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Road Atlanta: BimmerWorld preview

BimmerWorld Rolls Into Road Atlanta With All fingers Crossed After a season of ups and downs, the Virginia-based team is primed for a positive end to the season. BimmerWorld Racing has endured a more challenging year than they'd hoped for; with...

BimmerWorld Rolls Into Road Atlanta With All fingers Crossed
After a season of ups and downs, the Virginia-based team is primed for a positive end to the season.

BimmerWorld Racing has endured a more challenging year than they'd hoped for; with two races left to run in 2007, the Dublin, Virginia based team has this weekends round at Road Atlanta pegged for a reversal of fortune.

With BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay forced to miss the last two rounds- the most recent due to a dislocated shoulder, he's especially anxious to strap into his #36 BMW E90 for the Petit Le Mans weekend. Despite his eagerness to get back behind the wheel, he'll need to be mindful of his sore right shoulder while shifting two dozens time a lap.

Clay's progress towards recovery has been steady and aggressive. "I have really felt like I was coming along well since day one, and have really been pushing the rehab times and shortening my appointments that the Doc requested. I've been into sports for a long time and I recover at a very quick rate typically, so I was happy to see that this injury is following the trend. I got pretty worried last week when I realized we are so close to the race weekend and I was still having some pretty intense pain at times, but every week is significantly better than the last, and this one was pretty good, so I am optimistic. I've been in a car a few times in the past two weeks and while it may not be a full success, I know I will be race-ready."

With Clay as fit as possible for Road Atlanta, the only question remaining is how hard he can push with a shoulder that's not yet at 100%. Will his shoulder be up to it? "It's really hard to tell. I've been determined to drive this race from a day or two after my injury and it has gotten me this far, so maybe determination can carry me through the weekend."

It's widely believed that every ounce of bad luck has been used up on James Clay this year. "You would really think there is nothing left, but I have made that mistake before. I have my fingers crossed, lucky socks on, and have been getting out of the right side of the bed every morning, so I am doing my part!" Finishing the season on a high note is also a key motivator for Clay. "A true positive end would be a win at the home track (Road Atlanta) for me or the team. We have put in 4 days of testing there recently, so we are really working hard and loaded for bear. In a few days, we will know!"

With 2008 around the corner, Clay is already thinking forward to next season and some time off before 2008 ramps up. "I am absolutely looking forward to next season, but honestly, I am looking forward to a little time off first! It seems like we have solved our reliability problems this year and my time behind the scenes for the last couple of races has allowed me to get the other view that I never get from the driver's seat. We have a lot of improvements on the way and I can't wait for a full run at 2008 to prove our abilities. But for now, we are all looking to finish up 2007 strong."

Seth Thomas, Georgia native and pilot of the #38 Thomas Lumber BimmerWorld BMW E90, marks his home race at Road Atlanta every year as the most personal and most important event on the calendar. With a paddock full of supports, Thomas carries a lot of added expectations for this event.

Tell us about your feeling on your home race--an event that also serves as the 10th anniversary of Petit Le Mans

"Wow! Now the pressure is on! Being on the home turf is going to be a huge help. I get to sleep in my own bed for a change, so I should be nice and relaxed all week. The main focus though is showing how well the BMW's run at Road Atlanta and to come away with BimmerWorld's second win of the season. This is the track that I should be able to do it on. It will be interesting, however, with the new paving they did this year. The grip level is going to be higher and the lap times are going to be a lot faster. This is where I am counting on my home track experience to pay off. I've now driven the new surface several times in both the Touring car and other fast cars. This experience should pay dividends this weekend."

Thomas has also been on the cusp of his first win this year-what does he need to break through? Is it just a case of good timing and opportunity at this point? "Definitely up until this point of the season everything has been about timing. My timing has been off as far as either being in the wrong place on track or having something wrong happen. I wouldn't call it a bad luck deal; it's just been bad timing. The E90 has been fast for me all year. It has performed well in qualifying and well in a couple of the races. This is my time, though. After coming off Mosport where my car was the fastest car on track I am looking for this to happen again."

Seth has similar goals to his team mate James Clay for the final two races. "That's simple: win, and bring home some trophies for the BimmerWorld Boys to display in the shop. I have two of my favorite tracks to end the season off with and I plan on capitalizing on that."

What kind of Thomas family and guest support can we expect to see at Road Atlanta next week? "My whole family comes out for this race. With us living about 30 minutes from the track, everybody from my grandfather, to my aunts, uncles and cousins come out. I have a lot of friends that were huge supporters of me that will be there. It seems everybody likes to watch the start of the race from the front straight and then they move to turn 10A for remainder of the race. It will also be nice to have them all here to cheer me on as I try to get my first win. If there is a track that I want to do it at more than any it is Road Atlanta. Plus it would make my Dad, Mom and Grandfather the happiest people on earth to do it with them there!"

Stay tuned for reports from Road Atlanta as BimmerWorld fights for a second win in 2007.

-credit: www.bimmerworld.com

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers James Clay , Seth Thomas
Teams BimmerWorld Racing