BAM! moved on to round 7 of the American Le Mans Series at Road America with high hopes of going one better than their second place finish achieved in round 6 at Portland International Raceway. The team's regular driver, Mike Rockenfeller, ...
BAM! moved on to round 7 of the American Le Mans Series at Road America with high hopes of going one better than their second place finish achieved in round 6 at Portland International Raceway.
The team's regular driver, Mike Rockenfeller, returned from Europe to partner Wolf Henzler in the #43 Porsche GT3RSR.
Unfortunately, pre-race test and practice sessions showed the #43 to be slightly off the pace of the leading cars and left the team and drivers slightly mystified as to the reason for this relative lack of performance.
The race started badly for BAM! as starting driver Wolf Henzler was pushed off course at the first corner and then found the front windshield of the Porsche completely covered in oil from the car in front of him. Unable to see the track ahead of him properly, Wolf fought hard to keep pace with the leading group, but despite his efforts, the team suffered more bad luck 40 minutes into the race when the first full course caution came. The overall leading #16 Dyson car had just passed the #43 BAM! car which put it in between the GT2 leaders and the #43 at the time of the caution. This enabled the leading cars to continue around the track to catch the pack behind the pace car- while at the same time recording a lap. The #43 was in good position to get a wave-by and regain that lap- however, once the pits were re-opened, every lead lap car elected to pit- which left the pace car without a car to pickup as the "overall leader". The pace car was held until the first of the lead lap cars left the pits which left the entire field eligible for the wave-by, including the GT2 cars who had already gained a lap. The end result left BAM! 1 lap down to the leading GT2 cars even though they had received the wave-by-talk about bad luck!
After the wave-by process was complete BAM! entered the pits for fuel and tires and to change drivers to Mike Rockenfeller. With the handling of the car now worse than ever, Mike was instructed to just race to the finish as safely as possible. Mike did an exceptional job and despite the circumstances managed to score a fourth place finish for the team. Post race inspection of the car revealed a broken left front shock, making Wolf and Mike's ability to keep the pace they did and bring home a 4th place finish exceptional, albeit disappointing in its own way.