A Weekend of Surprises for BimmerWorld in MosportDoubleheader weekend highlighted by Seth Thomas earning 4th place, a Hard Charger Award, and the birth of his daughter. Seth Thomas and Nick Esayian Positive results for Thomas and Esayian ...
A Weekend of Surprises for BimmerWorld in MosportDoubleheader weekend highlighted by Seth Thomas earning 4th place, a Hard Charger Award, and the birth of his daughter.
Seth Thomas and Nick Esayian Positive results for Thomas and Esayian from Mosport.
James Clay Despite his love for the track, this weekend was a disappointment for Clay.
A two race swing through Ontario, Canada last weekend for round three and four of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series delivered a wide range of weather conditions and race results for the BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW team.
Team owner/driver James Clay had been counting down the days for his team's return to the Mosport track, located just outside of Toronto. "I LOVE Mosport and I was really looking forward to going back. I had an issue last year halfway through the race while running second and have wanted another shot at the track."
With a unique practice/qualify/race format both Saturday and Sunday, Clay and his teammates Seth Thomas and Nick Esayian used a test session on Friday to refine the handling of their BMW E90s. "We came in strong and I got up to speed immediately the first test session and felt like we were on the way," said Clay. "We tweaked my setup a little and by Friday evening, we were ready to go."
But all of Friday's work would be for naught as the skies above Mosport darkened and let loose a downpour that turned Saturday's race into a battle of attrition. Clay posted the 3rd fastest qualifying time on a drying track during a break in the weather, but the clouds opened up again before the race. "The last time we were at Mosport the force of the rain was incredible and this year was no exception," Clay said. "We have made huge developments in our cars for the dry, and after a great race in the rain at Road Atlanta (in 2007) I hoped we'd fare as well on Saturday."
Clay's hope would go unfulfilled, as all three BimmerWorld/GearWrench cars struggled to find grip in the standing water that coated the track. "It wasn't a day for the record books," said Nick Esayian, driver of the #34 Debt Cures BMW, "but we persevered and brought home the cars safely to race again on Sunday. With the obvious lack of wet grip even in the warm-up lap, we realized this was our best outcome."
The BimmerWorld/GearWrench team would awake to blue skies on Sunday, and for Seth Thomas, the weekend was filled with excitement on and off the track. With his wife expected to deliver their first child the same week as the Mosport doubleheader, Thomas was focused on the home front in Georgia and the race track in Ontario.
"Yeah, there were races going on for me North and South of the border!" Thomas said. "My wife was awesome this weekend. She would keep me updated so I didn't have to think about being away. Friday night she emailed me pictures of our daughter Adelyn on a special blanket that had all the different color flags that corner workers use just to keep me focused."
As Thomas says, the packed weekend of racing was actually a blessing. "We stayed busy enough this whole weekend with two races and lots of track time that it didn't leave me much time to think about anything other than racing. Now it's time to dart to the airport and get home to see my wife and daughter!"
Race two at Mosport would deliver positive results for 2/3rds of the BimmerWorld GearWrench trio. "I guess I'll have to mark this race down again on next year's calendar," said a disappointed James Clay. "Something happened at the start and I didn't have any 'go'. This track owes me one, but I'm really happy for Seth and Nick today. They really drove hard and made a strong impression with our BMWs."
Although he already had a great prize awaiting him at home, Thomas would deliver an award-winning performance at the track on Sunday, claiming the Sunoco "Hard Charger Award" for improving the greatest number of positions on the opening lap.
"The launch our BMWs get on the standing starts helped me get the positions I needed to crack the top-5," Thomas said. Rocketing from 8th to 4th, he spent the entire race battling the factory cars from Mazda and Acura. "It was a strong finish for BimmerWorld - it's just what we needed to stay in the points race. Now it is time for us to focus on our race at Watkins Glen July 4th so we can put another win on the board for our fans."
Thomas' teammate Nick Esayian spent race number two locked in a battle with the 1st and 3rd place finishers from Saturday. "(BimmerWorld engineer) Wayne (Yawn) made some changes to my car after qualifying which made my BMW as good as it was all weekend. I had the fastest race lap until the last few laps of the race and had fun chasing "the Wittmer brothers." I almost got the 7th spot back on the last lap but Nick (Wittmer) did a nice job of keeping me at bay. All in all, it was good to know we're leaving Mosport with fast race cars. Bring on Watkins Glen."
In the coming six week gap in the schedule, The BimmerWorld GearWrench team will return to their Dublin, VA headquarters and continue development efforts on their E90 BMWs. "Mosport should have been an incredible weekend for us" says Clay, "but at this point we will focus on improvement and have a lot of time to think about making Watkins Glen a better weekend."