FINAL ROUND: SRO Championship – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Flags at Indy

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

James Clay with helmet on

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

BimmerWorld M240iRs racing at Indy

M240iR action at Indy

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

PORQ M240iR at Indy

TAC Energy M240iR at Indy

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

M240iRs down the front straight at Indy

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

BMW M240iR racing at Indy

TAC Energy M240iR ahead at Indy

PORQ M240iR leading the pack at Indy

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

James Clay in his M240iR crossing the finish line at Indy

James Clay holding Driver's Champion sign at Indy

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

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

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

BimmerWorld Red Line Oil M4 GT4 in the pits at Indy

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 racing at Indy

Auberlen and Walker, Jr. on the podium at Indy

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

But wait, there’s more!

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

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

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

OPTIMA Battery getting charged in BMW M4 GT4 at Indy

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

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

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

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

Racing at Indy in the rain

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 racing in the rain at Indy

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

RLO M4 GT4 racing in the rain at Indy

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 leading at Indy

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

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

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

BimmerWorld crew in the pits at Indy

BimmerWorld crew working in the pits at Indy

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

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

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

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

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

HUGE thanks to our technical sponsors:

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Wagener – Team Manager/Engineer

Wayne Yawn – Engineer

Dave Simpkins – Crew Chief

Jordan Allen – Car Chief No. 82

Bryce Allen – Lead Tech No. 82

Tommy Gallant – Tire Engineer

Zach Lovingood – Lead Tech No. 36

Matt Berg – Car Chief No. 94

Theo Bialk – Car Chief No. 36

Rod Owens – Hauler Driver

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Round 4: SRO Championship – Road America

BimmerWorld Racing at Road America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BimmerWorld Racing team already knew before even turning a wheel on track that this was going to be a challenging weekend. Taking on six total races total with three different cars across two different race series means a LOT of time on track against some of the best competition in the business. Before heading to Elkhart Lake for this round of races, James Clay and his OPTIMA Batteries M240iR had gained some valuable points towards the overall championship after Sonoma, but he was still just shy of first. Trailing by only seven points, every race becomes more important than the last as the season continues.

James Clay in his No. 36 M240iR at Road America

Thankfully for James, the weekend went extremely well, winning on Friday, winning on Saturday, and finishing in second on Sunday after a non-stop back-and-forth battle with Toby Grahovec. His Pörq Snacks No. 36 M240iR was blazingly fast and dominant all weekend long, giving him the ability to pick and choose where to pass while using up every inch of track thanks to his PFC Brakes package. James collected some serious hardware this weekend and heads to the next round in first place overall with a little points cushion from his back-to-back wins.

James Clay leading the pack at Road America in his No. 36 M240iR

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Chandler Hull and his TAC Energy M240iR were full of surprises all weekend. He worked hard all through Friday’s race to claw his way to the front from his starting position of P9. Towards the end, he made a late charge which brought him just shy of a podium spot to P4, making it an amazing drive to watch! Chandler took Friday’s momentum and turned it up a notch for Saturday. Sitting back in P3 for the last bit of the race, a very calculated move in the final turn towards the white flag allowed him to jump up to P2 right behind fellow teammate James Clay’s bumper. It was a BimmerWorld 1-2 podium for Saturday!

Chandler Hull in his No. 94 M240iR

James Clay and Chandler Hull on the podium with first and second at Road America

Helmeted Chandler Hull celebrating his hard work

 

No. 82 SRO M4 GT4 at Road America

The Red Line Oil M4 GT4 of Bill Auberlen and James Walker, Jr. came out of the gate strong, setting fastest time in practice, but a slight brush with the wall at the kink set the BWR team scrambling to fix it before Friday’s race — and fix it, they did! The duo came from a starting position of P18 to take the overall win. In the post-race interviews, Bill Auberlen mentioned that the car was fantastic before the brush with the wall, but it was even better after! They made up just as much ground on throughout Saturday’s race, but they took the checkered in second place. Sunday was a little more of a struggle, but they still ended up with a solid top-10 finish.

BIll Auberlen and James Walker, Jr. on the podium at Road America

Bill Auberlen celebrating his win with BimmerWorld at Road America

The six-race weekend format was brutal, but BimmerWorld Racing heads home after grabbing some important championship points and will carry this momentum to the next event at Circuit of The Americas on September 17-20.

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BimmerWorld Ready to Get Back on Track at VIR and Sebring

BimmerWorld-Ready-to-Get-Back-on-Track-at-VIR-and-Sebring

This month, BimmerWorld Racing will return to the track in a big way with a pair of events on two of North America’s premier road courses: VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) and Sebring International Raceway. The races are slated for SRO America and the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Series, respectively, and represent the first events for each since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the racing world to a halt in mid-March.

When we suddenly stopped racing, all of my focus went to crisis management with our BimmerWorld parts business,” said company and team owner James Clay of Blacksburg, Virginia. “We are running a total of six pro cars in two teams this year on the racing side, which is no small undertaking. However, the parts side is an even larger business, with 30-plus people whom we are committed to keeping employed, and a customer base to which we are committed to providing parts and service. The business has certainly had its challenges, but we have an incredible team of people on all sides. That’s the core factor to overcoming and creating success, whether on the race team or our office team.”

First up is for the race team is the SRO America event at VIR on July 10-12. The 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course in Alton, Virginia, is just a short drive east from BimmerWorld’s Dublin base in the state and serves as a fitting facility for the team to make its return.

At VIR, BimmerWorld will continue to field a pair of BMW M240i Racing cars in the TC class of the TC America championship. Clay will pilot the No. 36 PÖRQ Snacks BMW M240iR entry (a car he won in during the 2020 opening round at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas), while the No. 94 TAC Energy car will be driven by Chandler Hull of Dallas. Meanwhile, the No. 82 Red Line Synthetic Oil BMW M4 GT4 will return in the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Series. It will be piloted by Bill Auberlen, hailing from Lake Havasu, Arizona, and James Walker Jr. of The Woodlands, Texas. Each class will compete in one race on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, making up Rounds 3-5 of the SRO America season.

“The M4 GT4 is really great at that track,” Clay said. “We don’t complain about the Balance of Performance, but I am aware that we are BoP racing and there are some strong cars this year. We ran the fastest times at this race last year, so I hope for good things. The M240i Racing in TC is slightly different in that the field is 80-percent comprised of the same car. Versus the couple of other manufacturers though, the M240iR has a great cooling package and at VIR in July we will need every bit of it. We have rubbed on and tested our cars a bit there, and I think we are totally dialed in with the best cars in the field.”

The two BimmerWorld SRO BMW M240i Racing cars at CoTA

The two BimmerWorld SRO BMW M240i Racing cars at CoTA

The following week at Sebring, two BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 race cars will hit the track with IMSA for the first time since the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Series’ opening round at Daytona in late January. The two-hour race is slated for Friday, July 17, with BimmerWorld resuming competition in the GS class.

The team has found plenty of success at the famed 3.74-mile, 17-turn road course in Florida, with Clay and teammate Devin Jones of Mooresville, North Carolina, taking a second-place finish during the most recent Sebring event in the spring of 2019. They will return to pilot the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor entry for the balance of the season. The duo will be joined by Nick Galante, originally from Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Dillon Machavern of Charlotte, Vermont, who will get back behind the wheel of the No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4 at Sebring.

The team feels its F82-based sedans are well-suited all around for the track’s notoriously bumpy and abrasive track surface.

“Unlike some of the true sportscars and exotics in the field, BMW has always raced their performance sedans,” Clay said. “The M4 is an incredible road car, and while our GT4 version is a bit lighter and pretty racy, it’s made to be a solid car that gets pounded on for a lot of miles. I think the robust platform is something that serves us well, especially at a track like Sebring that can be brutal on cars and components.”

Pit stop of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 at Daytona

Pit stop of the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 at Daytona

Although schedules have been greatly adjusted due to the pandemic, BimmerWorld will race the balance of each series with all teams, drivers, and sponsor lineups planned for 2020 intact.

“I love our team,” Clay said. “We are back at 100 percent, or maybe even 110 percent from where we left off. We’ve made it through a lot of lingering development and worklist items, and our full driver lineup remains ready and focused on winning races and championships. Our staff is still complete, plus a few additions to help in the tighter schedules. We’re ready to rock.”

The SRO America races can be seen live throughout the weekend of July 10-12 on YouTube at youtube.com/GTWorld, while the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge event goes green at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 17, with live coverage provided by TrackPass.

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

The No. 82 Redline SRO BMW M4 GT4 on track at COTA

The No. 82 Redline SRO BMW M4 GT4 on track at COTA

TEAM VIR ADVANCE QUOTES:

No. 82 Red Line Synthetic Oil BMW M4 GT4
BILL AUBERLEN:
How did you spend your time during the unexpected break from racing?
“During my time off at first, I was hard at training, but thy gyms were closed so I did all my training outside in the hot, 100-degree temperature of Arizona. I did long runs and hikes of over 10 miles in duration. It was a new way of training, but super fun. Then as we got closer to the actual races, we were lucky to get the opportunity to get back in the race car and get back after it and make sure I was up to the task. At the same time, we were able to make some gains in the car so that was great.”

JAMES WALKER JR.:
As an automotive engineer, you have extensive knowledge of these cars. How are you able to apply that knowledge to get the most out of the BMW M4 GT4 at a technical track like VIR?
“Thinking like an engineer behind the wheel can sometimes get in the way of flow and rhythm, but I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t from time to time envision little friction circles in my head as I am sorting out a new track or evaluating a setup change. At the end of the day we all have a job to do, and mine is simply to effectively use all that the car has to offer.”

No. 94 TAC Energy BMW M240i
CHANDLER HULL:
What are you most looking forward to in getting back to the track after the extended hiatus?
“Luckily, I was able to get into a race car a few times during our hiatus so I wasn’t completely deprived. However, actual racing is a completely different experience than testing, so I am very much looking forward to battling it out with the other guys.”

TEAM SEBRING ADVANCE QUOTES:

No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4
DEVIN JONES:
How did you keep yourself occupied during quarantine what do you see as the biggest challenge to overcome after not racing for six months?
“I’ve spent a lot of time on iRacing like a lot of drivers. I’ve also been spending time with family and my girlfriend, just trying to keep busy and stay safe. It’s going to be great to get back on track and go racing again. I’ve missed everything about racing that I’ve taken for granted in the past. I think the biggest challenge will be jumping back in and getting up to speed quickly while dialing the car in. However, I have all the confidence in the world in our team.”

No. 80 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4
NICK GALANTE:
You have won at Sebring in the past, what do you feel is the key to achieving a good result at the facility?
“Keeping your nose clean in traffic is a big key to winning here. The cars move around here more than other places, due to the bumps, sometimes unexpectedly, so running close with someone runs a lot of risk.”

DILLON MACHAVERN:
How does racing at Sebring differ from all the other tracks you visit?
“Sebring is a very unique track because in almost every corner you encounter a different surface which creates very different track conditions corner to corner. Not only is the surface changing constantly, but there are some sections, especially Turns 1 and 17, that are extremely bumpy. That makes line choice even more important than most of the tracks we visit.”

Three days of racing action in the SRO America series this weekend

Three days of racing action in the SRO America series this weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The BimmerWorld Racing team is supported by the following sponsors:

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

Other team sponsors include:

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

Core BimmerWorld technical partners include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-race quotes follow:

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

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

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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.

BimmerWorld Racing Announces Return to SRO TC America Championship

BimmerWorld-Racing-Announces-Return-to-SRO-TC-America-Championship

BimmerWorld Racing is proud to announce a two-car entry for the SRO TC America Championship (formerly Pirelli World Challenge), running in all seven races beginning with the opening round at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on March 1-3, 2019. The new team marks a full-time touring car return for James Clay’s BimmerWorld squad after a nine-year full-season gap and features the professional series debuts of Cameron Evans (No. 82) and Chandler Hull (No. 94) in a pair of BMW M240i Racing entries.

The new TC America championship and its Touring Car (TC) category features a seven-event championship with 40-min sprint races at many of the most legendary road racing circuits in the United States; such as VIRginia International Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Road America, and Watkins Glen International.

“I’m excited to be back in this familiar series again for a full season,” said Clay, whose team also runs an IMSA BMW M4 GT4 effort. “We are beyond honored to have the opportunity to lead and manage a team sponsored by industry-leading companies like Lund International. BMW has provided us with amazing cars, and their Customer Racing program offers support of the highest caliber, giving us a true partner to allow our race team to run so many different cars and series.”

Additional sponsorship for the team comes from OZIUM Air Sanitizer, Cyclo Industries, Red Line Synthetic Oil, Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, AMP Research, and Performance Friction Brakes.

“I feel a bit like we’ve gotten the band back together for this season,” said Clay. “Our team engineer, Dave Wagener, is a close friend and has engineered a variety of BimmerWorld programs over the last decade, including our M240i cars at Germany’s Nürburgring 24-Hour endurance race. Our staff is led by Dave Simpkins, who has been with our team for almost 20 years. My longtime friend Cameron will be making his long-awaited pro debut along with pro rookie Chandler, who I’ve closely worked with as he has developed over the past year.”

Cameron Evans said, “I have been logging a lot of miles on tracks in America and lately in Europe working for an opportunity like this. We have to thank our team owner for believing in us and pulling together the sponsorship to make it a reality. James Clay and his BimmerWorld team are like family to us, so the work we put into getting on track has been very rewarding. Now, we need to dig in and get results in this hyper-competitive series.”

Chandler Hull added, “2018 involved working up to the speed of these BMWs, and it has been a whirlwind to get here. It’s been hard work, but very satisfying at the same time and I have received tremendous support and coaching from my teammate Cameron, as well as James Clay and Tyler Cooke. Now it’s time to put it all together and have a great season! I’m confident we’re ready.”

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

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ABOUT: BimmerWorld is renowned as a leader in BMW aftermarket and tuning expertise. 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 IMSA with Michelin Pilot Challenge Program for 2019

BimmerWorld-Racing-Returns-to-IMSA-with-Michelin-Pilot-Challenge-Program-for-2019

The fan-favorite BimmerWorld Racing team will return to IMSA competition in 2019 with a strong championship effort. The winner of the final race of the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series at Road Atlanta in October, and third place in the year-end GS class championship, will compete in the newly named IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series. Team owner James Clay will return to the driver’s seat in the Grand Sport (GS) class, paired with Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C.

“A pillar of our expanded 2019 BimmerWorld Racing program will be the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series with our BMW M4 GT4 again vying for the championship,” said Clay of Blacksburg, Va. “I’m looking forward to running with Devin this year. He was awesome in our BimmerWorld ST car last year, and we have shared momentum moving into this year. We may run a second car in GS as well, but we’re still waiting for the right driver combination that can also contend for the championship.”

“We really had a great year with BimmerWorld in 2018,” Jones continued. “Nick (Galante) and I won four races, had nine podiums, and won the ST championship in its final year. That was a big deal to us and for my career. I enjoyed working with James and the whole BimmerWorld staff and wanted to come back for 2019 and drive the BMW M4 GT4 and try for another championship. I can’t wait to get back on track.”

OPTIMA Batteries will return as a primary sponsor, along with Veristor, and Red Line Oil, Performance Friction, Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, and Johnstone Supply will continue as team and technical partners for the IMSA effort. Clay and Jones will compete with the car number 82 once again for 2019.

“We’re still finalizing details of our other initiatives for 2019, but we’re going to be quite busy in 2019,” explains Clay. “IMSA has been our home for almost a decade and this GS program is important to me, and I think the best racing in the country currently. But these BMW M4 GT4 cars can be raced anywhere in the world, and we’ve just picked up some new M240i Racing cars as well, and of course, the monster Pikes Peak car we’ve been building for over a year, as well as several customer programs. We’ve spent the winter recharging and preparing, and everyone here is fired up to get the season fired up at Daytona!”

The No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 will be on track at Daytona International Speedway during the Roar Before the 24 test days, January 4-6 and then for Round 1 of the Michelin Pilot Challenge series for the BMW Endurance Challenge 4-hour race on Friday, January 25.

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 routine winner and championship contender, as well as the 2018 ST class champion.

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

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

BimmerWorld Racing saved the best for last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BimmerWorld Takes Pole, Victory at Laguna Seca While Supporting Fight Against Alzheimer’s

BimmerWorld Racing to End Alzheimer's at Laguna Seca Victory

The BimmerWorld Racing team fulfilled an important goal this past weekend at the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca circuit in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race with a pole and win for their special entry to support the fight again Alzheimer’s.

Nick Galante, of Greenfield, Mass., qualified the BimmerWorld Racing No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis) and captured the team’s eighth ST class pole in nine races with a time of 1:39.831 at 80.704, his fifth pole this season. He and teammate Devin Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., maneuvered their Bimmer to a near perfect WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 two-hour race and straight to the Winner’s Circle. Additionally, they depart Monterey, Calif. with a large points lead in the ST class 2018 points championship with one race remaining.

The highlight of the race was putting the No. 81 BMW 328i into Winner’s Circle as they lead a strong effort this season to fight Alzheimer’s. Their car has carried a special “Racing to End Alzheimer’s” color scheme on the front fenders all season, but this weekend the team elevated their awareness campaign. In place of corporate sponsors, fans and viewers saw the names of people affected by Alzheimer’s in a tribute generously provided by donors to the ‘Racing to End Alzheimer’s’ foundation. With 100 percent of the funds they collected being donated to Alzheimer’s-related organizations and a special bonus from the foundation’s sponsors who generously agreed to match every donation, a victory was the icing on the cake.

The sister car, the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4 of team owner/driver James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., and Tyler Cooke, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., started tenth and finished just one position lower, in 11th place. The unpredictable race saw two competitors run out of fuel on the final lap of the 70-lap race.

The Continental Tire race started under sunny conditions and with a 36-car field on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course. Clay was the starting driver of the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 from the 10th place in the GS class while Galante had the enviable pole-sitter position in ST in the No. 81 BMW 328i.

Both drivers had a strong start with Clay climbing into ninth place on the first lap and Galante holding his lead from a pack of hungry ST competitors. Both drivers turned their fastest laps of the race in the opening round. Galante’s fastest lap came on Lap 3 with a time of 1:40.863, while Clay’s fastest was on Lap 4 with a time of 1:34.835.

On lap 25, Clay pitted for tires and fuel with no driver change while under caution and 51 minutes into the two-hour race. Galante then pitted on Lap 27 for tires, fuel, and driver change to Jones before the track went green one lap later. He went out in fifth position but quickly moved up to third by Lap 33 and second place one lap later, but having pitted before the halfway point, had to diligently work to save fuel for the majority of the race.

Clay had advanced to fifth in the competitive GS class before pitting on Lap 36 with 54 minutes remaining in the competition. The rules stipulate that each driver must drive for a minimum of 45-minutes, so pit stop timing is always critical in IMSA competition. Cooke entered in 16th position and had to go straight to battle.

Jones continued his fight with a MINI in front and a Porsche behind until Lap 60 when he pushed his BMW 328i past the MINI to take back the ST class lead, which he held to the checkered flag and had a 9.221-second margin of victory. Cooke slowly climbed up the leaderboard as he passed the GS field that was spread out due to second pit stops, and eventually crossed the finish line in 11th place. Both cars managed critical fuel strategy of preserving fuel while maintaining race pace.

Galante and Jones continue their ST class points lead with only one race remaining. They have a strong lead with 292 points (unofficially) with the second place point holder, Mat Pombo, with 276 and third-place, Jason Rabe/Max Faulkner, with 269 points. Clay and Cooke are unofficially in fourth place in the GS class with 217 points to the leaders’ 261.

The finale for the 2018 season will be the Fox Factory 120 at Road Atlanta on Friday, October 12.

The WeatherTech Laguna Seca 120 race will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, September 16 from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“It was a really wild race. It just came down right to the end and trying to save as much fuel as I could to keep pace with the cars around me. Nick did a great job in the opening stint, keeping our position. Once that happened, it was just a matter of saving as much as we could. I started the stint about four minutes down on fuel, so it was nerve-racking right down to the end. I didn’t know if we were going to make it, but I’m just really happy it worked out, especially for ‘Racing to End Alzheimer’s’ and all the names on the car. It’s just really special to win here and especially in Nick’s hometown. This is a big deal for us.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“So, it’s my first win here at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It all came down to the strategy. Trent Brown did an awesome job on the strategy call. We would have been lost without him. We would have run out of fuel halfway through the race if we just left it to ourselves. So, he did great, keeping us calm and pacing ourselves. The true winners of the race are the ‘Race to End Alzheimer’s’ family members who are on our car that we’ve raced over the past seven months. Over 100 names have been nominated on, and we raised over a $100,000 with 100% of the proceeds going straight to the charity, so that’s awesome. Points wise for the championship, we’re looking pretty good. We have a nice lead here, and we should be able to pull it off.”

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

“It was a challenging weekend for us. We had an issue that we resolved on test day, but it doesn’t really matter because Laguna is always challenging because of the surface and total lack of grip. We had a very frustrating day yesterday in practice. We threw a lot at the car and we were not able to get it to work. We thought on it overnight and put a whole new set up on the car and made it happen and today was a much better day, but it still wasn’t a great day. I think that we got what we could get out of the car. If you drove a BMW, this just wasn’t your day in GS. 

“For the ST guys, it was an awesome race to watch, and I was glad to be on the stand for the last half of the race to watch it unfold. Devin and Nick just killed it with another pole and another win. These guys are really running like a championship team and have almost locked down the championship, and I’m so proud of them.”

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

“The frustrating part about this weekend was the end of the race.  We set the car up to be good at the end of the race. We can’t help that we can’t make it on fuel like the rest of the guys. The other GS BMW team pitted at the same time as some of the cars that finished in the top ten, and he had to come in about five laps before the end for more fuel. We just don’t have the needed fuel capacity in the BMW to run the strategy that the winner did, and you can’t save 5 laps of fuel. The teams are doing a great job. It’s a bittersweet thing because we definitely needed the points here if we were to stand a chance for the title. Going into Road Atlanta, hopefully we can end with a win and go off with a high note.”

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

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

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

BimmerWorld Racing Captures Third Victory of 2018 in Their Street Tuner Class BMW 328i

BimmerWorld Racing Captures Third Victory of 2018 in Their Street Tuner Class BMW 328i

The only goal on the minds of BimmerWorld Racing drivers Devin Jones and Nick Galante was to add a third victory to their 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season total during the action-filled Road America 120 last Saturday at Road America. Not only did they win, but their victory allowed them to extend their points lead in the Street Tuner (ST) class championship with just three races remaining in the 10-race season.

BimmerWorld Racing also competes in the Grand Sport (GS) class, where team owner/driver James Clay of Blacksburg, Va. qualified the No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4 in sixth place with a time of 2:30.311 and an average speed of 103.860 miles per hour. His longtime teammate, Tyler Cooke of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., drove the second half of the race and took the checkered flag in ninth place in the GS class on lap 44 in the two-hour race in what ended up being a wild game of fuel conservation and pit strategy.

Galante won the pole in the ST class with the No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis) with a qualifying time of 2:31.968 at an average 95.393 mph, and he was the starting driver of that car. His co-driver, Devin Jones of Mooresville, N.C., took the BMW to the finish and victory circle. Together they dominated the class, leading 47 laps to their closest rival’s 11.

There were two full-course yellows during the race, including one on lap 15 when a GS-class car went off track, flipped, and caught fire. The lengthy caution period enticed many cars to the pits and a number of different strategies developed regarding fuel mileage. Exactly when each car pitted for fuel, tires, and its driver change during the nearly 30-minute caution precipitated who would need to pit for fuel before race end.

Galante, in the No. 81 BMW 328i, had a good early battle but maintained the lead before pitting during the caution, and bounced down to fifth in the ST class after the pit stop and driver change to Jones. He was quickly back to second after some very competitive racing with the three MINIs. He finally passed the leading No. 73 MINI of Mat Pombo with just over 30 minutes remaining in the race. Jones took it to the checkered flag and won over Pombo by 6.724 seconds.

As cars pitted and shuffled the order, the No. 82 BMW M4 of Clay pitted immediately during the caution and was able to move up as high as second place but pitted once more to top off with fuel and change drivers, putting them in 18th place in class for the restart before Cooke started moving up the leaderboard. A number of the leaders had to pit for a splash of fuel or had unexpected off-track excursions, which played to BimmerWorld’s strategy with the late-caution stop and moved the No. 82 up as high as 6th. But even without the heavy fuel conservation pace and the extra fuel from the late stop, the top GS car ran all the way to the finish without fuel issues, leaving Cooke and Clay with a top-10 finish.

Jones and Galante extended their lead in the ST class championship. They now lead by 11 points with 225 to their nearest rivals’ 214. Clay and Cooke are fourth in the GS point standings, just eight points out of the lead, with 183 points to the leaders’ 191.

The Road America 120 race will air on FOX Sports 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, August 12.

The next race for BimmerWorld Racing is the Biscuitville Grand Prix for the IMSA Continental SportsCar Challenge, a two-hour race, scheduled for August 18 at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. The BimmerWorld Racing team is eager to get to its home track and try to double up on the race victories.

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“It’s great to win here at Road America. It’s my first win here ever. Nick did an excellent job in the beginning of the opening stint, holding off the Cayman, so that was awesome to see. Then, we had that long caution and we were able to come out second and stayed right there with the MINI. I knew as the run went on his tires would fade a little bit, so I just kept the pressure on him. He was stronger in some areas of the track but I was stronger in other places, so I was able to set him up and finally made it stick after a couple of times trying. From there, I played the traffic a little better with the GS cars and we got a little bit more of a gap. But then we knew we were going to be close on fuel. Even from the beginning of the stint, I really had to save a lot, so I couldn’t enjoy those last few laps. I had to really baby it around to save on fuel. I really want to thank Trent, Nick, and everyone who helps this program, and hopefully we finish this year the way we’ve been doing leading up to it because it’s been fun.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“I think this was definitely a pivotal point in the season; extending that lead just a little more like we needed to. The Pombo brothers have been really tough, and they’ve been really great. They’re making this season truly fun because they’re making us work really hard for it. It’s not just Devin and I working hard, it’s Trent Brown on the engineering side of it, and James Clay and the whole BimmerWorld team doing a phenomenal job. It’s nice to be out there contending for championships and winning races, but while we’re doing that, we’re doing it for a good cause. Raising awareness and collecting names for our ‘Racing to End Alzheimer’s’ charity, which you can Google and find out more about, but it’s nice to be out there and what a great team in BimmerWorld.”

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“It was a good race for us. We made a change after qualifying. We had this ‘a-ha moment,’ and I think we had our car back. We’ve been struggling the last couple of rounds, so it was a really great car today. It turned into a fuel race. Once we started catching the yellows, we made strategy calls that I’m comfortable with. We got fuel early. We were the latest out of the pit lane, and we ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap. I say we did pretty well, but we really had to back off the pace to stay out that long and some of the other cars didn’t. It’s frustrating because it all comes back to the BoP [Balance of Performance], and it’s a really frustrating way to race and, of course, it’s when you play a fuel game and you don’t win the fuel game. At least we finished the race [in the] top 10, and that’s good for points. I think we had a great car and a great race; the strategy was there. It was all good except for the finish.” 

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“I can’t complain. We really thought we had a shot to win this one. Wayne [the race engineer] made the perfect call, except the leader crossed the start/finish line five seconds before and we had to do one more lap than expected. For the last 20 minutes, I was in big-time fuel-saving mode, but I had some good battles there at the beginning. We were struggling a little bit, so it made me make some hairy passes to make the most out of it that I could. I think it was a good points day for us. I think the No. 46 took the points lead now though, so that’s a bummer. Going into VIR, I feel pretty good about it. I really want to get on the podium’s top step soon. I think the BMW deserves it. I’m looking forward to VIR.”

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

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

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

BimmerWorld’s Street Tuner BMW 328i Victorious at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

BimmerWorld Devon Jones and Nick Galante Win at Mosport

BimmerWorld Racing’s Devin Jones and Nick Galante catapulted to the top of the Street Tuner (ST) point standings of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with their second victory of the season on Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Their No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis) also leads the class’s VP Fuels Front Runner Award standings at the season’s halfway point.

James Clay, owner of the Dublin, Va.-based team, and his co-driver, Tyler Cooke, finished eighth in the Grand Sport (GS) class Saturday. They are second in that division’s point standings, just six points out of the lead, with their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4.

Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., won the ST class pole Saturday with a time of 1:31.378, setting a new track record. He immediately broke away from the pack, building up as much as a 40-second lead during the first half of the two-hour race. Jones also set the class’s fastest race lap on lap seven with a time of 1:32.944.

But the victory was not certain for the BMW team until the very end of the race, as a full-course caution on lap 46 obliterated its huge lead. Galante was second until he took the lead for the final time just six laps from the end when the leading MINI stopped off course due to mechanical issues after contact. The race stayed green as the MINI was removed, and that sealed the victory for the BMW squad. Galante took the checkered flag with a 5.205-seconds margin of victory over the runner-up.

Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., qualified 13th in the GS category with a time of 1:25.228 on the flowing, 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course. He broke into the top 10 just 44 minutes into the race by passing Dillon Machavern in the point-leading Porsche and was still in that position when he pitted under green flag to hand the car over to Cooke about 10 minutes later. A limping ST car stopped at the exit of Turn 5 with about 51 minutes remaining, bringing out the only caution of the race, and regrouping the field. The pits roared to life as multiple GS drivers pitted under that yellow to top off with fuel, including Cooke. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. driver dropped to 12th as other GS cars gambled with fuel strategy but had raced back in the top 10 with 39 minutes remaining.

Cooke battled with Eric Foss for ninth place as the pair swapped that position several times. Cooke’s hard driving finally awarded him the spot with 24 minutes remaining in the race, about the same time that one of the entry’s main title contenders made an unscheduled pit stop for brake issues. In a multi-lap chess match, including a lapped car and fellow BMW driver Greg Liefooghe, Cooke snuck past Paul Holton to snare eighth place with 15 minutes remaining in the race, where he ultimately finished.

This race will air on FOX Sports 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, July 15. The season continues with Round 6 on July 20-21 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

Devin Jones, Mooresville, N.C., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“First, I have to thank BimmerWorld and all the guys who got the cars turned over in time to race here at Mosport. It’s always a quick turn-around, so I have to thank those guys. We had speed all weekend and were really fast right off the trailer. It made my job pretty easy. I was able to just go out there and get a pretty big gap. We were hoping it would stay green, but a caution came out there at the end and still we were able to pull it off. It’s just a huge win and really good points day for us, and we’re really looking forward to Lime Rock.”

Nick Galante, Greenfield, Mass., driver, No. 81 Veristor/Legistics BMW 328i (F30 chassis):
“It was a perfect weekend. Devin did most of the hard work there with the pole position and new track record and the gap in the field that he managed. I think it was a 40-second gap when he handed me the car, which was awesome. I got in the car and thought I had a comfortable lead, but Mark Pombo came and started breathing down the back of my car. I had nothing for him in the first quarter of my stint, and then I started reeling him back in. I think he had some trouble after some contact, which is unfortunate, and I hope those guys recover and can fight us the rest of the season. The BimmerWorld team did an awesome job. We were sorting out some gremlins after the second practice session. We had a loose motor mount, and the guys spotted that perfectly. Trent Brown did an awesome job on the box in the pits with the fuel and the strategy. My wife and I are going to go home now and relax for a week before Lime Rock.”

James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., team owner and driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“It was a fair day for us on the track. I feel very comfortable saying we gave it everything we had out there. I was happy with my stint. Tyler drove great again. The BMW stayed under us. It wasn’t a Mustang today, and it seemed like that’s what you needed. I’m super proud of my teammates in the No. 81 ST for their second win of the year. We’ll be back at Lime Rock and maybe things will be a little different there.”

Tyler Cooke, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., driver, No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries BMW M4 GT4:
“It wasn’t a bad race for us. There was a lot of hard battling and some battling that was harder than it should have been. We really have nothing for the Mustangs right now. We don’t know what can happen for us [as far as Balance of Performance changes] going into Lime Rock, but hopefully we’re able to be more competitive. Wayne [the team’s engineer] made a great call changing the car overnight, and he gave us a rocket ship. We had a car that would have been in pretty good contention, but it definitely wasn’t a podium contender here. I’m looking forward to Lime Rock. I love Lime Rock. It’s one of my favorite tracks.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post-Watkins Glen quotes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BimmerWorld’s Clay to Compete in Pirelli World Challenge At Road America This Weekend

BimmerWorld No. 83 GT4 - BimmerWorld’s Clay to Compete in Pirelli World Challenge At Road America This Weekend

BimmerWorld Racing owner James Clay announced today that he will compete in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. He will drive his No. 83 BimmerWorld M4 GT4, the same platform that he and co-driver Tyler Cooke are using in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, where they are currently second in the top Grand Sport class, only three points out of the championship point lead.

The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) series supports IndyCar at Road America, and a large crowd is expected to be on hand at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course near both Chicago and Milwaukee. Clay will compete in the GTS class in the doubleheader at 4:35 p.m. Saturday and 2:45 p.m. Sunday (Central Daylight time). There are 25 entries in his class and 40 overall.

OPTIMA Batteries, Red Line Oil, Performance Friction Brakes, Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems, and Powerflex sponsor the Blacksburg, Va.-based driver’s car.

“This is the weekend before the start of the hectic portion of our IMSA schedule, but this BMW M4 GT4 is such a capable platform, and extremely universal, so I couldn’t resist a visit to one of my favorite places on earth,” Clay said. “I think it is really cool to be able to run multiple series or events with just minimal adjustments to one car. I’m excited to revisit the sprint format after over eight years focusing on endurance racing. The early years of my pro career and our team’s formative years were so much fun, and I look forward to revisiting the same this weekend without the pressure of our championship pursuit in IMSA. It will be great to see all my friends in Wisconsin — including our friends and guests from our primary sponsor, OPTIMA Batteries, which is headquartered slightly to the south in Milwaukee.”

Clay is no stranger to PWC, and he’s excited to return to one of his favorite tracks.

“The Balance of Performance is different in Pirelli World Challenge for all cars, but I look forward to seeing how we’ll fare,” he said. “This is our first Pirelli World Challenge event since the end of the 2009 season after running Touring Car since 2002 in E36, E46, and finally E90-chassis cars.

“This is also approximately 10 years after my first pro victory, which came in World Challenge at Road America in August of 2008, so the track will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Practice sessions will be held on Friday at noon and 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday before Clay’s qualifying session at 9:40 a.m. Saturday. All times are local.

The GTS/GTSA competition will be highlighted at 9 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, July 11 on the CBS Sports Network. The races will also be streamed live on SiriusXM satellite radio. Live timing and scoring will be available through links on the series’ Web site at world-challenge.com.

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 multiple series in both the brand-new BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 and a turbocharged BMW 328i (F30 chassis). The racing arm of the Virginia-based outfit has become a routine winner and championship contender, which provides both proof of concept and valuable experience to support the company’s parts business and the customers it serves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driver Quotes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BimmerWorld Unveils Technical, Commercial Partnerships For Continental Tire Series Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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