BimmerWorld competes with SRO Motorsports America in the premier Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series and Pirelli GT4 America series. Putting the ups and downs of Circuit of The Americas behind it, the team looks forward to a weekend at its home track, VIRginia International Raceway.
The beautiful rolling hills of Danville, Virginia, are home to VIR and two hours outside the small town stands the BimmerWorld race shop. VIR has long been a host to SRO Motorsports America because of its beauty and challenge as a racecourse. Its history is one BimmerWorld proudly respects as a team that benefits from being within proximity.
James Clay, President and driver at BimmerWorld, has his specific expectations set for his home race with a unique viewpoint as a team mixed with locals and visitors. The team’s headspace needs to be in a malleable state of learning in an effort not to be overly contented in relying on previous experience to compensate for the unknowns of the weekend.
“It’s very special to have one of the top tracks in the country in our backyard,” Clay said. “The track flows with the land. It really is laid in there perfectly. Connie and her team have done a great job since reopening in 2000. As a driver, I don’t treat it as the ‘home track’ because it's so easy to be complacent.
“You have to dig in harder. When you go to a track that you have a lot of laps on, you end up with lazy habits. They’re not all bad or good. But you do have to have awareness of them. You have to be open to adaptation at any track. At your home track, you have a greater risk of relying on pathways already created.”
BimmerWorld and Clay have plenty to keep the team in a competitive mindset with the new GT4 cars he and his co-driver Charlie Postins drive in the Pirelli GT4 America. As the name suggests, the race team is well-versed with the manufacturer and vice versa. The new BMW M4 GT4 has proven itself in just five rounds of racing, winning across classes.
“The BMW has always been a good car, but there were small issues that the new car doesn’t experience,” Clay said. “It handles heat better; the aero kit is better along with many other upgrades. It does a lot super well. It’s one of those things where it just does it all now.”
In addition to car confidence, BimmerWorld and Clay are building a positive repertoire as the race season unfolds. This achievement comes through testing, racing and meshing well with one another behind the wheel.
“Every weekend, we’re better than the previous weekend,” Clay said. “NOLA was weird because we were off a little in practice and then had the canceled race. But COTA was more typical. We were competitive and had a great car Saturday and Sunday without question.
“We’ve tested for VIR and found some things we like here that we didn’t like at COTA with the setup. We’re going to be able to attack more with the setup work we’ve done but we’re still digging to find some things for race day at VIR.”
BimmerWorld faces VIR with three entries in total. Chandler Hull will be welcomed back stateside by co-driver Bill Auberlen after competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They will run the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series. The AM Class entry of Clay and Postins is joined by teammates James Walker Jr. and Tyler McQuarrie in the Pirelli GT4 America PRO-AM Class.
The three-day event hosted at VIRginia International Raceway takes place Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18. Fans can purchase single-day tickets or three-day ticket packages. Nissan owners can join the Nissan exclusive car corral. At the same time, the Patriot Car Corral is open to vehicles of all kinds, with proceeds going to helping veterans of the United States and Canadian military. Tickets are on sale here.
For fans unable to attend the event in person, the GT World YouTube page may do just the trick. The live stream covers all series races over the weekend, including Fanatec GT World Challenge America qualifying rounds. For those wanting to get to know the community a little better, join DJ Clark, Kyle Heyer and Daniel Gilligan on the SROMotorsports Twitch stream, where the trio interacts with fans and interviews drivers while covering on-track activity.