—which seems like the right mindset to be in.”
 

You and Devin had a strong drive at The Glen and catapulted yourself back into the GS championship lead with your second-place finish. This class is very competitive, so how do you plan to stay on top for the remaining six races?


“I don’t think anyone could plan for that, and while I know we’re happy to be in the position we’re in, there’s a lot of racing ahead. As always, we’ll do our best and the team is super on it. No secrets—just hard work and focus.”

Mosport is a very fast flowing circuit. Do you think your BMW M4 will have the speed, coupled with the Performance Friction Brakes package to master the circuit this year?

“Fingers crossed, but this is one of my absolute favorite tracks in the world, and I think we punch a little above our weight class here typically. With where the car sits currently, I think we should be in a decent spot. We may lose some power due to BoP after our recent performances, but we have the handling dialed in, and the PFC brakes at this track play a critical role.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
You captured the pole at Mosport last year in the ST class. What will it take to repeat that in the GS class this year?


“Mosport is probably my favorite track. It seems to really suit my driving style, and I just enjoy racing there. We had a great run last year in the ST car, but the GS class is always super competitive. However, I think we can carry our momentum from Watkins and hopefully put together another strong performance this weekend.”

How do you like the fast flowing Mosport circuit? What’s your favorite part?

“I love the fast, old-school nature of the track. Every corner flows right into the next, and the elevation change makes this track truly amazing. I can’t pick a certain corner—I just love the whole place.”

You and James are now back on top in the GS championship points battle after a strong run at The Glen. With six more races to go, how do you plan to stay on top?

“There’s still a long way to go this season, and the next batch of races are going to be really important to set the tone for the finishing stretch. We’ll just have to stay focused on agenda and taking the schedule race by 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 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 Finishes Second in Thrilling MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race at The Glen

BimmerWorld Racing Finishes Second in Thrilling MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race at The Glen

The Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 at The Glen race for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on Saturday was one of the most thrilling races the series has seen in recent years. Thirty-seven cars in two classes competed during changing weather and numerous cautions from spins galore while teams were chasing victory.

BimmerWorld Racing’s 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 Grand Sport (GS) class in the four-hour enduro, just 1.946 seconds down from the winning No. 35 Mercedes Benz-AMG.

Qualifying driver Clay started from the fifth position on the grid and immediately passed two cars on the first lap, elevating the BMW M4 to third place. A total of five cautions over the 103 laps as well as some intermittent rain led to an exciting race that had fans on their feet cheering.

The first full-course caution was displayed on Lap 8, and Clay pitted for a fuel top-off two laps later. On Lap 17, another caution was thrown as Clay continued to take advantage of any inch of track space he could to advance his No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor-liveried BMW. By Lap 28, he drove the race car into the lead and turned his fastest lap of the race on Lap 37 with a time of 1:55.971. He held the number one position until his next pit on Lap 43, nearly one hour and 40 minutes into the race. The team’s choice to pit at that time turned out to be brilliant, as Clay narrowly entered the pits just before the third full-course caution of the day was displayed, approximately one hour and forty-five minutes into the race.

Jones started his stint and quickly maneuvered the No. 82 BMW back into the lead as he kept bettering his fastest lap, ultimately collecting his fastest on Lap 74 with a time of 1:54.077 and earning fastest lap of the race honors, as well as setting the new track record.

Rain began to fall on parts of the circuit just before the final pit stops. The BimmerWorld crew took a chance by staying on Michelin slick racing tires, while many of their competitors opted for rain tires. After the restart following the final caution with just 15 minutes remaining, the cars with rain tires held the front positions, but as the rain stopped and the track quickly dried, the gamble paid off as Jones climbed back into second place. He ran out of time to capture the victory as the checkered flag was displayed at 6:56 p.m. Eastern time. Jones lead the most laps of the day with 49 of the 103 total laps.

With their second-place finish, Clay and Jones moved back into the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge points lead after four of 10 rounds this season.

Jones had to handle the Victory Lane honors solo as team owner and teammate Clay was well on his way to his flight to Denver for competition at the 2019 running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as The Race to the Clouds. The invitational automobile and motorcycle event is a 12-mile, 156-turn hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak held every year at the end of June.

Clay competed in the Time Attack 1 class on Sunday at Pikes Peak and finished in sixth place in class in a BimmerWorld Racing 2018 BMW M4 GT4 with a time of 10:39.786 and an average speed of 67.523 mph.

The Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 at The Glen race will broadcast on NBCSN on Thursday, July 11 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Post-race quotes follow

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“We have a great car today, clearly. And we have pace, but most of the positions were gained when a competitor had a wiggle or an error. It bunched up at the start of the race. I didn’t have to check the throttle. I was able to have a clean run and get up near the front. We don’t have the pace for the Mercedes and found no reason to burn the car down trying to keep up. We found ourselves in the right place at the right time and gained a number of positions.

“The team strategized for short fills, avoided incidents, and drove clear which nearly gifted me the lead. We managed a smart and clean drive, and Devin drove the same.

“We watched it (the race) while we headed to the airport to head to Pikes. It was one of the craziest race finishes I’ve ever seen. So much happened, and it was such incredible racing with the rain. We had a great car today, and Devin did a fantastic job. We were headed for a win, but it didn’t quite come through. I’m so proud of Devin and the team and the great job they did today, and I’m happy we’ve regained the championship lead.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“It was a really interesting race. We’ve been working really hard on getting the car set up for the longer run, and it was starting to pay off today. James did an incredible job in the first stint and was out in the front, battling for the lead, and doing a great job, especially after he didn’t get much practice coming in from Pikes Peak. It put a lot of pressure on me to get in the car and do well. I thought we did a pretty good job. We were out front for most of the race. Towards the end, the No. 35 was fast, and he was running about the same pace as me.

“When the rain came, it kind of changed everything up and threw a curveball. I didn’t really want to see it because I knew how fast we were in the dry. We were able to hold onto it, and the track was starting to dry up towards the end. We were running them down and just ran out of time. It was still a really good run for us. We want to get a win, but we’re knocking on the door, so hopefully soon. I just want to thank everybody on this team. They do such an incredible job with this car, and it’s really a privilege to drive it. I have to thank Veristor and OPTIMA Batteries too. It’s weird not having James here since he’s probably already on a plane going to Pikes Peak. So, good luck to him on Sunday and hopefully we can carry some momentum going into Mosport.”

The next event, Round 5 of 10, of the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge will be the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park 120, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, next weekend, July 5-7.

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 Takes Top 10 in Mid-Ohio’s MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Race

BimmerWorld-Racing-Takes-Top-10-in-Mid-Ohios-MICHELIN-Pilot-Challenge-Race

The Mid-Ohio 120 race for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio brought about unpredictable weather conditions that challenged the teams, drivers and engineers. Leading the Grand Sports (GS) points coming into the race, the duo of James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va. and Devin Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., drove their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 to a ninth-place finish in the Lexington, Ohio two-hour race with mixed weather.

James Clay qualified in sixth position on race morning on a wet track with a constant drizzle. After the previous two days of on-and-off rain, the BimmerWorld team prepared for the afternoon race ready for any possible condition.

Although Round 3 of the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race started with fairly dry conditions, radar showed rain coming mid-race. Clay lost a couple of positions on the race start when his row stalled before the start line, but he methodically worked his way forward into the second spot by the one-hour mark when the third caution of the race flew.

Windshield wipers were waving throughout the field and rain was falling around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, leading the BimmerWorld team to make the defining call for their race. In the scheduled pit stop under yellow, the field pitted with several cars opting for rain tires, including the BimmerWorld No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 Grand Sport (GS) entry. At that time the team executed their driver change from Clay to Jones.

Jones pushed hard, but when the heavy rains didn’t materialize for their rain tire strategy, speed was elusive. In the end, the team had to settle for a ninth-place GS class finish and 12th overall in the 37-car field.

The Mid-Ohio 120 race will be shown on NBCSN from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 11.

The next event will be the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240, a 4-hour endurance race, at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y on Saturday, June 29.

Post-race quotes follow:

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“Things went great all weekend. We had a good practice on Thursday. We never really got to exercise the car on Friday, so I started race day so amped up. I love the track, and we had everything together this weekend. I just wanted to race all weekend. We finally got to race, and the car was fantastic. We definitely had a car to win the race this weekend. We made a pretty bold call in the pits with the (rain) tires. It wasn’t the right one in retrospect, but at that moment, it wasn’t the wrong one either. It played out, and we’ve seen the weather go all over the place this weekend. We had no idea, and Devin hung on to what we had and did a great job out there. It’s not the finish we wanted, but it was a good race.”

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4:
“When I got in the car, we were banking on it raining harder than it was. Looking at the radar, we were hoping it was going to pick up and it never quite did. I was stuck out on rain tires with a few other guys. It was definitely interesting. It was like driving a street car out on the track for 40 minutes.

“James did incredibly well and had a great first stint. He was running up towards the front. I think if we would have put on dries (tires), or if the race would have been dry the whole way, we could’ve definitely had a shot at a podium. But that’s how it is, especially at this track. They were really unpredictable conditions. We saw that all weekend with mixed track conditions and the weather was just super weird all weekend. We’ll take ninth and move forward. I just want to thank everybody that supports us, and we’ll look forward to Watkins Glen.”

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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 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

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