BMW racers scored two overall wins in Touring Car and a class win in GT4 SprintX when SRO Motorsports Group America ran at Sonoma Raceway on August 4–6.
The weekend at Sonoma, like the July event at VIR, featured three races in most race groups to make up for earlier events canceled due to the coronavirus.
The bright spot for BMW in the 60-minute, two-driver GT4 SprintX series was a Silver class win on Sunday for Tim Barber and Cole Ciraulo in a CCR TFB Racing M4 GT4. ST Racing’s Harry Gottsacker and Nick Wittmer finished third in Silver in that race. In the earlier SprintX races, BMW’s best finishes in the Silver class were a third-place for Gottsacker and Wittmer on Friday and another third for ST Racing’s Jon Miller and Samantha Tan on Saturday.
In the Pro-Am class, BMW’s dominance at VIR did not move along with the cars when they came to Sonoma. Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 were the best BMW finishers in all three races; they were fifth in class on Friday, third on Saturday, and seventh on Sunday. Bill Auberlen and James Walker in the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 that had won two races at VIR struggled with setup at Sonoma, finishing eighth in class in all three races. Overall winners in the three GT4 SprintX races were Matt Travis and Jason Hart in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 on Friday, Nicholai Elghanayan, and Mads Siljehaug in a KTM X-Bow (say crossbow) on Saturday, and Michael Dinan and Robby Foley in an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on Sunday.
In the GT4 sprint series that runs 50-minute sprints, Sean Quinlan in the lone BMW finished fourth in the Am class on Friday, eighth on Saturday, and third on Sunday. Am class winners in Sprint across the three races were Michael Dinan, Paul Terry, and Jeff Burton, all in Aston Martin Vantage GT4s.
The Touring Car class ran two races at Sonoma, both hotly contested and both dominated by the M240i Racing. James Clay in the #36 BimmerWorld M240iR won on Friday, ahead of Johan Schwartz in the #31 Hard Motorsports M240iR, and Bryson Lew in the #27 Classic BMW M240iR. On Saturday Schwartz won ahead of Clay and Lew.
While the Touring Car class ran just two races at Sonoma, the Touring Car A class ran three. In race one, Hyundai driver Tyler Gonzales finished ahead of the Mini JCWs of Matt Pombo and Tomas Mejia, on Saturday Pombo won ahead of Mejia and Gonzales, and on Sunday Gonzales won ahead of Honda Civic Si racer Kevin Boehm and Clay Williams in a third Mini JCW. Mejia, trying to move up at the start, collided with Pombo; both racers recovered, with Pombo and Mejia finishing seventh and eighth in class.
The series runs next at Road America on August 28–30.—Brian Morgan
[Photo of top three Touring Cars courtesy BMW Motorsport. Photo of CCR TFB M4 GT4 courtesy SRO.]