Karl Wittmer, driving the #91 Classic BMW M235i Racing, won the first of two Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car races at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, May 26; Johan Schwartz drove the #80 Rooster Hall Racing M235i Racing to second place. Wittmer battled with his Classic BMW teammate Matt Travis in another M235iR to secure the win in Race One; Travis finished just 1.24 seconds back in the 40-minute sprint. Series points-leader Vesko Kosarov was third in a Nissan 370Z. Schwartz, who set the fastest lap of the race, dropped out after fourteen laps with an electrical problem.
Wittmer said, “It’s a management game at this track because it’s so left-handed, with one right-hand corner, so you have to have the perfect setup. Luckily, the guys at Classic BMW gave me the perfect setup, and all I had to do was battle myself and try to keep Matt [Travis] in check. So the plan now that there isn’t a scratch on the car is, for Race Two, this is Touring Car, so let’s have at it!”
While Wittmer ran near the front in Race Two, it was Schwartz who took the win and once again set the fastest lap. Jeff Ricca finished second in a Genesis, Travis rounded out the podium in third, and Wittmer finished fourth.
The GTS SprintX class, in which the M4 GT4 competes, runs two races at Lime Rock on Memorial Day. The best qualifying BMW for the first Monday race was the fifth-place Epic Motorsports M4 GT4 driven by Randy Mueller and Michael Camus. Nicolai Elghanayan took the pole in a KTM X-bow. The M4 GT4, a strong contender in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS-SprintX class at COTA and VIR, struggled in the third event of the season at Lime Rock Park.
BMW’s best outcome in the first of two 60-minute races on Memorial Day at Lime Rock was the seventeenth overall, twelfth in Pro/Am class finish of Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer in the #17 Classic BMW M4 GT4 in a race won by Nicolai Elghanayan in a KTM X-bow. The best BMW finishers in the Am class were Randy Mueller and Michael Camus in the #3 Epic Motorsports M4 GT4 in seventh place.
In the second race of the day, Aurora Straus and Jon Miller finished twelfth overall and fourth in the Am class in the #36 ST Racing M4 GT4, and their teammates, Nick Wittmer and Samantha Tan, who finished nineteenth overall and eleventh in class, were the best BMW finishers in Pro/Am. The overall win in Race Two went to Drew Stavely in a Ginetta G55.
The GTS-X SprintX class runs again at Portland International Raceway on July 13–15.—Brian Morgan