BimmerWorld Team Seeks Turnaround At Home Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The sophomore slump, a phrase typically given to athletes or teams struggling in their second season, isn’t something BimmerWorld team owner James Clay believes is happening to his second-year Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge effort.

“I think it’s sometimes contentment, after doing so well the first year, but for me, it’s not that way at all,” Clay said. “Some of the things that have happened to us, I’ve never seen before. I sometimes believe in a sophomore slump, but I don’t see us being in one.
“We’re not content with the Street Tuner finishes we’ve had – several resulting from mechanical issues – that we’ve never seen, and there has been a lot of bad luck that we haven’t created ourselves,” Clay said. “And our Grand Sport program hasn’t deluted our ST effort. We have all of the right pieces on both sides.”

The Dublin, Va., based team has two of its cars in the top 10 – one each in the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes – but would like stronger finishes in the upcoming races, including the next event, the Bosch Engineering 200 at Virginia International Raceway.

BimmerWorld earned its best finish with its four cars in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, when Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets – both in their first race with the team – finished third in ST in the No. 81 CRC Industries/Escort BMW 328i. Teammates Ken Wilden and Bob Michaelian, driving in the GS class in the No. 78 Biz Rate/GearWrench BMW M3, finished sixth.

Drivers who finished second in the ST standings last season, Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann, are driving in different cars with different co-drivers this season, and are both seeking their first top 10s of 2011 at VIR. Thomas, who is paired with Clay in the No. 79 CRC Industries/Johnstone Supply BMW M3, has a best finish of 15th, at Barber Motorsports Park.

Heumann, together with co-driver David White in the No. 80 GearWrench/Johnstone Supply BMW 328i, secured a best finish of 12th at Daytona. Heumann and White are ninth in points.
All told, the fourth round of the season, at a track just 150 miles away from the shop, may be the momentum builder BimmerWorld needs to mirror last year’s performance.

“We’re accustomed to consistent results,” Clay said. “We’ve tested at VIR before Barber and we’re going to test there again. We’re hoping for and thinking we can achieve a couple of podiums in the ST class. We’ve struggled with the GS program, but we’ve made a lot of progress, and we hope for a podium in that class as well.”

The Bosch Engineering 200 will start at 11:15 a.m. ET Saturday, May 14, with coverage on SPEED at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, May 22.

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