BGB MOTORSPORTS COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO COMPETITION (Ormond Beach, FL, USA) For the first time since January, BGB Motorsports returned to Koni Sports Car Challenge Series competition for the eighth round of the 2009 schedule. Among a ...
BGB MOTORSPORTS COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO COMPETITION
(Ormond Beach, FL, USA) For the first time since January, BGB Motorsports returned to Koni Sports Car Challenge Series competition for the eighth round of the 2009 schedule. Among a field of nearly 20 GS class cars, David Riddle and Kris Wilson finished 11th in their Porsche 997 while teammates Scott Russell and Guy Cosmo finished right behind them in 12th. After going on sabbatical in January due to poor market conditions and not being able to secure financial support from funded drivers, the team shook the rust off during a promoter test day at the 2.5 mile road course in Birmingham, Alabama. While during the 2008 season the team had gotten accustomed to finishing further up in the order, it became apparent how far behind the curve you can find yourself when you miss half a season's worth of racing:
"All of the cars seem to have gotten a bit faster in the time that we've been out of the picture, and I'm sure we're a bit rusty, but that's to be expected. When you're skipping events, you're not developing like the other teams have been all year," added Team Owner John Moore. "As we've shown in the past, we're committed to working our way back up the curve and running at the front again."
Piloting a car that's no stranger to Koni Challenge competition were David Riddle of Vancouver, BC, Canada and longtime friend and codriver Kris Wilson of Golden, Colorado, in their familiar red and white Porsche 997 sponsored by C-Max Racing. The duo has fielded a pair of matching Porsche 997s in the Koni series since 2007, producing multiple poles in 2008 and a win and a podium in 2007. The two are still looking for their first Koni Challenge win as a pair, as they were split when the team won at Watkins Glen 2 years ago. Following Saturday's pre-qualifying practice, it looked as if a win was feasible when Kris Wilson was the 3rd fastest car in the session, quickest among the Porsches. Wilson had more to add:
"Even though we haven't been on track since October 2008, we did show that we have the speed to be competitive. I'm looking forward to Canada, as I feel that we'll be even more competitive up there as we will have had more time together with the car and the new Koni shocks. We're just getting used to everything again."
Scott Russell and Guy Cosmo ran the #83 BGB Motorsports Porsche 997 entry; the two have been driving together all year in a Coyote Daytona Prototype with Porsche Cayenne power, supported by Spirit of Daytona. The event marked Scott Russell's first time driving a street stock sedan on a race track, and he did quite well when you consider that he's never had to shift gears in a car and race one at the same time. He was up to speed quickly and willing to learn from his teammates and it showed on track during the race. Guy Cosmo is no stranger to the BGB paddock. Having raced a Porsche with BGB during 2004 and 2005, Cosmo put on an excellent display for BGB while he and then teammate Craig Stanton came up through the field multiple times to run at the front during the 2008 season ending 6 hour VIR finale.
As starting drivers David Riddle and Scott Russell tried to execute strong first stints, Riddle's momentum was broken when another competitor used the back of the Dave's Porsche as an added aid to slow down his Mustang. Despite sitting out nearly 10 months, Dave had been in a groove as if he had never left, on pace to deliver the car to Kris before the incident happened. The interaction forced Riddle off track and cost him a valuable 40 seconds on the clock. The 2.5 hour race ran without caution, so the time deficit was impossible to make up. When Kris Wilson took over driving duties for his teammate, he tried as best he could, running on pace with the leaders. Without a caution period during the race though, Wilson would have to settle for 11th place honors.
Scott Russell's opening stint, however, was without the drama of the exuberant Mustang pilot and went without incident. He delivered the familiar orange and black #83 BGB Porsche to pit road in 7th place and handed over driving duties to codriver Guy Cosmo. Cosmo drove in an attempt to make up some ground to the leaders but the pace of the front running Mustangs was too much. At a track dominated last year by Mustangs, history repeated itself and Cosmo delivered the car back to the BGB crew in a solid 12th place, very respectable considering the speed of the leaders. His teammate Scott Russell had already decided that the Barber event was going to be a starting point for him, and while he does come to win, he was content that everything went according to plan. Russell had more to add:
"I learned a lot this weekend about driving the car and having to manage it. I had a lot of fun though with the BGB team. More importantly, the experience really helped me get up to speed when I had to drive the Daytona Prototype on Monday day at the tire test. I can't wait to be back with BGB in the Porsche at Miller Motorsports Park in September."
In two weeks Koni Sports Car Challenge Series teams will head north of the border to this year's Gran Prix de Trois Rivières, in Quebec, Canada. The event takes place on a temporary street circuit in the heart of a small town northeast of Montreal and is expected to draw nearly 80,000 people this year. It kicks off on Thursday August 14th as the competition resumes with a 90 minute race on Sunday morning. The team has high hopes for this year's event, as they fielded the highest finishing Porsche entries during last year's race, when BGB Porsches finished 4th and 6th among a field of hard charging Ford Mustangs and BMW M3s.