Coming hot off the heels of Road America with a double-podium finish and strong showing for BimmerWorld Racing all weekend, the team was looking to carry their momentum into Watkins Glen for another weekend of GT4 racing.
Things were looking promising throughout practice, but during the last session, James Walker Jr. in the No. 34 M4 GT4 had a slight mishap involving a tire barrier which resulted in the car not being able to put down a qualifying time. The other two cars, the OPTIMA Batteries / Racing To End Alzheimer’s No. 36 of James Clay and Nick Galante and the No. 94 TAC Energy / GO Organic driven by Chandler Hull and Jon Miller, made the best of their qualifying sessions. The drivers placed their cars well up into the field and knew they had the pace to get to the front.
When the green flag dropped on Saturday, the BimmerWorld cars were quick to move up in positions, with Clay taking his M4 GT4 from eleventh to fifth and James Walker Jr. moving up twelve spots in the first ten minutes of racing. When the pit window opened and driver changes began throughout the field, Clay pushed the No. 36 to the lead while Bill Auberlen jumped in to relieve Walker Jr. in the Red Line Oil No. 34. By the time the rest of the cars cycled through their driver changes, Galante managed his way to fourth place while Auberlen continued charging to the front in a hurry.
At the end of the race, the No. 94 of Auberlen/Walker Jr. made up a total of 20 positions for a ninth-place finish. Clay and Galante were directly behind in tenth, and Hull/Miller were in twenty-sixth after having lost several positions due to issues throughout the race.
Sunday’s race was a little better for the entire team. Auberlen started dead last with no qualifying time due to the crash, but in his typical fashion, that just meant he was determined to move up the field as quickly as possible. And that he did, passing over 20 cars before handing the car off to Walker Jr. who ended up taking it to a fourth-place finish overall and a second-place in class.
The No. 34 of Hull and Miller had a much better race than Saturday, battling non-stop in the top-10 and finally landing in eleventh place at the finish. Clay and Galante had a solid showing as well, with Clay charging hard through his stint, bringing the car from outside the top-20 at the start to a thirteenth-place finish.
The BimmerWorld Racing team heads to Sebring Raceway next October 1-3, 2021.
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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.