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Bimmerworld Ready for Grand-Am Opener at Daytona - Web Exclusive

The first race of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge kicks off on Friday at the Daytona International Speedway.

Greg Emmerson
Jan 24, 2012
Eurp 1201 01+bimmerworld grand am daytona+cover Photo 2/3   |   Bimmerworld Ready for Grand-Am Opener at Daytona - Web Exclusive

After months of work, BimmerWorld is ready to go racing. The first race of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge kicks off on Friday at the Daytona International Speedway, and BimmerWorld’s three BMW 328i in the Street Tuner-class are looking to earn points in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles.

Eurp 1201 01+bimmerworld grand am daytona+cover Photo 2/3   |   Bimmerworld Ready for Grand-Am Opener at Daytona - Web Exclusive

“For the 2012 season, we have one goal – the Championship,” said James Clay, BimmerWorld’s owner and co-driver of the No. 80 entry.

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“We have done a lot of work over the offseason to put all the elements in place and hopefully we just have to press the start button and send it all into action.”

BimmerWorld, along with other Street Tuner teams fielding regular-sized cars in 2011, found smaller cars had a marked advantage in the rules. Rather than wait for the rules to be balanced, Clay and the BimmerWorld technicians engaged in a top-to-bottom assessment of what improvements would return the 328i to the front of the field. “We have to focus on what we can control. I know for sure our cars are dialed-in and ready to run,” he said. “I know Daytona is a good track for the bigger cars, with its sweeping turns and long straights. As the tracks start to tighten up we aren’t as nimble, and even at Daytona, the smaller, forced induction cars get a good jump off the corner. So other tracks won’t be as kind to us.”

Coming off of a strong pre-season test at the “Roar Before The 24,” Clay and his teammate in the No. 80 328i, sophomore ST driver John Capestro-Dubets, demonstrated plenty of speed.

In the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i, returning pro Gregory Liefooghe will lead Grand-Am newcomer David Levine. The sportscar veteran came away from their most recent test feeling confident about what he and Levine can achieve in 2012.

“I think David and I developed a good relationship during the Roar,” he said. “His driving style works with mine and we'll be working well together during the season. For this race, the number one goal will be to finish on the podium. Daytona, with the long straights and significant drafts, always comes down to the last lap.”

Rounding out the BimmerWorld line-up is Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers in the No. 82 CRC Brakleen BMW 328i. With two touring car veterans already forming a fast effort, Thomas says there’s every reason to feel positive about what they can achieve together.

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“The Thomas/Rogers duo is in for the long run and we have our eyes on the prize at the end,” he said. “We both know that to contend for the championship, we have to be there at the end with a fast car. My crystal ball says you will see us, along with our other teammates, being contenders for every race win as well as the end of the season fight for the Championship.”

Paired with Thomas, who achieved a statistical tie for the 2010 ST championship with BimmerWorld, Rogers believes that with a bit more circuit knowledge under his belt, he and Thomas can bring 2010’s success—and more—into their efforts this year.

Follow BimmerWorld’s action from Daytona at www.BimmerWorldRacing.com, and tune-in to watch the BMW Performance 200 At Daytona on February 4 at 12pm ET on Speed.

By Greg Emmerson
1078 Articles

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