James Clay and Devin Jones in the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 finished a strong second in the two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Sebring. Their finish moves them into a tie for first in Grand Sport class drivers’ points.
Both drivers put in strong performances. At the start of the race Clay moved up quickly to challenge Robby Foley in the #96 Turner Motorsport M4 GT4 for fourth place. He found his way by and moved up to third. Clay pitted during the first yellow flag period, earlier than planned; he said later that tire wear in the Sebring heat dictated the early stop. After the handoff Jones kept up the pace, running third overall and then passing the McLaren driven by Jess Lazare with just over six minutes left to move into second. He finished a close second to the winning Audi R8 LMS GT4 driven by Jeff Westphal and Tyler McQuarrie. On his way to the finish, Jones set the fastest lap of the race.
Clay said, “It was a great day—an almost perfect day. We had a good car over a long run. We knew we had a good car. Devin put it at the top of the charts in one of the practice sessions, which is not necessarily what we focus on, and we weren’t at the top of qualifying, but we knew we had a race car under us that was going to move forward, especially as the hot surface wore out the tires. I was proud of my stint, and I’m obviously super proud of Devin. What a teammate! What an awesome job. The guys executed fantastic pitstops, and it was a really good day.”
Greg Liefooghe and Henry Schmitt in the #88 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 finished seventh, while Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the #96 Turner Motorsport M4 GT4 that Foley had qualified fourth on the grid finished tenth, battling with overheating problems much of the way.
Michelin Pilot Challenge competition resumes at Mid-Ohio on May 3-5.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BimmerWorld Racing.]