This past weekend I raced with BGB Motorsports at the BEAUTIFUL Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, for Grand-Am's Continental Tire Challenge. It was a really fun weekend - as is any race weekend with the BGB crew. They have got to be one of the most fun and family-like teams I've ever driven for, and they really make the race weekends purely fun and relaxing - even when I stress myself out about the competition!
My regular teammate Stu Tetreault was unable to make it to this race, so my long time friend and BGB team manager, John Tecce, was going to share the wheel with me. Long-story-short, we knew John would drive very little during the race so I could get in and charge towards the front, so we didn't give him any time in the car during practice outside of one 20-minute run! We did that so we could continue developing the setup on our old tried-and-true 911 Porsche, as it's now VERY hard to be competitive with the higher-horsepower Mustangs, Camaros and BMW M3's with our lower-horsepower 3.6l engine.
Although we did initially struggle with setup a bit throughout testing, our last practice session showed signs of brilliance and a definite improvement in performance when looking at our session split times (even though we didn't log a full 'fast lap'). Then the focus was on letting Tecce qualify the car, which he did well - especially for not having any time in the car during practice!
An even longer-story-short, we battled our way from basically dead-last (due to a stop-and-go penalty we received early in the race) to finish 11th. For the last 30 minutes I was clearly the fastest car on track and made a HUGE charge through the ENTIRE ST classs (30-something cars) before I made it to the first GS car in our class - and THEN started slicing through to make my way up to 11th. We had an INSANE amount of time under full course cautions - something like 80 minutes of it, so it really hindered my ability to race further up the charts. But all in all I was pleased, when you look at the fact that during the race I had to have passed at least 80-90 cars! (61 cars total between the two classes - and TWICE I had to pass the ENTIRE ST class, and pass 20 GS cars to finish 11th - many of which I passed twice because of our pit rotation, and having to pass many of them again in the last 30 minutes...!!!)
Either way - Fun. The team did great, my teammate/team manager John did great, and once again our little Porsche prevailed as a car that is ALWAYS in the hunt for the long run.
Our next race together is now less than two weeks away, as we race at VIR April 24th! Click here for event details if you're interested in attending, or for information on live timing & scoring as well as the SPEED TV broadcast information!
Here's a link to some great photos from the event as well: