Breaking into the professional ranks of any sport is a pressure-packed endeavor, and for a young driver like BimmerWorld Racing's John Capestro-DuBets, the need to deliver a strong performance in his first pro race was critical.
Thankfully, the 21-year-old Californian not only performed well in his professional debut at the GRAND-AM 200, he completed a dream weekend by standing on the famed podium at the historic Daytona International Raceway. After earning a third-place finish in the grueling 2.5-hour Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener with his teammate, veteran driver Gregory Liefooghe, the pilots of the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW E90 celebrated a top-3 result to open their account on the 2011 season.
Starting seventh, Capestro-DuBets, known as 'JCD' to his teammates, looked poised within the 77-car field during his turn at the wheel. Handing off the car to Liefooghe, the duo raced their way to third to start the year in spectacular fashion.
"This is a dream come true," said JCD. "Just driving through the tunnel and seeing Daytona from the inside for the first time was surreal. Sitting here now--I just raced on this legendary track and finished third...I just can't put it into words. The BimmerWorld team did an incredible job; the car was so fast and our pit stops--they were my first in competition--were so smooth. Greg drove an amazing stint when he took over and I was just thrilled to share in this with him and the team."
Liefooghe, like JCD, made his debut with the BimmerWorld team at Daytona. Based on the first race, the 29-year-old says he's highly encouraged with what the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW program can achieve.
"I'm very pleased with how our Daytona 200 race went," he said, "and it gives us a very good starting point in the championship. John should be very proud of the job he did, and everyone on the BimmerWorld team worked so hard to make this possible. This podium just makes us more eager to get to the next round and go racing immediately."
James Clay, owner of the BimmerWorld team, says he's glad to see the ST drivers working together so closely.
"I think we have four amazing drivers, and on most weekends, I'd expect them to be running together in the lead pack. They contribute a lot to our team and we have every confidence both cars will be in the championship hunt all year long. You have to be happy with what Greg and JCD achieved--it's our second podium at Daytona in two years--and Bill and David could have been right there with them. All of the potential to succeed is within our grasp."
2010 GRAND-AM MESCO Rookie of the Year winner Bill Heumann, and two-time 2010 Street Tuner pole winner David White had a more challenging start to the new season in their No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW E90.
An impressive run from their 22nd starting spot to 12th aside, the duo expected more from the first race of the season but a penalty dropped the No. 80 to the back of the field, ending their chance of running in tandem with the sister No. 80 BMW.
"I made a mistake and sped on pit lane," Heumann said with a tone that revealed his frustration. "You never want to make mistakes, but I did and I'll come away knowing that I have to be perfect behind the wheel if David and I want to win together in the series. We won't dwell on it; we know what our car and team can do, so we'll come back for the next race even stronger."
White, who took over for Heumann to complete the race in the BimmerWorld E90, says they will treat the next round, held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL, like it's the first race of the year.
"We took 12th, which helps in the championship, but our mindset is to go the next race and show everybody what we're capable of. The good thing is the E90 is really fast, its Performance Friction brakes give us an advantage under braking and Bill and I are fired up to go after wins and the title. Sometimes you have races that don't go your way, and this was one of them. Like Bill said, you learn from it and move on. We'll be ready to go at Homestead and we know the BimmerWorld crew will prepare the best cars in the paddock for us."
-source: bimmerworld racing