BGB PORSCHES FINISH 6th and 12th DESPITE LEADING DAYTONA KONI CHALLENGE OPENER (Ormond Beach, FL, USA - January 29, 2009) While a win is the indisputable indication of success, the BGB Motorsports team had a successful opening round as both...
BGB PORSCHES FINISH 6th and 12th DESPITE LEADING DAYTONA KONI CHALLENGE OPENER
(Ormond Beach, FL, USA - January 29, 2009) While a win is the indisputable indication of success, the BGB Motorsports team had a successful opening round as both Porsches from the BGB stable led a 67 car field during Friday's opening round of the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge Series. Tim George, Jr. and Craig Stanton finished 6th in their Revo Technik/PerformanceDrink.com Porsche 997 to complete the 3 hour event, while teammates Joe Masessa and Nick Longhi finished 12th in the familiar BGB green Revo Technik Porsche 997. The 2009 Fresh from Florida 200 will be presented on SPEED TV, Saturday January 31st, 2009, at 4pm EST.
With less than an hour to go in the event, it looked as if the BGB Motorsports family was destined to become back-to-back winners of the biggest Grand-Am Koni race of the year. Capitalizing on sharp race strategy and excellent pit stops, the #83 Porsche 997 at the hands of Craig Stanton beat the race winning Turner Motorsports crew out of the pits, placing Stanton back in the lead. Unfortunately the Porsche pilot lacked the displacement to hold off a hard charging group of Mustangs and BMW M3s, relegating him to 6th place as the 2nd highest finishing Porsche of the race. Teammates Joe Masessa and Nick Longhi returned for their 2nd race with BGB Motorsports, and delivered their best result to date with a 12th place finish as the 4th highest finishing Porsche entry. The pair joined together for a 17th place finish last August at New Jersey Motorsports Park and achieved their goal of improving on that result. The duo's 12th place finish earned them the distinction of passing more cars than any other Koni Sports Car Challenge Series competitor in their class. This race marked the first time ever that multiple BGB Porsches spent time leading a Koni race.
The event marked the first race in a BGB Porsche for 2008 Rolex Series MESCO Building for the Future Rookie of the Year and Rolex GT Bob Akin Award recipient Tim George, Jr. Tim started out in Koni competition in 2006 before moving up to contest the Rolex GT series with The Racer's Group in a Porsche GT3. Despite a lack of seat time, Tim qualified a solid 23rd for the 34 car GS field. Teammate Joe Masessa qualified 33rd following an incident with another impatient competitor. Getting more comfortable in the car with every session, Masessa was poised to qualify further up but would have to save that for the race. Neither driver, however, was concerned, feeling that their qualifying position was no indication of where they'd advance to during the race. Each BGB Porsche pilot did an excellent job of staying clean and avoiding contact so that they could deliver their cars to pit road for the first round of pit stops and driver changes at around the 1 hour mark.
The orange #83 Porsche 997 was the first to visit pit road during one of the race's many caution periods. Following the pit stop and another short caution period, the racing resumed and Stanton joined the field in 25th place after taking over driver duties from Tim George, Jr. Wasting no time moving up to 12th place on the following lap, Craig Stanton drove like a man possessed, moving further up through the field before he inherited the lead on lap 47 from BGB teammate Joe Masessa. At that point, it was time for Masessa to hand the car over to Nick Longhi; after their pit stop Longhi went to work and began to make up as many positions as possible. Nick also executed a flawless stint, despite landing further back in the order and being on an alternate fuel strategy. Both Porsches benefited from the BGB crew's capitalizing on smart strategy decisions and perfect pit stops, by being able to pass a few cars on pit road and gain a few extra spots.
With just under an hour to go the most important full course caution period occurred and all of a sudden all cameras were on the leading cars for a battle of the pit crews. Just like during the final stop at the 6 hours of VIR in 2008, BGB came out first. This was all short-lived however, as Stanton simply didn't have the cubic inches to defend the charge of BMWs and Mustangs around the high speed banking of Daytona. The orders went from "win the race" to "hang on and finish as well as possible." The same was true for Nick Longhi in his car, as the two delivered great finishes for their teammates and the entire BGB family.
BGB Motorsports is an ambitious, professional motorsports business. The team's facility is located less than 15 miles from Daytona International Speedway and the headquarters for the Grand American Road Racing Association. During their 5th season of Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge competition, BGB Porsches won 3 races, more than any other single team in 2008 competition. BGB operates as a customer oriented business, running cars under the Grand American Road Racing, Sports Car Club of America and Porsche Club of America sanctioning bodies. The 2008 season marked the team's sophomore year with Porsche's latest 911 chassis, the 997 Carrera.