The BimmerWorld Racing duo of James Clay and Charlie Postins have had a fantastic year in the SRO GT4 America championship. Coming into the penultimate race weekend at Sebring, the duo had won six races in the Am class with their #36 M4 GT4 and finished second in three others. They added to that tally at Sebring, clinching the Am class championship with a win in the first race at Sebring.
Johan Schwartz had a fantastic drive in the first half of race one in the Rooster Hall Racing #80 M4 GT3 that he shared with Todd Brown, holding the overall lead as well as the lead in the Am class, but they lost that lead after coming in for a driver change, as James Clay caught and passed Brown as he tried to get up to speed on cold tires.
Clay held the lead until the end, capturing the Am class win and finishing sixth overall. “It’s been a great, successful year,” said Clay after the race. “We’ve had fun every single weekend. It certainly helps to win, but it’s just been a wonderful year overall!” Charlie Postins, who has also driven with Clay in the Nürburgring 24-hour race, was also ecstatic with the win and the title. “To have this level of success has been above and beyond our expectations,” he said. “I can’t thank the BimmerWorld team enough. It’s been a dream come true.”
The AutoTechnic Racing team also had a strong weekend in GT4 America, with Austen Smith and Zack Anderson finishing third in the Silver class in both races in their #51 M4 GT4, and Rob Walker and Alex Filsinger finished third in the Am class in their #53 M4 GT4 in race one. In race two, the Random Vandals duo of Al Carter and Paul Sparta won the Am class after the #36 BimmerWorld and #53 Auto Technic Racing cars tangled and took each other out.
Jacob Ruud has had a great season in the TC America championship behind the wheel of his Fast Track racing #1 M2 CS, but it was Colin Garrett who was the star in the TCX class at Sebring, winning both races in his Rooster Hall Racing #44 M2 CS. He was joined on the podium by Lucas Catania and Ruud in race one, and by Stephen Cugliari and Catania in race two, as Ruud suffered a tire puncture. “This is probably my favorite win so far,” said Garrett after race two. “Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do, but today definitely helped us. To come here and get a weekend sweep is amazing. I’m super happy and looking forward to going to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.” With the two wins at Sebring, Garrett has pulled within 30 points of Ruud in the TCX class championship.
MINI JCW Team driver Clay Williams also had a solid weekend in the TC class, finishing on the podium in both races, and DRS & Garagistic driver Matthew Ibrahim finished on the podium in second in the first TC class race in his #06 M240iR.
BMWs also performed well in the GT World Challenge America races, with Turner Motorsport drivers Robby Foley and Michael Dinan scoring a strong second place finish in the Pro class in race one. They did not compete in the second race, as Dinan had a family commitment on Sunday.
BimmerWorld had a dramatic weekend in GT World Challenge with their #94 M4 GT3, as they went from being fastest in practice to last in qualifying due to some electrical issues. They were then taken out of race one by an errant Acura, but came back to finish second in the Pro/Am class in race two on Sunday. The weekend that seemed lost was saved by a lot of hard work from the BimmerWorld crew to put the car back together on Saturday night, and strong driving by both Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull on Sunday. The podium finish was their eighth of the year in the Pro/Am class.
The SRO GT World Challenge America, GT4 America, GT America, and TC America series all come to an end in the final race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the weekend of October 7th-9th. That weekend will also feature the Intercontinental GT Challenge 8-Hour race, which the GT World Challenge America competitors will compete in as their finale. Both BimmerWorld and Turner Motorsport will add third drivers to the M4 GT3 entries, with works driver John Edwards joining Robby Foley and Michael Dinan in the Turner car, and Richard Heistand joining Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull in the BimmerWorld car. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy SRO]