The SRO GT4 America and TC America championships opened their respective seasons at Sonoma Raceway in California this past weekend and have a plethora of BMW entries among them. If you love seeing BMWs racing against each other on some of the best tracks in North America, these are the series to watch. There were no less than nine M4 GT4s entered from five different teams in GT4 America, and eight M2 CS Racing cars from five teams in TC America, along with a pair of M240i Racing entries.
BMWs won their respective classes in both series at Sonoma. BimmerWorld Racing’s James Clay and Charlie Postins had a fantastic weekend, winning the Am class in the first GT4 America race (SRO holds two races per race weekend) after starting from pole, and finishing second in race two. It was especially satisfying for Clay, who had given up the M4 GT3 he was supposed to drive in the GT World Challenge series this year, to move to the GT4 America series with Postins. “Charlie gave me the car in a great spot, and I had a healthy enough lead,” said Clay after the race. “You know we don’t have the best car for this track, but we made it happen today.” Auto Technic also had a strong weekend, with Austen Smith and Zac Anderson finishing third in the Silver class in both races. The best finish in either race in the Pro-Am class was also from Auto Technic, with Tom Capizzi and John Capestro-Dubets finishing seventh out of nineteen cars in race two.
The M2 CS Racing is the only car that’s competing in the TC America TCX class, and Fast Track Racing driver and defending series champion Jacob Ruud picked up where he left off from last year, winning both races at Sonoma amid a stronger and more diverse field. “Everybody at Fast Track Racing knows exactly what they’re doing,” Ruud said. “We’ve been here before, we know how to set up the car for this track, and I’m looking forward to the competition this year. My competitors did a great job running the race that they did today.”
Stephen Cugliari finished second in race one in his Accelerating Performance M2 CS, followed on the podium by Lucas Catania from Rigid Speed. Those two drivers also finished on the podium behind Ruud in race two, but swapped positions. In the TC class, Clay Williams finished third in race one and second in race two in his Mini Cooper JCW Pro entered by the Mini JCW Team.
Another result that BMW fans may be interested in is that Steve Dinan won the GT4 class of GT America race one (which combines GT3- and GT4-spec race cars in a single-driver series) in an Audi R8 LMS run under his CarBahn with Peregrine Racing team name. Dinan, of course, founded the BMW tuning company which bears his name and ran it for many years before selling it. He now owns CarBahn Autoworks, which is a BMW and Mercedes tuning shop in San Jose, California. Dinan’s CarBahn with Peregrine Racing team also runs a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as a Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport in the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series.—David Haueter
[Photos courtesy SRO America.]