Q&A - Mosport Recap and "Did you win a T-shirt?"
8/26/08


Today is our first round of reader submitted questions. Keep checking back since we'll be posting more of these during our down time and as the guy's schedule's permit. Special thanks to everyone that has submitted a question for the team so far. Please keep them coming! Lots of good stuff we'll be addressing in weeks to come.

You can submit your questions to:
questions@bimmerworldracing.com

Also take a look at our media page for selected photos from each event. This isn't the podium shot the BimmerWorld team wanted, see what they had to say about the race below.

(James) You had a strong race until the car broke. Half shafts have been a problem before, typically these break on starts due to the shock. Any speculation on what caused this one to go?

[James Clay] Absolutely! Unfortunately, this is the first time we have broken one of these race-spec shafts. We have broken stock shafts, two versions of diff flange, one diff pinion gear, and one stock and one race version of CV cages (ed. - pretty much evey driveline part). We are balancing a huge amount of stress in the driveline and this is the next weakest part. Anyway, I broke it in what was to be my passing move for the lead – I was on the leaders bumper hard into turn 5a, took a good line and got on the gas (in torque 3rd gear) with authority, and tracked out farther than normal on the exit curbing to maintain my extra speed. The front-wheel cars break axles with the added stress of bouncing and slipping on curbing, and this was the first time for us. When we say our parts our "Race Proven" this is what we mean!!

(James) You had a strong start and were in second place before the incident with the car, was it a matter of deja vu? Give us a prediction for the outcome if things had gone a little differently with the car.

[James Clay] You bet – just like Road America 2 weeks earlier – same qualifying position, better track position during the race, but the same feeling that the race was mine and it was a matter of time until I decided to make a real move for position. We had good cars and should have won this one. Next prediction – a repeat without the mechanical issues at the finale (Road Atlanta) in a few weeks.

****Reader submission****
(James) viewing the in-car video from Road America, it appears that there is quite a bit of deflection in the steering column. Can you tell us what modifications have been made in that area, and why the deflection may be present? Submitted by: Scott Lang


[James Clay] The steering columns in our cars are lightweight replacements. We use a collapsible shaft for safety, then extend it to fit the driver, and support it with a bearing in the firewall and one close to the wheel instead of the heavier stock configuration with a full length housing. The tubing has a little give to it and as far back as we sit in the cars (plus I like my wheel closer to me for better control), my extension is longer and probably deflects more.

(Nick) Do you feel that drivers repress some of their personality for fear of offending potential sponsors? And if so how do you think this ultimately impacts their marketability. Some of the biggest names in NASCAR are pretty outspoken at times.

[Nick Esayian] I do and it is unfortunate. The F1, Indycar, and NASCAR interviews are so predictable it is almost painful to watch. Look at Boris Said... He runs a handful of races per year and people love him because he doesn’t script everything and talks like a real person. John Force, same thing... You don’t need to be obnoxious or rude but all these guys sound the same. You need to simply be yourself, have fun, and realize people at home watching on television want to know what you are feeling - not to hear about how the Widget Winding car was running great...

(Nick) Your fast race lap wasn't even a second off the fastest time for the day. What needs to happen to improve your finishing order? The speed appears to be there, is it a matter of luck, timing, car setup, competition, or all of the above?

[Nick Esayian] I’m pretty comfortable with the car now. It has been silly going from the front at Sebring to struggling. Every weekend we have been close but half a tick off and I’ve been unable to break through which is frustrating. I’ve been a little slow on my set up changes in the practices and will usually notice a single area I need to improve on when reviewing data. The three of us all review data and learn from each other. There is no question I can win... It is on me at this point.

****Reader submission****
(Nick) The best part of a race weekend is no doubt the racing itself, but what would you say your least favorite part of a race weekend is? Talking to the press? Pre race butterflies? Submitted by: Peter Tyson


[Nick Esayian] The worst part of the weekend is certainly the travel to and from the events. The airlines frankly stink. Every company in the US with a big union influence is a disaster... Airlines, public education, auto industry.... There is nothing worse than flying across the country with a late departure, on a dirty plane, served by rude people, only to land and then have to wait to get my now damaged luggage. Last weekend I flew on Mike Davis’ new 747 (ACS Microsystems and GT driver) and I’m sold that is the way to go. Adoption papers are on the way to him as we speak.

(Seth) The race won't be broadcast until Wed. Can you give us a play by play on the final lap?

[Seth Thomas] I don't know if Speed will allow that!! It was basically a 4-5 lap ordeal of me trying to work on getting around Chip. His car was a little bit better than mine coming out of a couple of the turns but mine was significantly better through 8,9, and 10. I had been working getting the pass through there but couldn't make it happen. On the last lap I thought to myself, "if he leaves the door open in T10 I will try to get in there since it would be for a 2nd place". He left the door open and I went for the pass. I had the position but bounced off his car. This caused the rear to step out into the dirt coming out of T10 and that was all she wrote. It was a tough move that I know I could have pulled off but I didn't plan on making contact.

(Seth) Does the fact that you already had a podium finish (at VIR) change how aggressive you were going into the last lap, or does that even play a factor in how you apporach a race?

[Seth Thomas] No, that doesn't change it. I knew spraying some champagne with the guys at the end would have been awesome but I also knew I had a better car than Chip's. So I wanted to prove it. It is late in the season with no championship hopes in sight so it was a move you have to go for. I settled at VIR and I didn't want to settle at this race.

****Reader submission****
(Seth) – You’ve had a great season so far with some near wins, you seem to be consistently in the hunt for a win, and Road Atlanta is obviously a strong track for you. If you do what we all know you can and you pass the checkered flag at Road Atlanta in front of the pack, do you have any plans to upstage Clay’s smoky burnout at Road America? Submitted by: Ryan Staub


[Seth Thomas] I have a few thoughts on that (which are top secret). I think the best answer is Clay set the early example for how this type of celebration should be done. As we all know Clay and I generally try to one up each other. I would say it is safe to say when this does happen I will definitely leave my marks at Road Atlanta! Stay tuned!!

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