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

_HP_8431

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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