It is called the Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point. To the well prepared, it was the 11 Hours at the Point due to the rain. For an unlucky few, it was the 0 Hours at the Point. For the Otto's BMW/Otto's Motorsport Team, trouble began before the...
It is called the Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point. To the well prepared, it was the 11 Hours at the Point due to the rain. For an unlucky few, it was the 0 Hours at the Point. For the Otto's BMW/Otto's Motorsport Team, trouble began before the weekend even started.
On Thursday morning before the event, Otto's BMW was notified by duPont Motorsports that duPont would be unable to provide a car for the Otto's Team. With a little more than 36 hours to go before practice, the Otto's Motorsport team had lost its car, its trailer, two pro drivers, crew, and its entry fee. Gerry Walsh, motor sport director for Otto's BMW, jumped on the phone in search of a race team. "Everyone I spoke to truly wanted to help" said Walsh "but no one had a car that would hold up to 12 hours without proper preparation."
Relief came from the #27 ITS BMW of Barry Battle who was sitting on the "bubble." It was a perfect partnership, as Otto's Motorsport needed a BMW and Barry needed an entry spot. In true grassroots racing fashion, the two teams quickly partnered to challenge the 12 Hours at the Point. Unfortunately, dark clouds were looming overhead. Although the car was well prepared and competitive, a missed shift during qualifying bent a valve and sidelined the car for the rest of the weekend.
According to Walsh, "While the weekend was disappointing for us, we were happy to see that this was an injury-free event." Despite his disappointment, Walsh is upbeat, "This year we learned many lessons and made some new friends. Barry Battle and his crew in particular, deserve thanks for coming through at the last minute. A special thanks goes out to the Otto's Motorsport crew of Sean, Maureen, Joe, Donna, Bart, Bud, and Patrick for their patience and understanding."
This would have been Walsh's second year starting the Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point and the first as a team manager. When asked about returning to the 12 Hours at the Point next year, Walsh stated, "Otto's Motorsport will definitely return- but with our own car."