The SRO TC America and GT4 America series races at Sebring worked out very well for some BMW teams but not so good for some others that typically reach the podium. In both races, the M2 CS and M4 GT4 racing models proved competitive.

In TC America, Chris Walsh of Carrus Callus Raceteam (shown above) has had quite a year so far. He won both TCX class races in the opening weekend at Sonoma in his M2 CS and followed that up with two wins at Sebring to make it four for four on the year. Another BMW driver, Lucas Catania of Rigid Speed, finished second to Walsh in all four of those races, giving BMW a 1-2 finish in every race in TC America to far this season. Aaron Kaplan of the Kaplan Racing Systems team finished on the podium in third in race two at Sebring. Joe Catania (Lucas’ father) had a strong run going in race two but was rear-ended by an Acura on the last corner of the last lap while running in fourth.

Lucas Catania finished second in both TC America TCX class races at Sebring.

Chris Walsh credits preparation for his success. “I do a lot of physical preparation, I know it’s gonna be hot in the car, so I train pretty hard,” he said. “My job in the military makes sure of that as well. I also spend a lot of time in the simulator. We go through all the data, and we have a plan every time and a couple of branch plans if it doesn’t go the way we want. The team does a great job putting the car where it needs to be. And then my job is to get on the track to make sure I do what they expect.” The M2 CS is the veteran in the TCX class and is up against the new Acura Integra Type S, which is in its debut season in TCX, though mechanically it is nearly identical to the Honda Civic Type R that has been more developed. In either case, the Acura’s in the class are newly built cars and are having some teething issues.

The MINI JCW team had success in the TC and TCA classes, with Christian Perocarpi finishing second in race one and third in race two, with Hyundai driver Jeff Ricca winning both races. In the TCA class, PJ Groenke finished first in race one and second in race two.

Christian Perocarpi finished on the podium in both TC class races.

There are several M4 GT4 models competing among three different classes (Silver, Pro-Am, Am) in the GT4 America series and BMWs were on the podium in both races in the Silver and Am classes at Sebring. In race one, Random Vandals Racing drivers Kevin Boehm and Kenton Koch finished on the podium in third in their #97 M4 GT4 after the winning Nissan Z NISMO GT4 was disqualified after the race. The #51 Auto Technic Racing duo of Colin Garrett and Zac Anderson finished fourth in Silver. There was some fantastic racing going on between Boehm and Garrett in their BMWs.

There were also a pair of BMWs on the podium in the Am class in race one, with Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson finishing second in class in their #98 Random Vandals M4 GT4 and Auto Technic Racing drivers Matt Million and Ryan Keeley finishing third. BimmerWorld Racing drivers James Clay and Charlie Postins had a race to forget in their #36 M4 GT4, as Postins had an off-track excursion early in the race that set them back and ultimately resulted in a ninth-place finish. BimmerWorld had bad luck in the Pro-Am class as well, as James Walker, Jr. was caught up in an incident that led to a DNF.

Auto Technic Racing drivers Zac Anderson and Colin Garrett finished second in the GT4 America Silver class in race two.

In race two, the Random Vandals and Auto Technic BMWs had another great scrap going, this time with Kenton Koch and Zac Anderson doing the driving. Defending champ Anderson moved up six places at the start of the race and co-driver Colin Garrett moved up into second in this stint, holding off the #23 Nissan for several laps to take second place in the Silver class by just two-tenths of a second. The #97 BMW of Boehm and Koch finished fourth in Silver. The #28 RS1 Porsche won the class in both races.

Random Vandals Racing drivers Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson finished second in the GT4 America Am class in race one and won race two.

The Random Vandals duo of Paul Sparta and Kris Wilson had another great race in the Am class, taking the win in their #98 M4 GT4. “This is the best start to the season we’ve ever had, and I was really getting tired of finishing second,” said Sparta. “They say one’s a lonely number. I don’t think it’s lonely, but the crew just executed perfectly all weekend.” The #36 BimmerWorld car of Clay and Postins finished fourth after serving a penalty early in the race, and the #53 Auto Technic car of Million and Neeley finished in the top five in fifth in Am. The BimmerWorld duo of Walker, Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie had more bad luck in the Pro-Am class in race two, losing several positions after Walker, Jr. had the car react strangely to the famous bumps in turn seventeen. They ultimately finished ninth in class.

Next up for the SRO TC America and GT4 America series are rounds five and six at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on May 17th-19th.

—David Haueter

[Photos courtesy SRO]




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