Q&A with the BimmerWorld Drivers – Mosport Momentum

The World Challenge Touring Car guys face a hectic race schedule with Mosport hot on the heels of Road America. Before the team heads back up north they took some time to answer our questions.

Check out their comments below, and be sure to send us any questions you might have. We’ll get the guy’s thoughts, and give you credit!

(James) TV and Movies would have us believe that when you're ready to pass the car in front of you, it simply requires a downshift and stepping on the gas. In reality it probably isn't that easy. Can you tell us a little bit about getting past a car in World Challenge? Is it a matter of being aggressive enough to make the move? What does it take to get past and make it stick?

[James Clay] Not quite that easy... The cars are so evenly matched in World Challenge that your position is given to you when another driver makes an error or you spend several laps evaluating the car in front, deciding where you have the most advantage, then execute. It is a real chess game and it isn't about being aggressive - certainly you need to be to a degree, but you can't pass just because you want to. If we were any more aggressive I think any car in the field would go flying off the track - they are being driven to the limits every turn, braking zone, and straight.

(James) Put your team owner hat on for a second. World Challenge is all over the map with its schedule. What type of logistics does it take to get the team, spares, and cars up to an event? Has the high price of diesel made any difference this year?

[James Clay] Well this has actually been an easy year with 9 of 10 races east of the Mississippi. This year the transporter costs us about $0.75 per mile for fuel alone to run! Plane tickets aren't getting any cheaper either and with 15 people to shuttle around the country it adds up. To support a team at the level needed for this series takes good guys and a lot of them - one of the biggest expenses for any race weekend for us.

(Nick) Since James is crediting you with the Junior Engineer title, can you tell us some of the keys to making a car handle in the rain? Will rain at Mosport negate any advantages the BMW's might enjoy?

[Nick Esayian] I am certainly no engineer but softer seems to be the ticket in the rain. The key is to balance softer with transition and how quickly the car takes a set... Wayne’s got a plan so I’m confident we will be ok unless it snows. Even with last years super stiff setup in the E90 Clay was all over the bumper of my front drive TSX. That’s proof the BMW is a great platform to start with. Certainly rain negates (a bit) our ability to start feeding throttle as early as we usually do, but these rain races have so many variables it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen.

(Nick) You're part of the WC Vision LLC, which is looking to improve the overall marketing of the World Challenge series. If you could wave your magic wand what changes would you make to the series?

[Nick Esayian] There is no question the first three things we would change...

1.) A more attractive TV deal – Better production (more resources), better on air times, better format... Whether that be a reality type show, live TV, etc. I can’t tell you the answer yet. The economics will make that determination.

2.) Boosting the TC field – TC is great racing... Boosting the field is really the result of building confidence in the series with those potential teams that may be considering building cars, a tight and consistent rules package, and the series profile attractive enough to make it worth stepping up from Grand Am to WC.

3.) A title sponsor. Video game producer, energy drink, electronics retailer, or an auto association like SEMA.... It makes no difference to me who it is. We have a great demo and can provide a package that makes business sense in terms of ROI. We just need to get in front of some of these folks and get a deal done. Right now WC is like a blue chip stock in a down market. We are undervalued. If someone buys in now, as the series matures, they are going to get a huge value for their money. I can guarantee that.

Now get me that wand so we can get onto the rest of our list.

(Seth) You've had some great starts this year with a few holeshot and hardcharger awards. What are some of the keys to getting a good start in WC? Or is it simply your cat-like reflexes and reaction time?

[Seth Thomas] That is a simple answer, RWD BMW. The fact that our cars have a great 1st gear along with the great drivetrain of the BMW's help out tremendously. Every time I am lined up for the start of the race it is time to focus. Staying focused on the lights and getting a quick drag launch from the car is the key. I have been known to attempt a few of these starts on the streets from time to time when the local law enforcement isn’t around. The only problem there is usually a little bit more tire smoke. ;-)

(Seth) Mosport is a high speed track with some pretty scary corners. How does this track stack up on your favorite's list? Do you prefer faster tracks, or something that is maybe more technical?

[Seth Thomas] My preference would be the fast tracks. It seems that most drivers are g-force junkies. The faster tracks give us the g-force fix we are all looking for. The feeling I get when I top the hill at T2 in Mosport at over 100 MPH with the rear sliding out... of course you need to do this to get a good run through the turn all while going down a hill can’t be beat. Same with Road Atlanta and T12. There is nothing like it!!!

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