Mid-Ohio: BimmerWorld Racing race report

BimmerWorld Places Two in the Top-6 at Mid-OhioSeth Thomas takes 4th and Nick Esayian grabs 6th in Mid-Ohio before the BimmerWorld team makes a quick turnaround and heads for Road America. BimmerWorld Racing unloaded three fast BMW E90s at ...

BimmerWorld Places Two in the Top-6 at Mid-OhioSeth Thomas takes 4th and Nick Esayian grabs 6th in Mid-Ohio before the BimmerWorld team makes a quick turnaround and heads for Road America.

BimmerWorld Racing unloaded three fast BMW E90s at Mid-Ohio last weekend, and had every intention of placing drivers Nick Esayian, James Clay, and Seth Thomas at the head of the field.

That plan almost came to fruition for two of the three drivers. "Seth had a podium in sight but lost out at the last moment and Nick had a top-5 going for him," said Clay, "but they ended up in 4th and 6th place. I should have been right there with them, but instead, our crew is thrashing to repair my car for Road America this weekend."

Clay's obvious frustration stemmed from being a victim of circumstance in an incident involving 2008 Series champion, Peter Cunningham. "I am pretty disappointed with a veteran racer who got out of shape and proclaimed to save it by closing his eyes and mashing the throttle. It served his purpose and sounds like a great heroic racer quote, but it was unsafe, unnecessary, and negatively affected three other cars in the race. I had a great car and was headed for a great result but instead ended my race by T-boning PD as he shot across the track through traffic for the second time,"?Clay said.

Amazingly, and despite Clay's race-ending shunt, Cunningham would continue on to take 2nd place in the race. Clay's BimmerWorld/GearWrench E90 was finished on the spot with a mangled front end and broken radiator. "Thanks to GearWrench the guys are armed with the tools for the job and the car will be fixed and back in perfect shape for this weekend," Clay continued. "PD sent us to his team's body shop to speed the repair, so he's not all bad… I really hope we see a higher caliber of driving this weekend."

BimmerWorld's two-time 2009 race winner, Seth Thomas, salvaged a 4th place after starting 6th. And but for a late race bobble, the Georgian could have had a podium. His finishing position at Mid-Ohio also allowed him to retain 4th place in the driver's championship.

"I was racing hard with Pierre Kleinubing and kept him behind me for most of the race, but I was so focused on getting a run on PD that I left the door open for Pierre, and he capitalized on it.? After that, Pierre did everything he could to place his Acura on the track to keep me behind him.? My car was definitely faster than his in the last few laps, but short of levitating over and past him, settling for 4th was the only choice I had. Rest assured I won't let that happen again."

After reviewing his own performance last weekend, Thomas was quick to recognize yet another impressive drive by teammate Nick Esayian. "I'd say the biggest jump within the team lately has been with Nick. He's been fast, smooth and really zeroed in on his game. After so many year racing Japanese cars, I'm happy to see how confident he's become with German machinery!"

For Esayian, working with Thomas during the race was the best game plan to earn a positive result. "Seth and I had a good run. ?I really couldn't believe that Seth and I couldn't get past PD's damaged car crab walking down the track! ?At first I was trying to avoid getting into the back of him as there had already been enough of that earlier on. ?Once he got a handle on what the car could and couldn't do, he was impossible to pass. ?At the end Seth and I were dogging him and I had to lift as we were going three wide into turn 10 which is a recipe for disaster.

"Unfortunately the dogfight let young Patrick Lindsey squeeze by me and I ended up 6th. ?It wasn't the result I had anticipated earlier in the weekend, but I know I can run in the top-5, and at least we put on a heck of a show for the big Mid-Ohio crowd."

Clay was frank when summarizing his thoughts on the Mid-Ohio event. "I know the three of us aren't satisfied with our results. We gave away some spots in the race and that's something we'll have to tighten up. The good thing is that we're leaving one track where our BMW E90s are strong and headed to another."

With a quick turnaround between Mid-Ohio and Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team returns to the site of Clay's first SPEED Touring Car win in 2008. "James is one of those guys that gets even more focused and determined when things go wrong like they did last Sunday," said Thomas. "He's going to be a handful for the rest of the field, I'd bet."

University of Wisconsin graduate Nick Esayian always looks forward to racing at Elkhart Lake, but not just for the obvious reasons. "I went to school here and fell in love with the food, the people and the culture. But I'm more excited about returning to Road America for my second year in the BMW. The long corners suit the E90's handling better than most other tracks, so with a year of experience under my belt, I can't wait to blast through the forest at maximum attack."

After taking a convincing win at the track a year ago, James Clay won't dwell on his past achievements, but like Esayian, he can't wait to get moving around the sprawling 14-turn, 4.0-mile road course.

"We've worked non-stop with our partners at Moton to get the suspension damping right on our E90s, and Performance Friction has given us the best brakes on the market. If you add in how well Jason Marks and our technicians have put together our cars and the engineering skills Wayne Yawn delivers each weekend, I go into every race with complete faith in my car and my team.

"Road America showed me last year that we can win when we put everything together, and Seth's backed that up two more times this year. Winning in this series takes flawless execution, and that's all we're concerned about. If we execute, we know we can come out on top."

-credit: bwr

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Pierre Kleinubing , Peter Cunningham , James Clay , Nick Esayian , Seth Thomas , Patrick Lindsey
Teams BimmerWorld Racing