Finally. After knocking on the door all season long, a Villaconn Motorsports BMW Z3 Coupe took the Sport Touring (ST) Class win at the Road America round of the Grand Am Cup Series. Matt Connolly and Bransen Patch stood proud atop the podium as...
Finally. After knocking on the door all season long, a Villaconn Motorsports BMW Z3 Coupe took the Sport Touring (ST) Class win at the Road America round of the Grand Am Cup Series. Matt Connolly and Bransen Patch stood proud atop the podium as the drivers who earned Villaconn the team's first ever professional victory. It was also the first professional win for Connolly and Patch as drivers.
The race weekend was a dream come true for the team but wasn't without its share of drama. Paired once again in the #34 Z3 Coupe, Jeff Trask and Jonathan Bomarito showed what they had for the field by posting the second quickest time in the first practice session. They would improve, taking the top spot in the second session with the #36 BMW of Patch/Connolly 1.2 seconds behind in third. Further down the order was the #38 Urrea Tools Z3 of Gregory White and Neal Heffron. Down in Canada Corner, Heffron lost control and clouted the wall with the left side of his BMW necessitating another Villaconn all-nighter to repair the car for qualifying.
The team rose to the occasion and not only resurrected the White/Heffron entry but prepared a pole winning racer for Trask as well. Proving that the top spot was no fluke, Bransen Patch placed the HMS Motorsports sponsored Z3 second on the grid. Neal Heffron brought the resurrected #38 Coupe to 12th for the start. It would be an all Villaconn front row leading the ST class to the green flag.
For the majority of the three hour enduro, a Villaconn BMW would lead. At the start, it was Jeff Trask leading Bransen Patch. Soon however, Trask would pit with a computer problem that would take him out of the lead. It was now up to Patch to set the pace.
Patch would go on to lead the class his entire stint by the 1 hour, 20 minute mark when he handed over the Z3 to driving partner, Matt Connolly. Connolly maintained the lead and held off a late race charge from Bob Endicott to take the win.
Gregory White had the best race of his season by bringing the #38 Urrea Tools/Eli.com sponsored Z3 home in 6th place along with new partner, Neal Heffron. The White/Heffron effort tied the Mercedes of Zelones/Ellinger for the most positions gained in the race.
Recovering from his computer fault code error, Trask would drive his heart out in an effort to return to the front of the field. Driving partner, Jonathan Bomarito would do the same during his stint to record the fastest lap of the race. Trask and Bomaritio teamed for a 7th place finish.
"The only thing that could make me happier would be a Villaconn 1-2-3 finish," beamed team owner, Al Villamil during the victory celebration. "What a great weekend - two cars in the top four both practice sessions, dominating the front row in qualifying and leading every lap of the race! Without a doubt, this team has grown together and I couldn't be more proud of their efforts."
The Villaconn crew now travels north of the border to Canada in search of that elusive 1-2-3 podium finish for the next round of the Grand Am Cup on August 3rd and 4th.