BimmerWorld Ready for Round Two at New Jersey SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car team ready to maintain their momentum this weekend in New Jersey after winning the season opener at Sebring. Dublin, Virginia's BimmerWorld Racing turned a...
BimmerWorld Ready for Round Two at New Jersey
SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car team ready to maintain their momentum this weekend in New Jersey after winning the season opener at Sebring.
Dublin, Virginia's BimmerWorld Racing turned a winter of non-stop work into a captivating win for Seth Thomas at the season opening round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series last month in Sebring, Florida.
Followed home by teammate Nick Esayian in 5th and team owner/driver James Clay in 6th, Thomas was not only elated with his own success, but with his BimmerWorld/GearWrench team having filled half of the top-6 spots in the race.
And now with a six week break between Sebring and this weekend's round two at New Jersey Motorsports Park having passed, the three-car BMW E90 effort is ready for another strong performance at the twisting 2.25 mile, 14-turn circuit in Millville, NJ.
For Thomas, the hiatus has given him ample time to reflect on his first Series victory. "Starting off the season with a win and leading the points has been a huge confidence booster for me. This is the situation BimmerWorld and I have been trying to put ourselves in since we first started racing in World Challenge.
"To come out of the box fast in a new season with new rules and lots of unknowns is just great. James Clay, our crew chief Jason Marks, and all of the boys have been working overtime since Sebring to keep the momentum going in our favor. Winning was great, but you can't rest on your last performance -- we'll be fighting to deliver the same kind of results at New Jersey."
While the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team has shifted their focus to New Jersey, the outpouring of well wishers for Thomas has kept the Georgia native on a high since he returned home.
"I didn't know I had that many friends! Thanks to the internet and a lot of BMW fans, I had multiple voicemails, text messages and emails all within minutes of winning the race at Sebring. A couple of guys from BMW Motorsport even sent emails congratulating me. It was pretty cool to see that many fans keeping track, and we're certainly proud to be the main team representing BMW in the Series."
For Nick Esayian, driver of the Debt Cures E90, a clean run to 5th at Sebring was just the start the World Challenge veteran had hoped for. If all goes according to plan, this weekend's race and the remainder of the season will follow the same script.
"Qualifying towards the front at Sebring allowed me to avoid some of the rough and tumble driving I'd been on the receiving end of last year. I'm coming into New Jersey 5th in points and the BimmerWorld team has really done a lot to ensure our results continue to improve. My focus is to make sure all their effort pays off. I don't think there is a team working harder than we are right now, and that was evident at Sebring."
Esayian's teammates have both broken through to claim their first Series win within the past twelve months, and it's something Nick has been working at feverishly to emulate.
"I started working with a trainer at the end of last year, Rebecca Sue Holladay, to get into peak physical shape. So far, I've shed about 20lbs and have focused on core strength and endurance which I really felt helped me towards the end of the Sebring race. Within the team, James and Seth and I all share our data and cooperate completely as teammates, but it's up to me to take that last step.
"James made a comment after his win at Road America last year that stuck with me: 'I drove like I was supposed to win, and that attitude changed everything.' Walter Payton didn't walk out on the field thinking he was going to get hurt, fumble or lose yards when he carried the ball...he was planning on coming out and kicking butt, which was the culmination of his preparation, teammates, and attitude. It's been a journey to get to that same place, but I'm there now."
If one person within the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team has been thankful for the long pause between races, it's owner James Clay. Sebring delivered fantastic results, but the extra time prior to racing in New Jersey has afforded Clay's team the time to hone the program and develop their cars to an even higher level.
"We're in the pleasant position of having had no mechanical issues and no damage following Round 1 at Sebring, but we have still been busy. Sebring was an incredibly smooth weekend, and I attribute it mostly to the huge amount of preparation and testing we did over the winter. The past six weeks have been spent testing at New Jersey, implementing a couple of new developments on the cars, refining some processes that didn't go 100% smoothly at Sebring, and making sure we are again fully ready for anything that might be thrown at us this weekend."
Evolving the team's BMW E90s is a never ending process for BimmerWorld, and after seeing where the competition showed their strength at Sebring, Clay's team has concentrated on making the most of their own performance attributes. "New Jersey has a very long front straight, but luckily, the turns leading onto this straight won't highlight the early throttle application the FWD cars enjoy. With the remaining 2/3rds of the track being areas that reward proper handling, I'm hoping that our recent testing and work at the track will bring us to the event better-prepared than our peers."