BimmerWorld Leaves It All On The Track In The "Battle by the Bay" Tough breaks aside, team displays never-say-die tenacity St. Petersburg, Fla. April 2: Taking every bad break the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race ...
BimmerWorld Leaves It All On The Track In The "Battle by the Bay"
Tough breaks aside, team displays never-say-die tenacity
St. Petersburg, Fla. April 2: Taking every bad break the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race handed them, BimmerWorld Racing drivers, James Clay, Seth Thomas and Paul Goldman, gave everything they had to defend BMW's status in the touring car field. Today's race was part of the IndyCar Racing League Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
"Certainly, the finishing positions don't reflect our effort," said team owner, James Clay, reflecting on the day's final outcome. "Given the recent 'competition adjustments' made by the Series, and the design of the track, we knew this would be a tough weekend for our BMWs. Once the flag dropped, things got pretty wild."
Seth Thomas, #38 BimmerWorld BMW 325, qualified 9th for the race and James Clay #36 BimmerWorld BMW 325, started 12th. Paul Goldman, #37 BimmerWorld BMW 325, running on a street course for the first time, started 28th.
"Seth and I were having good runs in the early going," added Clay. "Unlike Paul, we came through the first lap melee in pretty good shape. I think we ran three or four laps under caution, but then once the race went green, we were able to pick up some track positions."
"At one point I was having a good run with Will Turner in the #2 car," said Seth Thomas. "We were fighting for sixth place and the lead pack was in sight. Knowing we had run quite a while under yellow, and with Will in my mirrors, I was pushing pretty hard. Unfortunately, the way we were crashing the curbs, one of my control arms gave out. When I entered turn one, I just couldn't hang on and Will was able to get by me. I did another lap, but then the car spun going into turn one. It was obvious my day was over so I got the car safely out of the way."
Around lap 17, Clay was locked in battle with #99 Courtney and #6 Wittmer for seventh place. Although, it wasn't long before Clay's car started losing fluids and his handling began going away.
Forced to pit lane on several occasions, Clay managed to keep the car in the race and finish 22nd. Thomas' early exit left him in 26th, while Goldman finished 20th.
"We knew we'd have our hands full this weekend," expressed Clay. "I'm disappointed because of all the hard work we put in. But, by the same token, I'm proud of our effort and the fact our guys never gave up."
This will be the last event for the current E46 BMW 325's as development continues on the new BimmerWorld E90 BMW 325i's, scheduled to debut for round 3 at Mid-Ohio. Clay talked about the new E90 and BimmerWorld's commitment to performance and the company's race program: "The good news is we now can focus our attention exclusively on getting the new cars ready for round 3 at Mid-Ohio," said James. "Everyone at the shop has been doing double duty prepping the current cars while making progress on the build out of the new E90s."