No Shame Danville, Virginia, June 30, 2001: The 3 Hour Grand Am Cup race at Virginia International Raceway was perhaps the most competitive to date for the Villaconn Motorsports squad. Both the ...
Danville, Virginia, June 30, 2001:
The 3 Hour Grand Am Cup race at Virginia International Raceway was perhaps the most competitive to date for the Villaconn Motorsports squad. Both the #34 and #36 BMW Z3 Coupes were on the pace while development work continued on the #38 Z3 - making the most of the available track time.
It was quite evident from the first practice session that the team was on the right course for the weekend. The driving crew of Bomarito/Trask posted the second quickest time of the session with Villamil and Patch not far behind with the 5th fastest lap. By the second official round of practice, the team's #34 Coupe showed it's hand by earning the fastest time with the #36 BMW 8th and the #38 BMW of Potts/Connolly 12th of 14 runners.
The pressure was on for qualifying as the Sport Touring Class set out to claim their spot on the grid. New recruit Jonathan Bomarito in the Team Yellow #34 Z3 stepped up to the plate and earned the hearts of the team members by setting the fastest time of 2:14.067 - Villaconn's first pole position of the season. Not far behind in third most of the session was Bransen Patch in the HMS Motorsport sponsored Z3 taking the tow from Bomarito. In the last few moments of the session, however, Patch would have to settle for 5th on the grid. Struggling with a motor that was down on power and qualifying 13th was Ramsey Potts in the Motorbahn sponsored BMW #38. Potts, this weekend partnering team owner, Matt Connolly, usually drives the LM Racing Audi A4. The Audi lost its clutch and couldn't race so the decision was made to move over to Villaconn in an effort to help develop the Team Black #38 alongside Connolly.
When the green flag dropped on the 3 hour enduro it was Patch in the #36 BMW who got the best start leading the ST field through the first three laps. "I got to good of a start actually," proclaimed Bransen. "I had a real head of steam going and I passed a few cars before crossing the start/finish line. I knew the black flag was coming." Patch and Villamil would have to settle for 6th in class at the end.
It wouldn't be long, however, before Bomarito would make his presence known. The winner of the CART "Stars of Tomorrow" would place Villaconn's Z3 Coupe in the lead where it would stay with approximately 45 minutes to go. With Trask at the wheel, the Coupe started to experience problems related to the fuel discriminator valve. Losing power on the long straights, he would eventually be passed by Terry Borcheller in the Team Lexus IS300. Heartbroken, Bomarito and Trask would have to settle for second at the end of the three hours. There is no shame in the team's performance. Villaconn's maiden win is just around the corner.
"As usual, the black car #38 made life difficult," summed up Connolly of his weekend experience. "Something was rubbing the left front tire and it was smoking during cornering. In the fastest part of the esses it finally blew and sent me straight off the track at 110 plus miles per hour! I missed the guardrail and had to put the car in a slide to avoid the trees. I never want to do that again!"
The entire Villaconn Motorsports team now looks forward to competing at Road America where it once again hopes to be fighting for the ST Class win.