Fastest lap of the race claimed on route to a 2nd place finish
BimmerWorld Racing executed its game plan to near perfection today, and it almost paid off with a victory in the second round of the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series at Sebring International Speedway.
James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., and Devin Jones, of Mooresville, N.C., drove their No. 82 OPTIMA Batteries/Veristor BMW M4 GT4 to a second-place finish in the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 race, just 7.750 seconds out of first place.
Qualifying driver James Clay started from the seventh position in the two-hour race on the 3.47-mile, 17-turn circuit in Central Florida and made a dash to the front, quickly battling in the top three. On the first of two cautions, Clay pitted for fuel and tires and handed the driving duties to Jones. Although it was a bit earlier than their planned pit stop, tire wear under the 80-plus degree Fahrenheit conditions required it. Jones kept the BMW M4 GT4 in the top three and soon elevated himself to the second place. When a second caution flag was thrown a few laps from the end of the 49-lap race, Devin dashed into second place and nearly grabbed the lead from eventual winner Jeff Westphal in an Audi R8.
“This was an awesome race. James did such a good job in the beginning keeping the car up in the top three. He moved up really quickly from seventh and got us in a great spot. The driver change went really well. All the pitstops were good. We got shuffled back a little bit in the last caution just with differing strategies, but overall, I’m really happy. This is a good result for us. It’s nice to be on the podium at Sebring.” - Devin Jones
During his hard charge, Jones, the reigning IMSA ST class champion, set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:11.945 and a speed of 100.964 mph.
“It was a great day—an almost perfect day. We had a good car over a long run. We knew we had a good car. Devin put it at the top of the charts in one of the practice sessions, which is not necessarily what we focus on, and we weren’t at the top of qualifying, but we knew we had a race car under us that was going to move forward, especially as the hot surface wore out the tires. I was proud of my stint, and I’m obviously super proud of Devin. What a teammate! What an awesome job. The guys executed fantastic pitstops, and it was a really good day.” - James Clay
Clay and Jones are unofficially tied for first place in the GS class points standings after two rounds.