Segal takes KONI Challenge Win at Lime Rock Park Automatic Racing team strategy works fuel strategy to perfection as Segal breaks through to bring BMW a win at their home track (Lakeville, CT) 26 May 2008--Jeff Segal was happy to take the ...
Segal takes KONI Challenge Win at Lime Rock Park
Automatic Racing team strategy works fuel strategy to perfection as Segal breaks through to bring BMW a win at their home track
(Lakeville, CT) 26 May 2008--Jeff Segal was happy to take the 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Championship last season with co-driver Jep Thorton, but despite the accomplishment, he still felt like he had some unfinished business to take care of.
After taking a convincing win at Lime Rock Park for Monday's KONI GS Class race with the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3, Segal was happy to check an important box off his career to-do list by scoring a maiden victory in KONI GS competition at Lime Rock Park.
"It feels great to get that monkey off our backs!" said Segal, who finished the KONI event shortly before preparing to get ready for the Rolex Sports Car Series GT race on Monday afternoon. "They were having me save fuel, which can be tricky around here. There are not a whole lot of places where you can lift off the gas. But it was close. The car was really good. I just got in the car and drove it as fast as I could to open a gap, and fortunately that gap turned out to be enough at the end when we needed to slow down a bit and save fuel. I knew Spencer was coming from behind, but we just tried to manage the gap as best we could, and it all worked out!"
After passing Tom Nastasi's BMW M3 on a restart near the one-hour mark in the race, Segal's lead went unchallenged for the remainder of the race, growing his lead over the field to nearly 15 seconds at one point. As fuel consumption became a concern, that gap diminished as Segal kept the lead while working to insure he'd make it to the finish line in his Automatic Racing BMW M3.
"I knew we had a winning car here from the moment we hit the track," said Segal, who made multiple trips to the podium during his 2007 KONI Challenge Championship season. "Joe Varde and the guys at the shop have worked hard over the winter break to correct some of our weak points from last year. Jep drove an excellent stint to bring me the car solidly in the top-five, and then John Terry and the Automatic Race crew did their usual lightning-quick pit work to get me out in front."
We had been so close to a win so many times last year, I'm glad we could finally put it all together for BMW at Lime Rock. It was a full team effort, and I couldn't be happier with the race win and our prospects for the year!"
The race win moved Segal and co-driver Thorton, who combined to finish fourth to open the season, into first in the championship standings, tied with Craig Stanton. After a long layoff between rounds one and two for the 2008 KONI Challenge season, the pace will pick up as the series reconvenes June 15th at Mosport International Raceway.
The Lime Rock Park KONI Challenge event will be broadcast May 31st at 8:00 PM ET on Speed Channel.