Seth Thomas and James Clay finish BimmerWorld BMW in 7th and 9th at Sebring Sebring, Florida (March 17, 2006): Seth Thomas of Cumming Georgia got an impressive launch with his BimmerWorld BMW 325 from his 5th place starting position and as the...
Seth Thomas and James Clay finish BimmerWorld BMW in 7th and 9th at Sebring
Sebring, Florida (March 17, 2006): Seth Thomas of Cumming Georgia got an impressive launch with his BimmerWorld BMW 325 from his 5th place starting position and as the World Challenge Touring Car field headed into Sebring's ample turn one he was all over the eventual race winner Bill Auberlen.
"He (Thomas) started to make a move on me into one, he had such a good run I actually had to close the door on him and hope he wasn't going to turn me around," Auberlen said of the start.
"I thought about it" Seth said about diving inside of Auberlen into turn one. "But then I thought that I would follow Bill around and see what he is up to and see what it is like. I almost went for it, but if you hesitate you don't have it and I hesitated."
Seth was then left to try to hold off the elite of the Touring Car world as Randy Pobst, Pierre Kleinubing, Charles Espenlaub and defending Touring Car champion Peter Cunningham all wanted by.
Unfortunately a brake lockup later made getting by all too easy!
"I came in a little hot (into turn 10), a little bit of lockup in the front and went off the track a little bit," Seth recalled. "No big deal, I recovered fairly well. But the car went into an over steer situation under braking after that."
"It was tough, those guys are good," Seth said with a big smile!
Seth would later fall out of the top ten after a spin in turn 17.
"I went into 17 and it was one of those deals where the rear end starts leading the front around," Seth said philosophically. "What you do. After that I adjusted the brake bias and it was fine and I could settle down and make up positions."
"It was still a fast car right to the end. I could have hung with those boys," Seth concluded of his weekend. "I'll be back up there. Randy and Bill and those guys had better watch out because I'll be back!"
James Clay also got off to a good start and rallied from a 15th starting position to finish his BimmerWorld BMW in 9th place.
"I was still haunted by my last minute adjustment before qualifying," James said of the early part of the race. "I am still trying to get the brakes all dialed in. I still couldn't come into the braking zones with authority until half way through the race. I caught back up and it was just a matter of 10 to 20 feet every braking zone because the Performance Friction Brakes were working well once it was dialed in."
James got into the top ten once but had to do it all over again as he came up on the short end of three wide on a track that seldom allows two cars to race side by side.
"It got a little dicey when we went through Bishops bend 3 wide and I got shuffled back a bit because of that, but the car was really strong so I did get past 6 cars and I'll take that but it would have nice to have finished further up."
"It is amazing that every year we run less yellow laps," James said of not getting a full course caution that would have pulled him up with the leaders. "To run this race under full green is great for the series but it is tough not to have a yellow when you are trying to make up ground!"
Unfortunately for Paul Goldman his first World Challenge race wasn't to be as a rear axle broke when he tried to launch the #37 BimmerWorld BMW at the start and the car never moved more than a couple of feet.
Because he never actually reached the start/finish line he was classified as a non starter for the race.
"It was unfortunate, but that is what racing is all about," Paul said after the race.
"It isn't anyone's fault it is just bad luck," Paul added. "The crew did a great job this weekend. I would have liked to have been able to run the race but that is the way things go sometimes."
"It looks like we are going to have to take a look at those axles and time replace them," James Clay said of Goldman's problem. "It is a shame that he was a DNS (did not start)."