Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann drove their #81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90 to second place in the Fresh From Florida 200 at the Grand-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
While Thomas and the BimmerWorld team are no strangers to finishing on the podium, finishing second in their first CTSCC race was rewarding. "This was just a fantastic day," Thomas told reporters. "I'm so excited for us to finish second today, and it was also Bill's first professional race, so looking at what we've achieved, this team is right on pace with where we should be."
For Bill Heumann, it took a little bit of faith to believe in the endurance racing mantra his co-driver had drilled into him. "Seth kept repeating that if I handed over a car that was in good shape and in a decent position on the track, that we could score a podium in our first race. This is my first professional race, mind you. I wasn't sure if he was just giving me positive encouragement, but he was 100 percent right."
The #81's charge from 27th to 2nd, an improvement of 25 spots, was the highlight of the day for BimmerWorld. Unfortunately, the sister #80 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW E90, driven by team owner James Clay and David White, would have a less deserving result. Starting an impressive 3rd on the grid, Clay and White were poised to score an impressive finish alongside the #81, but after being hit from behind, resulting in a multi-car accident, Clay's day ended with a broken suspension and an assortment of crumpled body panels.
The smooth execution of BimmerWorld's Fresh From Florida 200 race came after a few hectic weeks of preparation and repairs to the #81 BMW E90. A crash in testing found the Jason Marks-led BimmerWorld crew taking the car down to the bare chassis in order to have it straightened before a complete reassembly and rebuild prior to Friday's race. The road to Daytona, as Marks shared, was long, but ultimately rewarding. "All of my guys put everything they had into getting the #81 ready to go again. We knew what we could do at Daytona, and that provided all the motivation we needed. I think we put every GearWrench tool we had to use on the #81 over the past few weeks! Now that we've gotten a second, we'll be focused on getting our first win in the series. It won't be easy, but that's what makes the challenge so worthwhile."
Follow the BimmerWorld/GearWrench team as they prepare for Round 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 5-6, by visiting www.BimmerWorldRacing.com