BimmerWorld: Mosport SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Preview The Elkhart Lake victors roll into Canada with a wave of momentum and a thirst to add to their success at the high speed Mosport track. "Rain at Mosport can be absolutely brutal." -...
BimmerWorld: Mosport SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Preview
The Elkhart Lake victors roll into Canada with a wave of momentum and a thirst to add to their success at the high speed Mosport track.
"Rain at Mosport can be absolutely brutal." - James Clay
No. 36 Car
Inclement weather challenged the drivers in 2006.
The BimmerWorld BMW World Challenge team sets down at one of their favorite events this weekend at the high speed circuit just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by picturesque hills at the tree-lined 2.5 mile circuit, Mosport famously demands both car and driver to perform at their maximum to earn a top finish.
After a commanding victory at Elkhart Lake two weeks ago, BimmerWorld's owner/driver James Clay has his sights set on taming Mosport's rollercoaster-esque track.
"Elkhart Lake was a wonderful achievement for BimmerWorld and I think it confirmed that we're at a good stage of development with our BMW E90 race cars. We figured something out at Road America on the setup and the car is very good right now. Hopefully, that advantage will continue for a few races. One thing we are able to bring into Mosport is some enthusiasm from the entire team, which always makes the workday seem shorter. It's never easy to win in World Challenge, and I don't expect Mosport to be anything less than another huge fight, but we're up for another battle."
Seth Thomas, driver of the #38 BMW, doesn't mind the spotlight shining on the BimmerWorld team. "I would say that we now have everyone talking and have the other team's attention. They have known we can win for a while now but until we delivered they didn't really pay attention to it. I hope to follow James' example and drive to the front at Mosport."
"I think any type of real sport requires a certain level of confidence to be successful," said Nick Esayian, pilot of the #34 Debt Cures E90, about the team's boost in morale. "Tom Brady doesn't walk onto the field and say, 'Maybe I'll throw a completion today.' When you have had some misfortune that confidence level isn't where it needs to be^ÅRight now we have confidence and want to maintain it."
Weather conditions have wreaked havoc during past years when the SPEED TC series has visited the track, and as James Clay knows from experience, it could play a role in this year's race. "Rain at Mosport can be absolutely brutal. It's already an intimidating track and the rain seems to come in sheets, making it hard to see anything. The worst memory I have of the track was coming off of Road America two years ago where my car had gone into a wall hard due to a suspension failure. The first session at Mosport--my first time on track since the wreck--was in the rain and the car was sliding everywhere and making plenty of noises. To say I was on edge would be an understatement."
Even in the dry the track has provided a few heart-stopping moments for Thomas and Esayian. "I lost it in T4 one year during qualifying," Seth shared. "The turn was a 5th gear, full throttle corner back then. The only lift was from shifting to 5th gear right before entry. I shifted to 5th, turned in, but was a little bit late and missed the apex. There's a bump at the apex that you hit when you turn in late^Åand of course I hit it^Åand it started a death slide. The rear end stepped out at over 100 MPH and I stayed planted in the throttle^ÅI put on a wonderful display of tire smoke while the BMW straight-6 engine was screaming^ÅI don't know how in the world I did it, but I kept the car from leaving the track and made the apex for the next turn!"
Nick was more fortunate to have only served as a witness to some of the carnage during the '07 race, but it was no less memorable. "Last year [Michael] Galati went off at Mach 1 on the outside of Turn 8. I think God reached down and kept his car off the tire wall and put him back on the track perpendicular to traffic without hitting anyone. I saw it coming and thought to myself, 'Jeez Galati, don't do that!' Obviously it worked out, but it was a bit dicey for a moment^Åwe have quite a cast of characters in SPEED Touring Car so there's never a dull moment."
All three drivers love Mosport for the intense racing, but the Canadian fans and surroundings are also a major attraction of the event. "The fans at Mosport are amazing!" commented Clay. "Rain or shine, they are out in full force and wildly enthusiastic. We always make it to Hanc's in Bowmanville a couple of times every trip and try to stop at Timmy's for breakfast. It really adds to the quality of the weekend. I can't wait for practice to get under way."
-credit: bimmerworld racing