Gearbox problems ruined Carter and Plumb race at Barber Motorsports Park

After the final pit stop, problems in the gearbox started to affect Hugh Plumb's performance.

After two frustrating races at Daytona and Austin, Al Carter and Hugh Plumb came to Barber Motorsports Park with the goal to score their first podium of the season. Alabama was the scene last year of B+ Racing driver's last podium finish and both Carter and Plumb really hoped for that performance to get the points needed to stay in the championship hunt.

#45 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Coupe: Al Carter, Hugh Plumb
#45 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Coupe: Al Carter, Hugh Plumb

Photo by: Covy Moore

Despite all their efforts, the gods of racing were not with the No. 45 Eagle B+ Foundation sponsored BMW this year at Barber and unusual gearbox problems forced the car to retire on lap 69 of the 83 laps race and to finish 19th in the GS class.

This first retirement of the year was a true bummer for the No. 45 Fall-Line Motorsports drivers and crew since their car looked like it could have competed for the win after a great beginning of the weekend. The Barber, Alabama round of the 2013 CTSCC also marked the entry of Al Carter as a co-driver of Charles Espenlaub in the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW. Driving two cars in the same racing event was, on paper, a very challenging proposition for Al Carter.

The driver from Greenville, Delaware proved that he was up to the task and delivered a great performance in both the No. 45 and No. 48 machines.

Al Carter who was very proud to have been selected by Fall-Line Motorsports Michael Harvey to co-drive the No. 48, adapted quickly in driving the two Fall-Line M3s.

His scheduled Barber program called for qualifying and starting the No. 45 car then to replace Charles Espenlaub at mid-race, and finish the race in the No. 48 car. Carter qualified the No. 45 Eagle B+ Foundation BMW in 3rd on Friday afternoon missing the front row by only tenths of a second.

Charles Espenlaub like the other Fall-Line M3s was fast and won the pole and dominated the opening stages of the race in the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW. He led 36 of the 83 laps, and finished seventh with co-driver Al Carter.

Al did a great job despite the pressure, and was pleased with the result. He was able to compete at the highest level of the CTSCC with some of the best drivers in the series and this run boosted his confidence for the future.

The No. 45 car started by Carter in the race had a very good first half. Hugh Plumb, who loves the track and wanted to do well and score a podium finish at Barber, took over after Al's first stint and ran as high as third for a while.

After the final pit stop, problems in the gearbox started to affect Plumb's performance in the car and he had to stop and retire since the transmission did not allow him to continue his anticipated top five result.

The next Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race will be on Saturday, April 20, during GRAND-AM's first visit to Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

B+ Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Hugh Plumb , Al Carter
Teams Fall-Line Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags b+, barber, bmw, carter, grandam, plumb