The SRO GT4 America and TC America championships visited beautiful Virginia International Raceway at the official midseason point of the season, and the track proved to be happy hunting grounds for the BMW entries in both series.
In GT4 America, BMW M4 GT4 entries filled the top four spots in qualifying for race one, with the #51 Auto Technic entry driven by John Capestro-Dubets (JCD) and Zac Anderson on the pole overall and in the Silver class. BimmerWorld put two cars on the poles in their respective classes, with the #82 M4 GT4 of Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker, Jr. on the pole in Pro-Am and the #36 car of James Clay and Charlie Postins on pole in the Am class.
Those cars proved to be the fastest cars in race one as well, with a great battle taking place behind the #51 car of JCD and Anderson and the #92 Random Vandals M4 GT4 of Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch. The two battled back and forth the entire race, and the last half of the race was particularly exciting as JCD and Koch went door to door with some great racing action. Koch eventually passed JCD for the lead the win, but it went right down to the wire. If you only have time to watch one SRO race this year, watch race one from VIR at this link.
BimmerWorld had a fantastic day on their home track in front of employees and fans, with Tyler McQuarrie and James Walker, Jr. getting the win in Pro-Am and team owner/driver James Clay and Charlie Postins winning in the Am class. BMW M4 GT4 entries also took podium spots in each of the classes behind the winners, with the #88 STR38 Motorsports entry of Chandler Hull and Harry Gottsacker finishing third in Silver, and the #44 Rooster Hall entry of Johan Schwartz and Colin Garrett finished third in Pro-Am. It was an all-BMW podium in the Am class, with the STR38 Motorsports #438 M4 GT4 of Chris Allen and Robert Mau finishing second, followed by the Random Vandals #98 car of Paul Sparta and Al Carter.
It was much of the same in the GT4 America race two at VIR, but this time it was the #51 Auto Technic entry of JCD and Anderson getting the win ahead of the #98 Random Vandals car of Boehm and Koch, after Anderson passed Boehm for the win late in the race. The #82 BimmerWorld entry of McQuarrie and Walker, Jr. was running in second but took the lead and a second consecutive win in Pro-Am when Rooster Hall driver Johan Schwartz tangled with the class-leading Porsche and forced it off track, which let the #82 of Walker, Jr. past. Clay and Postins also won again in the Am class to give BimmerWorld double wins in both Pro-Am and Am classes on the weekend. The #438 STR38 Motorsports entry of Mau and Allen finished second in Am in race two.
With the second half of the season still to come with visits to Road America, Sebring, and Indianapolis, BMW teams are leading the championship in the Silver class (Auto Technic #51), Am (BimmerWorld #36), and Pro-Am (BimmerWorld #82).
BMW M2 CS entries also dominated in the TC America TCX class races at VIR, with Fast Track Racing driver Maddie Aust getting wins in both races. She inherited the win in race one after BMW drivers Colin Garrett and Lucas Catania tangled in front of her, which caused Garrett to lose position and Catania to serve a drive-through penalty. The shakeup in positions resulted in Fast Track Racing driver Adam Gleason finishing second and Rigid Speed Racing’s Joseph Catania (Lucas’ dad) getting third.
Aust put in an especially impressive drive in race two in her M2 CS, as she took the lead after starting second behind pole-sitter Lucas Catania and withstood intense pressure from both Catania and Garrett to make it two wins in a row. Garrett and Catania finished second and third. “Yesterday I kind of felt that the race was given to me, but for this race I said I was going to win the race on the track and give it all I had,” said Aust after race two.
The MINI JCW Team also had a great weekend at VIR, with Clay Williams getting wins in both TC class races in his #60 MINI JCW PRO to make it four wins in a row for him, and PJ Groenke winning the TCA class in race two in his #62 MINI JCW after the Subaru in front of him spun and gave up the position.
The next rounds of the championship for both GT4 America and TC America will take place at Road America in Wisconsin on the weekend of August 18th-20th. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy SRO]