The Brief

Keeping ‘em guessing
Aug 27, 2018

42346037130 7C6162C125 O 960Px

BISCUITVILLE GRAND PRIX, ALTON, VIRGINIA — Thanks to a home track advantage and a healthy lead in the season’s points standings, Virginia based BimmerWorld Racing entered this past weekend’s Biscuitville Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway with high expectations. The #81 BMW 381i sponsored by Legistics, Veristor and Racing to End Alzheimer’s got off to a blazing start, capturing the pole for the seventh time in eight IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races.

The team’s prospects looked bright, but storm clouds were (literally) gathering on the horizon. The track was wet at the start, and the skies opened up shortly after lap 4 of the two-hour, 59-lap race. By the fifth lap of the 17-turn circuit, it was raining heavily, and many of the competitors opted to pit for rain tires.

Betting on sunshine

BimmerWorld decided to stay on the track, betting that the rain would eventually subside – and that driver Nick Galante would be able to manage the slippery track conditions on dry-weather tires. The bet paid off. By lap 11, the sun was peeking back through the clouds, and Galante was leading the ST class.

Nick Galante: It was a mayhem of a start with the TCR cars and some of the GS cars dropping back. So, we were actually battling two different classes and a championship at the same time within our own class, which was quite interesting. Jason Rabe drove really well, and we had a great battle back and forth. Collin Mullin had a great start and passed me at the start. We had contact at the exit of turn three, unfortunately. It was unintentional on both sides and it was just good, hard racing. We actually broke our window and had some glass in the car that was affecting our throttle pedal. The car’s pretty good on rain tires in the wet, but on slicks it was a handful.

Betting on rain

Galante pitted on lap 30, and the team elected to switch to rain tires in the midst of another downpour. This time, the gamble didn’t go their way. On lap 45, with 25 minutes left in the race, the track began to dry up, the rain tires began to disintegrate, and driver Devin Jones was forced to pit for a tire change during green-flag conditions.

Devin Jones: When I got in the car, we put on rains [tires], kind of gambling that the rain was going to keep steady. It was working for the first few laps, but then it started to taper off, and the track dried. Then the rain tires started coming apart and started getting really hot, and then one of them went flat. We had a left front flat, so we had to come in and put dries on. We lost a bunch of time there, but we were able to knock off some good laps. We were running everyone down and just kind of ran out of time, honestly. We were probably the fastest time at the end there, but everybody rallied really well. It’s just one of these races where it can fall either way. Rain races are tricky, especially when it’s off and on like that.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over

Jones crossed the finish line in fourth place. But the day’s surprises weren’t over. The first-place finishers received a post-race technical infraction, the third-place team was assessed a drive-time infraction – and the #81 wound up with second-place honors (and the points to match) at the end of another wildly unpredictable weekend of racing.

The penultimate round for the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season will be held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 8, followed by the finale at Road Atlanta on October 12.

The Biscuitville Grand Prix race will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, August 26 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Street Smarts
Aug 14, 2018

Road America Traffic 1920

ROAD AMERICA, ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN — It was all about strategizing on the fly in the action-packed Road America 120 on Saturday, August 4th in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The #81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i sponsored by Legistics, Veristor and Racing to End Alzheimer’s was fast all weekend. Driver Nick Galante won the pole with an average speed of 95.393 mph – and with co-driver Devin Jones led the ST field for 47 laps compared to their closest competitor’s 11. But as anyone who follows the drama-filled IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge knows, it’s not always enough to be fast.

Coping with the variables

Galante, after an exciting early battle, was in the lead when a car in the GS class flipped and caught fire on lap 15. Just like that, the dynamics of the race changed. A long full-course caution – followed by a second caution later in the race – forced every team on the track to reassess carefully plotted strategies in real time.

The stakes were high: The timing and length of the cautions added an unpredictable variable for teams calculating fuel mileage to the last gas fume. The precise moment each car chose to pit for fuel, tires and a driver change would determine whether they’d have to sacrifice precious seconds to pit again for fuel later in the race. For the BimmerWorld team, that was a nagging worry until they crossed the finish line.

Devin Jones: “We had that long caution, and we were able to come out second and stayed right there with the MINI. I knew as the run went on his tires would fade a little bit, so I just kept the pressure on him. He was stronger in some areas of the track, but I was stronger in other places, so I was able to set him up and finally made it stick after a couple of times trying. From there, I played the traffic a little better with the GS cars and we got a little bit more of a gap. But then we knew we were going to be close on fuel. Even from the beginning of the stint, I really had to save a lot, so I couldn’t enjoy those last few laps. I had to really baby it around to save on fuel.”

A winning combination

The strategy – and the street smarts – paid off. Not only did the team win at Road America, but the victory extended their points lead with just three races remaining in the hard-fought ST class championship.

Nick Galante: “I think this was definitely a pivotal point in the season – extending that lead just a little more like we needed to. The Pombo brothers have been really tough, and they’ve been really great. They’re making this season truly fun because they’re making us work really hard for it.”

The Road America 120 race will air on FOX Sports 1 from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm Eastern time on Sunday, August 12. The next race for BimmerWorld Racing will be the Biscuitville Grand Prix on August 18 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. (the team’s home track).

​The hazards of the Bullring
Aug 6, 2018

Bmw Mini Curve Limerock 960Px

LIME ROCK PARK, LAKEVILLE, CT — There are many ways to define a good race. When it comes to the short, tight “bullring” Lime Rock Park circuit (with seven grisly turns over 1.478-miles), just crossing the finish line unscathed can seem like a significant achievement. That was certainly the case on July 21st at the bruising IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series race in Lakeville, Connecticut.

By the time this two-hour brawl of a race was over, multiple teams were loading up mangled cars that had gotten caught up in heavy contact and unintended off-track excursions. Fortunately, the #81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i (sponsored by Legistics, Veristor, YouRulz and Racing to End Alzheimer's) wasn’t one of them. Drivers Nick Galante and Devin Jones managed to maintain impressive speed all weekend while expertly avoiding the hazards and navigating the full-course cautions that were such bad news for other teams.

Galante was the qualifying driver and got the pole with a time of 0:59.543. He led the first 48 laps of the 113-lap race before pitting during the first full-course caution. Jones, who had set a new track record with a time of 0:59.262 in practice, exited the pits in second and battled with the Pombo brothers in a pair of MINIs through his entire stint. Finally, on Lap 86 with 31 minutes left in the race, Jones got past Mark Pombo and was just 2.505 seconds behind the leader, Mat Pombo.

A second full-course caution was thrown on lap 91 with just 25 minutes remaining. The track went green on lap 98 with only 14 minutes to go, and Jones crossed the finish line in second place, just .650 behind class winner Mat Pombo.

Saturday’s second-place finish (the team’s fifth podium in six races) extends their lead in the ST class championship points battle – with the next race of the hard-fought season at the iconic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Shifts of fortune
Jul 10, 2018

81 W 52 Greenflag 1600 X600

BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA —The dramatic first-place finish for the #81 Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW 328i at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was a true testament to teamwork, preparation, skill – and the wild shifts of fortune that teams and fans have come to expect over the course of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season.

With just a week to get the Legistics/Veristor/YouRulz-sponsored car race-ready after the grueling run at Watkins Glen, the Bimmerworld crew delivered. “We had speed all weekend and were really fast right off the trailer,” driver Devin Jones said. “It made my job pretty easy. I was able to go out there and get a pretty big gap.”

Jones won the ST class pole, setting a new track record. He also laid down the fastest lap of the two-hour race. By the time he pitted to pass the car over to co-driver Nick Galante, the team had a comfortable 40-second lead.

Then suddenly everything changed.

A full-course caution was called on lap 46, obliterating the lead and relegating Galante to the number two spot behind Mark Pombo in the #52 Mini. With the track heating up and cars starting to slide, both Galante and Pombo had contact with one of the GS cars on turn 2.

With just six laps to go in the race, the #52 Mini succumbed to damage sustained in the dust-up and was forced to stop off course. The race stayed green as the Mini was removed, sealing the victory for the #81 BMW.

“They had some trouble after some contact, which is unfortunate,” Galante said after the race. “I hope those guys recover and can fight us the rest of the season.”

With this win (their second of the season), the Racing to End Alzheimer’s team catapulted to the top of the Street Turner (ST) point standings in the hard-fought series. Their #81 BMW 328i (F30 chassis) also leads the class’s VP Fuels Front Runner Award standings at the season’s halfway point.

The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 will air on Sunday, July 15th on FS1 (check local listings for times). The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge continues with Round 6 on July 20-21 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.