BimmerWorld Hoping Home Track Brings Good Luck
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

As the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge heads into its eighth of ten races on the 2017 schedule, there’s one team in the Street Tuner (ST) paddock hoping that VIRginia International Raceway grants a little magic to one of its own.

With its team shop located in Dublin, Virginia, BimmerWorld Racing, comprised of the Nos. 81 and 84 BMW 328i racecars, is more than familiar with the 3.27-mile circuit located less than three hours away.

“I think we’re looking good for the weekend,” said BimmerWorld President and No. 84 co-driver James Clay. “VIR is our home track and certainly the one we test at the most, so I think we come there knowing certainly the track, but all the nuances of the track, the pavement as it currently exists and how to optimize our cars on the track.”

In what the team hopes to be another good luck charm, this upcoming weekend marks a celebration of sorts for Clay and his co-driver Tyler Cooke, who both celebrated birthdays within the last week. Putting the car on the podium for the second time this year would be the best present.

Clay, who has played a large part in the development and success of the BMW 328i, is just one piece of the puzzle that makes up BimmerWorld’s unique driver lineup. He pilots the No. 84 with Cooke, the youngest of the bunch at 23 years old. In the No. 81 are Ari Balogh, who brings an extensive business and technical background to the team, with Greg Liefooghe, who has the most Continental Tire Challenge starts of the group at 76.

“I like our team and I’m sure as most teams would say, I feel like we’re a tight-knit family,” said Clay. “When running the team, I like a little bit of diversity and I think we’ve certainly got that. I think we all learn certain things from each other and I think the spread of drivers that we have under our awning is really a benefit to us as a team and as a racing team business in creating a well-rounded package.”

While the 2017 season has dealt a wave of challenges to the four drivers throughout the year, including a withdrawal at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park by the No. 81 after an incident in practice, the No. 84 sits sixth in the point standings after recording six top-ten finishes in the seven races this year.

Regardless of the outcome of the last three races of the season, though, the offseason won’t be one of rest and relaxation for the BimmerWorld camp. The team’s 2018 plans include a move up to the Grand Sport class in the Continental Tire Challenge, which is set to feature only those racecars with global GT4 technical specifications and which a wealth of manufacturers have already committed to for the upcoming year.

“As a GT4 car, it’s not a car that we spend time developing,” Clay said, which allows the team’s focus to remain on the final three races of the current season. “That’s really on the factory to deliver the car. At some point in the near future, we’ll have two cars on our doorstep and we’ll start testing and wrapping our heads around the cars. But really there’s not a lot of pregaming and planning for us to do, other than putting the team together and making sure we have the driver lineup set, which is what I’m currently working on.”

The Biscuitville Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway is set for Saturday, August 26 at 2:10 p.m. ET and can be watched live on IMSA.com.

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