SRO GT4 America Sprint X – Road America 2021

Auberlen and Walker Jr. winning at Road America 2021

After almost three months of a break in the action, the BimmerWorld Racing team was eager to get back in the swing of things at Road America for the fourth event of the 2021 SRO GT4 America season. The drivers and cars were ready to get to work, but the weather had different plans and caused some delays in getting on track for practice Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 34 Redline Oil BMW M4 GT4 at Road America

James Clay talking to team

Saturday’s weather was still damp but drying as the BimmerWorld trio of M4 GT4s rolled out of the pits for their qualifying sessions. Jon Miller in the GO Organic No. 94 qualified his M4 GT4 in sixth, James Clay in the OPTIMA Batteries / Racing To End Alzheimer’s No. 36 in eighth, and James Walker Jr. in the Red Line Oil No. 34 rounded out the team in eleventh. The second round of qualifying on a dry but green track surface had drivers a little more spread out looking for their fast laps. Bill Auberlen found speed right out of the gate and into a second-place qualifying position. Struggling to find clear track in the hectic qualifying session, the No. 36 of Nick Galante ended up in twentieth with Chandler Hull in the No. 94 coming in twenty-second.

No. 34 and No. 36 leaving the pits

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 on track at Road America

A few hours later, the three BimmerWorld M4 GT4s were lining up for the first race of the weekend, and from the second the green flag flew, it was non-stop excitement for all three drivers. Clay in the No. 36 managed to pick up several spots in the very first laps while Miller in the No. 94 ran up to second, battling it out in the top-three positions for several laps. For a while, it seemed the SRO broadcast was only covering BimmerWorld cars while all three were in intense battles for position and moving forward through the field.

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 ahead at Road America

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 leading the pack at Road America

The battles intensified while the pits opened up for driver changes, and once Bill Auberlen got behind the wheel of his Red Line Oil No. 34, he was a man on a mission driving straight to the front. Auberlen managed to get by and take the lead from Toby Grahovec in an awesome battle with 15 minutes to go, and never looked back. Galante, now behind the wheel of the No. 36, managed to keep up the same pace as Clay and was in a fierce battle for third place with the AMG of Christian Szymczak and the BMW of John Capestro-Dubets.

When the checkers waved on Saturday, it was a double podium for BimmerWorld with Auberlen and Walker Jr. taking first-place in the No. 34 Red Line Oil machine and Clay and Galante finishing in third in the No. 36 OPTIMA Batteries / Racing To End Alzheimer’s car.

Auberlen getting out of his BimmerWorld M4 GT4 after winning at Road America

BimmerWorld drivers on the podium at Road America in first and third

Sunday was another absolutely intense hour of non-stop battles among a very competitive field of GT4 cars. It was Auberlen’s turn to take the green in the No. 34 from P2. Galante and Hull started further back but made up several positions in just a few short minutes of racing, with Galante driving from twentieth to twelfth in the first two laps under green-flag conditions.  

SRO GT4 America cars on track at Road America

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 at speed at Road America

With 22 minutes to go, a full-course caution came out for an accident at the kink which was just inside the pit window, allowing the front part of the field enough time to come in for their driver changes. This allowed James Walker Jr. to jump into the No. 34 and remain in the top three while the other two BimmerWorld cars of Clay and Miller weren’t as fortunate and got caught on the wrong side of this caution for driver swaps. The clock kept ticking while SRO tried to get everyone back in the correct order for the restart, and with only seven minutes to go, they went back to green. 

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 going fast at Road America

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 chasing another BMW at Road America

Finishing positions for Sunday’s race was Auberlen/Walker Jr. in fourth, Clay/Galante in twenty-third, and Hull/Miller had to retire the car due to a mechanical issue nine laps from the end.

No. 36 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 hustling at Road America

The weekend was a positive one overall and just what the team needed to knock the rust off from being away from SRO for several weeks. The next race is in just a couple of weeks at Watkins Glen on September 17-19, 2021.

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, with operations spanning from stock, aftermarket, performance, and racing parts sales and development through racing from club to professional levels. BimmerWorld Racing competes primarily with the BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 in North America in both SRO and IMSA Championships, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a frequent winner and championship contender.

SRO GT4 America Sprint X – Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas 2021

SRO GT4 America Sprint X - Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas 2021

BimmerWorld Racing rolled into Austin, TX for Round Two of the GT4X season looking for solid results at a track with past racing success. The cars and drivers were ready to get down to business on track, but the weather had other plans, and rain was on the forecast throughout practice and qualifying.

 

 

 

 

 

No. 36 BimmerWorld M4 GT4

No. 34 BimmerWorld Red Line Oils M4 GT4 at COTA

With a field of almost 40 GT4 cars scrambling to find speed on the damp track, it was hard to get a clean lap to show the pace of the BimmerWorld cars. By the time the track was starting to dry, it was too late to put down a fast lap, resulting in a starting position of P7 for the TAC Energy/GO Organic No. 94 of Chandler Hull and Jon Miller, P11 for the OPTIMA Batteries/Racing To End Alzheimer’s No. 36 of James Clay and Nick Galante, and P29 for the Red Line Oil No. 34 of Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. 

No. 94 BimmerWorld TAC Energy BMW M4 GT4

When the green flag dropped on Saturday, the track was dry and the sun was shining. The BimmerWorld Racing team was confident in the cars and ready to drive them to the front, knowing they all had far more speed than their qualifying positions implied. In the first two laps of the race, Clay managed to push his No. 36 M4 GT4 forward five positions to P6 while Miller pushed up three positions to P4, and Walker, Jr. went up several, placing that car well into the hunt from a mid-pack start.

No. 34 BimmerWorld Red Line Oils M4 GT4 mid-corner on three wheels

After a large impact into a wall by an Aston Martin, the race was under full-course caution for several minutes before the race was red-flagged with 37 minutes left on the clock. When racing restarted, the pit window opened with around 30 minutes to go. James Walker, Jr. was first to duck into pit lane, putting Bill Auberlen behind the wheel. Meanwhile, Miller and Clay continued pushing hard and made their way to second and third respectively before coming in for their driver changes.

No. 94 BimmerWorld TAC Energy M4 GT4 in the pits during a driver change

No. 36 BimmerWorld OPTIMA Batteries/Racing to End Alzheimer's M4 GT4

With Hull behind the wheel of the No. 94 GT4 and 20 minutes left on the clock, he rejoined the race in P2 overall, right in the thick of an all-BMW M4 GT4 train from first through fourth. While Hull and Galante were battling it out in the top-five, Auberlen was busy picking off multiple positions on every lap, running hard through the field and working the No. 34 up an amazing 24 positions by the end of the race. It was an absolutely amazing drive for the Red Line Oil No. 34. The duo of Chandler Hull and Jon Miller fought incredibly hard for their first win of the season in the GT4 Silver category.

BimmerWorld drivers Chandler Hull (left) and Jon Miller (right) after their win.

BimmerWorld drivers Chandler Hull and Jon Miller celebrating their win on the top step of the podium at COTA

The next race on the schedule is at BimmerWorld’s home track of VIRginia International Raceway on June 4-6. We always look forward to racing at VIR, but this time we’re especially excited because we’ll have fans back finally! We hope to see as many people as possible, as it’s been much too long without seeing all our friends, family, and fans at the track. Be sure to stop in and say hi if you’re around.  Information on purchasing tickets to the VIR race can be found below.

Purchase SRO GT World Challenge America VIR Tickets for June 4-6 here: https://virnow.com/events/

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, with operations spanning from stock, aftermarket, performance, and racing parts sales and development through racing from club to professional levels. BimmerWorld Racing competes primarily with the BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 in North America in both SRO and IMSA Championships, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a frequent winner and championship contender.

SRO GT4 America Sprint X – Round 1 at Sonoma Raceway

SRO GT4 America Sprint X – Round 1 at Sonoma Raceway

The BimmerWorld Racing haulers pulled into Sonoma Raceway last week and rolled out a fresh-looking trio of BMW M4 GT4s ready to get to work. New liveries, new driver suits, and a couple of new drivers all looking to get this season started off right.

Walker, Jr. and Auberlen with new-livery M4 GT4

 

Galante and Clay with new-livery M4 GT4
 

Miller and Hull with new-livery M4 GT4 While Sonoma Raceway provides beautiful rolling hills, sunny skies, and perfect temperatures, it’s not without its own list of challenges. The infamously slippery track surface makes tire management throughout a 60-minute race just as important as overall speed. In the past, the BMW hasn’t produced the best results at Sonoma, so the team knew they had their work cut out for them. Team principal James Clay noted, “While it’s tough to start the season on the track you know is your worst, it allows us to really dig in and work on developing the car which will help us throughout the rest of the year.” With a qualifying position of P4 for the No.36 OPTIMA Batteries / Racing to End Alzheimer’s M4 GT4 driven by Clay and Nick Galante, it showed that the speed was there, they just had to make it last.

James Clay with helmet on, ready to race

BimmerWorld M4 GT4 during prep in paddock

During Saturday’s race, each of the three BimmerWorld cars managed to move up from their starting positions with the No.36 running P2 overall and into the TV spotlight while taking the lead just before pitting. As the race went on and the tires started to fall off, it was all about managing the car, and the ability to race hard up front slowly faded. When the checkers flew, Bill Auberlen and James Walker, Jr., had the best finishing position with P4 in the Red Line Oil No. 34. The No. 94 TAC Energy / GO Organic M4 GT4 of Chandler Hull and Jon Miller managed to carve their way through half of the field finishing up 15 positions, proving these new teammates worked well together and will be fun to watch in the upcoming races. Sunday’s race was a repeat of Saturday with drivers struggling to make the tires last and battling hard in the middle of the field.

Red Line Oil M4 GT4 at speed

 

 

TAC Energy M4 GT4 at turn-in
Racing to End Alzheimer's / OPTIMA Batteries M4 GT4 at speed

While the overall results of the weekend weren’t what they had hoped for, it allowed for gaining an immense amount of data on tire management. The team looks forward to taking the development work gained at Sonoma and having it pay off at some of their stronger tracks in the schedule where the BMW can stretch its legs.

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, with operations spanning from stock, aftermarket, performance, and racing parts sales and development through racing from club to professional levels. BimmerWorld Racing competes primarily with the BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 in North America in both SRO and IMSA Championships, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a frequent winner and championship contender.

BimmerWorld Racing: 2021 SRO GT4 America Season Announcement

sro-2021-livery-trio-251w

BimmerWorld is proud to announce its return to the SRO Motorsport America series, bringing three BMW M4 GT4s to compete in GT4 America Sprint X for the 2021 season.

Despite the challenges endured by competitors throughout the 2020 season, team principal James Clay captured the drivers’ championship in TC America, Chandler Hull finished fourth overall in TC, and the duo of Bill Auberlen and James Walker, Jr. finished third in the overall season championship in Sprint X Pro-Am. BimmerWorld topped off the SRO season with Clay, Auberlen, and Hull taking home the win in the inaugural SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge Indianapolis 8-Hour Endurance Race. Building from the success in 2020, BimmerWorld returns with three cars and six drivers for the 2021 season.

Bill Auberlen and James Walker, Jr. return for their second season together behind the wheel of the Red Line Oil BMW M4 GT4 now wearing No. 34. Throughout their first season together, the duo managed to net three wins, two podiums, and several top-10 finishes placing them third overall in both team and driver standings. Auberlen and Walker were quick to show they could not only work well together and win races but also make their BMW blazingly fast. At the end of the year, Auberlen captured the most CrowdStrike Fastest Lap Awards for the 2020 season.

James Clay and Nick Galante will be driving the No. 36 OPTIMA Batteries / Racing To End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 GT4. Galante previously won the 2018 IMSA ST championship in a BimmerWorld F30 328i and drove the team’s M4 GT4 in the 2020 IMSA season, but this will be his first year in SRO, and 2021 will also be the first year the duo have shared a car as teammates. In addition to OPTIMA Batteries, a core BimmerWorld partner, Racing to End Alzheimer’s will continue their partnership with BimmerWorld Racing which started in 2018. Racing to End Alzheimer’s is focused on raising awareness of the disease and funding the cure. For the 2021 season, names of friends, family, and loved ones affected by this debilitating disease will be featured on the car based on donations to the cause. 

Chandler Hull returns to SRO racing action for 2021 and, like Clay, is making the jump from his TC M240iR to a full-time M4 GT4 Sprint X Silver class entry along with Jon Miller, who is a new addition to the BimmerWorld driver line up. Hull and Miller will be piloting the TAC Energy No. 94 M4 GT4 and, like the rest of the 2021 team, brings both talent and BMW racing experience. Hull had an exceptional 2020 season that netted him several podiums, 4th-place overall in the drivers’ championship for TC America, and a win in the Indy 8-Hour as part of the three-driver BimmerWorld team. He also captured several podiums and a win in another M4 GT4 Silver entry. Jon Miller has his own list of accomplishments over the past few years; last year he claimed second place in the drivers’ championship in the GT4 America Silver class division along with six podiums throughout the year and finished second in the Indy 8-Hour in a competing BMW car.

The BimmerWorld Racing team heads to Sonoma Raceway on March 5-7 for the first two races of the season.

The BimmerWorld Racing team is supported by the following sponsors:

No. 34: Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation – Manufacturers of 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 gained from racing to create high-performance products for track cars and street vehicles alike.

No. 36: OPTIMA Batteries – The Ultimate Power Source. Unbeatable starting power, light weight, superior cycling capability, and extreme resistance to the most common causes of battery failure make OPTIMA Battery our choice for our own BMWs. OPTIMA also delivers the innovative OPTIMA Digital 400 and 1200 Battery Chargers for all automotive and marine batteries.

No. 36: Racing To End Alzheimer’s – Honoring loved ones who are or have been affected by Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia depends on the generosity and participation of our fans, our racing team, and our corporate sponsors. 100% of all donations go to our beneficiaries with additional corporate-matching funds. All costs and expenses are funded by sponsor Legistics.

No. 94: TAC Energy – 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.

2021 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 trio SRO livery

Core BimmerWorld technical partners include:

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.
Diffsonline – Provider of differentials to meet the demanding needs of customers, from street machines to professional race teams.
Johnstone Supply – The top cooperative wholesale distributor in the country and a recognized national leader in the HVACR industry.

Additional team sponsors include:

Go Organic – Leader in organic gummy vitamins and lozenges.
OZIUM – Clinically proven air sanitizers that eliminate, not mask, odors.
Pretzilla – The pioneer in fresh, soft pretzel bread.

2021 GT4 Sprint X schedule consists of 14 races at seven tracks:

March 5-7: Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, CA
April 30-May 2: Circuit of the Americas  – Austin, TX 
May 21-23: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – Ontario, Canada
June 11-13: Virginia International Raceway – Alton, VA
August 27-29: Road America – Elkhart Lake, WI
Sept 17-19: Watkins Glen International  – Watkins Glen, NY
October 15-17: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, IN

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, with operations spanning from stock, aftermarket, performance, and racing parts sales and development through racing from club to professional levels. BimmerWorld Racing competes primarily with the BMW Motorsport M4 GT4 in North America in both SRO and IMSA Championships, where the Virginia-based outfit has become a frequent winner and championship contender.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Round 2: SRO Championship – Virginia International Raceway

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After a four-month break from racing, the BimmerWorld Racing team was eager to get back to work. Thankfully for them, they got back into the swing of things at their home track of VIRginia International Raceway for the SRO Championship.

_SM_9739BimmerWorld rolled out their two TC America M240i Racing cars and their SRO M4 GT4 on a very hot weekend for six total races across two series. SRO has decided to run three races per weekend on select rounds to act as “makeup” races for the events that were canceled over the past several months. For this round, both series added a third race, making it vital to take care of the cars and drivers so they all survive an already hectic weekend.

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For the TC America series, James Clay in the No. 36 OPTIMA Batteries / Pörq M240iR and Chandler Hull in his No. 94 TAC Energy M240iR had solid showings all weekend. James with a second-place finish on Friday and a pair of third-place finishes on Saturday and Sunday after some absolutely epic battles among the top-3. Chandler Hull had the speed to beat all weekend as he set the fastest lap throughout the first two races, placing him on pole for the start of Saturday’s and Sunday’s races, but he had an unlucky tangle with a tire wall while in a fierce battle for a podium spot at the end of Race 2. The BimmerWorld crew jumped into action and repaired the car to get Chandler back to take the green flag on pole for the last race of the weekend. Hull finished the three-race weekend with a fourth-, fifth-, and tenth-place finish.

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In the GT4 America Sprint X series, Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. took the Red Line Oil M4 GT4 to the top of the leader board right off the bat in practice and showed that they came with a purpose – to win. And win they did. Coming home with some serious hardware, Auberlen and Walker racked up two wins and a second-place finish, showing that the couple months off had no effect on their speed.

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It was a much-needed successful week back at the track after a long break.

tSRO America, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA, July 2020.  (Photo by Brian Cleary/SRO)

SRO America, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA, July 2020. (Photo by Brian Cleary/SRO)

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Next up for the SRO Championship: Sonoma Raceway August 7-9 where the TC America cars will have only two races, but the GT4 Sprint X series will have another triple-header!

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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

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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.