SCC: Phoenix: Villaconn Motorsports preview

They're gonna fly with a little help from their friends. Scottsdale, Arizona, April 18, 2002: The BMW Z3 Coupe is gaining cult car status. Despite limited visibility on the showroom floor, this little BMW has been tearing up race tracks all...

They're gonna fly with a little help from their friends.

Scottsdale, Arizona, April 18, 2002: The BMW Z3 Coupe is gaining cult car status. Despite limited visibility on the showroom floor, this little BMW has been tearing up race tracks all over North America and Canada for quite some time now. Race enthusiasts just seem to love the little coupe version of BMW's popular Z3 Roadster.

When the Villaconn BMW Motorsports transporter pulled in to the paddock at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) last season, the team was greeted by a large gathering of Arizona BMW Z3 Roadster Club members. Everyone in attendance was quickly put to work - and loved every minute of the Grand Am experience. For 2002 version of the Grand Am Sportscar weekend (April 18-20), they extended a fine Arizona welcome for the returning Villaconn squad.

"The BMW Club people are just great," explains team owner Alfredo Villamil. "They put us in touch with Greg Dalgarn of Ultimate Auto Works here in Scottsdale where we've made our home for the past three weeks." Ultimate Auto Works is an independent BMW Service Center who provided shop bays for the team to freshen their three Z3s following the last Grand Am round at Fontana, California in March. Setting the good neighbor example was Christian Filz. His Altra Auto Body operation provided paint and bodywork so that the Villaconn cars would look their best for the Phoenix fans. Dean Siemion and Rob Wetzel, owners of SVC Motorsports (another neighbor of Ultimate Auto Works), assisted the traveling Villaconn team with custom fabrication work and engine tuning via the shop's chassis dyno. In addition to having housed the team's transports while in Phoenix, AIRAID Filter Company will provide high-flow air filters for the BMW straight-six race motors.

"The western hospitality has been nothing short of amazing," continues Villamil. "Normally, we would have had to haul everything back to our shop in Philadelphia. Instead, thanks to our new friends, we are better prepared than ever for a west coast event. We really want to do well in the race - we want the Grand Am Cup win as our way of saying thanks for the effort and sacrifice."

Villaconn BMW Motorsports will field three Z3 Coupes in this weekend's Grand Am Cup 250-mile race at PIR. Leading the charge will be championship contenders Bransen Patch and Don Salama. Beau Buisson will partner Ken Dobson for their charge up the points table while team driver Neal Heffron is joined by Gregory White of Smithsburg, Maryland.

For ticket information, log on to www.Grand-Am.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ken Dobson , Beau Buisson , Bransen Patch , Don Salama , Neal Heffron , Christian F