After a Few Bumps and Bruises, BimmerWorld is Ready for Lime Rock
Fully recovered from a massive crash at the previous round, BimmerWorld is ready for Round 5 at Lime Rock Park.
Bumps, bruises and a seriously bent BMW have all been healed in the month since the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team last raced, and with the next round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Championship this weekend at Lime Rock Park, the Dublin, VA.-based team is ready to get out of the shop and back onto the race track.
After receiving a bump from a competitor at the fastest section of Virginia International Raceway, the #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 of James Clay and David White sustained rear-end damage that had an accordion effect on the race car, which set into motion almost a month of repair work to get the car ready for Lime Rock this weekend.
"I am amazed that the #80 car can be put together again after the impact it took at VIR," said Clay. "I would say it took the perfect hit to be able to spread the forces, absorb with the crumple zones, and minimize the passenger compartment impact. It may be a racecar, but it is a BMW they are safe cars and this is another reminder of why I drive them and have convinced my parents to drive them on the street."
While Clay's veteran staff of BMW experts spent the month of May working the #80 back into racing form, he says the process of reanimating the E90 didn't start on the BimmerWorld shop floor, but rather, at a partner's facility.
"Once again, the mastermind of the car's reconstruction is Steve Bassen at Bassen Autobody. He is a true asset to our team and had already located the clip to repair the car the day after the race. The BimmerWorld crew dealt with the car in an efficient manner and had it to Steve's shop by Tuesday after our return from VIR and he took over from there. We can relax knowing the chassis reconstruction is in good hands and will be completed quickly and properly, while we focus on a few things to make our cars faster. This is the most important part of running a successful program - not scrambling to reach the status quo but having the right partners in place to reach forward and excel."
With the #80 BMW looking fresh and new and ready to go racing, it will be joined by its sister car, the #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, in carrying the logos of new team partner, CRC Industries. As BimmerWorld moves from strength to strength in GRAND-AM, joining with the right sponsors is critical to the team's growth. According to Clay, having the perfect tool partner in GearWrench and having the perfect automotive chemical partner in CRC provides BimmerWorld with a definite advantage.
"CRC is our brand of choice when it comes to automotive performance chemicals in our tool box. For more than 50 years, CRC has gained the respect of mechanics, technicians, race-car drivers and do-it-yourselfers alike - worldwide - by providing superior-quality products formulated and proven to enhance vehicle parts and performance. CRC manufactures all of their products in the USA and we rely on CRC chemicals to keep our parts and cars running at peak performance."
Now that the waiting is almost over, David White says he can't wait to get behind the wheel of his #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW at a track where all of the E90's performance attributes can be exploited.
"It's a narrow and short track, but the high-speed nature of Lime Rock will suit our BMW's balance very well. The brake zone for Big Bend is where our Performance Friction brakes will shine. Big Bend and The Esses reward smooth inputs and patience with throttle application while the Uphill turn requires confidence that the compression of the hill will catch the car and keep you on the track. The Uphill turn also has a blind crest that gets the car very light and can cause some wheel spin so you have to make sure you are pointed straight as you go over the crest. West Bend and the Diving turn are two high speed turns where it's important to balance corner entry speed with getting on the throttle as early as possible. LRP truly is a driver's track and I'm looking forward to making our #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW fly there."
Clay and White will have their usual partners in Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann alongside them at Lime Rock for what has become the most consistent 1-2 punch in the Street Tuner class. Coming off a second-place finish at VIR - the #81's second trip to the podium in just four races - rookie driver Bill Heumann sits second in the ST-class driver championship, tied with co-driver Seth Thomas, and leads the Rookie of the Year standings. For Heumann, having so much success so early in the season hasn't been entirely unexpected.
"I am certainly proud to be part the team and for our results so far. Seth and I set the goal of winning the Driver Championship at the onset of the year and that is still our intent. So far, we are where we need to be. The difficulty with big goals like that is that they aren't actionable by themselves. For me, I have to reduce the big goals to smaller, more distinct segments.
"During the race the focus has to be on each turn of each lap. If I get distracted by something like the points or Rookie of the Year position, it could lead to a mistake that hurts our chances. If we take care of the small stuff, I believe the big items like championships will look after itself. The BimmerWorld crew does an unbelievable job of putting us in a position to succeed at every event, and then it's our job to go out there and deliver. For a driver, it doesn't get any better than that."