Another top 10 finish for Billy Johnson. San Clemente California, May 5, 2005. Driving a BMW Z3 Coupe for Compass 360 Racing, 18 year old Billy Johnson continued to show his versatility this past weekend with another top 10 finish in the...
Another top 10 finish for Billy Johnson.
San Clemente California, May 5, 2005. Driving a BMW Z3 Coupe for Compass 360 Racing, 18 year old Billy Johnson continued to show his versatility this past weekend with another top 10 finish in the Grand-Am Cup ST Class at Laguna Seca.
Compass 360 Racing had no prior experience at Laguna Seca Raceway and initial practice showed both team cars well down on the ST time sheets. Billy and the Engineering Staff worked hard to make improvements in the car after each session. According to Team Owner/Driver Karl Thomson, "Billy's ability to communicate what the car was doing on the track and his ability to have a constructive dialog to make the car better was a real treat".
Billy qualified the number 36 car in 12th, three positions ahead of the 06 sister car of Team owner Karl Thomson which was qualified by Daytona Prototype Driver J.C. France. "I think we could have easily had a top 10 qualifying result with just one more practice session" Billy commented.
At the start of the race, Billy made up two positions coming through turn two and steadily moved up to a solid 6th place before turning the car over to teammate Chris Wehrheim who was making his professional race car debut. Chris brought the car home in a respectable 9th position.
"I had a great time during the race and the car setup was really good. I was able to get by most of the cars in the field fairly easily. The Mazda RX-8's were another story however. The Z3 Coupe I was driving was one of the oldest cars in the field and was not equipped with ABS brakes at this race. This made passing the RX-8's with their vastly superior brakes very difficult, especially at Laguna Seca. I had some great multi lap battles with several of the SpeedSource cars during the race and managed to eventually get by most of them before turning the car over in 6th place to my co-driver."
I would like to thank Team Owner Karl Thomson for giving me the opportunity to run with Compass360\Racing this weekend. They are a small but dedicated race team that was really great to work with. Chris Wehrheim did a great job in his first professional race. I think with a bit more track time and the upcoming ABS upgrade we could have posted a top 5 finish.