FAST PIT STOPS AND STRATEGY NOT ENOUGH FOR BGB IN UTAH (Ormond Beach, FL, USA - September 24, 2008) As the green and orange Porsches of BGB Motorsports crossed the finish line in 9th and 14th place, respectively neither driver finished where...
FAST PIT STOPS AND STRATEGY NOT ENOUGH FOR BGB IN UTAH
(Ormond Beach, FL, USA - September 24, 2008) As the green and orange Porsches of BGB Motorsports crossed the finish line in 9th and 14th place, respectively neither driver finished where they had hoped they would after 2.5 hours of hard racing. Sunday's Koni Challenge Series race at Miller Motorsports Park completed the penultimate round of the 2008 season. The 9th place finish for Jon Miller, Craig Stanton and their #83 Porsche 997 Carrera leaves them tied for 3rd in the Koni Challenge team championship with last year's championship winning BMW M3 of Automatic Racing. New teammates Max Hyatt and James Sofronas delivered home their #38 Porsche 997 as the 4th highest finishing Porsche, in their first race with BGB Motorsports.
Saturday's qualifying session showed the threat of rain, but precipitation held off until after the 15 minute session. The short GS class qualifying session only equated to 4 laps around the 4.5 mile track, as Max Hyatt and Jon Miller qualified 9th and 14th for Sunday's race. Hyatt's top-10 qualifying performance was his first in Koni Challenge, and actually first for any type of sports car racing. During their opening stints, Miller and Hyatt followed each other in an attempt to work together and make up ground on their competitors. An early race caution period bunched the field back up and the two went back to work. Shortly thereafter, Hyatt slipped back due to a required engine computer restart that cost him nearly a minute on track. At the race's half way point, the BGB crew went over the wall to help both cars capitalize on a one-stop fuel strategy, with both drivers delivering their cars to pit road one after the other. In their usual fashion the BGB crew showed why they're one of the best, as each car was serviced and sent back out in less time than their competitors. This gained valuable seconds for the finishing drivers that had their work cut out for them. The facility at Miller Motorsports Park was designed in a way to create consistent racing; caution periods are rare so Stanton and Sofronas knew that they may not get an opportunity for the field to bunch up again.
With 20 minutes remaining in the race, the BGB team was well on their way to achieving their two goals for the weekend: field a 2nd strong Porsche entry for their new guests and leave with more points than their three championship contending competitors. With less than 10 laps remaining in the race, Craig Stanton was in 6th place, moving at a pace of one second per lap faster than the 3rd and final competitor he needed to pass to advance in the championship. That finishing order would have given the team the points cushion they needed heading into the final race of the season. Unfortunately the late race caution period allowed four Ford Mustangs and a BMW to cool their tires, and mount a charge past Stanton down Miller Motorsports Park's 1 mile long front straightaway. Stanton was defenseless, as he held each competitor off through the track's 23 turns, only to lose the drag race on the front stretch. Shortly behind him, teammate James Sofronas was continuing to make up ground in the BGB Porsche sponsored by Global Motorsports Group of Santa Ana, CA. Busy with his own Professional Porsche racing operation and Southern California retail shop, Sofronas was brought in to inspect BGB's Koni Challenge program, with the hopes of maybe bringing some customers for BGB's 2009 Porsche effort.
The 2008 season will conclude with a 6 hour endurance event at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday October 5th. If history were to repeat itself in the form of last year's finishing order, BGB would be rewarded the championship trophy. Having won the 6 hour finale in 2006, and finished 2nd in 2007, the team is simply looking to stay true to form, as 9 points separate them and 1st place. Live timing and scoring is available for this event at www.grand-am.com/livetiming/.