BimmerWorld Builds Momentum at Lime Rock World Challenge Double-Header SPEED Touring Car team leads all BMW's; moves all three drivers into top-10 in 2008 championship. Dublin, Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing emerged from rounds four and five...
BimmerWorld Builds Momentum at Lime Rock World Challenge Double-Header
SPEED Touring Car team leads all BMW's; moves all three drivers into top-10 in 2008 championship.
Dublin, Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing emerged from rounds four and five of the 2008 SPEED World Challenge Touring Car events at Lime Rock Park with valuable championship points earned for all three drivers.
In the unique 'two races in three days' format held over Memorial Day weekend at the Lakeville, Connecticut track, drivers Seth Thomas, Nick Esayian, and James Clay found mixed fortunes between the first race held on Saturday and the second race held on Monday.
Seth Thomas, starting 5th on Saturday and 10th on Monday, had a reversal of fortune, finishing 10th on Saturday and 4th on Monday. "Monday's race was awesome. The BimmerWorld E90 was the top finishing BMW along with having a great battle with the E46 of Bill Auberlen for half the race, but our E90 came out on top of the battle. A bit of bad luck on Saturday kept Thomas from a stronger finish. "I had a better car than the results show and I was even helped off the track from a very overzealous driver on the last lap. Lime Rock is a track that has never been friendly to me..."
For Esayian, finishes of 13th and 14th in the two races weren't indicative of what he knows can be delivered. "In the first race our setup was too stiff for my liking. In the second race I had a Top Fuel Dragster start and had passed about ten cars but got caught up avoiding a big ball of blue, green, and white Mazdas running into each other. I ended up getting caught behind some slow traffic and it cost me. By the end of the weekend the car was great but unfortunately we didn't see the results."
Team owner/driver James Clay found his best result in the first race, scoring a 7th place finish. "This weekend was a rollercoaster. I was happy with my 7th place finish on Saturday, even though 7th is a lot lower than what we aim for. I was also pumped on Monday morning with qualifying--not due to my 8th place grid position, but because the setup change that nick suggested felt great and was going to pay off in the race with a faster, more drivable car."
But Clay's race lasted just seconds. "I had a driveline failure at the start. Nothing is worse than having high hopes and then seeing them dashed in front of you."
Despite the up-and-down results of the two races, the BimmerWorld trio earned enough points to move all three drivers into the top-10 in points for the first time this year. Thomas is clear on the ingredients to their success in this regard. "Consistency and speed are the key factors for the E90 being where it is in points. If it weren't for the hard work of the BimmerWorld crew we wouldn't all be in the top-10."
With the World Challenge series moving next to the storied Watkins Glen circuit in upstate New York, the BimmerWorld drivers are pinning their hopes for a strong weekend as the series moves into the second half of the season. Thomas believes the 3.4 mile circuit will definitely suit the team's BMW's. "The Glen is the perfect track to let the E90 stretch its legs and get closer in points to the other cars. Last year I had some great laps and battles with people. It's one of the best tracks we will run this year and one of my favorites. This is going to be our weekend!"
For Nick Esayian, the drive to The Glen in 2007 proved more daunting than the race itself. "I was driving to the track with Peter Cunningham last year and we hit a deer. It was a mess. The cop was trying to question me on the grid moments before the race and we asked him to wait 20 minutes to take the report... Apparently [Mazda racer Charles] Espenlaub hit a deer on the same road within an hour as well. He didn't kill his--"