BimmerWorld: Utah SPEED Touring Car Race Report 3-car BimmerWorld BMW team continues to build momentum going into the Lime Rock double-header this weekend. Coming off a team best 2nd and 3rd place finish at the previous SPEED World Challenge ...
BimmerWorld: Utah SPEED Touring Car Race Report
3-car BimmerWorld BMW team continues to build momentum going into the Lime Rock double-header this weekend.
Coming off a team best 2nd and 3rd place finish at the previous SPEED World Challenge touring Car round at VIR, the BimmerWorld BMW E90 team went into last weekend's race at Miller Motorsports Park with modest expectations from the 3 mile track.
"It's a perfect track layout for front-wheel drive cars, so we knew we'd be in for a good fight with our rear-drive E90's," said BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay.
Qualifying at the Tooele, Utah track found the top seven positions filled with FWD cars; BimmerWorld ace Seth Thomas was the first RWD car, starting 8th. James Clay would start 10th, with Nick Esayian in 13th.
Clay rocketed off the start line, moving up to 4th heading into turn one, but as a few cars attempted to crash directly in front of his BMW E90, Clay was forced to abandon the position while taking avoiding action. "That was one of my better starts, but as cars began to spin in front of me, I had no choice but to back off and pick my way past."
In the 42-minute long race, Thomas improved one spot to 7th, Esayian two spots to 11th, and Clay, suffering a brake fitting failure just two laps from the end, fell from 8th to 16th.
As Thomas kept touch with the lead pack, Esayian was engaged in a race-long duel with an old adversary. "I had a pretty nice race early on with Chip Herr. We changed positions multiple times; the racing was close and super clean. We've gone door to door many times and I really respect Chip and enjoy the tight quarters racing. The two of us always have a good laugh after the race. Unfortunately he did get the best of me at Miller, but we'll fix that at Lime Rock.." he said with a smile.
While the team's results weren't as strong as they earned at VIR, Thomas knows a championship-caliber team like BimmerWorld will take the highs and lows in stride. "So far this year we have shown the speed of the BMW by setting fast lap after fast lap. We are heading to a track that is known for being a BMW track in the series so you will see us moving up in points after this weekend. As far as us being this close to the points lead without any factory effort at this point shows how competitive this series is along with how well built of a car the BMW. This is a car that is showing race winning speed on a very limited budget because we have put all the right tools in place to put us here. Lime Rock will help us to prove this correct."
With the Lime Rock double-header this weekend in Connecticut, the BimmerWorld trio is looking forward to returning to a track that better suits their BMW's. And with Thomas currently 5th in the driver's championship, Clay 8th, and Esayian 11th, coming out of Lime Rock with all three drivers in the top-10 in the driver's championship is a goal for the Dublin, Virginia-based team.
For Nick Esayian, memories of last year's Lime Rock event provide extra motivation for him this weekend. "I've supported the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for the last five years or so. They provide grants for the kids of special operations folks killed in training or action. Last year, prior to the race, on Memorial Day I was trying to think of a way to show the veterans and their families at the track and at home on TV my appreciation for their sacrifice. We took a massive American Flag around the track on the parade lap. It was pretty moving seeing the fans and workers around the track standing up and saluting the colors. These folks were the veterans... It was pretty moving. On the other hand it was a HUGE flag and I was a little worried on the down hill about hitting the bridge... We cleared it but my arm was pretty sore by the time we made it around. It was worth it."