Autobahn: BimmerWorld Racing preview

BimmerWorld Headed to Autobahn Focused on Results On the heels of a BimmerWorld/GearWrench team win, at Watkins Glen, the BMW team heads to Illinois looking for more hardware. BimmerWorld in search of more hardware The BimmerWorld team will ...

BimmerWorld Headed to Autobahn Focused on Results
On the heels of a BimmerWorld/GearWrench team win, at Watkins Glen, the BMW team heads to Illinois looking for more hardware.

BimmerWorld in search of more hardware The BimmerWorld team will be searching for more "hardware" this weekend.

"2009 has been a year of hard work that has delivered results for our team," said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay. "Seth's won two out of five races and Nick had his best finish ever with a fourth at Watkins Glen, but as anyone that follows this series knows, making forward progress is a constant here. We're going to Autobahn with our heads down and focused on the championship."

In the three weeks since Thomas' win for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team at Watkins Glen, the Dublin, Virginia-based team has used all of the available time to improve their trio of BMW E90 SPEED Touring Car racers.

"Certainly a weekend like we had at Watkins is a motivator, but we have been hard at work to further refine the cars -- our competition doesn't sit still and to keep winning we have to enjoy the pat on the back and then keep burning the midnight oil," said Clay.

Clay's operation has developed itself into one of the leading World Challenge teams. Founded on hard work and innovation, BimmerWorld pioneered the the new BMW E90 chassis in North America. With four wins in the past two years, the ground breaking cars have reached a point where Clay believes their E90s could become a winner in the hands of other independent teams.

"It has certainly it has taken us some years to get the level of performance we're enjoying now" says Clay. "World Challenge is a tough series and I think it is pretty optimistic to think you can come in and win your first race. Developing the E90 into a steady threat has been our sole focus and now we're considering making one or two of our SPEED TC cars available to the right buyer. Entrants have been hard pressed to find a car to take on the entrenched teams, and I think we've come up with a good solution.

Like most of the World Challenge paddock, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMWs will turn their first laps in anger on the new Autobahn Country Club circuit in Joliet, IL when practice opens on Friday, but Clay's team have already visited the track to familiarize themselves with the layout. "Our engineer Wayne Yawn has done a bit of work there and we have driven the track to learn the course. It is long and fairly technical -- there are some challenges with bumps, but I think we have a good read on the track and have a solid plan coming into the race this weekend."

BimmerWorld's Nick Esayian is looking forward to the task ahead of him this weekend. After playing a starring role at Watkins Glen, the series veteran is ready to keep pushing for top results. With the support of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench behind him, Esayian's ready to keep working hard on and off the track to deliver his best performances.

"The field is super competitive right now so running up front is really an accomplishment. I attribute my pace to our team's ability to decode my feedback and set up the car, to getting used to driving a rear-wheel drive car after years in front-wheel drive cars, and to improving my fitness. One of my former teammates used to always get after me about getting out and doing karting between World Challenge rounds and I can say it has paid huge dividends."

Esayian's 4th place at Watkins Glen on the Fourth of July was made even more special after hosting and representing the Special Operation Warriors Foundation (SOWF). Nick says the high from honoring the SOWF with a strong result is something he'll carry into Autobahn and the rest of the races this season.

"The SOWF is a genuine partner of ours and frankly, they motivate me to do my best whenever I strap myself into by E90. Giving the SOWF flag a tour around the track on Independence Day was well received by all, and the Special Forces guys and their families appreciated that we recognized them. We'll see more of them out at future events."

Seth Thomas is batting .400 this year in the SPEED Touring Car series, but the Georgia-native is quick to point out that his success is the result of both him and his team reaching their full potential. "Personally, I don't think you can ever reach your peak as a driver. You can always find some form of data or driver development to help you go faster. The two wins so far this season have been from races where I was focused 100% mentally -- I knew I could win those races and that was my goal. But even after winning, I was already looking at my mistakes and trying to figure out how to go faster when we return to those tracks next season. You always have to prove yourself in this series with each race and each time you hit the track, and that's what brings out the best in us at BimmerWorld."

The allure of adding more wins to the team's 2009 tally is high, but the entire BimmerWorld organization is pushing for a bigger goal -- the driver's championship. With Seth Thomas in 3rd place, just six points out of the lead, and Esayian and Clay in 8th and 9th, the team will race at Autobahn and the remaining rounds with an eye towards earning the title.

"We're giving every race our best shot, so nothing has changed there," Clay affirmed, "but with Seth in the thick of the driver's championship, we'll be doing everything in our power to earn each point and move Seth, Nick, and I up in the rankings. Of course we're going to try and win the rest of the races, but this is a championship and that's what we're geared towards winning for our team, our partners and our sponsors."

Follow the progress of the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team this weekend at Autobahn through updates and photos on

-credit: bwr

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers James Clay , Nick Esayian , Seth Thomas
Teams BimmerWorld Racing