My First Pro Race with BimmerWorld - Bill Heumann

After much anticipation and no small amount of anxiety on my part, we finished our first CTS race in Daytona with a second place finish.

Before I give a condensed version of the race, let me say that in fact the stickiness of Champagne does get rather irritating when it dries!

We had an awesome race and a some good luck that helped move us from 27th at the start to the podium. First on the list of things that worked perfectly was the BimmerWorld team. The cars were perfectly prepared without a mechanical issue all weekend. The team did not make a single mistake in our pit stop which is remarkable because we ended up pitting two cars at once. Our race strategy was solid. For those of you who follow endurance racing, you know that if you run a race without mistakes, your odds of success are very good.In my case, if you run a race without mistakes, and have Seth as your co driver, your odds of success are REALLY good.

The joy of our success in the #81 car is somewhat dampened by the poor luck that caught up with #80. For those of you who haven't been following the results, Dave White qualified in P3 with a 2:09.something. I believe this is the "team" best time. Dave started his first pro race in the front and was dicing it up nicely, and acting like he thought he belonged there! He was passed under yellow by at least one car that no corner workers witnessed so it was let stand. When he handed the car off to James, they were running in 4th. James kept the car in 4th and was patiently following 3rd when he was rear ended entering T1 and knocked into the car into the car front of him. The damage wasn't too bad overall but the tie rod was bent and they had to retire. Their car was perfect, the crew was perfect, the strategy were perfect, and the drivers were strong....but the luck was bad today.

In the #81 car the luck went the other way. I managed to make up some ground from our starting position and moved us up from 27th to about 17th at about an hour into the race. At that point, an incident brought on a Full Course Yellow (FCY) and our team engineer, Wayne Yawn, wisely called for both cars to come in during the pit window. I think Seth was about 20th when he took the car back out. Seth started right away knocking out 2:10's consistently and just chewed through the field. I am not sure what the tally will be but I think about 5-6 cars that were in front of him had various incidents or mechanical issues but the rest of them he simply drove past. He was closing on the race leader at about .5 seconds per lap when they stopped him by throwing the checkered flag. What a drive!

Seth will turn around and try to accomplish another heroic task tomorrow in the Rolex 24 driving the Autometrics Porsche Cup Car. He will be the starting driver from the back of the GT field since the qualifying co driver, Cory Friedman, had to rush home as his wife went into labor. Good luck to Cory and family. Be sure to watch the Rolex as Seth carves up that field.

Special mention for Steve Bassen and the BW crew for the heroic effort it took to get our car back together so quickly and perfectly after my prior visit to Daytona. Thanks to Jason Marks and Ryan Kuhn, crew and #81 car chief respectively. Thanks to Wayne for doing all of our thinking so the drivers don't need to. Thank you to every one of the BimmerWorld team for your part of this effort. Most of all, thank you to James for building the BimmerWorld team and giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. To a man, they are exceptional individuals!