AIM Autosport qualifying report

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Event: Homestead

AIM Autosport Qualifies Seventh for GP of Miami; Team Working Feverishly to Overcome Testing Deficit

Homestead, Fla. (March 4, 2011) — AIM Autosport’s BMW-Riley #61 will start from seventh place in tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida. AIM is launching its 2011 Grand-Am season at the second race of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, having missed the season opener at the end of January.

#61 AIM Autosport BMW Riley: Burt Frisselle, Mark Wilkins
#61 AIM Autosport BMW Riley: Burt Frisselle, Mark Wilkins

Luis Betancourt

Further putting AIM behind the pack, the team missed winter test sessions—particularly important this year as the series has switched to Continental tires. While many teams logged important data with the new rubber, AIM fell behind and now faces a steep learning curve. A single-day test early this week helped, but was really just a drop in the bucket.

Today’s practice sessions allowed the team to gather more information, but set up changes before qualifying yielded little benefit. Qualifying driver, Mark Wilkins, managed a lap of 1m 14.535s around the 2.3 mile (3.7 km) 11-turn road course at an average speed of 111.089 mph (178.8 km/h), placing seventh.

“It has to work, we just have to keep digging,” said Mark’s co-driver, Burt Frisselle. “We’ve got a steep learning curve as we’re behind and the only way to catch up is keep working.”

“I think it comes down to sorting out how we use the tire,” Mark added. “The Continental tire is vastly different from what we’ve used for the last three years and we have to think vastly differently to get the best out of them. Other teams figured this out during winter testing and, like Burt said, we have to keep digging. We’re here to win and we have to keep pushing.”

“We missed testing,” offered team principal, Ian Willis. He smiled, shrugged and then resumed pouring through the car’s telemetry, looking for the vital data that may allow the team to unleash its car.

A 30-minute warm-up session tomorrow at 8:30 am will allow the team to make further evaluations. The Grand Prix of Miami, a 2h 45m race will start at noon. Coverage will be broadcast live on SPEED and MRN.

AIM Autosport AIM Autosport is a professional motorsports team active in highly-competitive sports car and open-wheel racing series in North America. AIM has achieved success at every level through its operating efficiency, engineering skill, experience, dedication and stability of workforce. AIM’s top-tier program is a Daytona Prototype entry in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

Since its launch in 1995, AIM has built a winning heritage by fielding competitive cars for talented young drivers in junior development categories. That continues with multi-car teams in the Road to Indy® professional driver development ladder where AIM is a perennial pacesetter in the Star Mazda series. For more information about A IM Autosport, visit www.aimautosport.com.

- source aim

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Series GRANDAM
Tags bmw, prototype