For the second year in a row, BimmerWorld Racing took home the winning trophy for the GT4 class in the Intercontinental GT Challenge eight-hour race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Drivers James Clay, Bill Auberlen, and Chandler Hull drove the team’s #36 M4 GT4 to victory, while second place went to the #119 M4 GT4 of Cameron Racing with drivers Sean Quinlan, Tom Dyer, and Guy Cosmo.
The Indy race was round two of the series, which is sanctioned by the SRO and holds two other races at Spa in Belgium and Kyalami in South Africa, and the Indy race is the only one of the three that lets GT4-spec cars participate along with the usual GT3-spec entries. The only BMW entry in the GT3 class was the Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 with drivers Robby Foley, Michael Dinan, and Connor De Phillippi, but they had to withdrawal the car before the race when Dinan fell ill (not with COVID).
The victory for BimmerWorld came in a hectic race that was riddled with caution periods and questionable calls by the SRO officials. Through it all, the BimmerWorld car stayed in contention and out of trouble. “I’m certainly proud of the win, especially since it’s a repeat,” said Clay. “You have to adapt to ever-changing situations, which is what we did. It was a lot of hard work to run an eight-hour race with two cars. Our cars were mechanically perfect, and we ran a clean race but had good battles in the GT4 class. Usually, the M4 GT4 suffers in getting power down on tight corner exits, but we were pretty good at Indy, and we crushed others under braking. It was a well-balanced package.”
There were a few hiccups during the race for the winners. A small issue with an air jack cost the team around ten seconds with the #36 car, and a slightly short pit stop (SRO requires minimum times for pit stops) cost them a drive-thru penalty, but they fought back for the win. The second BimmerWorld entry, the #82 M4 GT4 of Nick Galante, Devin Jones, and James Walker, finished fourth in the GT4 class. It was a momentous occasion for Jones, who was in his first race in over a year after breaking his back in an accident during an IMSA race at Virginia International Raceway in 2020.
The Cameron Racing team that finished second also had a clean race, which was a great rebound from the day before, when their M4 GT4 suffered a mechanical failure on the pace lap of the SRO GT4 America race. “Finished P2 in the eight hours of Indy,” said Quinlan on his Facebook page after the race. “No mechanical issues, no penalties, and the whole Cameron racing crew killed it today.”
The other two M4 GT4s in the field didn’t fare as well. The Classic BMW car finished seventh in the GT4 class and the Random Vandals car had a DNF.—David Haueter
[Photos courtesy SRO Motorsports Group.]