SCC: VIR: Series round four preview

Rehagen Racing and JBS Motorsports are the two teams GS competitors must defeat, in part due to previous races. Rehagen won the 2008 GS race at VIR, while JBS earned last year's GS victory. Rehagen Racing is also coming off a strong showing at ...

Rehagen Racing and JBS Motorsports are the two teams GS competitors must defeat, in part due to previous races. Rehagen won the 2008 GS race at VIR, while JBS earned last year's GS victory. Rehagen Racing is also coming off a strong showing at Barber Motorsports Park, where Dean Martin and Bob Michaelian (No. 52 bizrate.com Ford Mustang GT) took the checkered flag.

In 2008, brothers Matt Plumb (No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3) and Hugh Plumb (No. 9 Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro) won in a Rehagen Mustang. Last year, it was James Gue and Bret Seafuse (No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang Boss 302R). Ford has also claimed the last two GS titles at VIR.

In addition to Martin and Michaelian's win at Barber, other Fords have proven competitive. Joe Foster owns two poles, and he and Scott Maxwell (No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports/Bayshore Recycling Ford Mustang Boss 302R) are trying to mirror their 2008 title run. Jack Roush Jr. and Billy Johnson (No. 61 Roush Performance Products Ford Mustang GT) won last month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Virginia's BimmerWorld/GearWrench Second In ST Points

One of the closest Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams to VIR is BimmerWorld/GearWrench, a rookie, two-car team based in Blacksburg, Va. BimmerWorld/GearWrench fields a pair of BMW 328i models in the Street Tuner class.

James Clay (No. 80 Performance Friction/Rays Engineering BMW 328i), a former Virginia Tech football player, founded BimmerWorld and has spent several years both racing at the professional level and selling BMW parts. Though Clay's business continues to cater to BMW enthusiasts around the world, his racing interests have entered a different environment. Yet, the team maintains a high position in the points, just as it did when competing in the SCCA World Challenge.

Clay and co-driver David White, who in his third career series start at Barber Motorsports Park earned a pole position, are eighth in driver points with two finishes of seventh or better. Teammates Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann (No. 81 Performance Friction/Rays Engineering BMW 328i) are second in points.

What makes the effort even more remarkable is that only Thomas has significant experience in the Street Tuner class. Thomas competed fulltime in ST with Fountain Motorsports (now known as Next Generation Motorsports) in 2007 and earned four top 10s. Clay and Heumann had only one start, and White debuted this year.

Freedom Autosport Hottest Street Tuner Team

Freedom Autosport has established itself as the team to beat in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner class. With the team's home race this weekend at VIR, the Raleigh, N.C., based squad expects another strong showing with a trio of Mazdas ready for battle.

Freedom took a leap forward in last August's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, when pit strategy helped Andrew Carbonell (No. 26 Aventura Technologies/PFC Mazda MX-5) give the team its first series victory with co-driver and Carbonell's father Alfredo.

Since then, the team leads the class in victories. Team principal Tom Long and co-owner Derek Whitis (No. 25 Aventura Technologies/PFC Mazda MX-5) won last year's race at VIR.

Despite a 17th-place finish in January's race at Daytona International Speedway, Long and Whitis have climbed to third in the standings, only 11 points out of first and one point behind second. Their back-to-back victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park this season have them now competing for a title.

Carbonell and co-driver Rhett O'Doski are fourth in the driver standings. The team also added a MAZDASPEED3 program for this season. Veteran Randy Pobst and series rookie Eric Foss (No. 27 Performance Friction MAZDASPEED3) started second at Barber and finished 11th.

Stevenson Motorsports Returns To VIR

Stevenson Motorsports has owned VIR the past two seasons in Rolex Sports Car Series GT action. This weekend, the team, based in Jacksonville, N.C., hopes its can work its magic in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport class.

The team debuted the Camaro last October at VIR, and is seeking a GS victory to go along with GT wins by Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis.

Jeff Bucknum (No. 6 Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro), who competed in last year's race, will run this weekend with Matt Bell. Hugh Plumb (No. 9 Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro), who owns two wins at VIR (one in each class), will drive with Craig Stone, who resides in nearby Greensboro, N.C.

Mitchum Also A Virginia Team

BimmerWorld/GearWrench isn't the only Virginia-based Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team. Mitchum Motorsports, based near Richmond, Va., returned to competition at Homestead-Miami Speedway with two of the youngest driver pairings in the field -Joey Atterbury at age 23 and Devin Cates (No. 62 Cates Engineering/Atterbury Racing Chevrolet Camaro) at 20.

Atterbury and Cates, a student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., earned their first top 10 of the season at Barber Motorsports Park by finishing 10th. The pair competed against each other in last season's Volkswagen TDI Cup. Team owner Chris Mitchum is himself a former driver.

Driver Profile: Jamie Holtom

Jamie Holtom (No. 21 Sick Kids Foundation/C&P Cross Border Law Chevrolet Cobalt SS) has returned to the Street Turner class fulltime this season and has immediately elevated Canadian-based GS Motorsports.

Holtom, the 2008 ST titlist and youngest champ in GRAND-AM history at the age of 21 years, four days, and co-driver Andrew Danyliw nearly won at Barber before settling for second.

Holtom owns 12 ST wins, including the 2006 ST race at VIR, which puts him one short of the all-time lead held by Will Nonnamaker (No. 43 TheRaceSite.com MAZDASPEED3) and later tied by Eric Curran.

Turner Motorsport Staying Strong In GS Points

Turner Motorsport leads all Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams in overall and Grand Sport victories and pole positions. The team is also running seeking its first victory of the season after competitive performances in the first three races.

Joey Hand and rookie Michael Marsal (No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3) are currently third in the driver standings and only eight points out of second place. BMW drivers hold first, second and third in driver points despite only one victory so far this season by the popular German marquee.

Bill Auberlen won at VIR in the GS race in 2007 and will tackle the 3.27-mile, 17-turn track with Paul Dalla Lana (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3) in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Dalla Lana's best series finish was second last season in ST at VIR.

Up Next: Lime Rock Park

The fifth round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will be Saturday, May 29 at Virginia International Raceway. The Memorial Day Weekend classic has been a staple on the series calendar since 2006.

Last year, Joey Hand and Chris Gleason gave Turner Motorsport its third victory at Lime Rock and BMW's fourth win in four seasons by triumphing in the Grand Sport class.

In Street Tuner, Compass360 Racing earned its third consecutive victory with Travis Walker and John Kuitwaard, two of several drivers who helped the No. 75 Honda Civic Si take third in the team standings in 2009. It also marked Honda's first series victory at Lime Rock.

-source: grandam

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Scott Maxwell , Will Nonnamaker , Eric Curran , Jeff Bucknum , Chris Gleason , James Clay , Tom Long , Andrew Davis , Hugh Plumb , Bret Seafuse , Matt Plumb , Seth Thomas , David White , Dean Martin , Billy Johnson , Joe Foster , Travis Walker , Andrew Carbonell , Andrew Danyliw , Craig Stone , Rhett O'Doski , Derek Whitis , Paul Dalla Lana , Eric Foss , Michael Marsal , Joey Atterbury , Devin Cates , John Kuitwaard , Matt Bell , Jack Roush Jr.
Teams Rehagen Racing , Turner Motorsport , Stevenson Motorsports , Compass360 Racing , Multimatic Motorsports , Freedom Autosport